Bound by Life: Expectations and Reality

The regular reader friends of my blog know my book, Bound by Life. I’ll go ahead and share the blurb of the book for those of you who do not know about it:

Bound by Life is the first book by Arpita Pramanick. It contains ten short stories.

The title story is epistolary. An old man writes a letter to his son before leaving for an old age home. Set in the backdrop of the modern nuclear family, the story contains references to the immigrant experiences of those who came to India from the then East-Pakistan (presently Bangladesh) to escape the wrath of the communal riots post-Indian independence.

One of the stories, I am Mala, has been previously published on the eFiction magazine. I am Mala is the tragic tale of a young woman who becomes the victim of the dogmatic caste system.

The protagonist of The Silent Victim, Deepa, has traumatic past. She just started college and is struggling badly with androphobia. Will she be able overcome her past and lead a normal life?

In a previous post, I had talked about five things that writing the book has taught me. I also mentioned that from time to time I will be talking about my self-publishing journey. So today, I am going to talk to you about what my expectations were when I hit the publish button on Kindle Direct Publishing Program and what the reality is after a month the book has been on the digital shelves.

Expectations

  1.  I’d sell 10 paid copies in the first month. Ten isn’t that big a number, is it? Should I set a higher count? 20? Nah, what if I don’t reach 20? Then I will feel bad and wont be able to concentrate on anything else. So 10 it is!
  2. A week before the release of Bound by Life, I post a message on Facebook asking my friends if they want a copy of my book. Over the week, I give away around 50 copies free to people I have known from school and college days and ask them for reviews through email and Facebook. I expect at least half of them to write a review. Fairly reasonable, right?
  3.  I’d sell about a hundred copies on the free promotional days.

Reality

  1. From June 20 to July 31, Bound by Life has sold 2 paid copies. Yeah, you read that right. Only TWO! That’s 80% below my expectations.
  2. Of all the copies I have sold or given away for free, I only have three reviews on Amazon.in and one on Amazon.com. Turned out many of my friends who were willing to review were not eligible for reviewing on Amazon as they had not bought anything from the website before.
  3. On the free promotional days, July 1-2 I sold about 25 copies. I won’t even get into percentages now!

When I was writing the book I was in the middle of my final semester. When my friends were perhaps studying for exams, I was busy writing and editing in MS Word. I was planning all sorts of things I could do to promote my book. It was like a dream, thinking about the book all the time.

Now, one month removed, how do you think I am faring? Am I sick because I sold so less? Am I depressed? Sad? Numb?

Well, here it is: I am absolutely fine! I took two blogging courses from Blogging U. of WordPress recently. I am reinventing my blog. I am writing guest posts. I am reading, I am interviewing other authors. And I am trying to outline my first novel. I am enjoying every bit of my personal life.

But that said, I haven’t given up hopes on Bound by Life. I DO NOT intend to be rich by selling the book, but this book is out in the world to help me be a better writer. So, I still want reviews and for that, I need to sell. And I NEED YOUR HELP to do that!

HOW CAN YOU HELP ME?

  1. For those of you who have not downloaded my book, here is another opportunity for you to do so.  bbllYes, Bound by Life is FREE again on 5th August! Mark your calendar, add a reminder! Do whatever you wish but do not forget to download it on the 5th! Click here to find the book on Amazon or bookmark the following URL: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00X6VG3B0 
  2. Have you downloaded my book in a previous giveaway? Great! Then please leave a review for me on the same link. Don’t fret that you’ve never reviewed anything before. All I want is your honest opinion, something you’ll tell me face to face if you had read my book. If it’s two lines, I am up for it! If you want to say what a pathetic read the book was, go ahead! Not only I care for sales, but I also want to know how I can better my writing. And your criticism does just that! So please, please, please leave a review for me on Amazon.
  3. Share this post! Reblog it! Email to a friend. Share it on your Facebook page. Start the hashtag #BoundbyLife on Twitter. Any platform you’re comfortable sharing, I am happy! Help me reach more people, so that more people download the book on the 5th.
  4. Help me spread a word about the book. Do you host author interviews on your blog? Then shoot me your questions and publish the interview on the 5th. Ask me out on blog tours.
  5. Enlighten me on other ways to promote my book! Have you marketed a book before? What helped boost the sale? I am open to all kinds of suggestions.

For any questions, please feel free to contact me through the form below. I am excited to hear from you!

HELP ME REACH NEW HEIGHTS! (1)

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About Arpita

Arpita Pramanick is a little, young woman with a bright face (who'd rather not look directly into a stranger's eye) you'll find walking on the corridors of Mu Sigma, Inc. She tells herself she wants to be a properly published writer (by which she means she wants to be published from the likes of Penguin), but isn't really so sincere about writing everyday. So if you see her, tell her to go write. She'll love you for doing that!
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