Tag Archives: beginning author

The joy of writing a book

As I am currently working on my third book, my first novel, I feel blessed every day that I do have the time and the right frame of mind to sit down and add more words to the book. The first draft stood at 42K, and now that I am going through the second draft, it’s climbed up to 45K.

I remember when I was in college, publishing my first book, I was rushing through the process. I wanted to get the book out there as soon as possible. Now that I have a few years under my belt and more patience, I am savouring each and every part of this process.

Having worked in the corporate and also having grown up in a family that runs a business, I also enjoy the business aspect of publishing a book. I’m already speaking to YouTubers for promotions, illustrators for the book covers etc. My budget is little to nothing for this book, but I’m still going through this process to see if I can find any option that fits my budget and goal. Otherwise, I can always trust myself to pick up the relevant skills to produce the complete product to the best of my ability.

I can’t wait for this book to be sent to beta readers for their initial review!

If you’ve ever published a book, what is it that you like the best in the process?

Bound by Life FREE on Kindle today!

Hello blogoworld!

It gives me immense delight to let you know that my book, Bound by Life, is FREE on Kindle today. It will end before midnight the 6th, so you got 24 hours to download the book.

Bound by Life is a collection of ten short stories. Here’s the book blurb for your benefit:

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?

Be sure to head out to Amazon to get your copy of Bound by Life.

Feel free to share this with your friends and acquaintances. I’d love to reach as many people as I can through this free giveaway.

Have you already downloaded the book and read it? Please leave me a review on Amazon and GoodReads. Your reviews will help me become a better writer.

Also, don’t forget to check out my first interview on the blog of my blogging partner, Marquessa. Thank you so much Marquessa for giving me this opportunity!

Happy Reading!


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.


  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.


  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!


  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!


“Who I am and why I am here”

Hiya all!

I am Arpita from West Bengal, India. I graduated last month as an electronics engineer (Yippee!). As much as I love my engineering textbooks, I care a tad bit more for the books that tell stories. So, while I figure out what to do with my career as an engineer, there’s one thing I badly want to do that has virtually no connection to engineering: write fiction!

I have always wanted to be an author (in between wanting to be an air hostess, a hair dresser, a doctor, a painter and finally, an engineer). I love to write anything: from diary entries to fiery articles on social issues. I used to blog on blogspot before I joined WordPress. I started this site almost on a whim, because somehow I felt I must have a WordPress blog if I were to be an author (it’s crazy, right? But one of my favourite authors blogs on WordPress, so you get the motivation).

The aim of my blog is to establish a readership for my stories. I have been told time and again by friends that I have a gift with the written word. I recently wrote a book of short stories, Bound by Life (click to pre-order), which I am self-publishing on Kindle on 20th June this year. So, I guess it is the right time to let you bookworms and bloggers know about my works. I am so excited to hear your feedback on my stories!

Besides that I publish interviews, reviews as well as share my two cents on the craft of writing on this blog. I also review on request, so if you got a new book coming out, feel free to send me a reviewer copy in exchange of an honest review.

So now you know who I am and what I love doing. Let the journey begin!

Much love. Keep blogging!

Five Lessons that My First Book Taught Me

Bound by Life, my first book, an anthology of short stories based in India, is nearly complete. I started it in March, and am publishing it through Kindle on June 20, 2015.  In these three months, I have learnt a lot about the writing process in general, and my own preferences in particular. In today’s blog post, I share those lessons with you.


1) Deadlines are both bad and good: I started Bound by Life as if on a dare. I discovered Kindle Self-Publishing and thought this genie was daring me to write and publish a book as soon as I could.

At that point, I was in my final semester of engineering, and had a lot to do besides writing stories. I had never really considered this fact while starting the book, and selecting a deadline. As the days progressed, I started to panic. I had finished five of the ten stories I intend to publish in Bound by Life by 5th May. By the end of May, that number had only increased by one. I mean I had other stories in the pipeline too, but those were half-way or quarter-way through. And lesser time with the stories means lesser time with editing, which can often be a bad thing.

Then again, I had never been a disciplined writer. I have written since I was eight. But it was only recently that I found out that what I wrote were mostly poems, blog and diary entries when what I really wanted to write was some great fiction that would change people’s lives! If I didn’t use that deadline, I would perhaps still be writing what I usually wrote. Since that deadline, I have not only written stories for my book, but sent a few to magazines as well. One of my stories, I am Mala, was published in the May edition of eFiction magazine this year! Hurray!

2) Writing is important, but editing is much more important: Now, any author knows this: we can’t stress editing enough. Every time I went back to one of my stories, I found I could tweak some sentences to make them sound more interesting, or erase entire paragraphs that added nothing to the story. I wish I had more time with the editing process for Bound by Life. But I am doing the best that I can.

3) There are going to be creative ups and lows: While I was writing stories for Bound by Life, on certain days I was sure my stories were awesome and I was over the moon, smug and all that. On other days I was just panicking and thinking my books would never sell any copies.

Then, I realized all this was quite natural. To wave off these mixed feelings, I tried to be more involved in my real life. The fact that I had my final semester exams helped, because at that time I was distracted and too busy to think that my book was trash or too good. I spent more time around people, read books, and discussed those books. I wrote reviews for stories. Mostly, I wanted to come back to the stories with a fresh mind and a more positive outlook.

4) Each story is different, and has to be handled differently: if you have ever worked on an anthology, you’ll know the feeling. There were some stories I wrote in three hours while others stretched on for weeks – these were the ones which appeared interesting to me when I first thought of them, but then didn’t know how to get them down in words.

There was this one story which I had high hopes for. It had a character, an elderly lady, who I was interested in. But I wasn’t familiar with the state of mind of a woman of her background and age to pen it authentically (as a writer, I tend to draw inspiration from real life quite heavily). Finally, after sending the first draft to a couple of acquaintances (a process which made me see the flaws in the story all the more clearly, and I kept telling them that it was a first draft and they shouldn’t judge me by it), I realized I should put away this story until I felt mature enough to deal with its characters. There is a right time for everything, and for a writer (as with anyone in any other profession), it is very important to know your shortcomings, and accept them gracefully.

 5) Your first self-published book is perhaps really not going to be the best-seller you were hoping it to be: Hell, perhaps it will not even sell fifty copies. The publishing industry today has changed a great deal in favour of indie writers, especially thanks to Amazon. But writing your first book and making it a publishing success are two different things. And the process is especially difficult if you are a nobody like me, with a meagre Twitter/Facebook/blog following (not that I am saying that those are the only necessary criteria to sell your book).

When I first began writing this book, I had these dreams of selling so many copies and making lots of money. But in the last two months I have read lots of articles on publishing to know better. Finally, I accepted that I wasn’t going to make any money from Bound by Life, and that made life easy. Thanks to that acceptance, I have different marketing ideas now to pitch Bound by Life, but that is going to be another blog-post.

Until later, have a nice week and keep blogging!

On publishing the first book, ‘Bound by Life’

If you have been on my page, you probably know about Bound by Life by now. For those who are not familiar, Bound by Life is my first book of short stories, set to come out on June 20, 2015 on Amazon Kindle.

When I started to write earlier this year with a goal in mind, I could only write from experience. That meant I was only writing about things I have seen and experienced for myself. For many weeks I had this question in my mind: Could one really write something well if s/he did not have at least some amount of personal touch to it? The question baffled me, and I wanted to throw it to every writer out there.


Hence confused, I realized I was not ready to write an entire novel. Somehow, since my genre borders on real life stories with all its trials and tribulations, I did not feel mature enough to write about many things.

I did start my novel though, and it has about three chapters in it now. But then I decided to start out with something small, something that I would feel confident in writing even with my limited experience. I decided to write a book of short stories. Before my resolve weakened, I decided I should name the book and fix a date, so that I actually went somewhere with it. Hence, I logged on to my bookshelf on Amazon, and chose the very last date available to publish a ‘pre-order’ category book (something that I was not publishing immediately) that day, and the chosen day is June 20, 2015, the due delivery date of my special baby!

I have grown up reading short stories, but somewhere along the way novels replaced them. It was only after I decided on writing short stories myself that I started reading them again (on magazines where I wanted to send my writings to and in Jhumpa Lahiri’s books). I researched, at the time, about publishing trends and found that the big publishing houses weren’t as enthusiastic about publishing short stories as they were about novels.

But I wasn’t going for traditional publishing right away, so I could put that thought away for a little while. So, for the next weeks, I concentrated on my short stories. Meanwhile, I sent some of them to magazines (see my post on that here). I was rewarded with an acceptance by the eFiction magazine for my story, I am Mala. It is available now on Kindle and the eFiction website.

Along with success I have met with failure. I sent this story, The Silent Victim, to Out of Print magazine. They informed me, with regret, that they could not publish my story. It felt bad, but I realized that I did not have much faith in that story myself.

So, this Sunday, I sat with that story, trying to edit it so that I could shape it for my short story collection. I saw then what the editor had seen, and silently I agreed with him for rejecting the story. In spite of the edits I had done before I submitted the story, there were still a few typos. The sentences did not flow so well. I deleted entire paragraphs which were clearly unnecessary to the main text. I realized this in the process: one must try and put as much time as s/he can between writing of a story and the edits. You really need that time to see the problem areas clearly. As of now, the story reads better, if not the best that it can be. I intend to return to it later for another round of edits.

Meanwhile, I started to read about how to format the book for Kindle. I created the front page with the name of the book and my name below it, read some stuff about copyrights, and added the dedication page. I also learnt so many things on MS Word in the process, about page breaks and Active Table of Contents. I have settled on a font type (Georgia) and the page margins.

So far, I have about five stories completed and the others are underway. I am trying to speed up the process as much as I can, for May is going to be a busy month with my final semester in college (but we all now how moody our muses can be, so I can be as fast as my muse allows me to). There are project and lab reports to complete, and circuit diagrams to draw. Our departmental farewell is in a few days. Finally, in about a month, I am going to graduate!

Nonetheless, I look forward to June when I can invest more time to my book alone!

Like my Facebook page for all the updates on Bound by Life. What was your experience of publishing the first book? Do you have any suggestions for me? Tell me in the comments below.