Tag Archives: blogging for a new book

What book do you want to write?

This year one of the to-do things in my monsoon list was to read five different authors. I am happy to announce that I have not only met the goal but overshot it! Since June, I read these books:

  1. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
  2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  3. 1984 by George Orwell
  4. The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
  5. Deadly Fantasies by Kelly Miller
  6. Precocious by Joanna Barnard
  7. Nice Things by Jimmy Norman

I loved each of these books in its own unique way. Some raised questions and challenged my views/liking, others I could do nothing but agree at each point. But so far, none of the books made me feel: Yes, I would have loved to write this one! One of my favourite writing-related quotes is:

If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.

Toni Morrison

There are so many books that I want to read. Some because I have heard so much about them. Some because I want to taste different genres. Others merely because I love to read.

Unlike many of you, I have only recently watched the Game of Thrones. But like most of you, I have absolutely loved it. I haven’t read the books yet, but I was amazed at the sheer complexity of the characters created by George R. R. Martin. I respect him for that. If I were to write a book, I would love to be able to create those complex characters, but would I want to write Game of Thrones even if I could? Probably not.

I have always been scared of people and relationships. I understand neither well. People intrigue me, their motivations fascinate me. By the time I make sense of certain actions by certain people, they do something contrasting altogether. Over the years, I have lost friendships without having a proper explanation as to what went wrong. I have become stranger to people who were close once and sometimes I was the one who was responsible.

In most cases, you can not choose the people around you. As I grow and am around other grown people, I constantly worry if I will offend them or would be judged for who I am. So, this masterpiece that I intend to write will probably have complex characters. I want to take a small set of people and look at their life with a powerful magnifying glass. I want to capture the subtle changes that are happening to us every moment, with every breath we take. At what moment does that strand of hair start graying and the skin start to shrivel? At what moment does liking change to love and love to dislike? Can we really isolate events to pinpoint an exact starting time? I want to capture these minor changes at an atomic level. Only, I am yet to figure out how to put this general notion into an actual book. But I think I am getting there!

What about you? Which book do you think you should write? Let me know in the comments below.


bbllP.S: Though I am yet to pen the greatest masterpiece of all times (LOL), I would love you all to read my first self-published ebook, Bound by Life. It is entirely FREE on Kindle on the 9th and 10th. The free promotion starts approximately midnight (Pacific Standard Time) of the 9th, so be sure to download your copy after. Also, Bound by Life is enrolled in KDP Select program until September 20th, so if you do not wish to buy the book, you can simply read it through Kindle Unlimited or borrow it from the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. Happy reading! 

Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and KDP Select: Update after two month self-publishing journey

If you have been following this blog, you probably know that I published my first (and so far, the only) book through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) program. At that point of time, I had no idea that I could self-publish a book. So, for me it was a big deal! In fact, if it wasn’t for Amazon KDP program, I wouldn’t perhaps haven’t written a book at all.

When I published Bound by Life through Kindle, I had automatically enrolled it for KDP Select program. For the uninitiated, KDP Select allows authors a few special features. For one, every author gets 5 days of free promotion in which the book can be made absolutely free! Plus, there is a new feature that Amazon has introduced: the pay-per-page-read concept. Under this, if your book is borrowed from the Kindle Owners Lending Library or downloaded through Kindle Unlimited, then you get paid for every page read of your book. As per available statistics, you get paid about 57 cents for every Kindle Edition Normalized Page (KENP) read.

On the flip-side, if you enroll your book in KDP Select, you can not sell your book on any other online platform, including your website.

For more details, check out KDP Select FAQ.

There is an ongoing debate in the author community as to whether KDP Select is worth it or not.

As for me, here are my statistics: Bound by Life has sold about 30 copies during the free promotion. I am not sure if I should call that a good number. I have read in other blogs of authors selling thousands of copies on the free promotion days and mine is not even in hundreds. Then again, I have only started and I have probably not marketed the book as well as I should have.

Only recently I saw some activity in KENP Count – so far it has been read completely just once. In fact, it was only when I saw some activity in KENPC that I took to reading about KDP Select in detail, and the result is this post. So whoever read Bound by Life through KU or KOLL, if you are reading this now, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. My heart jumps in joy every time I see some activity on my Sales Dashboard, and I was so glad to see the blue graph (that’s how Amazon represents the KENP Count in the Sales Dashboard) finally take a sharp hike! I have no idea if you liked my book, but if you did, please leave me a review letting me know.

I complete my 90 days in KDP Select program in September. Will I continue using the program for another 90 days? I do not think so. Amazon KDP has made my publishing dreams come true. But it is time to test new waters. I hope to launch Bound by Life through Smashwords towards end of September. I guess it is time to reach new readers – not all of us use the Kindle app or devices for our digital reading, do we? Don’t forget to let me know in the comments how your read your favourite ebook and maybe, I will publish my ebook in your preferred format.

Are you a self-published author who has enrolled in KDP Select? Do you think it is worth it? Don’t forget to share your experience with me.


P.S: If you have an Amazon Prime membership or a Kindle Unlimited subscription, you can borrow my book, Bound by Life for FREE on your Kindle Device. My book is also part of Kindle Countdown Deal, so even though it is priced at $5.99, you’ll probably get it for less if you decide to buy it. Do give Bound by Life a try!

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)

Subject: [Urgent] Require volunteer bloggers to review my first book, Bound by Life

Dear fellow bloggers (especially those of you who blog about books and books by new authors),

I am most delighted to inform you that I have finally finished my first book, Bound by Life. It contains ten short stories based on themes of unrequited love, social issues, diseases, friendship, love and superstitions. It is going to be published soon (June 20, 2015) on Amazon Kindle. You can still pre-order it here.

The first book is always special. Bound by Life familiarized me with my writing style. It taught me a thing or two about what hooks the reader into a story (I thank my wonderful beta readers for this) and overall, made me a disciplined writer.

I am excited to share my stories with the world and am eager to receive feedback. I am open to honest criticism that helps me better my writing skills. After all, I am an engineer by education and English is only my second language, so I am sure there’s room for a lot of improvement.

Over the next few weeks, I will be giving away free reviewer copies of Bound by Life. I want you, dear blogger, to read my book and review it on your blog, thus spreading a word about it on the blogosphere and beyond.

If my proposal interests you, please leave a comment in the form below mentioning why you’d like to read and review my book and I’ll get the book sent over to you in a jiffy! At present, I am giving away pdf copies only. It you’d like another version, please let me know.

Waiting eagerly to hear from you!

Warmest regards,

Arpita Pramanick

Author, Bound by Life.

P.S.: Do check out my other stories on this blog to get an idea about my writing style.

wpid-bbl1-2.jpg.jpeg