Tag Archives: Bound by LIfe

Have you finished reading Bound by Life?

Hope you’re all well in these trying times. Personally, I am going through a tough time, given someone very close to me is hospitalized. A good night’s sleep has now become a privilege. It was only last night, after a good part of the week, I finally caught an okay amount of sleep.

I’m trying my best to move on from this crisis and keep my life as normal as I can. I am trying to spend time doing the things that give me joy. If you’re currently in this situation, know that even if you feel alone, there are millions who are undergoing the same excruciating emotional wave right now. Know that I’m praying for everyone’s recovery because in this war, we can each be safe when everyone of us is safe.

Anyways, looking beyond all the negativity, I wanted to check in on something with you guys. If you’ve been on this blog last month, you might know that I was running a free book promotion of my first book of stories, Bound by Life. If you happened to get the book during the promotion, then do let me know if you’re enjoying reading the book so far. If you could, do leave me a review on Amazon. It would help me take your feedback and build onto that in my new book, a WIP at the moment.

Thank you in advance!

Free book in a free market!

It’s funny how yesterday I was talking about the free market, and today I am here to talk about my “free” book.

Many years back when I was in my final year of college – wow, feels strange to think that I can refer to my college years as being long time back – I was super sure that all I wanted to be was a writer. There were dreams of writing one book per year. Life would be hard in the beginning because finding publishers is hard plus the royalties aren’t that great. But I thought, if I kept at it, I’d get to a stage where I could comfortably live off my book income.

Needless to say, that hasn’t happened. However, the fact that I keep toying with the idea of writing a book every other year tells me that a dormant seed is buried deep inside the soil of my heart. As soon as the conditions are right, it might just sprout into a huge banyan tree full of wisdom. Something tangible that other people can see and touch and grasp.

Anyways, I have started working towards that goal – the idea is to finish the first draft of a novel (at the moment called “Paper Boats” for no real reason) by the end of April. May will be full of edits and perhaps one version of beta read.

Anyhow, let me not daydream. When I was planning out the timetable for the next book, I had a look at how my last two books are doing on Amazon. There’s not much traction in the last two years (I haven’t myself tried to do anything to push the sales). However, I thought as I start my journey of the new book, it might make sense to let your guys become familiar with my writings. Hence, I’m running a free book promotion of my short story collection, Bound by Life, on Amazon. It’ll be available free of cost between 17th-21st April, so it’d make me super happy if you give it a read. And of course, if you like it, do ask your reader friends to download it as well! 🙂

Bound by Life India Link

Bound by Life US Link

WORLD OF FREE!

Both my books, Bound by Life and How I tamed the dragon named fear, will be available for FREE on Amazon over the coming two days (10th Apr – 11th Apr, 2017).

If you have not downloaded a copy yet, this would a great time!

91igPfS6LfL._SL1500_Bound by Life, my first venture into self-publishing, is a collection of ten short stories. The protagonists are from different walks of Indian life: from tea-vendors on the pavements of Salt Lake, a leading IT hub in West Bengal (Manorama Tea Stall) to a young village boy performing in a circus in a city. The stories are simple tales of day-to-day lives of the common man. If simplicity is your thing, I am sure you’ll enjoy this collection.

cover2How I tamed the dragon named fear is my first venture into non-fiction. It is a self-help book centered around overcoming fears in our day-to-day lives. In this book, I talk about the things that have worked for me over the years in dealing with my fears.


Book Links:

Bound by Life | How I tamed the dragon named fear

I eagerly await your feedback upon reading both the books. As always, your feedback is what makes my writing better, so a review would be the best gift from you to me.

Cheers!

YourQuote – The new writing app

Writers are always eager to have their thoughts read. In our busy schedules, often we do not get enough time to flesh out complete stories. What if you could write down the one-liners that came to your mind, a story-line if you please, and set that out in the digital world, along with a beautiful image ? Maybe you could use that one-liner later to structure an entire story!

Well that’s what YourQuote promises to do! It is an Instagram like platform for writers. Created by an author and an IIT grad, Harsh Snehanshu, it has a pretty cool user interface that allows to to write your own quotes (or flash fiction) within 1200 characters. You can use your own images or the images available on the app for the quote background. The end product is really cool and made me instantly happy!

YourQuote already has plenty of subscribers and is growing everyday. I feel it has the potential to become a vibrant writer’s community. If you like the concept of Instagram, you should definitely give this app a try: http://www.yourquote.in/

Let me know once you have installed the app! Let’s follow each other back!

P.S:  Bound by Life, my first ebook, is now available for FREE on Amazon. Download today!

Celebrating a year of Bound by Life with Guest Post by Shilpa Niraj

Hello there everyone!

This day last year I published my first (and so far only) ebook, Bound by Life, on Amazon. It has been quite an eventful year since. The book has sold 14 paid copies and over a hundred free copies. It has also being downloaded at least fifty times via Kindle Unlimited/Kindle Owners’ Lending Library. For a beginning author as myself, I consider it an achievement!

To celebrate one-year anniversary of Bound by Life, I am publishing a guest post by Shilpa Niraj, blogger at Femme Time. Shilpa is set to publish her first novella, A Murder Gone Wrong, on Amazon soon. Today, she shares with you ten tips to write short fiction.

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 Ten Tips to Write Flash Fiction

By Shilpa Niraj

We all know that any story should have a beginning, middle and an end. Also, it should have three basic elements, the character, the setting and the plot. But how about when we try to cram up all the elements in an insanely short fiction?

Flash Fiction is a disciplined genre, which helps writers’ to hone their skills. It is an art form that takes ability and effort to fit a good story within the small framework.

To submit a flash fiction online, stories must be between 500 and 1000 words. Brevity is the key. This leads to lot of constraints and restrictions while writing a story that is succinct. Here are some tips that will help in writing ultra-short stories.

  1. Select a single theme for your story.
  2. More than two characters are not advised.
  3. Start at the middle of the story, not the beginning.
  4. Keep the story as a single plot. Sub-plots may not fit into the word count limit.
  5. Do not have multiple scenes.
  6. Unnecessary adverbs and adjectives are not advised.
  7. Remember that flash fiction is not a narrative or an essay.
  8. Create an impact with a twist at the end.
  9. Know when to show and when to tell. You need to select it wisely.
  10. Entice the reader with a great title.

About the Author

Shilpa Niraj has been reading mysteries ever since she first discovered Nancy Drew. An ardent fan of mysteries, she can still go back and reread her favorite books of Agatha Christie and Erle Stanley Gardner. An avid reader and a blogger, she is now eagerly awaiting for the release of her debut mystery novella, A Murder Gone Wrong.

Shilpa holds a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and a master’s degree in Information Management from Mumbai University. She lives with her husband in Mumbai, India. 

When she is not reading or plotting murders for her next story, she is busy exploring new destinations.

Author Links: 

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The thoughts and opinions expressed in the guest post are solely the guest’s. The owner of this blog makes no representation as to the originality, accuracy or completeness of any information in this post.

 

 

 

Last day of FREE PROMOTION of Bound by Life

Dear bloggers!

Today is the last day of Bound by Life being FREE on Amazon. In the last four days, Bound by Life has sold 26 free copies, much below my targeted 100 copies. On a brighter note, though, the book is currently placed at #25 in Short Stories in Amazon Kindle Store.

So, if you have not downloaded your copy yet, I urge you to download it right away! Also, please feel free to share this with your friends and family, whoever happens to own a Kindle.

Thank you in advance for your help! Happy reading!

Buy Bound by Life on Amazon.

What is Bound by Life?

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?
Arpita delves into the fabric of Indian life – its ethics, values, customs and superstitions. Her characters belong to different walks of life. From tea-vendors on the pavements of Salt Lake, a leading IT hub in West Bengal (Manorama Tea Stall) to the young village boy performing in a circus in a city (The Last Show) – everyone finds a place in Bound by Life.
The stories are simple tales of day-to-day lives of the common man. It is this simplicity that adds beauty to this collection.

Review of Sister of My Heart and Reminder of Bound by Life Free Promotion

Hello everyone! Hope you are doing well. Today I want to share with you all some thoughts about the latest book I have been reading – Sister of my Heart – by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.

I discovered Divakaruni when I was looking for authors like Jhumpa Lahiri. Before I came to Bangalore in October, 2015, I bought her Palace of Illusions. I meant to read it in the long train journey that I was to undertake. But life had different things in store for me in that train journey (just a few hours before I were to board the train, my maternal grandfather passed away, and I pretty my cried during the entire duration of my first inter-state train journey).

After I reached Bangalore and found Kwench, I had access to a lot of books. Somehow, Palace of Illusions shifted to a corner in my wardrobe. A few days ago I gave it to my roommate for reading.

This March, they featured Divakaruni for Women’s Day Special books in Kwench. Almost all her books are available there.

SISTER+BRITISHThis Thursday, after I returned Game of Thrones (less than half-read, but my borrow period was over), I ordered Sister of My Heart. Apparently, Divakaruni is a popular author in Kwench. Almost all her books except two were in circulation when I ordered this book. It arrived Thursday at lunch. I started reading it right away.

The story is about a traditional Brahmin Bengali family living in Kolkata. It captures the story of two cousin sisters, Anju and Sudha, who love each other very much. One is headstrong, practical while the other makes wishes upon the fallen stars and believes in prince and princess fairy-tale stories. The book touches on variety of issues: the ideals of proper upbringing in a high-class Bengali family, which is not longer as wealthy as it once was; the tremors of young love, the dowry system, stigma against female girl child, some mystery, some fairy-tale storytelling and above all, how love surpasses all.

The leading characters are women and are complexly constructed. Nalini, Sudha’s mother is a typical gossiping woman, who frets and complains about everything in life. Yet, when the author explains the past that led Nalini to be wed and be part of the Chatterjee family, we cannot but feel a little sorry and sympathy for the poor woman. Gouri Ma, Anju’s mother, who had promised her husband when he went on an adventure that would be the end of him, that she would bring up her daughter as a girl from Chatterjee family must be brought up, kept her promise by manning a bookstore single-handedly, breaking social stigma of women not being the sole breadwinner in the family. Then there is Pishima, who first tells Sudha the dreaded secret of her existence – a secret that is to cast a shadow on all the characters’ lives forever since it has been uttered.

I loved how each character is different and has a different story to tell. I love the way the story develops, said through the alternating, contrasting points of view of Anju and Sudha. I love how strong the emotions are portrayed, that moved me to tears more than once.

I loved the book so much that I stayed up till 5.00 AM in the morning today to finish it. I can’t remember any other book that I finished in less than 24 hours in the recent past.

If you have a liking towards Jhumpa Lahiri’s books, you must definitely give Divakaruni a try. I can assure you you’ll love it!

On a different  note, my ebook, Bound by Life is available for free now on Amazon. If you have a Kindle, don’t forget to download it.

bbl1 (3) - Copy

Also, if possible do share about the free promotion on your blog/social media platforms. I aim to sell at least 100 free copies of the book between today and coming Tuesday. I’d love if you can help me achieve my goal!

Happy weekend!

Bound by Life: 7 month update

Those of you who have been following me regularly on this blog know about Bound by Life. Almost seven months ago (June 20,2015) I self-published this ebook through Amazon. I clearly remember the  long hours that I spent in front of the laptop since the end of March, trying to come up with stories that I could include in the anthology.

Once the book was published, I kept checking the Sales Dashboard (which stores the count of sales and payments) time and again. Every single activity on the dashboard made my heart leap with joy! I remember, an acquaintance of a friend had bought the first copy on the very day the book was released. It was such a exhilarating experience to have something that I created actually earn money. To be very honest, I did not at all expect the book to sell even one copy.

At the end of seven months (June 20-December 20), here’s what the sales figures look like:Sales Amount

Besides the actual sales, the book has also generated revenue in terms of KENP, which is nothing but Kindle Edition Normalized Pages. Here are the total pages read statistics:

kenp

Bound by Life consists of 189 KENP. In total, 2257 KENP of Bound by Life has been read till December 20, 2015. Roughly speaking, it signifies that the book had been read 12 times during this period.

In terms of money, I have received Rs. 856 from Amazon so far (payments received for sales until October, 2015). It is approximately equivalent to 13 USD. Not much, huh? I agree. But I like to think of it in terms of the reach the book has received. Considering the free and paid units sold and KENP read approximation, the book has been read by 82 people, which for me is a lot! Also, I am pretty glad to see that more and more people are reading the book through Kindle Unlimited/KOLL, which results in the increasing KENP read. The book will always be there in the digital domain. I hope in the coming days, it will be read many more times.

One thing that bugs me, though, is the lack of reviews. Until 19th December, 2015, there were only 5 reviews of the book on Amazon. All the reviewers have given it 5 stars. On Goodreads, however, the book has received a single 2 star rating and no reviews. The 2 star rating did hurt when I saw it, but I did not let it get to my head. I know there were lots of scope for improvement with respect to writing style, grammar and editing in that book. Also, not everyone has the same taste in books, so it is quite obvious that the ratings would vary.

It upsets me that although more than fifty people have read it, only five of them have actually reviewed. I’d truly appreciate more  reviews. If you’ve read Bound by Life end to end, please leave a review on Amazon. Trust me, I don’t mind if you say that you hated the book all through and give it a one star rating. All I want you to do is share your opinion. I want to know what you liked about the book, which things pissed you off, which stories are your favourites and why. Your feedback will help me grow as a writer. Also, it will help future buyers and readers of the book to get an idea as to what they can expect in the book. So, do take some time out to help this new author and fellow readers. Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Day 3 of Writing 101: Am I Selfish?

My mother tells me as a kid I was never upset when I had to be away from home (e.g visiting aunts with Grandpa). I was content wherever I was, never asking after my mother or little brother. Mother says I am selfish. I don’t know if that’s the right word to describe me, but I do have an ability to think I’m home wherever I am staying. How I did it when I was young I do not know, but now that I am older I do it by choice. If you’re cursed to live away from your family, you better do it with a smile on your face. There isn’t much to look forward to in Life otherwise.

The largest chunk of time that I have been away from home was during the four years of college. I visited occasionally, yes. But I never felt home at home anymore. I felt like a guest in my own house, one who comes to visit but leaves eventually. I hated this feeling. I hated that I had to leave the peace of our tiny home to live with people who did not care two hoots for my feelings and emotions. But I had no choice. I had to complete my degree. I don’t know if selfish is the right word to describe me, but I did miss home. Badly.

Even now that I am home, feeling at home typing into my laptop sitting on my favourite red stool (how the word came to mean such different things, I wonder!), I miss home already. This day, next month I will be in a different city, on the second day of my new job and my parents would be in a train back home after dropping me off in that unfamiliar jungle of unfamiliar faces. Maybe you’ll call me a baby for being so clingy. Anyone beyond twenty is supposed to be grown up; after all eighteen is when we are all adults. But indeed, age is just a number. In my mind I am still the teenager post-high school, taking a bus with my father to a new city to start college. Even after having lived with strangers for four years and becoming “friends” with them, I am not ready to face the unknown. Uncertainty makes me nervous. I cringe inside, because I know that I have no control. No choice either. In all honesty, I am even less prepared to leave now than I was four years ago when I started college, because I know now what I can expect. I know that no matter how kind people seem, it might all be a facade, a mask. I have never been too good with people, or relationships for that matter.

The hardest thing about goodbye is all the things you didn’t say.

That’s a quote from a friend’s Whatsapp status. The biggest regret of my life is that even though I have lived so many years with my parents under the same roof, I know so little of them. I know so little of their aspirations, their dreams and their desires. As long as I have known my mother (whom I am closer to than my father), I have known her as a mother only. Until very recently, I could not see past her motherhood for the woman that she is. And now that I have started to see, it is almost time for me to leave. I fear I will never have the time to know my parents as well as I wish to. It is sad that only few years back, I did not even care enough to know my parents. Now, the word selfish does make some sense.

There is nothing like your parents’ love. There is no treasure greater than your own family. To value these is the secret to real happiness. It sure took me time to realize it, but I will still have time to make amends, won’t I?

The clock is ticking!


Indeed, the clock is ticking. In about three hours, my ebook, Bound by Life will be available for free on Amazon! Do you use Kindle? If you do, don’t forget to download your copy of Bound by Life. I am eager to hear your thoughts on it.

Update: Bound by Life is now available for FREE on Kindle! Be sure to download your copy!

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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!