Tag Archives: new author

Free Book Promotion | How I tamed the dragon named fear

As I mentioned in my last post, How I tamed the dragon named fear is now available on Amazon! Woo-hoo!


I have been flooded with congratulatory messages on Facebook. It really feels great!

How I tamed the dragon named fear available for FREE TOMORROW!

To add to this happiness, I am making the book available for FREE on Amazon tomorrow (11th February, 2017). I want to reach as many of you as I can, as soon as I can. For all of you who own a Kindle, I please download the book tomorrow. For those who don’t, you can download Kindle app on your smartphones/tablets as well and then download the book.

My humble request you all to share about the book and the  FREE PROMOTION on your social media platforms! Feel free to link to this blog post! Thanks in advance to all of you!

There, now I can get back to my actual work! Hope to hear your feedback on the book soonest.

Finished the first draft!

After a really long time, I have gotten around to finish a WIP, which I can safely call a rough first draft. For those of you who do not know, I published my first book of fiction in June, 2015. It took me close to 15 months to get the first draft of my second book out. But well, finally it’s done. I just emailed it to a couple of friends for review, post which I will be doing another round of edit.

The book is currently titled How I tamed the dragon named fear. It is a non-fiction piece with an autobiographical element. The theme, as might be self-explanatory from the title, is fear and how to handle it. As an individual, I have struggled with fear and anxiety for a long time. Last year, before I came to Bangalore I was a wreck at the thought of living so far away from my family. It was then the idea to keep a fear journal came to me. I started writing down the things that made me anxious and trying to find solutions for them. In the process of doing so, I realized I could share it with a larger audience.

I am really excited about this book for two reasons:

  • This is my first venture into non-fiction
  • Through this book, I actually tried to address a problem that I have faced for a long time and I am excited to see if my experience helps others

I am planning to do a February, 2017 release, even though I still have to narrow down the final date. I think it will depend on the kind of feedback I receive from my beta readers. I need to know if the book is actually working in the way I want it to.

Meanwhile, I am going to utilize December to chalk out promotional strategies and other things that go with publishing a book. Do let me know if you have some tips for me for the book promotions.

Time for me to cook myself some dinner and jump in joy! After all, it’s not everyday that you finish a book! What say?


How revisiting your old writings can help you grow as an author?

Dear Readers,

One June 20, I celebrate the first anniversary of publishing Bound by Life, my first ebook.

Normally, I do not revisit anything I have written unless I am editing. After I had published the book, I had kept it aside in a folder on my desktop, never bothering to read it again. When my roommate was reading it, she mentioned bits and pieces of the stories, telling me about which parts she liked. I felt a growing curiosity to revisit the stories. But I was certain I had done a below average work and did not want to upset myself with that kind of work. We writers are just so skilled at underestimating ourselves!

But a few days ago, quite late in the night, I felt a sudden urge to read one of the stories in Bound by Life. It was the title story.

Reading it for the first time in months, I realized how nuanced it was. The epistolary format attracted me always, and I felt it worked perfectly for this story. It struck me how the old man weaved the tale of his past with his present life. I especially liked how Sacred Heart, the home where the old man finally leaves for, becomes a character itself in the story – it is as if it has a personality of its own, like a haunted house.

That does not mean the story or the story-telling seemed perfect to me. I kept wondering if the voice of the old man was genuine enough. How did I want to portray him when I was writing the story? Did I want him to sound guilty because he had not cared for his son in a better way? Or did I want him to sound complaining, scathing his daughter-in-law? I do not remember the reasons exactly now. But one thing I know: through Bound by Life I had merely wanted to show how old men and women are mistreated by their children in the old age. My sympathies lay with the old man in the story and not the son or the daughter-in-law. Did I ever put myself in the shoes of the son/daughter-in-law and try to imagine what it might be to live with a grumpy old man like that?

That is what made me suspicious of the old man’s voice in the letter-story. If he were really apologetic, would he really write in such harsh manner, knowing that it might be his last communique with his son? Maybe, or may be not. For human nature is a mysterious thing, and it takes a lot of understanding to portray it accurately. But in some ways, at that point, I felt that the old man was merely a child in a big man’s clothes – not understanding, not sympathetic to anyone but himself. Even in his last days he was a selfish man.

Re-reading this story taught me a great lesson: a writer must think all his characters through – their inter dependencies, their emotional balances, before fleshing out a character. Because in the end you are striving to recreate reality, and the onus lies on you to be authentic and unbiased. In spite of how much pain motivates you to write a given story and feel sympathetic to the protagonist, all the supporting characters are as important. Once you have written them out, they cease to exist on paper. They live on in the readers, and the author must bear responsibility for that.

Have you ever revisited a character that you written a long time back and felt differently about his/her motivations? Share your thoughts with me in the Comments below.


A lot of you have been asking me questions on writing/magazines to send your writings to on my Facebook page and this blog. This June, as I revisit Bound by Life, I have decided to answer questions on Bound by Life, self-publishing, indie publishing and on writing in general. I would love to share whatever I have learned as far as writing is concerned with all of you. So this May, compile all your questions and email them to me at scribbles.arpita@gmail.com. Depending on the number of questions I get, I will be publishing a series of posts in June. Look forward to hearing from you!



Of Amazon self-publishing, book reviews and free book promotions!

It’s been more than eight months that I published my first ebook through Amazon. Since then, the platform has seen much change. The KENP standard that measured the number of pages in a Kindle ebook, underwent change: according to the earlier version of KENP, my book was 189 pages long. According to the new standard it is 143 pages only.

That of course means that I am no longer getting the amount I used to get when a reader read my book through Kindle Unilimited/KOLL. But again, the point of me publishing a book was not really about the money – even though every single rupee I earn from the Bound by Life campaign gives me more delight than the salary I get from my day job. I’m sure many writers would relate to this. So, every time I check the number of reviews of my book on Amazon, my heart skips a beat. I tremble inside with a mix of fear and excitement, wondering what the reader had to say about the book. So far, I have six positive reviews on Amazon. But every new review makes me feel as excited as the first one. To be read by someone who you don’t know and to be appreciated for your effort feels thrilling!


I especially loved the honest words in the latest review. The fact that I am a new, unknown author probably makes a lot of readers think twice before considering reading this book. In this age of consumerism, everyone wants to be sure that the product they are considering is worth their time and money.

bbl1 (3) - CopySo, I decided to lift the money constraint from the equation for some time. From April 8th to April 12th, Bound by Life will be available for free on Amazon. My target is to sell at least a 100 free copies of the book this April.

But I need your help to be able to do so. How do you think I should proceed to be able to sell 100 free copies? If you have had any experience in promoting books, please share the tips with me. You can reach out to me using the Contact form below.

Looking forward to hearing all you book enthusiasts! Also, feel free to share about the free promotion on your blog/social media platforms, You may also share the promotional images that I use on this blog for this purpose.


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:


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!

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 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!


In conversation with Doug Lance, Editor-in-chief, FictionMagazines.com

On 18th April, 2015 I received the happiest news in my writing career. One of my short stories, I am Mala, was accepted for publication in eFiction magazine. On May 1, it was published and is available now on Amazon and eFiction website.

Today, I have with me Mr. Doug Lance, Editor-in-chief, FictionMagazines.com (the umbrella enterprise of eFiction), who, thankfully agreed at once when I asked him for an interview. Thank you so much, Doug, for doing this. Here’s what he has to say:

Tell us how the Fiction Magazines started and how the journey so far has been.

I started FMDC in college in 2010. It started as a simple, free blog site. I continued to work on it and develop it further. It grew quickly and became my full time job by 2012.

What kind of stories is eFiction looking for?

eFiction is looking for great literary fiction that is topical and relevant to the most popular events and ideas online.

How is a story, for example I am Mala (selected in Vol. 06, No. 02), chosen for publication in eFiction?

Stories are voted on by our volunteer curators, then selected by the assistant editor.

What is the hardest part of being an editor?

My job as Editor-in-chief of FMDC is not a typical EiC job. This company is building magazines that have never been possible ever before. The company is structured like no other in the planet. I’m constantly innovating and building systems that have never existed before. That is difficult but I would not have it any other way.

As an editor, what are your pet peeves?

The only pet peeve I have is people who do not follow guidelines. I don’t like people who just shotgun blast their stories to every market. I prefer folks who take the time to read my magazines and write for us specifically.

The Pilgrim’s Journey – Part One

Welcome to a new series at Scribbles@Arpita. But before I start, let me ask the old-timers something: When you landed here today, were yourself confused about this blog’s identity? Were you about to hit the close button when you suddenly found the interview with Tammy L. Gray on writing and self-publishing from last Wednesday and realized what was different?

Yeah, I know. Scribbles@Arpita is changed! Big time! I promise there won’t be such a drastic change again in the near future, but please do let me explain to you why that this change was necessary.

Oh, before I do that, a warm hello to my new visitors! For context, here’s what my blog used to look like before it underwent The Great Transformation!

Earlier version of Scribbles@Arpita

Earlier version of Scribbles@Arpita

Earlier version of Scribbles@Arpita

Earlier version of Scribbles@Arpita

Now, jumping on. Throughout my college life I have wanted to publish a book by the time I graduated. By the time I got serious about it, it was March 2015, only three months short of my graduation. There are a number of steps that I have started to take since and that is going to be the subject of ‘The Pilgrim’s Journey’. It’s going to be a long series in which I will pen out my wayward journey into the creative world of writing and the difficult world of publishing.

Why do I think this series will be a help to you? That’s because I research a lot about writing and publishing. And in doing that, I often come across awesome tips from various people in the writing and publishing business which I believe will be of much help to those who are starting off like me. I am sure you do your research well. The aim of this series is not to replace that; it is here to help accentuate it. Oh, you have something to add on to my experience? I’d be happy to host you as a guest in my blog. Just leave a comment below if you want to share your experiences here and I will get in touch with you.

So, in the first installment of ‘The Pilgrim’s Journey’ let me tell you what I have done since March this year.

  • The idea to get myself published coincides roughly with the birth of this blog. I believe a blog is a good way to garner readership and build your brand. It’s a great medium to carve out a relationship with your readers, letting them know what you write and also see what they want to read. I was recently reading Jane Friedman’s Guide on blogging. Do read it and you’ll know why my blog underwent this huge plastic surgery.
  • Then all of a sudden I came to know about Amazon KDP, where you can self publish your books at no cost at all. I published a story as an experiment. Let me tell you here that it has sold no paid copies so far, and even the free copy sales were meager. But it taught me a great deal about how to publish my second book, Bound by Life, which will come out on June 20, 2015. So, mark your calendars!
  • After I published the story on Amazon KDP, I created my author page at Amazon Author Central.
  • While I was on this creating spree, I stumbled on Facebook, and created my official Facebook page to reach out to readers. It doesn’t have many followers yet. But I just started!
  • I started looking for free Kindle books and came across this beautiful novel on YA by Tammy L. Gray. I wrote to her on Facebook, asking her to do an interview with me. Luckily, she agreed, and I happened to have the very first interview on my blog, which by the way has many good tips for beginning self-published writers. I hope to do more of these interviews in the coming months. So, if you know an author who cares to be interviewed by a beginning blogger, do let me know.
  • Since I started to write seriously, I have checked out various online contests (read, free online contests – I have this strong policy of investing money in writing only after I have got some initial monetary return through my ebooks. Call me a miser, if you like but I refuse to budge!). I participated in a Flash Fiction contest and was even shortlisted, but well, did not make the final cut.
  • I have also been checking out magazines which publish short stories. I sent out my writings to a few like Out of Print, eFiction and StoryShack. But then I realized that I was yet to match their standards. Plus, I have my own project (Bound by Life) to tend to which consumes all my creative energy these days. So, I am going slow in the magazine sector as of now. But as soon as I am done with my book, I will be sending out new stories to the magazines.
  • I started to read more since March. I read Jhumpa Lahiri’s ‘The Lowland’ recently and loved it! Currently I am reading a book on Indian history, ‘Freedom at Midnight’ by Dominique Lapierre.
  • I signed up for free newsletters from some of the veterans in the publishing industry: Jane Friedman and Chip McGregor. I LOVE Jane’s website! It has just the right tips and suggestions for me.

I don’t know when I will hold my first book in my hands (a real book made of real paper). I don’t even know if what I am doing right now is going to help me do what I want to. But I have a feeling it will. Either way, I am allowing myself a year to fail. To fail and to learn: that’s the motto for me in 2015.

See you around in the next part of The Pilgrim’s Journey, and I hope I shall be able to share some good news with you by then.

Before you leave, please let me know how you like the new look of Scribbles@Arpita. Does it attract you and make you want to read on? Or is it too cluttered and distracting? Your feedback is my guide, my compass.