Tag Archives: new book

40K words and a 100 pages!

If you’re reading this today, I want you to know that all of us are going through similar fights every day now, if not the same. I know our circumstances are not the same, but the pain and fear and worry that is gripping at us since the beginning of the pandemic, is the same.

And so, it’s so important to find respite doing things that we love doing. I feel fortunate that even though people very close to me are fighting the disease, I know that I am still fortunate to lose myself in my creative pursuits.

I have been writing for as long as my memory serves. Earlier this month, I picked up the book I had started writing last year and left mid-ways, finally making a plan to get it to a position that it can be released.

Per this plan, the first milestone is to complete the first draft of the book by 30th April. I’m thrilled to say I am very close to this, at 40K words and just about a 100 pages. I still have about 2-3 chapters to finish, which I might really end up getting done by tomorrow. I’m also aware that at this stage, things might change at personal level very quickly. So until I can, I will find joy in this tiny achievement.

Stay safe!

NaNoWriMo 2017!

Hola novelists!! It’s less than an hour for NaNoWriMo to start. I hope you all have your plots, character sketches and outlines ready. How long has it been for you prepping for the start of November? How long have you been waiting for this day to arrive?

Ask me!

Unlike the last couple of years, I did not even remember NaNoWriMo arriving until last week. Needless to say, I have zero outline/plot/character sketch.

What I have currently are rough ideas for three short stories. So, I am going to cheat a little and go ahead with the idea of creating a short story compilation this NaNoWriMo. I am looking at 15 stories right now as a target, each approximately 2,000 words – so that totals to 30K. Yes, I am not planning on winning NaNoWriMo! I am focusing only on Writing Month for now. Those of you who have been followers of my blog from its early days know that I started this journey with the aim of writing more and more fiction. The idea was to use this blog as an author platform.

However, close to three years since I started this blog, I find myself going more and more personal in my entries, which have made this blog more of a personal journal than an author’s blog. I cannot promise that it will change too much in the next few months, but I do want to get back to writing more fiction.

The idea has always been to publish one book per year. Early this year, I published How I tamed the dragon named fear, a non-fiction on overcoming fear. It’s not been as successful as my first book, Bound by Life, a compilation of short stories. I have also tried my hand at multiple novels – none of which ended in a complete draft.

Yet, for quite a few days, I have been finding a strong urge within myself to form stories, and short stories are my natural way of self-expression. For those of you who’re interested, here’s a small one I shared on the blog earlier.

I will be back with more updates throughout November on how the book is going. But before I end, I want to give you guys a sneak peek into what I want this book to be:

“A collection of urban short stories, with a tinge of day-to-day humor.”

Until later, write more, stay creative! ❤

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!

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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.

I hit the Publish Button!

After almost a year and a half, the long journey of my second book comes to a culmination. Few minutes back, I hit the publish button on Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing platform! W00-hoo! I realize that the date of publishing is supposed to be well advertised before, but for no apparent reason, I wanted this to be low-key. I will of course be promoting the book in the coming days. But right now, I am waiting for the ‘In review’ button in Amazon to turn ‘Live’. They said it might take up to 72 hours for the book to be actually live on the site, so I will do one more post when it is actually live.

For those of you who are not aware about my second book, it is named How I tamed the dragon named fear. It is a non-fiction self-help book with an autobiographical element. The theme is fear and how we can handle it. As a person, I have been living a life marred by fears for a long, long time until the conception of this book when I decided to do something about the fears that plagued me. This book is a personal journey and is really a part of myself.

When I first talked about the idea of the book on this blog, it was well received and appreciated. I hope that you will be as supportive now that the book is almost published.

I request you all to spread the word about the book on your blog/social media platform. I will also be happy to do guest posts/interviews on your blogs as part of the book promotion. Help me spread awareness about something that can help our lives a little better.

How I tamed the dragon named fear will be available on Amazon for $2.99. I will update you all once the book is live. See you on the other side!

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Cover reveal: How I tamed the dragon named fear

After much procrastination, I am finally ready with my second book. Or am I? Well, a couple of chapter edits are still pending and I am still rewording, rephrasing, adding more content and context. But yeah, I am mostly getting there.

Like I had mentioned before, the book is coming out this month. I was a little conflicted about the date because I will be going home for 10 days later this month and will not have much access to computer. I want to hit the Publish button before I leave so that I have enough time to promote the book.

This book was my first tryst with non-fiction. It is also enormously personal. I will be doing a couple of blog posts about the entire journey of the second book. But today, I want to empty myself and let you know how it feels to be on the verge of self-publishing a book.

The long, long rounds of edits!

As a creative person, a writer tries and tries to make each sentence as close to perfection as she can.I published my first book in sort of a hurry. I was in college and just wanted the taste of being published. I have missed my fair share of edit for Bound by Life. But this time, I am more mature.The fact that I am a working professional now helped a lot because now I started to think of the book as a deliverable. I am as careful with this book now as I am with a client deliverable.

Even though the edit rounds are excruciatingly painful at times, this is the best phase of the writing for me. I generally write free form, filling the pages as the words come to me. So unless I do thorough edit afterwards, there are inconsistencies. There have been so many times when I have copied and pasted entire paragraphs in a different place in the chapter because it did not sound right at its previous position.

The frantic search for marketing techniques

Marketing a book is not easy. Especially if you are a nobody in the writing world and are trying to self-publish your book. I spent a good part of December reading about marketing strategies.

For a while, I was thinking of creating a book trailer. But times seems to be flying at jet speed these days. It was just new year and now it is February. I realized that I better focus on making the book the best one I can. I am the sort of a person who believes greatly in word-of-mouth promotion. If the book is good enough, it will sell itself.

The guilty not-writing phases

For a couple of weeks in January, I was so hooked into the TV shows that I did no work whatsoever for the book, all the while knowing that it would bite me later. Even though I am still on for a February release, but sadly as the book is not completely done yet, I am having to cut on time for promotional stuff (yeah, I know! Word-of-mouth is great, but I guess you still need to reach some people for word-of-mouth recommendations to get generated). I won’t say I am really sorry I spent January like that. Writing is a very lonely occupation. You really need the distraction to get work done.

I think of writing like cooking. You need to cook the veggies for the right amount of time to taste the best. There is an incubation period. This holds true especially in my case for this book. It is on fear and draws heavily from my personal experience – so my personal growth is intricately related to the completion of this book. You will know this as soon as you read the book.

Enough said. Now, it is time for the big cover reveal. Drum-rolls please!

Presenting, the face of my next book:

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Book Cover

There! One milestone accomplished. Now I can go cook lunch for myself and eat!

Did you like this post? Would you like to know more of the behind-the-scenes stuff of writing? Connect with me in the Comment section below.

Cover Reveal + Giveaway of Debut Murder Mystery Novel by Shilpa Niraj

I came to know Shilpa Niraj of Femme Time when she volunteered to promote my book, Bound by Life, during its last free promotion. I was touched by the way she came forward to promote my book, even though she hardly knew me at that time.

Today, it gives me much pleasure to be able to return the favour.

Hold your breaths as I unveil in front of you the shiny cover and the book blurb of A Murder Gone Wrong, Shilpa’s debut mystery novella. Even though the cover picture is a welcoming, innocent snapshot of the interior of a house, I can’t keep myself from imagining the horrors that might be happening behind the scenes. The book is slated to release in e-version on Amazon in July, so I am waiting eagerly for my curiosity to be quenched. Here’s a sneak-peak into the story:


Cover

A Murder Gone Wrong (Short Mystery Novella)
by Shilpa Niraj
Genre: Crime/Mystery
Release Date: July 2016

Blurb:

A murder at Vintage High!

Amy has everything in life. A loving husband, a huge mansion, a thriving business and wonderful friends. What more could she ask for? Until one fateful night, a weekend full of celebrations, turned into a disaster.

A killer has donned the mask of friendship. What did Amy do to deserve this?

She blinked to clear the haze that blurred her vision. Someone shrieked. Amy wanted to cry out loud but felt paralyzed. This couldn’t be true. ‘May be it is just a nightmare,’ she thought. She couldn’t be more wrong. Siren echoed in the distance. Coming closer. Moments later, people in uniform were around. Someone held her and walked her to the sofa. She looked around. Nothing made sense. When the policemen walked in, she realized it was going to be a long night.

A night she would remember as long as she lived.

Nothing will ever be the same again at Vintage High.

A house party had culminated into a crime scene. Can Inspector Hugh Sowell solve this case before the killer strikes again?


Giveaway

Win an e-copy of ‘A Murder Gone Wrong’

Participate in this Rafflecopter Giveaway. Two lucky winners will get an Advance Reader Copy of the short mystery novella, A Murder Gone Wrong by Shilpa Niraj. The contest begins on 29th May, 2016.


About the Author

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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.

Cover Reveal Organized by:

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Follow Shilpa on: Facebook | TwitterGoodreads

‘In Other Words’, I’ll read everything she writes

So, here’s the book that I started reading today:

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If you’ve had a chance to read this post of mine, you already know that Ms. Lahiri is my favourite author. Not only do I like her brand of writing, but she has made me a better observer too.

For the past few weeks I had been searching for this book on Kwench, so when I saw it available yesterday, my heart leaped with joy.

The book came today. I’m only a few pages into it, but today I’m not going to talk about how I’m liking it so far. Today, I want to talk about what a beautiful book the publishers have created in this one .

The book that I have with me is a hardcover edition, but it is as light as a paper-bound. The cover is beautiful, so is the choice of font in the entire book. There are ample white spaces which is soothing to the eye. the paper used is high-quality. And it has an awesome fresh newspaper-ish smell! I was sniffing into the book for a few minutes.

As soon as I held the book in my hand, I knew I had to have a copy of my own. It is a collector’s delight.

Like Lahiri, I am in love with a language never spoken by my ancestors – French. Though I have never considered writing a book in French, I definitely want to speak French like a Frenchwoman. So, I couldn’t agree more when Lahiri says,

“To know a new language, to immerse yourself, you have to leave the shore. Without a life vest. Without depending on solid ground.” – Jhumpa Lahiri, In Other Words

I hope to delve deeper into this different love story this weekend. I hope to go deeper into the ocean that learning a new language is. As always, I am sure Ms. Lahiri would charm me with her panache.

Any Lahiri fans out here? Feel free to reach out and share your thoughts in the Comments below.

 

 

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:

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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!

Vote for ‘Splintered’ by Kelly Miller Today!

One of the authors I interviewed on this blog, Kelly Miller, is all set to publish her next novel through the Kindle Scout Program.

About Kindle Scout Program:

The Kindle Scout Program is another step taken by Amazon to support indie authors. In this program, Amazon asks the readers which book they’d like to see in print. For that choice to be made, readers are asked to vote for the manuscripts submitted by authors. If a book receives ample votes, it is selected for print publication by the Kindle Press. The uniqueness of this program lies in the fact that it is entirely reader-powered. To know more about Kindle Scout, head on to Amazon.

About Kelly:

Author Kelly Miller

Author Kelly Miller

Kelly is the most perfect author I read among contemporary indie authors. I received the e-book version of her Deadly Fantasies in a giveaway. Needless to say, I enjoyed it very much. But what must be said is the perfection with which she writes: her dialogues are engaging, her characters complex and three-dimensional, her plots riveting. If you’re a mystery lover, you must give her books a try.

About Splintered:

Splintered is Kelly’s third book. In her interview with me, here’s what Kelly shared about Splintered.

Life turns from bad to worse when Maddy Eastin’s impulsive plan to win back the loving attention of her absentee father backfires. Word of her failed scheme quickly spreads and when mockery escalates to cyberbullying by abusive classmates, Maddy and her failed stunt become headline news. But the worst is yet to come . . .

When Hank Fry sees Maddy Eastin on the evening news, his already fractured psyche completely splinters. He finally surrenders to his true nature—a moral code molded by a sadistic father who taught Hank that girls need proper training to become the perfect subservient woman. When Maddy vanishes, she’s labeled a runaway even though her mother believes she was a victim of foul play. Will detectives discover Maddy’s in trouble before it’s too late?

Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? If you want this wonderful book in print, be sure to vote for it on the Amazon Kindle Scout Program.

What you should do?

To vote for Kelly, head on to https://kindlescout.amazon.com/p/36ESYKUBUQ24T. Please remember that the last day to cast your vote is November 17. If Kelly’s book receives enough votes it will be marked as Hot Trending and will be considered by Amazon editors for publishing. And if Splintered is published through Kindle Scout Program, everyone who votes for it will receive a free e-book copy of it! Win-win, isn’t it?

I have voted for Splintered and Kelly. Will you?


Kelly can reached at her website, and her blog. She thanks each and every reader in advance for their votes and support.