Tag Archives: self-publishing in India

How my beta readers made my book better?

As writers, we are often so close to our writings that we fail to see the flaws that our writings have. While I was writing my recently published second book, I took care that the book did not suffer from such shortsightedness. In December 2016, with much self-doubt and suspicion I sent out a very rough draft of the book to a couple of friends and bloggers.

The feedback I received was immensely helpful towards building the finished product that is now live on Amazon.

The book, How I tamed the dragon named fear, is self-help book that draws heavily from my personal experience. In the book, I have talked about things that make me afraid and how I have learned to deal with them over the years.

The major chunk of feedback that I received from my beta readers went somewhat like this:

  1. The book is immensely personal, hence the range of fears is limited, should try and broaden the horizon
  2. The chapters were initially designed to be stand-alone capsules – Anand from Anand’s Parodies suggested I try connecting each chapter so they have a continuous flow
  3. Adding visuals

I focused on points 1 and 2 and tried to re-create the book from a new angle. Speaking and emailing with my beta readers gave me the much needed clarity. Besides, being the nice folks that my betas were, they supported me strongly even for that really messy rough draft. That act of kindness hugely motivated me to continue work to the finish line and helped me in not doubting myself while I on it.

So, thank you Anand, Rachana and Neeladrita (my lovely school friend who’s currently working towards a Ph.D. in Mohali). Thank you so much for the time you guys took out and gave to this book. You have truly made the book a better one.

Have you ever had your work-in-progress read by beta readers? Did it change the course of your book? Share your experience with me in the Comments section.

P.S: If you have not downloaded How I tamed the dragon named fear yet, do it ASAP. It’s only a few more hours that it will stay FREE! Buy it here.



Why Amazon is the convenient choice for self-published authors in India in spite of its limitations?

As an Amazon Kindle self-published author based in India, I face certain limitations:

  1. Royalties received only in Amazon.com and Amazon.in marketplaces are directly transferred via EFT to my bank account. In all other marketplaces, the payments are to be paid via checks and check threshold is $100 (or £100 or €100 depending on the marketplace). So, if you’re a beginning author and are selling only a few copies in each marketplace, most of the sale is technically worth nothing until you meet that threshold.amazon
  2. Unless I enroll in KDP Select, I can not avail 70% royalty option for sales in my own country, India.

In a previous post, I discussed Amazon KDP Select program and said how I was ready to test new waters once my first 90-day KDP Select enrollment was over. Since that day is near (September 17th), I was looking for alternate options today.

First, I checked Smashwords. However, to sell books through Smashwords, non-US authors must a signed IRS form, W8-BEN, to Smashwords. You’ll also need a US Tax Identification Number (ITIN or EIN). The W8-BEN is also required in Lulu, another ebook vendor, else you have to pay the 30% tax witholding rates for sales in US.

When I signed up for Amazon KDP Select program, I needed no such paperwork, so the process was relatively faster and easier for me. I doubt if I am even going to do pursue the Smashwords route soon given how much paperwork and time is going to be involved.

The other vendor I checked was Nook, which is owned by Barnes and Nobles. Unfortunately, Nook press is not available to self-published authors in India at this moment.

Given this scenario, Amazon is undoubtedly the one true king of the Indian ebook self-publishing market. It is high time that e-tailers like Flipkart begin their own self-publishing units.

Are you a self-published author based in India? Which other platform, apart from Amazon KDP, do you use to sell your books. Let me know in the comments below.

Buy Bound by Life on Amazon  now! Or borrow it for free it you have Kindle Unlimited subscription!