‘I AM JUST AN ORDINARY MAN’ – REALITY CHECK
Now that the euphoria surrounding the publishing of my book ‘I AM JUST AN ORDINARY MAN’ has subsided and I have been basking under the congratulatory messages and the good wishes of my friends that had poured in, I realise that this is the beginning of a journey to establish oneself as a writer of content whose writings are genuine enough to linger in the mind of the reader long after it has been read. The reality check has just started.
For the first time in my life as a blogger I received nearly 350 page views of my post announcing the publishing of my first book within the first two days of posting (this is now well over 400). Over the last three years I have developed a dedicated readership and it has given me immense satisfaction that I have to a certain extent established myself as a writer of content. In the process I have built up expectations that to a major percentage of them this book may evoke interest and translate ultimately in to sales, not because I expect to make money out of this venture, it is more to gain acceptability and establish my authenticity.
You can say the reality check started when I received a letter of intent from one of the well-known publishers a portion of which I am reproducing here –
“We receive about 1,500-2,000-odd scripts each month, and understandably, select only a few books for complete review and further for publication. The manuscripts ‘under consideration’, will get a publishing break, as and when the company allocates funds. We have around 5,000 books in the pipeline at present, and we release just about 200 each year. I am putting forth all details as transparently as possible to avoid any further expectation-fulfillment mismatch. Due to a continually widening database of selected scripts and limited resources; a few worthy pieces of work do suffer. To benefit authors and not overstretch the company’s resources, we are offering you a project partnership proposal along with traditional publishing.”
Subsequently I did receive a mail after submission of the full manuscript stating “Thanks for the mail, we have evaluated your work in full and are glad that we could explore the possibilities of working together on your book.”
Naturally I was elated, but it took me only a few months to realize that it could take months or even years before my dream could come true (a possibility).
The reality is stark for a new writer, as is evident from what I have reproduced above. There are thousands of writers out there because writing has become easy with the advent of the digitised world, but publishing has become a major hurdle for the new writer and he ultimately finds that the only way to make his dream come true is through self-publishing. And that is where the self-publishing houses with their choice of packages and services come in to suit the pockets of the author concerned. From my own experience I should accept that they did do a decent job of printing a quality book and putting it on the various major online stores. But that’s all. How many writers must be languishing out there for want of resources to publish their work!
The next reality check – how successful have I been in selling my book because that is my lookout now. The new self-published author has no option but to rely on the vast (?) circle of friends he has developed over the years on the social media and otherwise to give the necessary initial push to make him more visible to the vast readership out there. Even if 25% of your friends on the social media respond it could be a satisfactory performance I would say. Well that is the reality check again.
But the entire process of writing, publishing and selling a book has been a great experience and an eye opener. I have read a lot and learnt a lot and I have finished my book and that has been my reward.
I have been reaching out to my friends through Facebook, Google+ and just started with Twitter(I am still learning how to interact on this). But I know that a large number of the readers of my blog postings who only appear as page views are also there from various places in the world and who I am sure have read my previous post and this is my way of reaching out to them.
The book ‘I AM JUST AN ORDINARY MAN’ is available both as paperback and Kindle Ebook on amazon.com and amazon.in apart from the publisher Notion press for the present. The Links are given here –