Life is one long learning experience and we do keep learning stuff on a daily basis. A major lesson I learned this year is about self-publishing. As I have mentioned in many interviews, I had been trying to publish my books for more than a decade. Finally Indireads agreed to publish my book and Double Jeopardy was born. I wrote Double Jeopardy especially for Indireads as a short novella which is the format they were keen to publish.
But I had already written a few complete novels and a couple of incomplete ones too. I felt quite sad that I couldn’t find a publisher for these. But I never gave up as I strongly believe in prayers and also have the tenacity of a bull terrier.
Rubina Ramesh of The Book Club fame mentioned to me about Rasana Atreya who had self-published her work. Rasana has written a blog on how to go about self-publishing which takes one through a step-by-step process that’s too easy to follow. I got a cover made and my book edited and The Malhotra Bride was self-published under my banner Flaming Sun. I also got a logo created for Flaming Sun during this process. The book was launched on Amazon in February 2014.
Marketing kind of fell into place with The Book Club’s backing and social media. I have to thank all the bloggers who came together to review my book and put up posts on their blogs. It was a humbling experience, especially as my first self-published book is a roaring success. In less than 11 months, I have to mention that I have sold 750+ copies of TMB.
I never looked back after that as I got more of my books self-published this year. Meghna was released in June 2014 and has sold 250+ copies and The Runaway Bridegroom was launched in September 2014 selling 150+ copies so far.
I also released a Box Set of all the above three books titled Flaming Sun Collection 1: Happily Ever Afters From India and launched it in November 2014. While the response is not fantastic, it’s selling too.
The next book to be launched is my collection of romantic short stories called Matches Made In Heaven. This book should be out on December 20, 2014.
Self-publishing comes with its own set of pros and cons. You are on your own when it comes to marketing. Indie authors do have a tougher time compared to others. I have to thank The Book Club for the marketing support I get and I would cite this group of bloggers the primary reason for my success.
The author is responsible for getting the cover done and finding the right kind of editor. I must say I have been lucky in both cases. Even when the book comes back from the editor, I am very particular in checking my book thoroughly for discrepancies and errors.
Formatting and uploading on Amazon is quite simple if you have an eye for detail. I have seen a number of books looking messy even with the simplest of tools. But if one is in the writing industry for the long run, then one can’t be careful enough.
I must say that 2014 has been a special journey exploring the world of self-publishing and turning successful.
About Sundari Venkatraman
Even as a kid, she absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as Sundari grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. Soon, into her teens, she switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine.
Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! She could never string two sentences together. While her spoken English had always been excellent – thanks to her Grandpa – she could not write to save her life. She was bad at writing essays in both school and college. Later, when it was time to teach her kids, she could manage everything from Science to Mathematics and History & Geography.
When it came to writing compositions, her kids found her of no help at all. All this changed suddenly one fine day in the year 2000. She had just quit her job at a school’s office and did not know what to do with her life. She was saturated with simply reading books. That’s when she got home one evening after her walk and took some sheets of paper and began writing. It was like watching a movie that was running in her head – all those years of visualising Indian heroes and heroines needed an outlet and had to be put into words. That’s how her first novel, The Malhotra Bride, took shape. Today, Sundari is the best selling romance author in India and abroad. Her novels – Double Jeopardy, Malhotra Bride, Meghna and Runaway Bridegroom are selling like hot cakes in Amazon.
Connect with Sundari here -