Have you ever wondered about self-published authors, and how they work towards getting their books published? I know I have.
Recently, I got the opportunity to interview self-published author Rose Garg, and I could grill her with all the hows and whys of self-publishing. The result is this interview.
Note: She self-published her book using the Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing platform.
I hope you like this interview.
- Can you tell me something about your book, and your journey towards getting this book written?
A Moment’s Indulgence is a collection of 10 short stories from all over the world. As a reader, I love it when the writer in me challenges my thinking and I have tried to obtain the same with the stories I have written. With the kind of reviews I am getting, I think I achieved that. Each story’s plot, place and mood is different from the other. The stories are short, intense and intriguing.
Writing the stories, researching and verifying data, and thinking of your characters is exciting and quite fun. Then begins the process of sending it to your editor and friends who will be critiques to your work. Between that and much iteration is the period when the story will go through a metamorphosis of sorts. The more you read it, the more changes you would want to make. It actually never ends! It is an enlightening process and teaches you a great deal of patience at the end of which, you will be exhausted but you will understand the writing process better.
- What made you take the decision to self-publish? Did you try to find an agent or a publisher before electing to self-publish?
I did look for publishers and agents and wrote to a few of them, and while at it, I realized I was wasting my time and getting demotivated. Agents gave me a clear ‘no we cannot represent you’ and publishers were kinder by saying ‘no’ with a long rejection email, given the number of submissions they have to go through each month.
Above all, I was trying to break in as a début writer with short stories, which was unheard of. The market for short story writers has been cold for many years, unless you are already an established name.
It is now that things are changing, and I know that many more people will write short stories, and it is because our fast paced lives demand it.
Thanks to Alice Munro’s recognition, short story writers are having the courage to come out, and the world is making space for them and taking them seriously.
- How did you go about the process of self-publishing through Amazon Kindle’s Direct Publishing platform? Is there another self-publishing option? What made you choose Amazon kindle over say Apple or Sony?
I chose Amazon for three reasons:
- They are a world-class company with many years of experience and have a huge market reach when it comes to books.
- The KDP platform for writers is very easy to navigate and use. The application in my opinion is the best among its competitors. For a writer like me to discover it was like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. The entire process is fast and Amazon’s KDP support is very quick and helpful.
- Amazon lets anyone publish and once you do so, they do not distinguish between writers. They will promote you based on your book’s performance and that is as fair as it can get.
Amazon’s KDP gives a first time writer like me, the opportunity to put my book out there. That is a boon for most writers who write with passion and are very good, yet face rejection at the traditional publishing houses. Here is a company, a big one, that allows you to publish and they will make sure your books are available to various people in many countries, with the success/failure being defined by your own merit.
And then if my book sales are high, they showcase and promote me, without thinking for a moment, whether I am a big name or not. It would take me several books to see my book on the front stand with all those other famous writers as I would walk into a bookstore and that too, only if I was a big name. I don’t doubt the other writers and what they deserve, for they are the great, but I know I missed a chance with a buyer because he never had the option of me in the first place.
- How did you get your book edited/proofed?
I spent time looking for an editor and finally found Viji after 2 months of searching. She has many years of experience and it was great that we could work together to get the best out of the book. She did a great job and I am very happy to have invested seriously in editing, for it is critical to do so.
- How do you promote your book?
I don’t. I believe in organic growth and know that I write because I enjoy it and not because I expect to get rich or famous. I ventured into writing knowing fully well, that a writers/artists/entrepreneur’s life is very unpredictable. It’s great to have a bunch of readers who like my work, the rest is bonus.
- What did you learn from your self-publishing efforts? What tips and tricks do you have for other authors looking to self-publish? What are the things not to do?
It is a blessing that self-publishing exists in our age and being the digital beings we have become, writers must make use of it. If this was available to writers a hundred years ago, guess who would be self-publishing too?
However, to self-publish one must remember to choose a good platform, one that is reputed and has a great number of customers and where the process for doing so is easy to understand and legitimate for the author. Amazon’s KDP is transparent, and if you are still in doubt, read online and ask around to figure out if it works for you.For authors looking to self-publish, well do so without any fear. There are a great number of people reading on their devices. You would roughly estimate the number of readers just by knowing how many Amazon Kindle devices have been sold. Then add a little more to it because the application is available on other devices as well. That is your number of potential readers. Do you think you could reach as many countries and as many people with a traditional publishing house with your first book? And that is if you found a traditional publisher interested in you in the first place.
But most important of all is that you believe in yourself.
- How did you arrive at a price for your book?
I researched data online and asked people how much they would pay for it, and took a final call when I felt the price was right.
- If now, a publisher approached you to publish your book, would you prefer to go with a publisher, or continue the self-publishing route?
I would go with a publisher if an offer I cannot refuse came along. Having said that we all know how many times in life that can happen, and Kindle is working for me so well too!
Also most books (hardcover) have their Kindle versions selling on Amazon. I see a trend where there will be more Kindle writers as time passes and it’s already happening in the US and UK. However, it is just a matter of time before India catches up. It also saves paper no?
Rose Garg is an Indian writer who has made her début with her book of short stories, A Moment’s Indulgence on the KDP platform available on Amazon.in. She is an avid reader, traveller and animal rights advocate.
Some of her favourite writers are Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, William Shakespeare, Guy de Maupassant Fyodor M Dostoyevsky, Jules Verne, Rabindranath Tagore, Leo Tolstoy, Agatha Christie, Jack London, Joseph Conrad and Charles Dickens. She also writes regularly for her personal blog and has another blog dedicated to her book.
Her book A Moment’s Indulgence is a collection of short stories written in narrative prose. It has 10 stories set in various parts of the world. Her book has received five star reviews online and is amongst the leading books on the Kindle.