My Google Images and Facebook memories started popping images from a year ago; it took me by surprise. It’s been a year since I independently published my first novel, Perfect Imperfections. Has it been that long? Really?
So this blog post comes to you, not on a day I typically post. I’m sitting here in my room with a grateful heart, looking back at this journey. A journey I had never imagined I’d go on and least of all enjoy it. I come from a family of engineers, and I’m married into a family of engineers, so there was no reference point, no role models, and no mentors to guide me when it came to writing and publishing. But I was blessed to have a family that encourages reading and that was my only reference.
The world I knew nothing about; Lessons learned from Independent Publishing:
1. Writing the first draft is the only time you’ll have fun: Perfect Imperfections went from a short story to a novella to a novel. It was fun. But only till the first draft. I thought writing the first draft was hard. Hahaha, how naive I was.
2. The only way to learn is by doing it: I would have learned a lot about writing and publishing and marketing and everything else by reading and workshops and classes. But not as much as I did by actually writing, actually publishing, actually marketing and promoting my book.
3. The learning never stops: There is so much to learn about writing. Add to that, editing, copyrights, publishing, KDP, and KDP Select, POD, marketing, book bloggers, reviews, Goodreads. The list is never ending.
4. Writing is the easy part, everything from there on is an uphill climb.
5. Writing does not have to be an isolated journey: I have met some of the kindest and giving people along the way. Something I had not expected. Archana, my accountability buddy, Neil, my editor, Varun, Ritesh, Sonia always encouraging and cheering me on. People from different parts of the world whom I would have never know if it wasn’t for this.
6. Your to-do list will only grow: I am a stickler for lists. It’s no surprise that I love to make lists. But my list on writing and publishing Perfect Imperfections is still not completed. I don’t think it ever will.
7. Don’t rush, be patient. Be patient, be patient, be patient!
8. You can do it on your own, but you need help: No doubt Independent Publishing meant I was going to be my own agent, publishing house and a PR firm but that didn’t mean I didn’t need any help. Perfect Imperfections would never have happened without the help of my brother (who helped with formatting, cover design, and uploading the manuscript onto the various platforms), to my friends and family who took the time to read and give me their valuable feedback.
9. Words are not set in stone: With digital publishing, I was able to unpublish fix the glaring typos and grammatical errors and republish the manuscript.
10. You will want to give up: At every stage, I remember talking to my husband telling him it was all too hard and that I wanted to give up. And he’d tell me just to get over this one bump, and then I can give up and then this one more bump and then I can give up until I was all the way through. He tricked me into finishing what I had started.
11. You will have to put yourself out there and let people say what they think and be okay with it. To say that was hard would be an understatement.
12. You’ll want to do it all over again. It was hard; it still is but surprise surprise, I am gearing up to do it all over again. The Rajput is my next novel.
What happens when someone's hobby leads to the death of a family member. Hidden secrets from history and a complicated family - will these get in the way of two people who are falling in love despite all the odds stacked up against them. - The Rajput
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