Joy of self-publishing

The joy was not only in seeing my book but also in the feeling of its ownership.

I recently self-published my humorous story collection and wish to share my experience and joy with intending self publishers among you.

I didn’t have this joy with my first book – published by a famous publisher but without any interaction with the readers. Self-publication took 2 years for want of a person to do the sketches. Once done, my daughter did the proof-reading and my seasoned advertiser son-in-law took on the entire responsibility, till I had the gift-wrapped copies in my hand. That was the first joy.

The joy was not only in seeing my book but also in the feeling of its ownership. Initially, I kept the copies only with me and circulated the information by a flier and jacket cover to friends and on Facebook to test waters. Two major newspapers interviewed me and the copies started moving. So, I placed it on Amazon and Flipkart besides a Kindle edition (worldwide), leading to emails, SMS and calls. As on date, 18 reviews – all favourable – have appeared: more joy!

A person from Bengaluru headed abroad, and a lady from Kolkata staying in JP Nagar, both leaving the next day, were the first, wanting an assured delivery within 24 hours, after NEFT-payment. They were delighted when, within hours, the copies reached them by courier. The lady called up a few times to share her views and insisted I meet her when I go there next.

A motorparts Gujarati businessman from Jalgaon, an ardent admirer of the Indian armed forces, not only bought copies for himself but some more as gifts, including my first book. He regularly rings me up for my views on ‘strategic’ matters and repeated invitations to be his guest for Ajanta-Ellora in August. An English professor from Thanjavur; a retired Indian colonel from the US (‘whatever it costs by registered post’); and the son of an IAF Wing Commander from Johannesburg (with an invite for a holiday stay) regularly interacted!

Floods in Chennai stemmed the demand for a while but the moment it abated, a lady wanted a copy for the ‘first lady CRPF officer’ from there. Another lady called and messaged after reading each story; she felt the price was low, but I explained to her the intention to price it a third less than the cost, for wider circulation leading to more money to be given to a trust for education of poor kids.

A person from Mysuru and another Kannadiga from Chennai both wanted me to publish a Kannada edition; my proficiency in Kannada being not very good, I asked if they could find me a translator. A real estate magnate from Coimbatore took 25 copies and soon, on my WhatsApp, I had some ecstatic first-look-views from two executives!

From Byadgi, a chilli-exporter sent me a parcel of the best quality but regretted that not being well-versed in English, he couldn’t buy a copy. I sent him a copy with a note to skip three marked stories, assuring that the rest 50 were in very simple English. He called back a few weeks later to thank me!

Additional cash was given by some towards the trust for children’s education and the sale of my first book shot up too. I hope all this motivates the authors in you to get on with self-publishing!

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