I never thought I would write a book, well not at least till five years back. The thought of writing a book took inception in my mind around then, when I was preparing for my PG Entrance examination. The fact that I would end up craving the outflow of my creative juice exactly at a time when my hands are tied with academic responsibilities is something that has been happening to me for quite a long time now. I had this strange temptation, which descended on me out of the blue, to sit down and write a book. I used to blog back then, but it wasn’t about writing anything, it was about giving birth to a form of writing which would be receive proper acknowledgement.
The decision had to be put on hold, as I had one of the most important exams of my life to give. I continued to blog in the meantime. I should thank blogging for making me a better writer. I saw many of my blogger friends getting published and realised that with a little effort I could get published too ( only that it was not that little an effort in hindsight)
Even after my exams I wasn’t in the right mood to dedicate myself to writing a book. I let the dream hang tight while I pursued my higher studies. After giving my final PG exams, I took a break for a few months. I was intentionally jobless. That was when the spark grew once again in me. I decided to start thinking of writing seriously. Like many of my author friends, I let my publishing journey start by contributing stories to short story anthologies brought out by publishers. Few stories and few poems into the run, I realised something important. If I could write six or seven stories in total and contribute it to multiple anthologies, why couldn’t I sit down and write around ten stories and compile then to form a single book, that was penned entirely by me, that would belong to me and me alone. The though hit the right targets and that was how, I started compiling stories for a short story collection of my own.
I wouldn’t consider myself grown enough to write a full fledged novel yet. People say writing short stories is harder than writing a novel, but yes, I am comfortable writing short stories more than considering writing a novel. I believe I am at my creative best when I write short stories. It is important that we as writers know our creative strengths. It would be a folly to jump onto the bandwagon and write romance simply because it sells well. If you are not comfortable writing it, if you cannot write something/ a genre from your heart, there is no use writing it at all, for however hard you try, the result would appear half baked. Well, if you take enough effort to excel in it that is another matter altogether, but then that would seem you are genuinely interested in or even fine with the genre and are ready to find success in it no matter what.
I wrote 13 stories in a period of one month and wrote one more sometime after that. Editing took two more months, for which I approached the professional editing service ‘Pen Paper Coffee’ and then I started pitching the manuscript to traditional publishers. I was adamant that I wouldn’t spend unnecessarily in the name of publishing, and I had little belief in my marketing skills. Self publishing was not an option with these rules. I received rejection letters from all the major publishing houses, but I was secretely happy that they atleast bothered to reply. More than one publisher asked me help from my side to publish my book, as they didn’t believe short stories would sell on their own. Few publishers were more interested in knowing about my marketing skills and how many copies I would be able to sell. Another publishing house asked me to wait for a few months if I wanted traditional publishing as they had a vanity publishing wing as well, which would publish books in a matter of few weeks. I was stuck onto traditional publishing and I decided to wait.
Several months passed and there was no positive news from them. That was when I decided to pitch my proposal to Story Mirror, an upcoming, yet promising publishing house then. For that I contacted Sulaiman Sait, a fellow blogger who was about to be published by Story Mirror. He had only good things to say about the publisher and that inspired me and consolidated my decision to move forward with them. They replied in a few weeks’ time and I was elated to say the least. Right then, I sent out mails to a couple of publishing houses who had expressed interest in my manuscript saying that I was accepted elsewhere ( You have no idea how jubilant I felt doing that, for once to be not on the receiving end!) and all of them replied back wishing me good luck.
From there began the joyous journey of seeing my dream take form, slowly but alluringly. I have a lot more to say on the rest of the journey, but that would form a new post altogether. Do wait for that 🙂
P.S : The book is slated to release in a few weeks’ time. Be ready for it 🙂