Mixing a brew of freelancing and writing in the pan of social media
I am not new to the world of writers and writing. But the world of ebooks opened itself to me this year only.
I got the idea to write my first ebook in February 2013. I managed to compose about 30,000 words for the ebook. I completed it in June and published it as Amazon Kindle ebook on June 24, 2013.
Some of you already know that this ebook is creative non-fiction that I wrote on Gangnam Style singer Psy with the intention of highlighting Psy’s life. It is titled ‘When Aliens Met Psy’. If you haven’t already, check it out here.
Now let me share three reasons why I wrote an ebook in the first place.
1. Easy on the mind
Writing a book is not easy, as most of you already know. The prime reason for this is – time. How do I take out time from my busy work schedule and family life to write, in the first place. There are commitments and many urgent ones that I need to pay attention to, so how do I commit to writing the first chapter of my book.
It is at this point I thought that writing an ebook, not a regular book, is the way out for me.
I have always had this feeling that I too could write books. Around 10 years back, in 2003, if I remember right, I got myself a writing pad and started jotting down some kind of story. I felt compelled to do it daily. I didn’t know where the story was headed. I just knew that I had to write because – enough was enough.
I wrote daily without a break in that writing pad for 21 days. I managed to write 15,000 words. Then life and its myriad turns started tugging at me and I gradually stopped writing in that pad. I still have those writing notes somewhere.
Later, whenever that writing instinct would raise its small voice inside me, at odd times, I would remember my writing pad and the unfinished story of 15,000 words. I would request that voice not to bother me much, explaining that one day I did intend to write a book. That day never came.
It was this year in 2013 that I started reading reports and articles on a new word that was gaining ground in the world of writers and writing. The word was ebooks. I began reading up on it and the more I read, the more I was convinced that finally This Was It for me. I could write an ebook.
The ebook format is simple. You have to think up a topic that connects with you. Then, you collect your thoughts on that topic. Then divide those thoughts into Chapters. Now just start finishing one chapter and then the next chapter. And your ebook is done. That’s it.
Its easy on the mind. You work at your pace and nobody is there to say that people won’t read it.
I chose Psy as my topic for my first ebook. I like the guy. I saw his interviews and songs on the Internet and I felt that I needed to write about him and his life. I ignored the fact that hundreds of reporters and journalists around the world have already written millions of words about him. It didn’t bother me. I wanted my book out.
Now if I had decided to write a regular book, I would have had to query and pitch publishers by emailing them, to know whether they would like a book on Psy that I would love to write.
I already knew what their response would be. ‘Enough has already been written about him. Everyone knows everything about Psy. There are hundreds of interviews about him already. Now you want to write a book on Psy? Are you serious?’. This is what I imagined. And I was not ready to go through this kind of tension of approval and judgement.
And this is why, I knew that writing an ebook and then self-publishing it would be just right for me. Approval of others was not important for me. More important was getting my first book out of me, even if it was in ebook form. So, instead of just writing about Psy’s life in a plain manner, I decided to present it through fictional characters. I thought it would be fun. And since I am into sci-fi, aliens popped in my head.
Thus I completed ‘When Aliens Met Psy’ where the three principal alien characters talk about Psy’s life, right from his childhood days after gently kidnapping Psy and taking him to a cave in Kangchenjunga mountain for a Q&A session.
Easy on the mind – this was what my first ebook promised to me and delivered.
2. Easy to publish
Now, naturally, since I was not taking the route of the regular book, so having the approval of some publisher to publish it didn’t matter at all. I would self-publish and I would make it available to my readers on my own, with a little technical help of course. It is here that Amazon.com’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) platform came to my mind.
We are all aware of Amazon’s reach and I had been reading regularly that many famous regular writers published in the traditional manner, were also taking to this platform to reach their readers.
I also read about many new self-published Kindle ebook writers, whose books were very well received by millions of readers who were flocking to Amazon’s Kindle platform to buy ebooks. All this was encouraging to me.
I read the Kindle publishing guidelines that were easy to follow. Now all I had to do was write my book and release it on Kindle myself. No more pressure from traditional publishers. It was completely me incharge of all aspects of my ebook. I wrote it, I priced it and I published it. Then I let everyone I knew, know that it was now available in the market.
Easy to publish – this was an eye-opener to me.
3. Easy to get sense of achievement
Once I knew that the fate of my ebook lay on me only, I felt at peace with myself. Finally, all I had to do was to complete it to my satisfaction. Then I could let it go out from me into the world and into the PC-laptop-tablet-mobile-kindle screens of willing readers. They would dive into words that I had offered for their kind perusal.
In the regular book way Vs the ebook way match, the ebook way won all the points for me. Considering what I was writing and also my word limit that I had initially set at 15,000 words for my Psy book, I am sure no regular publisher would have said ‘Yes’ to it.
Publishers would have wanted a book out of me on a topic that they thought would sell, not on a topic that I wanted to write on. Also, they would have wanted perhaps 50,000+ minimum words from me, to make it worth publishing my book in the first place. And, they would do it only, if they were satisfied that I had fulfilled the first criteria of writing on their topic.
I couldn’t have satisfied them on either of their criteria. I was not planning to go above 20,000 words for my Psy book, but finally ended it at approximately 30,000 words.
So, taking the ebook way gave me a sense of accomplishment and achievement, that would have remained a lofty dream for me had I thought seriously of taking the regular book way.
This doesn’t mean that I am against the traditional publishing way. What I do mean, is that my mindset was not meant to take the traditional path. I do have wonderful friends who are authors and novelists, who have been traditionally published and have made a name for themselves in the field. I salute them for their persistence and hard work that they have put in, in bringing out their beloved words into the hands of their readers. They have got their sense of achievement.
All I can say is, that now, I too have my sense of achievement, even though I may not stand on the same cherished podium that they stand on. But I am happy that I managed to finally get a book out of me.
Now, that you’ve read the post, here’s my question:
In the near future, whenever you decide to write your first book or your next book, would you prefer to go the traditional way or the ebook way? And why?
Share your thoughts with me in the comments below.
My next post is titled: Why I have stopped buying hard copies of books to read (If you wouldn’t like to miss reading my next post, then subscribe and Follow my Blog via email, so that you know as soon as I have published the post)