Wednesday 19 November 2014

Part 1: The Whole Nine Yards Of Authoring A Book

When I published my first book three years back – a collection of short stories, it took many of my friends and colleagues by surprise. They knew I write and had a few articles and stories published in Atlanta, Kolkata and online portals. I used to mail them the initial drafts for feedback. I still do.

“Tell me everything, the entire nine yards of how you did this – Let me know all about how you published this book and when can we access an e-book”, a contact in US mailed me. Since then many of my friends and their contacts (spouses, bosses etc) had different questions for me on writing, authoring and publishing a book. Regardless of how a book fares in the market – this cycle is inevitable and the experience is worth sharing.

Honestly the more I read different authors, the more I realize how average I am, as a writer and how much there is still to learn. That does not disqualify me to share my learning process. Does it?

Reason to Write: If you do not have a strong enough reason to write, you probably will not have the tenacity to go through the entire cycle. The creative process is different for each one of us – a workshop on writing cannot make your creative overnight. It is how you think, what you think, how much you think that strengthens your reason and motivation to write, almost compels you to research, learn, unlearn, write, rewrite, edit, work on multiple drafts, and go through the grind. And how you think is conditioned by your experiences, what you read, what you need, what you learn and what you want to earn.

Reason to Publish: I have known people who want to write book without reading enough, who bother about being published before they have an outline ready, who plan book launch and marketing strategy even before they are sure about when they will complete their write. Ask yourself why do you want to publish a book? With multiple forums available for writing that provide ample opportunity to be read across geography, the question will assist you in deciding genre and target audience. Is it brand building, a foothold in media, an award, a legacy, impact others lives, thrill to see your name in print or book in stores?

Genre: Some find authoring children's books easy and gratifying while others find it a huge waste of time. Writing a self-help book can be a rewarding experience if you strongly believe that it will make a difference in people’s lives. A novel could take you years and you can opt for short stories due to time constraints. In a vegetable market, you do not choose subject to what is available, but based on what you want to eat. Get the hint. It is your reasons to write and publish that very strongly govern the genre part.

Part 2: The Whole Nine Yards Of Authoring A Book
Voice, Discipline, Self-Publishing or Traditional

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