One fine day I woke up to a message from a dear friend of mine.
“Hey! I was just thinking yesterday and wanted to ask you that why did you and want to self-publish your writings. I’ll tell you why I am asking because if you write something for just your friends and family then maybe It’s the right choice, but if you want to put it out there, a publisher will give you a better platform and feedback on your work, which are both great things.”
This was a month before I self-published my second book, which is also my first fictional endeavor – ‘Love, Loss, Lockdown’, a collection of short stories loosely set against the Covid19 pandemic.
I will be honest, at one point, I was very confused if I should submit the manuscript to traditional publishers or just self-publish. It’s true that if the book was accepted by an established publishing house, the book would get a LOT more exposure than me doing it by myself.
But here is the problem – every publisher says they are going to take at-least three months time to evaluate just your sample chapters. The bigger ones like Penguin take six months. Did I want to wait for so long to just know if my book which is based on the pandemic would be approved by one of them?
There were two options for me – send a book proposal to a bunch of publishing houses and wait for minimum three months to hear for them. Or self-publish and use those three months to promote the book in whatever little ways possible just by myself.
My decision to self-publish was sealed when I read about an author publishing a long-form novel set against the pandemic. That book came out in May.
“An author has already published a book based on the pandemic. If I decide to wait for publishers for the next three months, the market will be flooded by more books based on the pandemic and my book will just be lost in the pile,” I explained my friends and family.
I believe that my book will not become irrelevant once the current pandemic becomes ‘stuff that’s only mentioned in history books’. However, the sheer fact that I’ve been able to put out a book set against the lockdown, while most places in the world are still in a state of lockdown, makes it a lot more relevant for the current times.
Let me clear about one thing though – the pandemic is just a very minor theme in the book. Kind of like the novel ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’, the book is about love, cholera is just happenstance.
Also, I am extremely impatient, it’s not a virtue and might cost me a lot in the long run, but I just don’t have it in me to wait for so long to hear from a publisher. I will probably fall into those category of writers that live impoverished all their lives and become famous only after their death. Maybe.
If you are still with me, please grab a copy of “Love, Loss, Lockdown” and help support an independent author. Following are some country specific links –
If I’ve missed your country, look for it on Amazon or on your kindle store.