Category Archives: Writing

E for Ebook Publishing – #AtoZChallenge

E for Ebook Publishing
With the advent of the internet, every frigging thing changed digital and how about books? Yes! It did advance to fit in your desktop screens and hand held devices. This post will get you through the details of Ebook publishing.
One my friend said she spent XXXXX to get her book published on Kindle by a company and I said that I did it for free! If you don’t have time to do the below, yes, you can do it. Because, Time =  Money. But, it will just take about 15 to 30 minutes to do this.
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Why Ebook publishing?
  • Free of cost
  • Reaches all over the world
  • Ebook readers are increasing every other day
  • Books are priced cheaper – hence, many would opt to purchase the book
  • You can offer FREE downloads to market the book, and hence reach a number of readers if you’re looking for readership
  • You can update versions without having to spend more
Where do you publish the Ebooks?
  • https://kdp.amazon.com/ – The number ONE place to publish your books
  • https://www.smashwords.com/ – For Indie authors, this site is a paradise. You can upload your manuscript file (formatted as per the rules at Smashwords) and download all other formats (MOBI, EPUB, PDF)
  • iBooks – for iOS devices
  • Barnes and Noble
  • Google Play – for Android hand held devices
  • Kobo – Ereaders and mobile apps for all devices
  • Scribd, rockstand and many new bidsare other Ebook publishers as well
Kindle Publishing
What do you need to publish?
  • Your ready manuscript
  • A cover
  • ISBN (Not Necessary)
  • TAX information (PAN CARD)
  • Bank details (To get your royalty – *minion dance*)
Login to www.kdp.amazon.com and create a profile – Just key in all frigging information it ever asks, and upload your Manuscript.
Note: It is better to upload to ePub version than PDF, it formats better. So, first push the manuscript on www.smashwords.com get the formats, and upload the ePub at Kindle. Tadaaaa! In 24 hours or 48, your book will be available!
The cost of your book – you will have to choose between the standard costs. It is either 0.99$ or more, and accordingly, the royalty and share (either 70% or 35%) based on your choice will be fixed. And every
Amazon gives you 5 days free promotions, you can schedule any date to let free download. This helps in better ranking!
All your sales details will be available right there in your personalized login, and you can check the ranking and reviews on a daily basis.
As an Author, already, you get paid only peanuts. Don’t spend on companies that make use of your naive nature. Please research properly before you go ahead with vanity publishing or other types that asks money upfront.

Diction in Fiction #AtoZChallenge

Diction – choice of words! Yes, so this post is all about choosing the right words. Most of the Indian authors lack here, especially when they try to write erotica or something that has to be said with a different tone and a set of words. There are books that had the worst lines because of their wrong choice of words, and there are books that are extremely good just because the author choose the right words to express.
Diction is not about fidgeting the synonyms or checking thesaurus, sometimes it is the innate quality.

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Examples:
Let’s take an example of a sentence from a novel that had poor diction, am not naming the book here, even if you make out, please don’t comment on that.
P.S: Adult Content
Example of poor diction:
                “I continued to squeeze and occasionally lick the best organ of her body”
“Then removed her black panty, revealing the slightly hairy organ between her legs”
Are you screwing your face already? Yes! Any would actually do. It was pathetic to read a normal romance genre with words that make it not so good to read
Example of good diction:
“The familiar throb between the crest of her thighs was deep-seated and gaining momentum.”
“Her breathing was no more than a shallow pant as he negotiated his fingers between her slick folds into her velvety entrance. Eliza’s head tipped back into the metal door and her eyes fell shut”
The above is from an erotica genre, where explicit content and usage of frank language is pretty much allowed. Yet, the usage of words are not cringe worthy. This is the power of diction!
There are books with complex stories with great storyline and tight plot, but failed miserably due to the diction. There are books that with the simplest storyline, but with extremely good diction that would just take the level of the book to a different level. On par with excellence.
To improve diction:
  • Read international books
  • Pick and choose Indian authors who write better in your own genre, this will help you to evaluate yourself and better your writing
  • Note down good choice of words, lines, sentences and quotes in a notebook or an app on your smart phone
  • Pick a few words from your current read and try to use those words in a small piece of creative writing every day
Tighten your language for better, try to use less count of words. This is not possible with your first draft but it is with the second. Write thick, edit lean – is the most powerful mantra.
Diction is not just a choice of word you choose to express something, but it also conveys your feelings toward the literary work.
Diction is one of the major filters to pick out good writing from the lot, firstly, it is important to use the right word that accurately matches the emotions and meaning that are to be conveyed. It should be used in a proper context and it is better to choose words that go easy on all types of readers.

C for Chapters #AtoZChallenge

Let’s say that your book is handed over to a good number of folks and you give them ten minutes each, all they can do is to read any one chapter of your novel. Post ten minutes, you grab away the book from them. How many of them do you think will buy the book?
  • More often, people start reading the first chapter. So it is important to write a compelling opening chapter
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Writing Chapters that hook your reader to the novel – shall we dive deep?
  • Don’t bother to introduce the characters. Just imagine that all your characters are interacting in a room – your readers enter the room out of the blue! Will the characters stop to introduce themselves to your reader? – NO. Your reader will stand there and try to figure out what they are talking, and mentally figure out who is who. But, if the interaction between your characters are not interesting – your reader will exit
  • One proven method is to start off with a hot interaction or a verbal fight between your characters
  • Write the soul scene of the novel – the one that grips the entire novel
  • Write the most interesting scene, don’t bother repeating it in the novel at a later stage
  • Start with a scene that would leave questions in the mind of your reader
  • Writing conflicting scenes – write a sequence and pick the next unexpected, to surprise your reader
What to write in the first chapter though!
The above pointers say about the first scene or rather a page, but what next?
  • Give utmost importance to editing and proofreading here, because, once your reader thinks this isn’t good – flunks!
  • Don’t give unnecessary detailing or description right in the first chapter – please!
  • Introduce the lead character, or the most interesting of the lot in the novel – either a character to empathize or someone utterly different from those we meet day to day for a change, or someone that your reader would like to know more about. Hint: Remind them their ex 😉
  • Reveal the theme of the novel – let the later chapters swirl around the first chapter
  • Ensure that you write your first chapter in such a way that without it, the reader would not understand the rest of the story
  • Write tight – chuck away the adjectives in the first few pages, don’t distract your reader – their mobile phones are already doing it
  • End the first chapter with a cliffhanger – write something that would tickle the curiosity to read more than the first few pages
Write short chapters with a cliff hanger and reveal the mystery further, not necessarily the next. Leave hints that sits somewhere in a corner of your reader’s mind, but never voices out unless you reveal it further while braiding it. Never ever leave a loose-ending. Ensure that your readers expect only the unexpected.
Have you read such books that hooked you and never left your hands? Comment the recent one! Let’s keep it rolling!

B for Blurb #AtoZChallenge

Am so glad that urban dictionary defines blurb as “The short summary of a book, usually on the inside cover or back, that most people read so they can say they read the book” and the other meaning listed also are synonymous to the same definition. Feels really good that this word has no other meaning tagged along.
Blurb – The second thing that one would notice, first being the cover image and title. An interesting blurb is the pitch which will make the person who spent a minute reading it to pay 200-300 INR to spend more than 2 hours to read your book. How vital is that?
Bad books with a good blurb sells more than good books with bad blurb – (jaws dropping nah?)
Things you might already know:
  • A blurb is a short bio of your novel in about 100 words or so, which will pitch your novel to the person who crossed your book. If one feels hooked to the blurb or feels connected or gets the vein of the story – tada! You see a copy!
  • A blurb is NOT a summary of your novel – never, never, never do this!
Nitty-gritty:
  • One proven method is to use a catchy paragraph that defines the settings of the book and end the blurb with a few questions for your readers to find the answers in the novel – read the book to get the answers’ type
  • A blurb should talk about the genre, should talk about the key takeaway, should focus on the theme
  • Ensure that the blurb is nitpicked from spoilers
  • Using the protagonist names are not necessary
  • Start something out of the blue and hook your readers
Tips:
  • Don’t write the blurb yourself, because you as an author will be involved in the story whereas a blurb takes a non-microscopic cloudy outline – The best person is the editor or beta-reader who read the story once
  • A blurb for a fiction is totally different from the blurb of a non-fiction, so first take the right examples
  • Refer books that fall under the same genre
  • Don’t use sophisticated words or vocabulary rich content, but, never give diction a toss. Strike a balance!
Shamelessly! Using the blurb of my own first novel – I don’t wear sunscreen here, as a sample! It did gain the necessary highlight and it was written by my editor Harika Bantupalli after reading the manuscript.
Blurb of IDWS:
For Laksha, life is a gift wrapped in red ribbon. But that’s all shattered when she falls for the misogamist. His ambivalence and vacillation always keeps her at bay, turning her into a neurotic. She gets betrayed by the most credible, loses her job, feels devastated and dejected as incidents crowd upon her corrupting her naiveté.
Enigmas unfold revealing every glitch. Who will clear her blurred skies? What invigorates her career and life? Will she ever forgive her beloved? And how will Laksha survive?
The story also revolves around her rapport with Pallavi, a childhood friend and the relationship she has with her silver-tongued mom. Focusing on how experiences change perception of little things, this contemporary tale gives a better meaning to friendships, relationships, solitude, pain, compassion and success.
More often than not, Life drags you down to the adversities and thrusts outward to shine. It is your grit that truly matters when you reach rock bottom, and left with no choice other than to pick yourself up and leap forward, however arduous it may be!

A for Agatha Christie #AtoZChallenge

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Agatha Christie – a very well-known household name, isn’t it? One of the finest authors ever! Yes, this post is about Author Agatha Christie.
One of my most favorite authors, not just to me, but for most who love reading books, nevertheless, Mystery and thrillers are the best hot picks ever.
Why you should read Agatha Christie book?
  • If you want to play hide and seek in your mind – her books are your solace
  • If you are traveling and are looking for quick reads that would keep you busy for the next few hours – Pick her book without any second thoughts
  • Her characters are almost alive, ardent readers would never think that they are fiction – especially Poirot and Marple
  • Her books are best of the lot with simple and lucid language ever, that are mostly grammatically right – if you want to improve your language for better, pick her books
  • She carves beautiful characters with descriptions that would paint the character on the back of your mind
  • I bet – you can never find the murderer!
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Are you an author who needs inspiration? – Her first book took five years to get published and also it was rejected by six publishers.
Any mediocre library is one, only if they have stacked her books.
All her books and novels are the best, if you would like to pick a few right away, here are a few recommendations that I loved reading!
  • Murder on the orient express – I loved this novel – Story line: One gets killed in a train, and the detective picks the clues left at the crime scene, investigates the travelers and finds out the murderer.
  • And Then There Were None – Oh! This novel would fool you literally. Read on to find
  • The murder of Roger Ackroyd – A must read, period!
  • Collection of short stories with Poirot as the main lead
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Almost all her books are bestsellers indeed!
If you’re an ardent reader/writer – you can never ever miss her whodunit books.            Read her books to understand the main elements of a crime novel. Her books shape the essential ingredients of a thriller with essential thrills and hints that would make sense once you are done with the novel. To plot and write a thriller/crime novel with nil loose-ends, you already know whose books to choose.
So, what are your favorite Agatha Christie books? – Comment the same, let’s go book binging!

The pain of being a writer – Self-torture, affliction and desolation

Been two weeks that I quit my full time job, been two weeks that I turned a full time writer, been two weeks that I received 400 odd likes for that “Left my job” post on Facebook. But, it’s been a while that I took this decision and I wanted to give this a shot. A leap that was unexpected and a step that is supposed to feed my soul.
I am a complete weirdo – I don’t know what I want. It takes me a slip to understand it, be it the unwanted B.E degree or the choice of choosing the only choice I had – IT field that fed my wants, a relationship where I didn’t have an expectation, but ended up being treated wrong which apparently led to a list of expectations that I should have probably had up front. So I am a mess! I don’t know when I thought or started believing that “Writing is my calling” – nevertheless, that’s my solace. The white blank MS word with which I am “me”
I would now miss the smile when my bank account gets credited, I can no longer scroll the online shopping apps and order clothes of my choice, I can no longer go out with friends and spend for myself, I can no longer buy my own books but look for eBooks and Torrents to download, I can no longer get back to the lavishing me again. I can no longer walk with heads held high, calling myself a career oriented woman. I have lost it all, in one decision of mine.
Ever since, slowly the pain has started catching more fire. From the one who decided to quit my job for writing – I turned the one who is not writing at all except for a few micro tales and yes, I chose to freelance. Freelancing for money – spend hours writing on stuffs that are totally unrelated and out of the blue – bingo games, sex toys, drug trends in Philadelphia. I do write, but goddamn, it makes no sense to me.
What will I do? I have to pay for my editor who will clean my pathetic grammatical errors and let my manuscript shine, I would never let my book reviews to have “Pathetic editing” as a frown factor. How will I pay them? I have to pay my cover designer who spent hours illustrating what’s in my mind and how I will I ever pay? And oh, the marketing guys who tweet and Facebook about my book – how on Earth will I pay the big fat money? Oh! But for all this, my book should get published.
How will I turn off my friends who would ask for free books. “I need an autographed copy,” how sweet of a way is it to ask for a free book? Well, am a budding author, I can’t shamelessly ask them for money, they are going to spend time with my books out of the million books available on Amazon.
How will I pay the courier? How will I pay for the PR guys? – Everything about publishing my book is about money except for returns. I laughed out loud when a website that self-publishes book read “Usually the author gets 20 INR for each copy that gets sold, but since we distribute it across, it is better if the author bids lesser for their royalty” Isn’t it funny? I would spend my whole freaking time, writing – deleting – writing again – deleting again – writing. And then shape it better – shape it much better – shape it to the best of my capabilities. And send it to my editor – fight with the editor like crazy and get the best freaking manuscript, but then make 20 INR for every copy sold. Am not Chetan Bhagat to sell  a million copies, I am not sure if any traditional publisher would ever accept to publish my book, am not sure how many know me as an author, maybe! Tomorrow even if I cross my own book at a bookstore and wait for hours, I would still not met anyone who picks my book. Oh my God! Am I a failure? Did I turn down a job that paid half a lakh per month for this?
In want of money – will I ever write only about online frigging games for life? In want of readership – will I stick to publishing books churning my own money? In want of friendship – will I stick penning leave letters and love letters to all my friends. Will I only be a freaking showoff material of my friends who say that they know an author?
Am afraid – what if my posts offend someone? Am afraid – what if someone points a grammatical error in this post, it would affect my reputation. Am a freaking writer – I can’t make mistakes, can I? What if I offend every other person?
Am torturing myself with these questions. This isolates me! I spoke out, I told my friends – “Get married,” they say! Marry a rich fat guy who will feed not just me, but even my publishing dreams? Oh yes! What if he loves me enough to start a publishing company himself? Oh wait, how about dating a publisher itself? Or an editor? Or a cover designer? – Oh, these freaking thoughts! How can I just get married to stay fed. Dad feeds me, yes! What if he falls sick? What if I had to take a stand? What did ‘writing’ do to me? Pain, pathetic pain!
Why did I write this post though? Did I take the wrong decision? Why is ‘writing’ not paying my house rent? Why are authors in movies and books turn bestsellers’ and millionaires? Wont I ever make it big? Will my next generation know me as an author! Oh my family tree, if you ever feel that you have a flair for writing – kill that thought instantly. Don’t be a frigging failure!
Phew! Writing this made me feel better – off to writing about some online bingo games, yo!
Done ranting!
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Author-Writing-Blogger – In short: A piece of shit!
–Kavipriya Moorthy

A PTSD patient to a writer – my journey

PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the demon that ruled my life for about 2 full years. Back in 2012 when all was well, life was at its best and I just had all that I need and want in one go. A lucrative job, a sound bank balance, NRI life, a beautiful family approved relationship, and what not? A wardrobe filled with branded clothes, perfumes, food as per my choice – a queen sized life. What would you do if all this were offered and taken away in one day? That just happened! Things turned upside down and I was standing with my trolley in the road scrolling my contacts to connect with someone who could help at that moment. Thanks to Dubai – the place where a woman can really walk down the street like a tiger would.
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I had no guts to tell my family back in India, but I had to, and I had to connect with my dad when he got to know all that he should (Should Not). “I am sorry dad, I wish I could die,” I said. Crying pathetically, not that I didn’t try to kill myself, I was a coward and I was afraid of pain. “If you kill yourself, I will die the next moment.” Said my dad having my mom and sister next on the Skype call. “Come back to me,” he pleaded and I landed the next morning.
“Don’t care about anything. No-one can take you away from me, you need not work or do anything, I am here to feed you until I die. Just live, please, I want to see you everyday,” My dad said when I plonked on the bed.
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The days rolled and I saw myself crumpled in the corner. Legs hugged to my chest, crying, wondering why am I living, wondering why this happened to me, I had no answers. I was afraid to step out of the room that I lived in, and I didn’t have the guts to face anyone. All my social media profiles were deleted. I would see my mom thrice a day, whenever she knocks the door to give my meal. I used to watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S series for the whole day and laugh, I still remember the day when my mom peeped through the small window to see me laughing and cried pathetically. “Am nothing, am good for nothing,” the only phrase that kept running in my mind. If I could do one thing in life, it is to thank the one who thought of the very concept of the series, I am alive today and you’re the reason behind.
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People around knew what I had to undergo but refrained on my dad’s order. I walked to him and asked him to consult a psychiatrist for me. After a series of tests and counselling, she declared it is PTSD. “Do something you love, that would help you to come out of this,” she said. I laughed because I was good at nothing. Sitting in the corner of my room, I was wondering what am I capable of? What is best for me? How do I prove those who made me this?
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A friend walked by and banged my door, “Come out of that fucking room and face the world,” she yelled. I was afraid. I didn’t say “NO” when I had to and kept compromising a lot to sustain a relationship that I thought would work. Life proved me wrong and that pushed me enough to hate “love” ha! The irony! ”Can you please think of what you were good at? What best you did in college? What you were known well for?” she asked from the other side of the door and I kept chanting “Nothing, I did nothing, am good for nothing,”
In the middle of the night, I hope it probably was because I had no track of the day or month or year or time or AM or PM. I slept for more than 12 hours a day, the only solace. Bloating was another side effect, I weighed 14kgs more than what I was. “We hate to see you like this,” conveyed those pathetic eyes of my friends who banged the doors and walked in. “I don’t want to see any of you, leave me alone,” I turned cold as one of my guy friends touched me wrong calling it an act of calming me down for good.
“I used to help people clear the HR round. I penned the “Tell me about yourself” answer to most of my friends at college final year. I will write the content for ‘just a minute’ programs for friends who lack good communication.” I messaged her at God knows what time it was.
“Start blogging,” she replied the next day.
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Slowly I started writing, my personal blog www.preethinakshatra.wordpress.com happened. It was not read, liked or shared with any but my friend. Stop writing all your cry stories, she used to knock my head, but what topic am I good to write? “Come back to Facebook,” she forced and I did, a few friends were there by my side, not to forget any, I will never.
I was introduced to content writing via Facebook. It was a new term, and I was surprised when I heard that they would pay me if I write on the topics they gave. That was a ray of sunshine, and I started writing like crazy. Spending 5 minutes for lunch and dinner, I was busy writing on topics that I never knew. One such offer was to write an eBook on a concept which would be published on Kindle by another, typical ghost writing. I was angry to see my words published by another author for a few thousand bucks. “I want to publish my own book,” I called my friend, “Phew! I was waiting to hear this all these months,” she replied.
I had no clue what publishing is, I didn’t know what it takes to become a writer, I just took a book on my shelf and checked where I should put a comma in dialogues – before the quotation mark or after. That’s what I was when I started writing.
The journey was indeed very, very painful with a lot of pitfalls and loopholes. But, it worked. When I had my final chance of meeting my ex who was that big snake that bit me when I stood at 99 on my Ludo, I had a book on my name. “Am I the villain?” he asked, skimming my book and I said you’re not worth it. The one I thought my life is, the one I planned living my life with, the one I spent my whole lot of time to understand and mend accordingly – right from the curtain colors to the names of kids that we planned, every little thing vanished along with him in a day. That fucked up pain of losing the first love, which would turn you totally upside down trashing your beliefs.
I was still fighting PTSD with pills and a few counselling sessions which I wanted to get rid of. I abruptly stopped them, not sure if I was right.
In want of fresh air, randomly I planned an unplanned trip to Goa with my crazy friend. A kick-ass trip where I flew in the air, midnight rides, the booze street, casino and what not. I was ME after a real long time. I have been missing this, I thought. To break my chains – I cut all those friends who knew my past, wrong but works. I made new friends – online and offline.
Indulged myself in random groups that were crazy, be it the trekking group – blogging group – foodies group – social service group. When life demands to break down, I did talk to one or two among them sharing my past and that really takes a lot for me to do. Hardly 3 of those whom I talk to in these random social groups know me inside and out, for others, I don’t know what they call me, I let go. I cross hear all the opinions and judgements yet I secure the lock. A friend of mine pinged me saying “I will treat you if you sustain our friendship for more than a year,” because I can’t resist anything odd. In the past year, I have cut down more than 10 friends for reasons that might look silly, but, to restrict oneself from shooing away the other person who is not worth it is like controlling to pee. No matter how hard you try, finally you got to let go rather than any other trials of holding your bladder.
Writing turned my solace, I started improving. I was celebrated for being the writer and it was a sheer pleasure to be one. I will never forget those who were there for me when I was desperate to cling on to a shoulder, but mostly, I kept off from people calling me a rebel and stating “Am my soulmate”
Writing is not a lucrative job, it indeed needs investment of the writer. It is purely passion and love to be heard of, to use words to convey what you want which would resonate with someone out there.
Today, I have taken a step ahead to go with writing for maybe until am forced to work for financial crisis or whatever.
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I kind of felt PTSD walking in again with my binge eating and my disturbed sleeping pattern. Maybe a blog post pouring my heart and washing away my tears which I hope to be my final call to kick out the trauma of the same room would help.
Writing can do wonders, it is capable of a lot things that you would understand during the process. I have lost hope in everything but writing, It brought out the happy minion that I am now. During my process of developing thick skin – I have dropped many a friends who are still there, watching me grow, feeling proud of what I am, quoting me as an example to others. Am sorry that I did that to you guys, thanks for all that you all were. Irreplaceable! I know it takes a dial to get back to you, I just don’t want the past to come back at me.
I know that am sobbing and writing crap, but hey, I will be back with a good post soon!
Lengthiest and worst rant ever! Good bye PTSD – you can never get me.
Kavipriya Moorthy

Book Marketing Services- Like, Seriously?

This was the recent conversation with someone, questions against answers from the chat below:
  • So are you a writer? – Yes, I have published a novel a few months ago
  • Wow! Great, which country you belong to? – India
  • Indian author? Okay, how is your book doing? – Just paid XXXXX to my book marketing team. Waiting for something good to happen.
  • XXXXX – oh my freaking goddamn loser! – Whatttt, why??
Can you just send me the so called book-marketing-strategy to me? – Yes
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Let’s take the so called strategy one by one!
  • Create posters from your novel and swirl it (read flaunt it) over Facebook at various groups where 1 lakh users are there and we tweet it to 1 lakh followers
Facebook groups – are created free of cost and you use twitter free of cost. Have you clicked any of the Facebook group and have witnessed a post by some random literary services company that has post likes, comments, and shares of over a 1000 so far? Even if it is so – are you sane to think it’s true? Do you think with these frigging posters, mankind would go gaga over your book, buy a thousand copies and make you world famous or the next Chetan Bhagat?
How do I create posters? – Dude, even if you don’t know coreldraw and photoshop, MS Paint is freaking easy to use. All that it takes is good content – meaning a catchy phrase or a dialogue to attract not a glamourous image unless it is Kim Kardashian, none would click open. Sit, read your manuscript, pick the catchy phrases and design posters by yourself. Or, get in touch with one of your friends. Am sure every circle will have a good designer friend who will design not for money, but for you and trust me, it would look much better than any of those XXXX amount you paid.
Every post of my book “I don’t wear sunscreen” were created by me, and my brother. I didn’t spend a penny, sample below:
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  • Book reviews – 30+ Bloggers would review your book on their sites
This is the most freaking part ever. Author pays 500 INR (minimum) to the intermediate who calls themselves as a literary servicing agent. Say, you pay 5000 INR (minimum again) to get 10 paid reviews. All that the “Literary-Service-Agent” does is to post a status that there’s a free book for reviewing which bloggers ask for, and reviews the book for free because the book reviewers are book freaks in the most cases who don’t ask for money or get paid pretty lesser than what the intermediate makes for sure.
Do you get it? You are not paying for the book reviews, you are paying for that one status message. And it costs you XXXX amount.
Most book reviews of my book are from readers, and I personally sent to a few reviewers whom I followed (Stalked) their reviews which are brutally honest and worthy enough. I spent for the courier, and a few were cool enough to take the eBook in exchange for an honest review which worked wonders. Paying for good reviews – I see it is in a worth, but what’s the point in paying those frigging literary service money gobblers?
There are umpteen book writers, readers, reviewers pages and groups on Facebook, but not all those in the groups would be interested in your book. I have witnessed posts by those servicing agents which had 0 likes.
When these intermediate money consumers ping me for book reviews, I ask for money up front. I don’t do this for money, but, hey! Someone else is making money doing NOTHING. An author spends almost a year, and money on publishing a book. A reviewer spends enough time reading and reviewing a book, and all that the intermediate does is to pass on the message, courier the book and make money out of it.
  • Giveaways: – Next big scam
I personally believed that book reviews of those who don’t know you work much better and did a Goodreads giveaway. I had to courier my books to the selected folks, and hosting the giveaway is FREE of cost. Please go through about the free book marketing strategies. Stop paying 5000 INR for a Goodreads giveaway which you can do all by yourself.
  • Author Interview
You pay 500 INR for an Author Interview. Trust me, no-one will click open and read your interview to know whether you like tea or coffee, whether you read Paulo or James Patterson. For the sake of sympathy you might gain a few likes but no-one will read. Stop paying for it, go ahead if it is free because you as an author will definitely have a good base of friends on your list and by sharing that interview on your timeline, you are helping the other blog to gain a few followers.
  • Book Trailers
If you can put a few pictures, make good posters and create a book trailer, please do! Else, you can pay esteemed video makers who are indeed costly, but are worth it. Please do not pay for immature videos churned using an online free link. Professional Book Trailers are different, below is one of my favorites.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1qv_tk5i9kM
  • Events – Book signing or Book reading or Book launch
I am sure these events are costly and would cost you a few bucks. But, with a few posters stating that QWERTY literary services are launching it, you will actually be paying double the cost. If you can inquire a nice mini-hall for a high tea session, invite your friends over and share across social networks, and have an engaging talk. That would do. Don’t pay 2*XXXXX the amount for nothing.
  • Offline book distribution
This is something as an author, you might not have control over. This is a good option, if the distribution takes your book to places. But, keep in mind, how many actually walk into a bookstore – see your cover – read the blurb of the book – buy it? Please be prepared to get all the copies or lesser by 10 utmost back in a year’s time. You would be paying as much as a lakh for this, please be prepared!
  • Author website
Again, this blog of mine is all set to turn a website if I pay 18$ for the domain and spend a few hours on tweaking it properly. The domain name would cost me 1000 INR per year, if the QWERTY literary service does this, they would ask you for about 15000-25000 INR based on the features and stuff. Even if you’re not taking a pre-existing theme, and go for a proper HTML/CSS coding website, it would cost not more than 5000 INR. Ask me, I can refer some ace website developers. Don’t spend 5 times the money on cheap site creators.
  • Newspaper Review
Something out of your control again, give it a try with friends and families if they know any friend working for newspapers and media. If yes, go for it. Else, you can ask a PR agency for the same. The QWERTY literary services would ask half a lakh to post your interview on papers which mostly are used on the roadside Bajji wala shop. 50,000 INR for oil dripping newspaper interview? Depends, if QWERTY gets you to an ace newspaper like the Hindu, New Indian Express, Deccan chronicles then it might be worthy. Not the next street walk, area talk, etc..
I hired a PR agency and took their services which was satisfactory enough, here is my interview. (I know the picture is very bad, I look better in person) I paid lesser than what QWERTY would ask for.
  • Ads
If you directly pay for these Ads, you would be paying less. Ads in the sense, the Facebook ads, ads on Youtube that one can skip in 5 secs, Google ads, etc..
These are the services that I crossed and laugh over, I don’t remember the rest.
A few points to ponder:
  • A parent would probably take better care of the toddler than any babysitter. Work on your book promotions by yourself. If you feel ashamed, take help from friends who care about you. Ask suggestions!
  • Promote reading, promote your writing skills – make people think this person writes well
  • Don’t spend your hard earned money on QWERTY literary services and crib over wasting money
  • Interact with people, Interact with authors, get to understand what they went through and choose wisely
  • Last but not the least – A well-marketed cheap work can be sold only ONCE
  • A very good book with less marketing – will sell better any day just by word of mouth
Promote yourself as a good writer with your posts, stories or poems, one-liners, quotes. Stand tall as a good writer with good story, language, grammar, vocabulary, diction, etc.. Don’t publish your first draft and spend on your marketing but do the vice versa. Only good books win, only good authors make it big and others drown with a book or two.
*QWERTY Literary services is an imaginary term used
*Not to hurt anyone, but to help my fellow Indian authors from falling into a trap and spending money
What’s worth spending for?
  • There are really worthy authors and reviewers groups, where we exchange book reviews, blog tours are hosted with services that are the best in this industry at a much affordable cost.
  • Edit your book – spend on it more than marketing. A well-editing book is worth marketing for. I have thrown a few books that were sent for reviews because I didn’t want to dump myself with bad grammar as mine is equally bad for that sake.
P.S – I am not trying to stop you from paying QWERTY Literary Services, but since I have made good friends online with whom when I personally chat or talk and tell them about these details they exclaim “OMG! Kavi, wish I’d know this before” or “OMG! Why didn’t you tell me all this before?” This is just for you folks out there who are not my friend yet, or probably would never be, but if this post makes you think once before paying a huge sum. I WIN, Good day folks!
Hereby I end my rant!
Thanks,
Kavipriya Moorthy

My Dear Indian ‘Authors?’

Recently, I happened to attend the book launch of Author Ravi Subramanian, and during the Q&A session when we asked about self-publishing and vanity publishing, he said “According to the recent research and statistics only 72 copies get sold on an average of a newbie Indian author among which 60 are bought by their own friends,” which is absolutely true in most of the cases.
Let’s take a sneak at the vanity publishing industry for instance:
I recently saw a video where a lady ties her cows near a temple, and sells fodder for those who visit the temple to buy and feed the cow. She owns the cows, she gets the fodder from her own garden, and though it is her duty to feed her cows she makes it her business model to make money, to feed her cows and also makes money selling the cow’s milk.
In vanity publishing,
  • Cow – your manuscript
  • Fodder – your money
  • Those who buy fodder to feed the cow – your friends who buys the book for you
  • Cow’s milk – Publisher’s profit
If you want me to be brutally honest, I would also say that you get the cow dung – Royalty.
Do you know? The vanity publishers feel damn shy to shout out loud that they are vanity publishers, they hide their identity with a term “self-publishing book platform”
What prompted me to write this post? – well the picture below
image1(1)
I had a few bad experiences during my transition from a novice writer to the person I am who knows the sad truth about the publishing industry.
If I were the one who talks without giving it a second thought, soon after reading that message, I would have replied:
  • How on Earth you call your book a best seller?
  • Who the F*** gave you the liberty to give it a tag like that?
  • Who published your sick book?
  • How much did you pay for those fake reviews?
I would actually go on and on. Most of these fall under the filthy rich, the sick who sucked in love and failed miserably, the I want to become famous greed bitten imbeciles. I would be more than happy to meet someone who doesn’t fall under this category, but unfortunately almost 60% of those sick newbies who Facebook search the word “Author”, join all the writers-authors related groups and add the authors available fall in this category.
The most disgusting part is the fake reviews and fake ratings! Worst? – Yes buying 100 copies of their own book on amazon to get a better rating. A few newbie authors want to be the “best seller” but none focuses on building a readership. A few wants the word “Author” before their name but are really not. A few just wants pictures by their friends holding the book on their timeline but don’t care a damn whether they read. And the best of all, a few claim that it is absolutely okay to publish a book with grammatical mistakes – do you have an answer for a person who would pick a book to enhance their grammatical skills? What if you teach the worst to them? – Why are you not ready to spend on a good editor than on marketing? All you want is a search result with 10 different links talking about you but are you really worth it, who on Earth would actually Google your name? Grow up!
rating
Have you seen such ratings ever before?
There are a few who stick reading to authors outside India pointing out the miserably failed so called best-sellers. I don’t have an answer, being an author is painful, the tag is burdening.
I am not trying to pull down anyone here, am not offended by what you do but please aren’t we responsible to take Indian literature to the next level?
Please stop publishing your college love stories, your school encounters, making out with your friend’s girlfriend, etc.. Oh yeah, I hear you, who am I to say that? right! But please what are you actually giving back to the world? Your novel will have your name inscribed even after you. Do you really want to write a book that has a bit of sex, a sucking love story, a super stupid conversation over a coffee, an unnecessary accident, an uncalled for betrayal et al. All these stories are taken, these are said – please stop! Stop writing your teenage stories.
I would like to thank the Indian authors who don’t fall under any of the or most of the or many of these categories.
I repeat that this post is not to hurt anyone or even about anyone in particular. Am just another author but not a best seller, and my book is not one of the bestselling. At least, forget that am an author – as the one who reads and reviews books day in and out, I very well know the standards of the Indian books that are getting published. I respect the authors who have written good stories, and my reviews are honest indeed.
Please write a good story, take the traditional publishing route or self-publish by yourself. Please don’t spend your or your parent’s hard earned money to vanity publish. (I did vanity publish, as I had no leads to follow, I was ignorant about the traditional and self-publishing route) Please ask for mentoring from a proper author rather than blindly spending on vanity publishing.
I just wanted to plead the others not to run behind the tag or fame.
God save the industry, please!
About me and my debut: I self-published my debut novella via a vanity-publishing firm as I was ignorant enough to understand how waste of a money it was and that I missed my chance of using other publishing ways, I thought I should write this post.
My debut is not a best-seller, but a good book. I don’t throw my book’s cover time and again asking my friends to buy – I keep writing and I am building my readership. I don’t have good grammatical skills and diction – but I employ a good editor as I feel responsible.
I organized a meet for aspiring writers in Chennai to help them understand the pitfalls in the publishing industry as well.
If this post by chance hurts you or your ideology – please pardon me!
I hereby end my rant.
Regards,
Kavipriya Moorthy

! How to Write Sparkling Conversations!

“It’s not just the quotation marks that make a dialogue; but what’s within.” – Kavipriya Moorthy
Dialogues between two; A romantic discussion that says more with less words. These form a major part of a novel. There are wonderful writers like Nicholas Sparks and John Green who pen down spectacular conversations that would nail your brains with enchantment. How many of you love these conversations? There are blogs which feature quotes and smart conversations, let’s have a sneak about phrasing a good conversation.
There are different ways to follow:
Example 1:                                                                                                     
Kavipriya: Hello, where are you?
Ajay: On the way, and you?
Example 2:
“Hello, where are you?” asked Kavipriya.                                                                                                                                                                       “Am on the way Kavi, and you?” asked Ajay.
Example 3:
Kavipriya called Ajay and asked “Where are you?” for which he replied “Am on the way,”
All three were boring isn’t it? Let’s avoid a few errors and ensure they are interesting.
Mistakes to avoid:
1)    Don’t repeat the names throughout – This says that you don’t have the confidence that your readers are attached to the book to understand who says what. Use it where it is ambiguous, after a point when your readers are involved, they would know who is talking what.
2)    I recommend avoiding the “Example 1” type
3)    Don’t follow the emotion with every dialogue, stop after a point as the reader will mentally know how the character feels.
4)    Replace the words “Said” and “told” when necessary and use a word that makes sense in the context
5)    “Show” don’t narrate from author PoV
                      Example: “Preethi took her stethoscope and walked out” instead of “Preethi is a doctor”
6)    Use italics if the dialogues are a part of the paragraph – recommended
7)    Before starting the dialogue, give the backdrop of where it is happening. Don’t let your readers imagine two in an empty white room of four walls
8)    If the next character starts talking before the first could complete use ‘Dash’
Example: “Actually, I was about to-“
“It’s okay am leaving just inform him,”
9)    Dialogues are generally cute, hence keep it as short as possible.
Example: “If you’re a bird, am a bird”
10)    Follow the mood, emotions, and character of the person in the dialogues
Let me shamelessly promote a cute dialogue from my very own debut “I don’t wear Sunscreen”
“Do I smell breakfast?” he asked.
“What?”
“I smell eggs, where? You have them hidden?” he pulled her handbag.
“That’s my hair, I applied an egg to give it some shine,”
“Oh man, I will take you to a nice parlour this weekend Dolly,” he smiled.
“Huh, no way, I don’t visit parlours often, just for haircuts and that too once in a year,”
“I know, that’s why I am taking you this weekend,”
“No, I don’t want, please,”
“Come on, how will they make money then? They depend on us, let’s buy them food,” he chuckled.
“What’s your brain made up of, Sai? How can you come up with such an excuse to visit the parlour?” she laughed.
Share your thoughts below! Let’s phrase better!