Special question- How did you come up with idea of “W to M OF Self Publishing”? What inspired you to write about the challenges of a self published author?
Well, there were a lot of things that resulted in this book. Its basically about the observations I made during these few years while I was writing books.
So a couple of years back when I started to write books, I noticed some of my friends had really great writing skills. Some of them also wanted to publish their works but got discouraged due to the difficulties they faced in their journey. Also, as an active member of many Facebook and Goodreads groups, I observed a lot of indie authors give up their dreams due to marketing issues.
Added to that I saw a lot of misconceptions amongst people regarding the book writing process. I'll give you an example, about a couple of months ago, I was having a conversation with a friend who told me that he wanted to write a self-help book. We had a long conversation where he asked me a lot of stuff regarding self-publishing. During that conversation I happened to ask him what was the topic he wanted to write on and how was he qualified to write on the subject. Shockingly, he thought that it doesn't matter as he only wants to inspire others. That is not how it is though. In my opinion you should have the qualification to write on a topic and have experiences related to it to share with the readers for better understanding.
Another misconception that I found was from various self-publishing guides and stuff. I noticed a lot of those said that write in genres that are popular among the readers and they told how to find those genres. However in my opinion, how can you write in genres you aren't even interested in. I mean yes, you can write but that will never be your best. I believe a person will give his best if he is interested in that given field.
To this date I have published 3 self-help books out of which my last book - MINDSET AND PASSION reached rank #1 on Amazon India and I have never used paid promotions. So this book is my experiences and strategies that I implemented during my journey so far and want to share with all those people who faced such issues and hope they can fulfill their dream as well.
Let’s welcome Prakash.
Thank you Hemdiva for having me here.
I am an educator and management professional by qualification, but social thinker and author by passion.
I was born in a remote village of Moradabad (U.P.) and raised in a village of Bijnor (U.P.). With a day job in steel sector, I travelled across India (except North-East).
At present, I am living in Kolkata (Calcutta - the city of joy) with my wife, a son and a daughter.
Tell us about your books.
Kathputli - short stories on socio-political and socio-religious issues of India.
Life In Shackles - short stories on plight of Indian women.
Mindset And Passion - The Psychology Of Success: a self-help book for personal development.
W to M of Self-Publishing: Why do Indie Authors Fail? - a comprehensive guide for self-publishing.
The books are absolutely free on Kindle Unlimited! Click the covers to start reading!
Why did you choose this particular genre/s?
My passion for helping others and thoughts on socio-political, socio-religious issues inspired me to write fiction and non-fiction.
The day you decided you will be a writer?
Though I was always interested in writing since my school days, but in 1990, during my graduation, I started freelancing for newspapers, which was the time when I not only realized I could write but also wrote a novel (unfortunately it’s still unpublished.)
Who helped you with your dream? Your support?
My guide was Mr Hari Singh Nirbhay, the editor of a Hindi weekly newspaper "Shrambheri" who published my first article. My Facebook friend, Ma Jivan Shaifaly, the editor of "Palpal India" and "Making India," inspired me to continue my writing. It's my wife, Divya, who not only supported me, but also helped me a lot to get recognition as a published author.
One important lesson you learned about self-publishing?
Don't follow any advice blindly.
Do you think the process of writing (Typing/Handwriting) is tiring? How do you deal with it?
Not at all. I enjoy it because I have a perfect strategy for that. But, undoubtedly, editing and proofreading sucks.
What profession you’d choose if not an author?
I wish to be a politician but I hate politics, job and business all. Everywhere everyone is compromising with ethics, and it hurts me. So, as of now I am planning to establish a good educational institute.
Do you think it’s easy/ difficult to write non-fiction?
Of course, writing a non-fiction is easier than fiction.
Have you ever met a fan/reader?
Not personally, because I haven't tried any book signing event yet.But, because I provide my social media links and email with my author bio in my books, I received many emails and messages on FB messenger appreciating my books. I would love to meet them.
Would you ever go for traditional publishing? (If you’re a self published author or vice versa)
Obviously, I would love to hook a renowned publisher. However, I have traditionally published two co-authored books.
Do you interact with other authors? Do you think it’s important?
Let's start with second part of this question. Yes, it's important to interact with other authors. As I told earlier, I am active member of many FB and GR groups, I interact with many authors, and most of them are foreigners. They are awesome, kind, helpful and cooperative. We learn from each other, do cross promotions and arrange many online events.
My birthday falls four times in a year. Ha ha ha .…
Actually, it's 31st August, but on records 26th May. So, two times it falls according to English months and two times as per Hindi months. Ha ha ha …
Your favorite actor/actress?
Your favorite authors. What are you reading currently?
It's common between you and me, "Rhonda Byrne."
Most of the time I read non-fiction and that too from indie authors. It helps them with reviews.
Ebooks / Paperbacks/ Hardcovers- Choose any two.
Paperbacks and E-books.
Your favorite food/dish/cuisine?
Onion Paratha, that I occasionally cook myself for whole family. They love it.
Your favorite place on earth? Why?
Goa, Vishakhapatnam and Puri, because I love nature, and sea beaches are my favorite places.
Your hobbies other than writing? Do you find time for it?
Traveling. I think I spent several years in train. Ha ha ha ...
I find time for long distance journeys almost on quarterly basis.
Your thoughts on life? What helps you to deal with ups and downs of life?
Life is a competition. Like success and failures, Ups and downs are part of life. When I feel stuck, I add more time to my daily exercise, walking and meditation routine.
Practically, being a management professional, I work on root cause analysis and elimination.
Your favorite quote?
"Nothing is impossible in the world. If you know exactly what you want to do, there is always a way of doing it."
If you become a billionaire overnight, what would be your reaction? What will you do with the money?
Personally, I don't want to be a billionaire. Because money can not bring happiness and joy.
But, if I become, I would prefer charity.
Do you do something for social cause, for the needy?
Yes, I visit a few old-age home and orphanage occasionally. I donate for social organizations. I prefer helping others. I provide online guidance to students.
Do you use any advertisement methods to promote your book? Which worked for you?
I never hired someone to promote my books. I believe in collaborative efforts. Even, apart from free KDP promotions and Goodreads giveaways, I distribute pdf to get reviews. I provide opportunities for guest blog, interviews and book reviews, and vice-versa. It works for me because I don't write for earning.
Your advice to newbie authors.
Establish an author brand. While outlining your first book, plan for marketing (collaboration or paid promotions whatever suits you). Be a good reader.
Do you think a self-published author can earn as much as they want or is it an impossible dream?
Yes, but with a solid marketing plan. Marketing means prodct, price place and promotion.
Simple economics: invest and earn.
However, there are many celebrity authors who after hitting bestseller list, started earning through writing and marketing coaching. If someone has those skills, better to hire a ghostwriter to continue writing, and focus on coaching as a source of income.
Thank you to the author for an amazing interview!
Amazon Author page-https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B072PCYJL1
Amazon Book Links-
W to M of Self-Publishing: Why do Indie Authors Fail?www.amazon.com/dp/B07B57FTBR
Mindset And Passion - The Psychology Of Successwww.amazon.com/dp/B074CSRCVT
Life In Shackleswww.amazon.com/dp/B072LF28ZL
Goodreads author page-https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16683777.Prakash_Vir_Sharma
In the next post I'll be reviewing the author's newest book "W to M of self publishing". Stay tuned!