I’ve read and heard a lot about authors going the self-publish route. There are authors who have film deals on their self-published book titles. Then there are others who are very widely read and reputed for their prolific writing. And then there’s an established author who began her journey with traditional publishers, very reputed names and after numerous titles decided to go the self-publish way because she wanted to be free of the whims and fancies of a traditional publisher.
Having begun my book journey with Harper Collins in 2016 and continuing to do so, one’s curiosity is piqued reading about all this. Self-publishing sounds like the freedom run. The utopia for authors, where you, publish and make pots of money. It is an undeniable truth that getting a good publisher isn’t easy. I have been very fortunate that I got noticed by the senior editor of Harper C at Bangalore lit fest where I pitched the manuscript in 2014 and she fell in love with the story and stood by it but most don’t have it so easy and smooth as I did.
But signing up with a publisher isn’t the end of all woes; it’s the start of a new journey. I don’t know about celeb writers but lesser mortals like me and most others get only 8 or 9% royalty. You don’t need any math skills to see how skewed this is. For the book that you have poured your heart into, worked for days & nights; all you get is a measly 8 or 9%. In comparison when you self-publish with KDP you get between 35-70%. The number alone is enough to make you sit up and wonder why not?
So having signed up with HC for my second book, that deal done and sealed I began to get restless. I didn’t want to dive into Novel 3 yet so I thought of KDP. I have a folder full of short stories that I have written over the years when an idea struck. They have been lying in that folder, silently. So I thought why not pick out one of them, expand it more and self-publish on KDP.
I love trying new things, learning new skills. Recently I stumbled across the writing software Scrivener and can’t stop gushing about how awesome it is. So KDP seemed like a new and fun adventure to try out before I got into the thick of Novel 3.
First thing first, I picked the short story that I’d written years ago. It is inspired by the famous case of an actor being accused of raping his maid. It had been the news on TV channels and tabloids for weeks before slipping out of public memory. The said actor was not a Bollywood superstar but quite the rising star and everyone believed he would leave his mark. The case destroyed his rising career and he is nowhere to be seen or heard of since then. It’s funny how events, incidents and people stick in my thoughts. I’ve been unable to forget the case and I wrote the story of a philandering superstar and titled it The Actor.
Since it would be a stand-alone short story, I thought it should at least be 16000 words, so I added more characters, more twists and made it into a dark and twisted love story.
Navigating myself on KDP was super easy. A friend stepped in and made the cover and I pressed the publish button.
I have to say it’s quite exhilarating to see my story in my Kindle when I open it. Am I going to do more of this? Certainly. I have many short stories which I don’t wish to submit to any publisher; I don’t think they would be interested in them. I will expand the stories and upload on Kindle. I’m yet to learn how to market them better but I will self-teach. As I said, I love learning new things. This will be a fun and exciting activity to do when I need a break from the novel that I’m writing. Will I make the total switch from traditional publisher and fly solo? I don’t think so. But then again, never say never.
But I have to say that KDP is an interesting publishing tool that is making quite a stir amongst authors and shaking up the publishing industry in India.
You can read THE ACTOR here.
Kanchana will be joining us on Instagram Live on 28th Feb at 9 PM to talk more about her KDP journey and why she chose to go this route. Join her on Blogchatter’s Instagram handle.