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5 Basic Points You Need to Consider Before Publishing Any Book!


Thanks to Amazon, book publishing has become very easy and anyone from any corner of the world with a computer and internet can do that with just a few simple clicks. Anybody can be a writer these days, even cats and dogs, and that is actually not a bad thing after all. But vanity has its own limitation, it comes with a very short expiry date and your fifteen minutes fame can come and go in a blink of an eye.

However, if you are a serious writer with firm belief, determination and passion, you have to come up with much better plans than a vanity writer and be well prepared to grind it through. Writing is undoubtedly one of the harshest professions, it is also much neglected as well as unappreciated one, and eking out a living out of writing is needless to say extremely hard.

Experts say, only 5-10% of the writers make decent living through actual writing, half of them earn living through catering other wannabe writers, and the rests are just there to make up the numbers. If I were to talk from the heart, I have hardly seen a writer with an easy and comfortable life. It might be wrong but statics don’t lie.

You bled to write the book, got a nice cover and finally downloaded on Amazon’s site. Your job is done, all you have to do now is to wait and start reaping the rewards that you deserve. If you think that way, sorry to inform you that but you will be hugely disappointed. There are millions of books out there in the market, tens of thousands of more new books adding up in a daily basis, and readers are spoiled with choices.

In fact, writing is the easiest part, the real work starts after you have finished the actual writing and sadly it is where most writers like you and me fail. There must be thousands of reasons why we fail or succeed. Besides hard work, perseverance and good connection, luck also plays a big role and there are only few things that one can do as a writer.

Anyway, these are the five basic points that need to be considered before any publication.

1. Book’s title – We writers usually make up our mind with the first title and hardly tend to change it later on. It is sort of emotional thing and tweaking on our original work is like playing with our own emotions which is needless to say, very hard. But having a nice, catchy and interesting title can be a big plus, experts say and I tend to agree with them as well. Books with long and uninspiring title can turn people off and they won’t be reading your book again. Therefore, putting a little bit of effort on your book’s title might pay off at the end.
2. Book’s cover – Don’t judge the book by its cover! We must have heard it almost hundred times but people actually judge book by its cover. We also say ‘first impression is the last impression and that turned out to be quite true as well. A nice and attractive cover can make that decision easy and sell more books. That’s why we should pay more attention on book cover and hire a professional. It doesn’t mean you have to break the bank, there are plenty of very good and reasonable book cover makers out there and all you have to do is ask your author friends or search on the internet.
3. Sample page – Sample page is only needed when you apply for a pre-order launch at Amazon, it means the book is only available in later days, and you haven’t put the whole manuscript there yet. It is like a teaser, a trailer like for a movie, and people would order your book after looking at the sample page. Therefore, it has to be catchy, interesting and a very nicely written piece. This is certainly not an easy for all, even great writers can struggle and we are just the beginners. All I am saying here is we just have to give our best. Once your book is published, the first few pages of your book will be your sample page. That’s editing is very important and you should never publish a book without proper editing. There are many editors out there, choose the best one as per your need and don’t go for the low price. You should never skip on the editing part.
4. Description – Description is probably the most important part of book selling. It has to be not only appropriate, pithy and brilliantly written but also very enticing as well and make people wanting to read your book. People mostly make the decision after reading the description and the writing should help make their decision easier. But of course, it is easier said than done. I have already made few changes on my books and I still have to perfect it. Experts say, the best way to write a good description is to check on the books of top sellers from your genre, see how they have written the description of their books and learn from them. If not, hire a professional content writer and hope for the best.
5. Price – It is undoubtedly the most important factor of book selling. Don’t make the same mistake like I did when I published my first books. My books were priced at $9.99 for e-book, I did actually check on the famous writers and their books were priced at $15-$16 per e-book and I genuinely thought that my price was reasonable. Needless to say, I was way off the mark, e-book by a new writer like me shouldn’t cost more than $2.99 at the highest, and believe it or not, most books sold today as e-books are priced at $0.99, $1.99 and $2.99. Therefore, if you don’t want to get stuck there at the bottom, don’t price yourself out of the market from the very beginning. Experts say, the best starting point is at $0.99, and then raise the price up in a gradual manner as your readers grow.

Hope this was helpful.
Gentle reminder: Please note that I never write as an expert, I only write as my own experiences and you should take it only as a reference. Thank you for the reading!


How Digitalization of Media Has Given Small Men a Very Big Sword to Wield?


It was not that long ago when we had just a few options for news, entertainment and infotainment. We had radio to listen, TV to watch, and books, magazines and newspapers to read. The only way for a small guy like you and me to get involved into it was the phoning program where you could phone in, talk and request for your favorite song at your local radio station. Reality TV was still a new thing and your daily newspaper was like a holy-grail that needed to be devoured from the first to last page without missing a piece of news. The evening main news time was not only a special moment for all to gather around the TV but it also worked as a reminder for all to arrive home in time and enjoy the dinner while watching news as a family.

Then internet came in and it started changing the rules of the game. But it was the discovery of mobile technology that changed everything and the world was never the same again. Smart phone is a game-changer, you can literally do almost anything with smart phone and indeed it is a very powerful tool to have. We can not only play, read, shop, pay, watch and make call on smart phone but also take picture as well as make video all at the same time and at the same time, connect with the world from almost anywhere in the world. Everything is on our fingertips now. We just have to tap few words on the screen and bingo! It is there! Isn’t it just great?

People’s habits changed with time as well, we rather prefer our daily intake of reading including news, books as well as magazines on phones, and prioritize our needs by convenience as well as choice. It must have already been years since I have bought actual newspaper, people are even watching lesser TV now and common practices such as going to the movie are already becoming less common. Service providers as well as business owners must also change with time, everything is getting digitalization, and mainstream media is no exception.

Digitalization of mainstream media has certainly made reading news really easy. Just with a flick of fingers, you can read all the news and keep yourself update with the events from around the globe. We can not only read the news on mobile but also like, comment and share it with our friends on social media and help generate the necessary buzzes that media world so fervently craves for nowadays. The more likes, comments and sharing it generates on the social media, the more popular the portals are, and newspapers are said to be in great pressure to attract more followers. It is here when things get a little messy. In order to generate hypes, they have to start writing pieces that public like to read and quality is somehow compromised.

It is mainly writings on cheesy, gossipy, racy, controversial and political topics that mostly generate reactions and such writings mostly lack substance. But sadly that is the demand of the time and newspapers, even the most prominent ones, must follow. They must hold their market share as well as keep their shareholders happy and a healthy presence in the social media is a must if you are to remain in the business. The media executives are well aware of that fact and they seem to encourage that in great deal.

However, there is a downside on letting people comment on the news thread. Needless to say, pleasing everyone at the same time is impossible and criticism is bound to happen. We might have different opinions but there are right and wrong ways to express them. Criticism is actually helpful when it is done in a civilized, polite and rational way. But people don’t give a monkey about ethics while on internet, everyone can become a tiger when alone and they tend to behave really badly. If they don’t like the piece, they become very aggressive and start hurling insult as well as abuses.

You might say I am wrong but I am saying it from my own experiences. As a regular contributor to a local news portal, I had some difficult situations of my own and some of the things said were quite nasty as well as hurtful. However I am not writing here in defense of my own situation at all. As writing novels is my main job, I can afford to stop writing for the newspaper and avoid such situations anytime. But what about those seasoned and respectful writers who have spent more than half a century on the same profession and perfected their trades? They have spent almost all of their life on this job and most of their works are of a very high standard? Yet, they are also put on the same level of scrutiny and judged by mutts who have zero knowledge on writing or journalism. They get the same treatment and abuse as others and that is certainly not right at any given society, especially in a modern and educated society like ours.

A society without respect for experience, intelligence and merit is the one in the reversing gear. All in all, it is like giving small men a huge sword to wield and hope that nobody will get hurt. Of course, it will. Ironically, nobody seems to care about it.


12 Basic Practices to Improve Your Presence on FB!


I have been writing about book marketing in a regular basis, many people have not only liked it but also requested for more detailed writing on particular subject of book marketing and I have decided to write about FB presence on today’s take.

Before anything else, let me remind you all once more again. I never write as an expert, I only write them as my own experiences and self discretion is highly recommended. Please take it only as guidance and make your own final decision.

If I were to be honest, there was a time when I even contemplated of stop using FB simply because of the amount of vulgarity, inappropriateness and unprofessionalism in it. But the platform it provides for new writers like me was simply too great to ignore. After all, it has more than a billion people and e.g. 1 in 7 of total world’s population.

Here are few practices that I use to improve my FB page as an author and you can do the same.

1. Profile photos – As the saying goes, first impression is the last impression. It is your profile photos that people see first and make decision based on that first look. It gives us just a few seconds to impress our potential readers. Therefore, you should always pay more attention on profile photos and present it at the best possible way. You should also put more details about your books on the profile and make it look more professional.

2. Personal and Professional page – I use two separate accounts for my personal and professional needs. I post both family and book related activities on my personal account but only about books on my professional page. I never post any of my personal and other irrelevant activities on my professional account.

3. Posting – Experts say timing is very important while posting on social media but we shouldn’t worry much about that and I would rather pay more attention on things on which we have more control on such as content, relevancy and conformity of our posting to the main theme of our work. I always try to stay out of controversial subjects such as politic, ideology, race and religion. They polarize our society and make you take side. Our job is to find more readers.

4. Find relevant groups – FB is full of many such groups that connect people with similar interests and you can learn a lot by joining such groups. People are really happy and willing whenever there is an opportunity of showing off. If you can post a relevant and interesting question, you will have dozens of answers, sometime even hundreds, in no time, and some of the advices are really good. All you have to do is go through the threads of a particular post that interests you and pick up nuggets. Joining such groups won’t generate sales but provide necessary exposure as well as help maximize your chance of reaching out potential readers. But don’t overdo yourself by joining all the groups you found, select the ones that you found useful and have time to manage them as well. I have around 25 groups.

5. It is for networking – Social media is for networking, finding the right people and making real connection. But we seem to forget that most of the time while using social media. Just like in the real world, the virtual world also is full of colorful people, and it has both good and bad ones as well. We just have to tread cautiously, winnow the grain off the chaffs and learn to appreciate them. I have found some really nice and appreciative people through networking and their help and support have been precious.

6. Support fellow writers – It is quite natural for some writers to see fellow writers as their competitor and they mostly tend to behave defensively. I have seen some pretty scathing, unfriendly and sometime even hostile bunches and sometimes they were quite ornery. But it is outright wrong. People behave that way only when they are victim of their own low self-esteem, insecurity and jealousy. As far as I am concerned, my competitor is not my fellow authors but my own self and I persistently challenge myself for doing better than I did last time. I believe in supporting each other, amity is a lot better than enmity, and it is the very reason why I am writing this piece at the first place.

7. It is two way traffics – Despite people’s much trumpeted new order of this world, where the world has allegedly become more selfish and self-centered, I still believe in the principle of giving and taking and FB is no exception. The world including the virtual one is still two way traffic and we should give first if we want to get something in return. This practice of giving first and asking later has indeed worked very well for me. I always give first before asking for anything, and mostly succeeded. Of course, there were few exceptions when I failed but as the saying goes ‘you are either a blessing or a lesson’ and if I see things from that perspective, I never lose again.

8. Set an example – Preaching is always the easy part, the hardest part is to walk the talk and be able to set an example. As a writer of self conscience and righteousness, I have to not only write about our socials issues but also try to live a clean, disciplined and neutral life of my own. I am trying my best, hopefully people will start taking notice about it soon and you should also do the same. Talk is cheap and it is your reaction that makes the difference.

9. Leave your excess baggage at home – I have seen writers ranting, bickering and indulging on many activities as gadflies that should have been kept private at the first place. You might say everybody does that on FB, why not me? But for God’s sake, you are writer and you should try to, if not, pretend if necessary to set an example of high standard and leave your excess baggage back at home.
10. Be grateful – As the saying goes nice guy always come last but it is not always true. Nicety can take us a long way – I believe on it and I always say thank you. If someone has liked my work and made extra effort to write a comment, of course, I am grateful and I want to say thank you. That’s the reason why I always respond on people’s comment and say thank you and express my gratitude. Needless to say, people will not always have only good comments but also bad ones as well and the best way to handle negative comments is to wait until you have calmed down. If the negative comment is logical, try to explain with logic as well. But if the comment is rude and abusive, just ignore it.

11. Don’t shy away – Modesty is the virtue that I always practice, but in the proud world of winner taking all, sometimes it is okay to be loud and ostensive. Especially when you have achieved something good and you are proud of it, it is okay to be showing off and there is no other place than social media like FB where you can display it at the utmost way. Therefore, whenever you have something good going on, events such as book signing, your book accepted by library or university, your piece is accepted by newspaper, signed a contract with a publisher, you were facilitated by your community, revealing the cover of your new book, and so on, you shouldn’t shy away from it and let the whole world know about it. You can write the best book of the world but if the world doesn’t know about it, it is useless and this is when you have to shout out from the roof.

12. If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all – The virtual world is full of tricks, chicanery and gaffes. If not careful, it can be very slippery as well. Therefore, my code of conducting on social media including FB is ‘If I have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all’ and it serves me really well. If we cannot be friends, fine but I don’t want you to be my enemy. You can try the same principle as mine if you like and trust me! It can save you from a lot of unnecessary hassles.

Hope this is helpful, all the best and happy writing!


Why I stopped using paid ads for my book marketing campaign?


Why I stopped using paid ads for my book marketing campaign? The answer is very simple. I have started selling more books by my own than through paid ads and I don’t see any points of using them again. Besides, they mostly don’t work. If it was not working, why should I waste my money then? It is as simple as that and I will explain why.

Before anything else, please always keep in mind that I never write as an expert but only as my own experiences and readers should make judgment based on your own situation, experience and preference.

But as far as I am concerned, most of the paid ads won’t work at all and whoever says they can make you a bestselling author, he/she is simply lying. Some of the service providers even give you certain numbers of book sales, they are not only playing with your emotion but also scheming for your retirement fund, (Sorry, I am not trying to be cynical or sarcastic here but most of the writers like us are retirees) and you shouldn’t fall in for that crap unless they have a full proof plan, which I genuinely doubt, and you have full confidence and trust on them.

Sorry for being skeptical. Some ads might even work out well for you that didn’t for me. But one thing is pretty sure; you have to be extremely lucky, because it is not less in any sense than winning a lottery and we all know the odds on lottery.

It is not because they are not trying but simply because it is damn too hard and nobody has a magic wand. There are genuine and really good service providers out there who will do their best to get more bangs for your money. And not everyone who bought tickets can win a lottery, right? It is as simple as that and book marketing is no exception.

What they are mostly offering is exposure and it is unfortunately such a vague thing that cannot be measured in real terms. It is also the reason why I have been saying writing is a very long, slow and assiduous journey from the very beginning, it is like a marathon not a hundred meter dash and if you don’t have time, patience and interest for such a long term commitment, you rather start choosing for other profession and take writing simply as a hobby.

Having a book with your name on the cover is a great feeling. If it was all what you have wanted is not as hard as it used to be just a few years ago, digital books have made it extremely easy as shopping commodity online, and if vanity was the main reason why you become a writer, then it is a very easy task. Welcome to the golden age of vanity writing, congratulation you have already become a writer and now get back to your original work at wherever or whatever you do for this thing called living. However, if you are here for long term as a serious writer, you must be fully prepared to go all the way to the end and be ready to accept the challenge as well as the final outcome. There is no such thing as guarantee in life, either you tried and lived with no regrets or gave up from the start and lived like a loser. It is up to the individuals and every decision will have consequence. Writing is no exception.

When you reached at the certain stage of your writing career, there are things that you can start doing it by your own and book marketing is no exception. I think I have somehow arrived at that particular phase of my career that I can do many things by my own now and generate better result than so called paid ads normally promise. It is about time, you should know when you are ready to take the helm of your own ship, and start cruising ahead as you have envisaged before at the start of your career. After all, there is no better person than you who can represent you as well as your works, right?

Having said that I still recommend new writers to use some of paid ads at the very early stage of your career, it will not only provide you the much needed exposure at the beginning but also the necessary skills and experiences on book marketing that you can learn along the process. Once you know the basic skills, you can harness them with more practices and eventually do it by your own.

I have learned almost hundred ways on book marketing but hardly use them all. Since I am too busy on finishing more books this year, I just use few tricks in a daily basis and still sell few books. It is not great but still far better than when I had bought paid ads and if I can do it, you can do it by yourself as well.

All you need is a heart, love what you do in a daily basis and if you want few more tricks on book selling, you can always write to me. Oh, BTW, did I say it is for free? As I only write for charity, I can afford to do it for free and the reason I am doing it is this – I know how hard it can be for a new writer and trust me, I have walked through that same scary road alone and I know precisely how it feels. All the best!


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