Suvika and technology don’t get along. “I am not computer-savvy. I back away from anything remotely related to technology,” says the self-professed technophobe. Yet, she has managed to self-publish nine books over five years, and is a popular romance writer in India.
She attributes her success to the user-friendliness of the Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) portal. “I don’t think I would have been an author had it not been for KDP. Richard Bach said that an amateur writer is one who doesn’t quit. This first step is very important for any amateur writer. KDP only makes it easier to take this crucial first step,” she says.
Sujatha started out under a pen name, Suvika. Explaining the significance of that name, she says, “I had a friend called Malvika who believed in my writing abilities when even I didn’t know that I could write. I lost her to cancer. My pen name is a tribute to her, a combination of Sujatha and Malvika.”
According to her, her journey as a writer stemmed from a sense of anger at the manner in which women and love were being portrayed on Indian television. Since she was already an active blogger, she decided to make the transition into writing a book.
“When I wrote my love story, it was appreciated on a forum I was part of. Then I decided that my story was good enough for a wider audience,” she says. She tried the traditional publishing route and sent her manuscript to publishing houses, but only ended up feeling disappointed when faced with rejection. That’s when she got to know about self-publishing and Kindle Direct Publishing, and decided to explore that avenue.
Talking about her experience with the portal, she says, “KDP is very easy to use for even a novice like me, who is hesitant to use computers. In fact, it is as user-friendly as it can get. I can do everything on my own -- price my book on my own, build my cover page, and experiment with fonts. It even allows me to immediately correct any mistakes I make. That’s how you learn, as you can’t get perfection in one shot.”
Another advantage of KDP, she says, is the fact that it offers a global reach. “Once I’m sure my story is ready, it’s just a few clicks away from reaching a global audience. It’s a one-time thing. You don’t have to go back and repeat it.”
And with returns that are ‘as generous as it can get’, Suvika says things couldn’t get any better from an author’s perspective. “Of course, how much you earn depends on how much you sell, but the royalty is generous. Depending on how you price your book, it could be between 35 percent and 70 percent. This is not an option you get in traditional publishing,” she adds.
A stay-at-home mother of two, Suvika says her association with KDP has changed her life. “I didn’t think I had so many stories in me, and that I could reach out to so many people through my stories and beliefs. I always wanted the balance between a professional life and my family life. KDP gave me that balance.” The added perks, she says, are recognition as a writer and the freedom to work at her own pace.
Which is why she advises budding writers not to get disheartened at failure, but explore the option of self-publishing. “If there is a story inside you, if you have something to say, then just say it. There are always readers out there waiting to read it. Write every day for a couple of hours even if you trash it the next morning and start over again,” she signs off.
Watch this video to know more about Suvika's take on Kindle Direct Publishing as a platform to launch budding authors.
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