The reality of publishing is very different from what a lot of authors think: Vineet Bajpai
Anyone who has tried to get a book published knows the kind of effort it takes. It doesn’t matter how good your book is, or how much time you’ve invested into it - you’re likely to get rejected at least once. And that’s just the start of your problems.
Vineet Bajpai, entrepreneur, career counsellor, and author of books such as Harappa: Curse of the Blood River, Build from Scratch, The 30-Something CEO and The Street to the Highway, is more than familiar with the struggles that come with wanting to publish a book, having gone down the traditional publishing route.
Expediting the publishing process
For his fourth book and his first fictional account, Bajpai decided to self-publish. He says, “When I started getting my books published like any other author, I found that going with reputed publishers was the most obvious option. I discovered some excellent professionals and realised what a fantastic value-addition publishers give to the authors.”
So why the change of mind? Bajpai says there were three main reasons. “The first is scheduling, then comes the marketing, and finally there’s the commercial aspect.” According to him, this entire cycle to get a book published, can be avoided with self-publishing platforms like Kindle Direct Publishing. He adds, “For an author who has produced a book and wants to do more work, working with traditional publishers can act as a huge speedbreaker. Even if you find a good publisher, you have to wait for at least six to eight months before they can fit you into the picture.” So even if you finish a book today, chances are that it’ll be published only two years down the line.
Today, some of the world’s most successful authors are ones who started with self-publishing. Coming from the time when self-publishing was seen as a vanity project, Bajpai believes that it’s the best thing to have happened to writers. He says, “The way in which self-publishing is looked at is slowly changing. The finest of authors are now using this platform to generate high quality content.”
A learning opportunity
Back when self-publishing was still new, the audience was just a fraction of online readers, which was not a very big number. But today, with platforms like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, aspiring authors can effortlessly connect with their readers, without having to shell out exorbitant amounts to market their book.
One of the other main problems that is tackled via self-publishing platforms is the transparency factor. Bajpai says, “Traditionally, the model is such that an author does not find out for six months after being published whether the book is a hit or a flop. But when it comes to independent publishing platforms like Kindle Direct Publishing, I get a daily report of not only the sales of my book, but also get to know how many pages of my book are being read by people all over the world!”
So you’ll know when your book isn’t doing well. But more than anything else, it teaches you everything that you need to understand about marketing the book. All you have to do is be patient, write more, and learn on the go, advises Bajpai.
No substitute for hard work
When you look at publishing in terms of returns, it is commercially more sensible to self-publish than to depend on conventional publishers. Using platforms like Kindle Direct Publishing will allow you to control all the pricing and returns, which is a huge advantage, especially if your book becomes a hit.
Says Vineet, “As an author, it is delightful to watch your work being appreciated and monetised. When you use Kindle Direct Publishing, you get minute-by-minute information of not just how much you’re selling, but also how much royalty you’ll be making. It’s such an incredible tool!”
What makes the experience even better is the simple user-interface. Everything is just self-explanatory! “It’s as easy as shopping online or booking your flight tickets,” adds Vineet.
His advice to aspiring writers is this: “Kindle Direct Publishing is a great platform for executing everything, from sales to analytics. But it’s the quality of your book that counts the most. It should not be viewed as a shortcut. That is very important.”
Watch this video to know more about Vineet Bajpai’s take on Kindle Direct Publishing as a platform to launch budding authors.
Calling all aspiring authors to apply for the Pen to Publish Contest. You stand to win a Rs. 10 lakh prize, get a deal with Westland Publishing, and be mentored by a popular author.