Hope is a good thing. It may be the best of things. And no good thing ever dies.
These oft-quoted lines from Shawshank Redemption are so etched in our collective consciousness because they convey a universal truth-- the indefatigable quality of the human spirit.
Ask Pankaj Giri, and he would attest to this sentiment. This finalist in Amazon KDP’s Pen to Publish contest has, in fact, turned his experience into a book titled The Fragile Thread of Hope.
A resident of picturesque Gangtok, Pankaj completed his schooling in the Sikkimese capital. He came to Bangalore to attend college and spent six years working in the software industry. In 2013, he had to return to Gangtok due to the sudden demise of his father. Even though he managed to find a decent government job in Gangtok, the loss of a loved one and the drastic change in his life took a toll on him. “I used to be depressed most of the time and didn’t know where my life was headed. I needed something to hold onto, something to help me move on. One day, my mother suggested that I start writing.”
While in school, he had written articles for his school magazine, and so he decided to rekindle that interest. “I fell in love with writing again. It sparked a dormant passion in me. Writing helped me move on and divert my mind from the pain that I was facing. Whatever sadness was within me, I could pour it out into the pages.”
And those pages came together to become The Fragile Thread of Hope. “These days, youngsters get distracted and give up easily when faced even with little problems. Everybody goes through phases of depression and sadness in their life. With my book, I want to inspire people to find hope even in the darkest hour,” he says.
Pankaj submitted the manuscript to traditional publishers. And then he waited. When he didn’t get a response from them for a long time, he decided to publish via Kindle Direct Publishing.
Talking about how different his experience of publishing on KDP was, Pankaj says, “In traditional publishing, you have to depend on the publisher for everything – to update the description, the category, and to know the number of sales. In comparison, everything in KDP is so easy. Just log in to the dashboard, and you get all the information. The sales are updated immediately. You even get to know the number of pages people are reading every day, not just from India but throughout the world. My book is being read in France, the UK, the US, Canada and so many other places that I never thought about. That is one of the advantages of KDP.”
He says he was browsing through social media when he saw an ad for the Amazon KDP Pen to Publish contest. “I thought it would be perfect for me, and decided to try my luck. I was hoping that I would get into the Top 5. When I got the email (informing him that he was a finalist) I was over the moon and ecstatic,” he shares.
Pankaj says if he wins the contest, it would be a dream come true for him to be published by Westland. Other than that, he is very happy with the response his book has been getting. “It feels really wonderful that whatever I’ve written gets read by people throughout the world. I’ve been getting good reviews as well. It feels nice to get feedback from readers and get success,” he says, and adds, “I urge all aspiring authors to try this wonderful platform to showcase their writing to the world.”
Watch this video to know more about how Kindle Direct Publishing helped Pankaj taste success and get appreciated by readers across the globe.