Cover Reveal – Destiny’s Girl by Adite Banerjie

Welcoming none other than the acclaimed author Adite Banerjie as she joins the Indie Author Band Wagon!

Can’t wait to read the book in its new Avtaar. Read the personal note by the author herself and remember to grab your copies. 🙂

Cover Reveal

Five years ago, my first book was published by Harlequin/Mills & Boon with the title “The Indian Tycoon’s Marriage Deal”. It was an exciting moment for me as a writer and I will always cherish that memory.

Strange thing is that I get to do a re-run of that moment yet again. But this time as a self-published author. I am hugely excited at the opportunity to revisit Krish and Maya’s story and bring it to my readers with a new cover and title. There could be no other month more appropriate for the re-launch of a romance than the Month of Love — February!

The story is now called Destiny’s Girl. And it has a brilliant new cover… I am sure you will agree with me!

I did wonder if I should update Krish & Maya’s story. But as I went through the manuscript, I realized that my protagonists are now not merely characters in my book, but they have their own fictional lives within the pages of the book. Who am I to change that? So, their story is presented as is, complete with its flaws and foibles — in real life we don’t get a chance to change our past, do we?

If you have read their story, I hope you will enjoy revisiting it again when  Destiny’s Girl goes online as an e-book on Amazon (stay tuned for the announcement). And if you haven’t read it, I’d urge you to read it!

And now… for the C.O.V. E. R.    R.E.V.E.A.L.  <Drum Roll, please!> 🙂

 

So here comes DESTINY’S GIRL….

 

 

 

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……..

 

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Destiny-Girl-final-cover

 

Would love to know what you think of the cover.

And wait…. there is some more news. Destiny’s Girl will have a sequel soon. It will be the Happily Ever After story of two characters you meet in Destiny’s Girl — Rohan and Natasha.

So, keep your eyes peeled for more updates on the release of Destiny’s Girl and its sequel.

May Valentine’s Month be full of love and happiness for you all!

Adite Banerjie

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 years as an Indie Author – 8 lessons I learnt. A #PoweredbyIndie post

November of 2017 will mark the second anniversary of me pushing the very exciting ‘Publish’ button on this wonderful Amazon KDP portal and introducing my first baby Abhaya to this world! Exciting would be an understatement to describe the journey that followed! Here are the 8 things I learnt since then.

  1. One book seldom gets you anywhere – The first book gets us, aspiring authors rid of that annoyingly lingering ‘aspiring’ word from our bios. But persisting through multiple books is when we really prove our resilience and love for words! This was not an empty lesson I learnt. Avishi, my second novel, in its launch month, garnered readership that Abhaya garnered in more than 6 months! Now that was some learning!
  2. Being an author, especially Indie author is a lot more than just writing. We would all love to zealously guard our writing time. But being my own publisher taught me what else goes into producing a book (Editing, Cover design, Synopsis, pricing, promotion and what not!). I learnt to outsource some activities and before that, identifying reliable providers who would do a good job.
  3. Thy name is Multi-tasking – 23 months down the line, I don’t have the luxury of just focusing my energies on my first book. I am marketing my first and second books, editing the third, writing the fourth and even plotting the fifth! Of course, there is this matter of focus. But juggling the products in progress in each stage of production is something we need to be prepared for.
  4. Social media is NOT a distraction. If only we had a control on when to use it and when to resist it. Social Media and Ecommerce is the one channel that supports your against the lack of conventional supply chain support that the traditional publishing industry enjoys. But learning how much time to spend on which platform was an exciting journey by itself! I learnt that building readership online happens long before our books come out.
  5. I am my own Publicity manager – At least until I earn enough to hire one! And that is some time away. Being shy of self promotion earned me nothing but frustration and a loss of crucial mileage in the initial months of launching Abhaya. We all know books spread by word of mouth. But our own mouths are the very first source of the word!
  6. I can’t afford to be that reclusive introvert – Gone are the days when being a writer meant to shut out yourself from the world and write. (I doubt such a period even existed except in imagination in the first place!). Networking means everything. I learnt to remain grounded while aiming high from other authors. I am learning what worked for who and why. All because I go out and talk!
  7. Love words? Love numbers too! – I am lucky to have been an analyst before my writer’s avatar. The love for numbers stayed with me and now it helps me measure the effectiveness of each activity. What is the word count I could manage per day over the last six months? What is the ROI on the time and money I spent on Social media? When to expect tangible and when to be content with intangible results? What caused the spurt in sales and what caused the slowdown? Loving words helps you be a writers. Loving numbers helps you be your own boss. 
  8. Growing is sharing – I learnt to scoff at a myth that perpetuates from the mediocre segments, “Don’t share your secrets!” Because, genius, there are no secrets and no short cuts! There is only learning and powering on! Learning happens only when you share your inferences with another and test your conclusions. Learning happens when you try to help those behind you to catch up with the distance. As Joanna Penn says, there is no competition, only co-opetition. Karma is real. Open up that mind and share your wisdom! 

 

 

Book Blast – Lean in to Relationships by Rishabh Jhol

About the Book:

Doubt
has pivoted many a relationship across the centuries. Whether it is Othello
suspicious of Desdemona or through the rise of paranoia as a trope in twentieth
century writings. While paranoia naturally suggests the vulnerability of
individual mind to social rhetoric, it is also the space for deep interrogation
of the individual that renders him/her to paranoia. This novel presents that
doubt has the potential to be a space of liberation.
Madeeha
works in Jordan to rehabilitate Syrian refugees. Zehen, a political analyst
from India, meets her in the US during their social impact program. He is
intrigued and charmed by her, and falls deeply in love. But the world political
climate, with its accompanying cultural narratives about terror and pain, infects
Zehen’s mind. Zehen begins to suspect Madeeha as a possible mujahid. Will he
find his truth?
Fear
doesn’t devastate; it stirs the inner pot. It is a tender love story that
triumphs heartbreaks and sets the foundation of deep lasting future relationships
– a delightful emancipation from social intrigues and cultural constraints.

 

 
Read an Excerpt:
 
Zehen
was experiencing sweet joy in his heart. Memories bustled in the head.
When
did he first see her? Zehen searched his head madly. Orientation session?
Corridor to the classroom? However, he tried, he couldn’t pinpoint the moment.
A whirr of images, of moments, yet-to-be collaged. And a heart that already had
a narrative, waiting to be inset.
We
imagine that all romantic stories will have a sigh-worthy romantic beginning.
But beginnings are when the heart awakens, when the soul remembers. A presence
stills and emerges from the shadows of time.
His
first memory was when she introduced herself in the class. They had gathered at
Presidium University for a one-year course on Social Impact Leadership. Outside,
the white fringe tree was laden with its grape-like fruits. The pine, oak and
spruce waited for winter to tell the world how unchangeable they were. And the
old Redwood stood proud like the institution itself. Inside, in the warm
classroom, students from various cultures across the world had gathered.
Icebreaker session was on and the usual round of introductions.
Introduction
is a ritual. A cumbersome ritual. How does one reduce the tapestry of one’s
entire existence, the colors, and the many weaves into a single palatable
thread?


The Book is Free on Amazon on 29th & 30th September. Grab it here: Amazon
Anecdote
I
published my first book in 2015 and my second book in early 2016. I was single
at the time and using dating apps to meet other single people. I met a girl in
mid-2016 who took fancy to my dating profile, especially that I am an author.
After a couple of meetings, She demanded that I write about her. I jokingly
told her that I am a Phoenix writer, i.e., I fall in love, get dumped, and
write about my failed relationship. She broke-up with me, and still invariably pings
whether I am including ‘her and our relationship’ in my upcoming book(s).
———————-
The
genesis of this book came about while I was on a cross-country train ride in
the US. I met Mark who had been a successful marketing professional with considerable
international marketing experience. He had travelled to all of Asia and
understood the regional peculiarities.
He
was later diagnosed with lung cancer. By the time, it was detected, it was
stage 3. He was put under radiation and intensive chemotherapy. He went in for
three other opinions. All of them agreed that the cancer was aggressive and
spreading fast. He searched for the latest treatments and sought to enter
clinical trials. The process lasted for two years.
In
the meantime, the cancer advanced. The doctors said the cancer was incurable
and he didn’t have long to live. It took him weeks of denial to come around to
the truth – he didn’t have long to live.
He
returned home from a long walk one evening and asked himself a crucial
question: “If I am going to die, then I might as well die straight away. What
is point of waiting for death to show up?”
That
evening he ate well, watched a movie with his girlfriend, poured himself a rare
scotch and sat at his study. It was time. He wrote out his letter – love and
wishes to his family, loved ones and friends, his last wishes about funeral,
information on his will, and a general note thanking all. He placed it in an
envelope. He planned to kill himself early morning. He finished his scotch,
brushed and went to bed.
In
the middle of night, he woke up to a noise. The light was on in the study and
he could hear sniffles. He walked cautiously up and there in the study, his
girlfriend was holding his suicide letter and crying. He watched her as her
body crumpled and sink into chair. Her face contorted in agony. In her face, he
saw what was the consequence of his action. The penny dropped.
I
paled and listened in horror. Mark continued, “I realized that our life is
never ours. We are nothing but a bundle of emotions for the people who love us
and the people we love. The meaning of life is to optimize for the happiness of
such people. There’s nothing more to living.
That
day on, I have been living for maximizing the happiness of my loved ones”
That’s
how I stumbled on lean in to relationships; it has become my life philosophy.
About
the Author
 

 

I
was born into poverty. At the time of my birth, my parents shared a one -room
hut with six other family members in one of the poorest neighborhoods of Delhi.
It
was a hot day in the month of March 1995. I was in standard 4th and had an
examination the following day. As was regular in that locality, we didn’t have
electricity that day. I couldn’t study or sleep properly. One of the watershed
moments happened when I came back from school the next day. We had an inverter
installed at home. I knew we couldn’t afford an inverter. But my dad was always
convinced that the way out of poverty for our family is through education. 
Despite
an interest in creative writing, I chose to study a subject that society values
more – Finance.  Later, I got into one of
the top colleges for finance in the country. My first salary out of college (in
2007, when I was 20 years old) was higher than that of my dad’s salary at the time.
When
I was 24 years old, I had everything that makes one happy – loving parents,
great partner, close-knit group of friends, and career path that exceeded every
goal. Yet, I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t sad either; but it never felt like my life.
I had carefully and meticulously built that life though. Contextually, it was
the safe thing to do.
Following
year though, I had to deal with the loss of my 7 year old relationship and of
my 5 year old job. My identity was crushed. My biggest lesson was that you can
fail at what you don’t want, and what you consider safe; you might as well take
a chance at what you truly want.
Next
year, I got my ‘ideal’ job but walked away from it. Failure had taught me to be
more ambitious and audacious. I had reached a point in my life where I wanted
my work to have more meaning; and to stand for something more important than
myself.
I
started a political consulting company to maneuver social ascendance of
marginalized communities by equalizing access to political capital.  I primarily did topical research for MPs for
their debates in the parliament and on TV shows.  Partial project list includes:
1.
Providing 108 rape survivors with medical,
legal, financial, and social support over six months through one of my client’s
NGO
2.
Getting amendments passed in the communal
violence bill that tackle systemic bias towards Muslims
3.
Helping three social entrepreneurs raise a
combined total of INR 43 lakhs from their MP for community initiatives
Along
with running my own company, I focused on my passion for writing and traveling
as well.  I solo travelled to all seven
wonders of the world, and did two-cross country trips by train in India and in
the US.  I have also written and
published three fiction novels.
 
 

 

6 books you must read if you are an Indie author (or if you want to become one)

The journey of an independent author is unique. Exhilarating as well as terrifying. The solitary phase of writing, the agonising rounds of editing, the pounding in your chest as you hit the ‘Publish’ button, the daze of initial launch time, the nostalgia, the celebration of crossing a milestone and the despair of not going anywhere, Indies can connect with it all. The greatest help that one can get in these phases is the assurance that they aren’t alone, that the problems they face have already been faced (and solved!) by those who are eager to share their success stories.

Here, I suggest 6 books by 3 authors that could act as a compass while you traverse through this exciting maze. Some of those are such books which I wished I had known about earlier. These aren’t those dreaded self help books filled with superfluous sermons. But they are true accounts of what worked and what did not and why. Scroll down to find out more:

10 Step Self-Publishing BOOT CAMP: The Survival Guide For Launching Your First Novel by S. K. Quinn

Susan Kaye Quinn, an author of 40+ novels suggests a step by step method of launching not only your first novel, but your career as a writer. Going through the book, I could feel the author’s resilience build up as she launched a novel after a novel. Her observations about the industry and insights of book buyers are an added advantage to those who are new to the publishing world. I personally disagreed with some of her views on editing those on Social media. But this book brilliantly summarises her learning through out the last five years highlighting the relentless hard work and perseverance she has wielded. One can’t help feeling her pride as an author mother who not only earned enough income to put her three kids through college, but also inspired her sons to take up a writing career, early in life!

I loved the idea of having a five year mission statement as a writer. Also the quote that I would treasure for a long time, “There is no perfect. There is only finished.” Intrigued? Check out the book, clicking on the image below:

5 Steps to Self-Publishing FOR LOVE OR MONEY: Build a Career as a Self-Published Author

Written by the same author, the compendium dispassionately focuses on balancing the passion and career aspects of writing. In Susan, we see a passionate author who seeks to disrupt stereotypes that have built up in the publishing world. But she also sheds light on the brutal truths that many idealists among us would dread to accept. Reading for love or money, helps us reconcile the passionate author in us with the commercial success seeker and mould ourselves into pragmatic career writers. If you are someone who has already launched a book or two and are aware of the basics of the Self Publishing journey, I recommend this a notch more than the book above. Click on the image below:

Successful Self-Publishing: How to self-publish and market your book in ebook and print (Books for Writers 1) by Joanna Penn

Joanna Penn does not need an introduction. If Self Publishing were a religion, I am sure she’d be the all powerful Zeus! 😀  If you know the word Indie author, it is almost impossible that you have not heard about Joanna or have seen her in one of the literary meets, bubbling with enthusiasm to share her journey. Her positivism, I admit, is infectious. I could keep pessimism and despair zealously at bay, whenever I read her blog or listen to her podcasts. The book below is something which I wish I had read before I launched my debut novel Abhaya. Nevertheless my learning was acquired ‘hands on’ and I strongly suggest you need not face the hard stops I did. What more? The book below is free!

How To Market A Book: Third Edition (Books for Writers Book 2)

We are all aware about the famous quote that 50% of marketing works. We don’t know which 50%!  In this book, Joanna comes up with another great compendium of all the marketing techniques that an indie author can deploy. It is not just the author’s experience (which is no mean achievement!), but also summarises the best of what one could learn from the galaxy of successful Indie authors. The insights drawn, might be a bit skewed towards the Western markets and Indian Indie authors are advised to make their own conclusions with the local knowledge. But nevertheless a must read, not once but every time you have a book to launch!

Let’s Get Digital: How To Self-Publish, And Why You Should: Updated Second Edition (Let’s Get Publishing Book 1) by David Gaughran

Another hard hitting account of the world of publishing by this very successful author of 11 books. This book is more a pitch to Indie authors to digitally publish. While most of us go for a ‘digital first – print next’ model in a bid to test waters, given our budgetary constraints, Let’s get digital  increases an indie author’s confidence about digital publishing. Again, the readers might want to be wary that the information and data shared are largely US-centric.

Let’s Get Visible: How To Get Noticed And Sell More Books

This is one of the 6 books, I would again recommend in a stronger tone. While the first book details about the industry dynamics which is crucial, Let’s get Digital details out the way Amazon works, its algorithms, the mistakes that many authors commit and the pitfalls to be wary of. Those wanting to go wide might find the book very Amazon centric though there is a dedicated section about going wide. But I found the book very relevant to Indian Indie authors to who, Amazon is still the most preferred platform. The numbers and data cited to inch into the best seller lists is only relevant to the US store. But the good news is that Indian authors have far lesser numbers to achieve to get into similar top positions in the best seller and popularity lists. Don’t miss this book.

That’s all for now! Have you read a book that could help an Indie author’s career? Do let me know in the comments. 

Plotting your novel, a two phase method to face your demons

Hello all,

This was a post I had promised myself to upload after the release of my second novel, Avishi.  If you are an aspiring novelist, I am sure plotting would have been a topic you pondered on quite a bit. It is daunting to envisage that 80,000+ word novel without a guide map and it is all the more torturing to have it haunting you while it remains unwritten.

Back in 2016, I was going through a usual journey of uncertainty, marketing (or rather wondering about marketing) my debut novel Abhaya and getting stuck at multiple places while writing Avishi. It was in March 2016 that I put what I thought as the first chapter together and all the way through March-July 2016, I had only written different versions of the beginning without making any progress. The method of plotting helped me progress (It is also helping me as I write my second instalment of the Abhaya series!). I think it is worthwhile sharing with you. Hope it helps you in your writing too!

Plot at two levels

You heard me right. The first level, (hoping that a little bit of jargon does not bother you) or L1 Plotting requires the writer to jot down the events of the plot in order. For simplicity sake, assume that each event makes up for a chapter. (Splitting and merging can and will happen later). For Eg, This is how I wrote down the events of Avishi’s plot :

img_20170904_124812419.jpg

While at it, 

  1. Try not to spend more than 5 minutes on what each event. (Write the first thing that comes to your mind in the sequence)
  2. Feel free to write down the points where you don’t know and mark them (This helps you improvise your precious day dreaming about the story!)
  3. Keep in mind that changes will occur at each stage. The plot you write now is NOT sacrosanct. 

During my plotting, I managed to jot down 35 events which I thought would define the crux of each chapter. The process took me about less than two hours and left quite some questions unanswered. But at least I knew what I did not know.

Second level

Take a break for a day or two before doing this. The L2 plotting requires you to zoom into each event/chapter and detail out how the events pans out, which character is introduced, what would he or she aim for and how it connects to the next event.

The L2 of my first chapter looked like this :

IMG_20170904_124833107

Again while at it,

  1. Devote not more than 10-12 mins for each event
  2. Note down and highlight the unanswered parts
  3. Liberally change the L1 Plot as your mind unravels the story

It took me a couple of days to complete L2 Plotting for Avishi. I noticed that new events (and characters) which I had not imagined in L1 phase came up and some old events had to be deleted. Some questions could be answered and new questions sprung up, demanding answers. All in all, the story was assuming a life of its own!

Take a break of another couple of days to dwell on these unanswered questions or even try keeping your mind off the novel for a while.

In the third phase, type the L2 on to a document on your laptop. Yes, I strongly advocate that you plot the first two stages in a journal. It has its benefits. When you type out the detailed plot on your laptop, you will again find some inevitable changes happening in the course of the story. The blind spots are narrowed down enough to not bother you when you are working on the other parts of the novel.

Now is when you actually start writing. The biggest advantage of this process is that you can write your draft in a non linear fashion, pick up the incomplete parts later and make changes as required. I have to reiterate that changes happen at every stage. (An event or two you see in the first image did not even appear in the draft in my case!). Changes and question marks are a sign that your characters are asserting themselves and it is good!  Needless to say, your confidence would have grown multi fold. You are now ready to begin the writing journey.

Happy Writing!

Do you have a plotting related experience that you would like to share? Please feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

Vishwamitra by Dr. Vineet Aggarwal

Vishwamitra by Dr. Vineet Aggarwal
Indian Mythological Fiction
~ Book Blitz ~
11th August, 2017

 

When Satyavati, wife of Rishi Ruchik,
exchanges with her mother the magic potion for bearing a child, they change not
just their children’s destiny, but also the history of mankind. Born of this
mix up is Vishwamitra, the son of a Kshatriya, who strives to become a
Brahmarishi—the ultimate and most powerful of all Gurus.
Vishwamitra is the powerful story of a
brave but stubborn, haughty yet compassionate, visionary king of Aryavarta who
not only acquires material wealth through military conquests but also becomes
one of the most well-known sages of all times.
5 lesser known facts about Vishwamitra
Almost everyone would have heard the name of Vishwamitra and some may even know of his dalliance with Menaka, or the role he played in the Ramayan but even those who are familiar with his name, may not know these five things about him:
  1. Vishwamitra was born a Kshatriya prince and he reached the status of Brahmarishi, the highest possible rank for a Brahmin only through his tremendous effort!
  2. He is the discoverer of the Gayatri Mantra that is spoken by millions of Hindus even today all over the globe!
  3. He is associated with two major Avatars of Lord Vishnu – Parshuram, the 6th incarnation was his grand-nephew while he himself became the Guru of Shri Raam, the 7th incarnation.
  4. Vishwamitra’s daughter Shakuntala gave birth to Bharat, the King who gave India its official name – Bhaarat.
  5. He is credited with the remarkable feat of creating actual star systems purely on the basis of his mystical powers & the stars he created can still be seen in the southern hemisphere as the Crux.
About the Author
Dr. Vineet Aggarwal is described by many as a doctor by qualification, manager by
profession and artist by temperament. Born in a family of doctors, he
successfully completed an initial stint with the family occupation before
deciding to venture into pharmaceutical management and currently pursues
writing and photography as a passion.
He is the author of popular online blogs ‘Decode Hindu Mythology’ and ‘Fraternity Against Terrorism and Extremism’ and the author of books ‘Vishwamitra – The Man who
dared to challenge the Gods’ and ‘The Legend of Parshu-Raam’
 
 

 

Self-publishing FAQs

Reblogging this fabulous compendium of Self Publishing FAQs by Rasana Atreya. I credit her for inspiring me to Self Publish my first book (and my upcoming one too!)

On Getting Published, Good Books, and Living Goddesses

I get these same questions so often that I decided to turn this into a blog post:

  1.  I have a manuscript. How do I self-publish it?Before you self-publish this:
    * If you have writer friends, get them to beta-read your manuscript.
    * Get your manuscript edited.
    * Get your manuscript proofread.

    Then:
    * Commission an cover for ebook (print/paper book cover will be separate).
    * Get the book formatted for ebook (and print/paper book, when you’re ready for it).
    * Create an account on Amazon and upload formatted ebook file.
    * Set a price and make it ready for sale with a click

  2. Do I publish as an ebook, or a print book?* Start off with the ebook.
    * Get it formatted as an ebook.
    * Upload to various vendors like – Amazon.com, Smashwords.com, pronoun.com etc. You cannot upload to many international vendors (like Apple) directly.
    * When…

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