It’s finally here!
15th October 2021!
The day my book becomes available to readers everywhere.
Under my ribs is a feeling that is a curious mixture of happy butterflies and a quiet sense of accomplishment, with a pinch of anxiety about how my book baby will be received by the world.
I have felt this way before – as a Ph.D. student preparing for my thesis defense and on the first day of my child’s preschool when I waved to her from the window.
As I describe in my book, I felt panicky and anxious when I left my husband’s home and walked out into a city with no support and into a world with no guarantees. Yet, over time I found myself and created a life where I could take credit (and the blame) for my happiness (or lack thereof).
Rewriting My Happily Ever After is a book and an offering of my personal story. The writing of it was tough at times. Reliving painful memories is no one’s idea of fun but when I see the reviews from early readers that are pouring in, I feel a sense of validation at having taken the decision to share it because I believed that people needed to hear such stories, even if the topic was difficult.
Becoming open to new ways of thinking, doing and being
Since the last ten months, and in the process of ‘building in public’ – describing the writing and publishing journey through my newsletter, I found a means of accountability, a source of support and a gang of generous people willing to come to my aid, through their offer to be beta readers, by writing reviews, through recommendations and their overwhelming active support.
From being wary of social media to enjoying interactions on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, I have come a long way. Facebook reader groups are the best source of recommendations for books (readers take note), Instagram has the most active bookstagrammer community that adds a visual element of beauty to every book featured, and Twitter takes on a whole different level of discourse on a variety of issues.
In case you think I have become addicted to social media, please know that I have not. I follow a ‘no-scroll’ approach to social media use (more about that in a later post). I have learned to harness the power of online connections, a big change for me, considering that I am a relic of a generation that believed only in face-to-face human interactions and in-person friendships.
I have also become open to technology in new ways. Through my introduction to Ness Labs, a fabulously supportive online community, I have come to know about Roam research (a tool to store and mine data that can be applied for a variety of purposes), Racket (a nine-minute mini audio podcast that I have come to love), and found eclectic information and a warm band of fellow creators located across the globe.
The incredible generosity of others
My newsletter subscribers are a quiet bunch. They don’t often say much or write to me, but when I asked for volunteers for beta readers, I was blown away by the response. So many agreed to take the time to read and provide thoughtful feedback for my book, which was still a work in progress. They kept their word to turn it around in one month and provided their feedback. My narrative moves back and forth in time and it was a bit confusing in some places. But I worked on it in the final draft before sending it to a professional editor who improved it further.
I needed guidance, and references and inputs from those who had walked the path of independent publishing before me. And while on that quest, I met an incredibly generous group of people who shared what they had learned and warned me against common pitfalls.
Did I have disappointments along the way? Of course. Some people initially offered help but later withdrew, some were lukewarm at best and others stayed mum despite repeated follow ups. Even on launch day, I am struggling with a vendor who has not kept his word and it’s adding to my stress, as I battle my back pain that has kept me in bed for the last two weeks.
Yet, the journey has been satisfying and rewarding. I have learned to not bark up the wrong tree or get dejected by rejections (which still happen). I have found that it is better to divert my energies towards avenues that welcome me instead of those that shun me due to preconceived notions of superiority or righteousness – similar to my journey as a happily divorced single parent, instead of an unhappily married one.
So, the journey continues. The more you master, the more you need to learn. The further you move, the longer the road ahead.
Thank you for joining me on this journey to publishing my book. Today is a milestone day and I am glad you are with me.
If you would like to help me get the word, please consider doing one or more of the following (not just for my book, but for every author you know, specially the brave independent ones):
- Buy the book – ebook or print, doesn’t matter
- Write a review (every review no matter how short, helps)
- Recommend the book to your local library
- Stop by and say hi on social media
- Sign up for my newsletter