Running from pillar-to-post to get your book printed is a passé in the world of technology and open interface, writes Farhana Madar

The digital age and fast-paced contemporary world that we live in has many aspiring writers, first timers and even experienced authors, challenging the conventional models of book-founding, that is, being under the aegis of a publishing house.

Instead, self-publishing, a term that once had a stigma attached to it is now a movement in action, one that is revolutionising and modifying traditional norms in the literary world. To strengthen this process, the power of technology has helped tremendously in boosting an individual’s commercial success online.

So if you aspire to write a book, or perhaps have a manuscript sitting in your drawer with a spellbinding story that awaits to be shared with the rest of the world, but alas, you find yourself contemplation over printing and marketing hassles, maybe it’s time to consider self publishing and print on demand as a viable option to achieve your envisioned reality.

Word from an expert

Need some insight before taking the plunge? Fair enough. The world of self-publishing and all that it entails is well known to Rajesh Nanoo, who over time has issued ten diverse books. With a feather in his cap and knowledge to share, Nandoo talks about the pro’s and con’s of self-publishing.

 “Self Publishing is the future which revolutionised the publishing industry like the internet gave new dimensions in communication. The major attraction of self publishing is, it gives enormous power to the writer on content and design exactly in the way writer intends.” affirms Nanoo.

 Nanoo continues, “The writers get the major stake in sales revenue while publishing agencies receives a nominal percent. Sales windows are opened worldwide. Books that are available in printed copies along with softcopy sells more than book obtained only in E-book format. The cons are that of marketing and non availability in major book shops. To an extent this problem can be sorted out if help is availed from marketing platforms like Fiverr, Goodreads, OLX, Quicker etc.”

New self-publisher on the block

Lalit Jagtiani a practitioner in business transformation has through hard work and experience obtained knowledge that surpasses that of what the corporate world could provide. This lead him to self-publish his very own book, “When Change Happens” that assists individuals in sharpening their skills on transformation.

How did he get started? Jagtiani explains, “Once I had the story, the next was to test it with friends to get feedback and improve the content. The most important part was to get a good editor someone who did not only correct the language but also challenge the content and flow of the story. I would recommend each author to put in an extra effort to find the perfect editor without compromising on quality. The next was to search for someone who could translate my thoughts into pictures that would enhance the concepts and learning’s of the book. To an illustrator it is important to share your key messages and ideas for that much-needed alignment.”

He continues, “As a new author one area that one should focus on is their profile. Without it building book sales is not possible. Building a social footprint and being connected with influencers in the relevant space of their book is critical to success. A new author needs to master the social media. Engaging with the target audience much before the book is published. The followers that you build are your potential first buyers and they need to support the content by actively commenting on the book.”

The perks

This revolution in publishing has taken place just over the span of ten years now. One primary benefit is, there’s copious flexibility in terms of how one wants to compile and maintain their narrative along with how they desire it to be marketed. That alone is positive and powerful given oftentimes an authors content is clawed in the hands of companies whose decisions the author might not necessarily want to abide with.

While self-publishing entail various expenses, pivotal in order to get a book out in the market – there aren’t any hefty charges to be paid that one would naturally need to pocket out, had they been under a publishing house. Instead, here, you get paid and you pocket all of your profits.

Also, a rather appealing condition, contributing to the rise in popularity of self publishing is that the entire process is much swifter. Other than that, needless to say, there’s an attained sense of earned pride and gratification, when one takes up the publishing process upon themselves and in return, see’s their digital success side by side with their hard work displayed on the bookshelves of various bookstores.

Further tips

Although a Director of a publishing house, Woven Words Publishers OPC Private Limited, Mosiur Rehman a writer himself, supports the pipedream of passionate individuals hoping to be their own publishers.

Rehman shares, “Self-Publishing is easy, but to be a successful self-published writer means a lot. One needs to put in a lot of effort to make his work stand out among million titles published each year. You might ask beta readers to provide feedback, criticisms or suggestions and then get the work professionally edited and ensure the book has a stunning cover and a solid marketing and promotional plan.”

He concludes, “When you have a book and a clear idea of the subject you have written, the target audience and the urge to win the world; you are ready. Remember, as an Indie author, social media, offline presence and extrovert personality are a must, and “Keep struggling & keep writing” should be the slogan.”