Book: Self:Publishing: Expectations vs Reality: why do most self-published authors fail and how to become a best-selling author?
Author: Nataraj Sasid
Publisher: BookMedia: July 1, 2020
Length: 78 pages
Edition: Digital Edition – Amazon Kindle
Link to Purchase: Buy here
I have read books in the past on topics like these. How to self-publish your book and how to become a well-known author etc. However, the thing about most of such books is that the authors are generally authors themselves or some journalists or some entirely different person who has nothing to do with the industry except selling ‘books’ by telling others how to ‘sell’ their books. This book, Self-Publishing: Expectations vs Reality by Nataraj Sasid becomes different, considerably different because the author is a publisher himself. And even being a publisher, he has spoken the bitter truths about today’s industry which is both, courageous and also much-needed. Someone from the industry had to say it and Nataraj took the responsibility. Therefore, before I begin analysing the content of this book for the readers of Indian Book Critics, let’s appreciate the author for his wonderful exercise of bringing the basics about self-publishing that every aspiring author should know.
There are 16 chapters in the book and most of them are different. I include most of these because a few chapters are just explanations, extrapolations or rejoinders to the preceding chapters. The preface by celebrated American writer Geoffrey Giuliano adds weight to the book and that will suffice the elitist ego of many Indian readers who wough outweigh anything indigenous with their Western dilemma. Giuliano has beautifully summarised, propagated and described the purpose of the book in his preface. In the introduction written by the author himself, Nataraj also does the same with a little difference.
The book begins with the very basics of writing and slowly moves into publishing. The self-publishing idea comes only after making a count of the failures of traditional publishing that Nataraj has succinctly lined up in chapter 6. And he is right, Self-publishing in India has become a new normal because of the constant negligence, by traditional publishers, of new talents worthy of getting their imagination translated into successful books. The author has also tried to portray the advantages of digital publication and has listed many platforms where aspiring authors can write their stories. Though this information might be redundant for those who are already into self-publishing and would like to know only the ‘how to become a bestselling author’ part in the book.
“However, publishing is one thing, and selling your book is a completely different story. Every book is different and so are its readers. A comprehensive marketing strategy is what is required to make a book sell.”
Writes Nataraj in one of his chapters where he explains how to become a successful author by taking the route of self-publication. He is right. Selling a book is entirely different compared to writing and publishing a book. With a few peculiar ideas like an author associating with a social cause to get the eyeballs and using bookstores to meet new readers occasionally, other pieces of information that the chapter offers are already in the public domain and an active reader must be knowing them already (reader happens to be an author here, mostly). And the next chapter is a rejoinder that tells about various e-commerce and book publishing platforms where an author can upload, create or sell or do everything in terms of a book. The author could have avoided the redundancy by joining these two chapters and actually mentioning some realistic ideas like an author cannot do everything on his own and should look for some good book marketing agency which can take the entire job of their book’s marketing and authors can get back to their writing.
Chapters on print of demand and audiobooks are really enlightening and newcomers in the writing industry must not be aware of these things. Nataraj has done wonderfully here and he must be applauded for the same. It will help a struggling author understand what are the essential things and what are things that might be deferred for now. Budget is the master! Likewise, it has to be noted that the author has mentioned the ideal prices for copyediting, basic editing, proofreading, layout designing, cover designing and also ebook and audiobook creation with suggestions which are useful. These pieces of information will also help the young and new authors in deciding their ideal budget if they plan to self-publish their books.
To conclude, Nataraj’s book is not a sure guide to success because no book can promise that you will be successful in any domain merely after reading the book. You have to work on the advice and act on the concepts. So, the concepts and ideas in the book are wonderful and ideal for a newcomer in the writing industry. A few chapters are really wonderful and better than others while a few chapters could have been merged with their preceding chapters. Overall, the book Self-Publishing: Expectations vs Reality is a book that will not take much of readers’ time but will give them some valuable, well-weighed and sane ideas that they must go through. I will advise this book as a must-read for the wannabe authors as it contains some of the ideas that can only come from experience and being a publisher himself, for many years, Nataraj is qualified to offer those…
You can get a copy of the ebook from Amazon India by clicking the link below:
Review by Amit Mishra
Self-Publishing: Expectations vs Reality by Nataraj Sasid | Book Review
- Indian Book Critics' Rating
Self-Publishing: Expectations vs Reality by Nataraj Sasid is a peculiar attempt by someone from within the industry… a publisher writing about how to self-publish is something that new authors must read.