I am very happy to inform you that my book Now, Returned to India has been released on Amazon (Kindle ebook) on Friday.
This morning I woke up with a smile on my face. One more day to go for the book release. I smiled even more when I saw a mail from Amazon that my book had gone live. That was the good part, considering that the actual release or launch date is Friday the 29th.
But then my jaw dropped. There was some formatting error in the book description, and I had to go back and change it. (who likes to read a book blurb that has “<br><br> <br>” in between the lines? )
On a positive note, my author website http://www.amarvyas.in is live, and that went without a glitch.
Now, getting ready for the last mile.
With only three days to go for the release of Now, Returned to India, I am faced with, as expected, last minute glitches.
Website is still not up and running (hopefully that will be corrected in a day’s time), ebook is still being worked on, and we had to drop the plan of releasing print version (Createspace) and ebooks (Kindle) on the same day. The good part is, that the experience has been fantastic.
I will post the details of the release in a day or two, till then, it is time to take a deep breath.
Let me begin by saying that I do not buy books from peddlers who sell books on traffic junctions on the streets of Gurgaon near New Delhi, where I live. Nor is the intention of this post to promote this “trade”.
I have been observing these peddlers with great interest over the past several weeks. The books they sell very closely follow the bestseller lists one reads and hears about. This is not rocket science. It is quite likely that someone using these peddlers as another ‘point of sale’. I have touched and felt some of these books and have noticed that the quality of paper used, printing, and binding is at par with the books published by the major trade publishers. Many of these books are wrapped in plastic cover, and are sold at nearly half their list price. Almost none of them have dog ears or any other signs that they are used.
At two different traffic intersections this week, I saw that the following books were being sold. And to me, it is proof that these books are indeed in demand from readers. And the list is an interesting mix of both fiction and nonfiction. In a random order, the list is as follows:
- The Fault in our stars by John Green
- I am Malala
- The Accidental Prime Minister by Sanjaya Baru
- Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi
- One Life is Not Enough by Natwar Singh
- A couple of books by Durjoy Dutta
I am left wondering: should the folks at Nielsen Bookscan India include these sales in their rankings? And as an author, would you be excited to see your book being sold at traffic junctions? (i.e. would that be an indicator that your book is indeed selling well, even though you lose out on the royalty payments?)
This morning I was traveling by train between Pune and Mumbai, when I saw a bookstore at a railway platform. As usual, I decided to check out what was selling. It was a real eye opener. The number of Hindi language books that were stacked in the bookshop far exceeded the number of English language books.This was a stark contrast from the bookstores one finds in Malls, airports and office buildings, which are dominated by books in English. Hindi and regional language books almost get a stepmotherly treatment.
The shopkeeper, Dinesh, was more than happy to let me take a few photographs, which I am posting below. In Hindi, there is a phrase “Jo dikhta hai, woh bikta hai.” In simple words, it means that visibility matters for sales. So if one is seeing more Hindi books than English ones, then that could confirm that in terms of sales volume, Hindi language books in India represent a much bigger market. Just how big? I will try and assess the same in the coming weeks. And look at translating Now, Returned to India in Hindi.
In June and July this year, I took several pictures of bookstores in Frankfurt, Berlin, New Delhi airport and Gurgaon. I put them into a compilation – cannot really call it a poster or a collage, posting here to give a flavor of what is selling in different places.
I am excited to inform that the cover design for Now, Returned to India has been finalized… waiting for a few more formalities before the release…