Aside

All you wanted to know about Now, Returned to India

With one more week before the release of the print version of Now, Returned to India, I thought of writing this post to gather my thoughts about my whole writing experience. But first, let us begin what what the book is all about. 

Moving back to India was the last thing on Amol Dixit’s mind when he was leading a carefree life in Chicago. Then one day, he found himself sleeping on the streets of Mumbai.

Now, Returned to India is a Back-to-Rags story of a Non Resident Indian (NRI), and is a humorous account of the experiences of Amol Dixit, who relocates to India in haste. It all begins when he interviews for a job that he doesn’t really need, and then plans to spend a year with his family in India before heading back to North America. In a series of missteps which affect his social and work life, and cost him the woman of his life, Amol learns the hard way that living in India is no cakewalk. Inspite of these challenges, he decides to stay back in India. And just when his life has hit rock bottom, GB enters his life.

Now, Returned to India was shortlisted by DNA- Hachette in India for their “Hunt for the Next Bestseller” competition in 2014. This is the first book in the four part series by author Amar Vyas, and is inspired from Amar’s own blog which received over 100,000 views on the Return to India Forum (www.r2iclub.com).

Why did I write this book?
My book is based on a blog which use to maintain at the Return to India (www.r2iclubforms.com) site. My posts received over 100,000 views. Many members on this forum read my diary and encouraged me to write a book based on my story. And one fine day, my wife asked me to do the same. Between November 2011 and March 2014, I wrote, re-wrote and fine tuned the draft, and finally the book is ready for release.
In the process, I realized that I had many more stories to share, and plan to write a few other books that deal with the life of the protagonist Amol Dixit, a fictional character whose life is loosely based on incidents in my own life.

Why should you read this book?
Now, Returned to India is a story of how Amol fails and how he ultimately overcomes his failures and realises what being an NRI means. Most important message from the story is, as they say, “Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail.”
Amol was a failure for the first year and a half of his R2I (return to India) because he did not plan the move well.
I am not the first author to write a book on the dilemma, issues and experiences related to R2I journey. My novel may not be able to answer several of the questions faced by those who are considering, are in the process of, or have R2I’d. I have used humor to narrate the story, and hope that you will be able to relate to it.
My novel has been reviewed by nearly 40 beta readers and the feedback so far has been very positive.

Where can you find more information about my Now, Returned to India?
You can reach out to me at:
Web:www.amarvyas.in

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Aside

Three Years Ago…

Three years ago this day, I finally gave in to the encouragement that my wife had been providing (which I sometimes equated to nagging) and I decided that I was going to write a book. The topic was in a way set – I was going to use my life’s story as the theme: a young man from India, who has been living in the United States for nearly a decade, returns to India for one year and never goes back. I had narrated some of my experiences in my diary on the Return to India Forum. The title was also ready: I was going to call my book Now, Returned to India (a play on words on NRI- Nonresident Indians or the Indian Diaspora).

Even before I had written the first word, I promptly wrote in my email signature “Author of the soon to be published book: Now, Returned to India.” When friends and family learnt about my bookwriting (ad)venture, they were curious, excited, and supportive at the same time.

I learnt the hard way that ‘soon to be published’ can very quickly become ‘to be published after three years’. But it has been a long, exciting journey, and it has been a journey in which I learnt a lot.

The first print run of Now, Returned to India should be ready by the time this blog goes live. Hopefully in ten days’ time, readers in India will be able to order the print version of my book through Amazon.

This will conclude one chapter in my journey as a first time author. The new chapter would soon begin, and I will ponder till then: As a published author, what next?

No, I am not drawing the curtains on this blog. In fact, I plan to keep writing, because my journey as an author has just begun. Just wanted to share my feelings with the readers of this blog, many have been with me in my journey since the beginning. I wanted to thank them for their support and encouragement…

Updates: Print Book, Nanowrimo and Sequel

As we approach the middle of November, it is getting a little challenging to hit my goal for nanowrimo: I am writing the sequel to NRI: Now, Returned to India. Which also means that I have had to cut down on other writing, and somehow, I was unable to post on this blog fell into that bucket. I have learnt that bureaucrats refer to such errors as “administrative lapse.”

Lapses, or oversight aside, it is time for me to voice my concerns, share my updates and learn from the readers’ experiences, and the best way to do all of that is to write this post. So here goes…

First and foremost, I am very excited to announce that the print version of NRI:Now, Returned to India is available on Amazon. After several weeks of redrafts, edits and adding new content, one fine day, I was finally able to get the book released. In a subsequent post, I will write about my experience with both Kindle Direct Publishing and Createsapce. My wife (who is managing the marketing and the release of the book in India) has finalized a printer and we are in the last steps of finalizing the distribution of the book. More on that in a subsequent post.

Three things really delayed the publishing of the print version of the book, and that hurt us quite a bit. First of all, I was not happy with the editing. I hired an editor who charged top dollar, but the output was far from satisfactory. And that meant re-visiting the whole process: look for an editor, finalize them, send the manuscript, rounds of review, etc.). Secondly, we moved to Bengaluru, something that I have mentioned in the past. A career move at the most unexpected time really threw our publishing plans out of gear. And last but not the least, we are yet to get an ISBN from the National Agency for ISBN in India – even after applying four times over the past six months. In subsequent posts, I will write about copyright and ISBN so that others may benefit from my experience, rather, avoid the kind of mistakes that I have made.

As the year draws to a close, I would like to throw a few ideas on which I plan to write my subsequent posts in this blog.

a. Copyright process in India

b. Getting the ISBN in India (there is quite a bit of information available on this on the Internet, I would specifically like to share my experience)

c. KDP and Createspace- experience of a self published author from India (and tax implications!)

d. Printing, Pricing, Distribution of books – the DIY way.

e. Time travel- my path to becoming a self published author.

f. Guest posts. I think a new ‘voice’ will add both some spice and bring some fresh air to my blog. Volunteers are welcome!

g. And finally, a quick update on the MRP per page index for the last six months of the year.

I hope that the above schedule will keep you interested in my blog, and more importantly, you will find the future posts relevant and informative. In the meantime, Happy Reading, and for those of us who are aiming to hit the 50,000 word target this month, Happy Writing!