I took part in an online novel writing contest after Deepavali last year. The target was to write more than 50,000 words in one month from the 1st of the month till the last day of the month.
Though, I took this up mainly to test as to whether I can indeed write so many words,I did manage to finish it before the final day.When I took up writing the novel,I had no idea how it was all going to shape up.I just wrote on a day to day basis having calculated that I will have to write at least 1500 words on a daily basis.I just poured out all my feelings,anguish,loneliness,-in fact everything I felt.I knew that I was a novice & not creative & hence, I had to somehow pen in so many words if I wanted to succeed.In the midst of all this,I also began to doubt as to how would the novel end.I told my parents & friends the story in brief & asked them to suggest an ending.As the days passed,I realised that I wanted to give my novel an end full of hope- it had to be positive. I did end the novel on a very positive note.In this, I was helped by the fact, that the site wherein this contest was held,used to send us pep talks to keep our spirits awake if not high.
I was relieved, that I had completed the task at hand.I felt thrilled- I was a novelist -so what, if it was my debut novel.Now what ?I thought of approaching publishers with my debut novel but then I had to first get it all in print.My middle class upbringing forbid me to spend an uneconomic amount on such a pursuit as I had my doubts about the novel ever being even glanced at by a publisher.
I then, came across a site that publishes any book for free but online.So,I uploaded my novel on to the site & then emailed the link to all my friends,ex-colleagues-in fact everybody who was on my mailing list.I requested them to click on the link,sign up & comment as also rate the novel.Few did take the trouble of reading my novel & did as requested .I shall indeed remain indebted to them all my life.But by & large, my novel was ignored by the very people, I thought were my near & dear ones.
The reasons given by many was that as soon as they read the book,they would surely comment but they omitted to state that they neither had the inclination nor the time to heed to my repeated pleas.When I argued, that they can comment in short even in a word or two,they replied, that unless they read,they wouldn't be able to do that.I was elated that by their brutal honesty in these deceitful times ! I was of the opinion that honesty was a relic of a bygone era.
Their frank comments are still awaited. The result, is that my book remains online only.My hubby has very diplomatically steered clear of investing in his wife's venture by saying ,"It is better that some publisher takes it up-they are experts -they will market it as well."
I have realized now, that I erred, by asking people to comment & rate the novel by reading it ! Actually,I am glad in a way, that the book is published online only.Marketing a printed book will be a daunting task given the attitudes,I have come across so far.I am certain, that I will end up paying people who take efforts to read it.
So it is going to be grossly uneconomical, so,I better leave it at that !