Exactly a year ago, I was concentrating on writing my second last post in the A2Z challenge when the reminder mail from Blogchatter arrived in my inbox about signing up for the Blogchatter e-book carnival. I wasn’t sure if I had the time or skills to convert my posts to a book. That is why I was one of the last ones to sign up for the e-book. Little did I know that it would turn out to be one of the best decisions in my writing career.
As the days progressed, I realized that the book based on the theme ‘A Dollop of Bengal’ from my A2Z challenge posts needed more information, detailed research and better structure that looked quite difficult in the limited time period. With just a few days left for submission, I realized that the only way out would be to bow out of the carnival. But Blogchatter turned out to be a perfect example of what a sense of belonging to the blogging fraternity can lead to. Just six days before the date of submission, I sat down motivated by my fellow bloggers, to write my first ever detective thriller ‘Deal of Death’ introducing Raya Ray.
Post submission, I executed all my marketing knowledge for the next few days to create an interesting trailer for the book launch and a video on the book reading. Through social media promotions, I had managed to create such a hype about my book that it led to 80 downloads hours before the book could be officially launched on 22nd May. Deal of Death went on to become the first book to run out of stock despite getting restocked twice within a week of launch. Encouraging reviews and positive feedback helped me establish my identity as a writer. Two months later, Blogchatter gave the authors an option to take the book to a different platform and most of my fellow authors went ahead and published it on Amazon.
The reviews of Deal of Death on various platforms, especially Goodreads helped me set my credibility as a writer. E-book carnival also helped me become a part of the bigger writing community. If there is something that I wish I had known before, it is to have begun early. It would have given me enough time to elaborate the climax and edit the book multiple times in a bid to make it crispier.
However, based on my experience, I have a five-pointer list of suggestions –
1. One can either make an ebook out of the 26 posts written during the A2Z challenge this year or from the 26 posts of any other previous year. It could also be completely unrelated to the A2Z posts (same as what happened in my case).
2. A blog post is very different from a book. It should give a feeling of a continuous flow. So feel free to edit, delete and add relevant items to the posts.
3. Ideally, the novella should be a minimum of 20-30k words. The uploading will be done by Blogchatter, so there’s nothing to worry about the size of the file on an individual level.
4. Everyone’s marketing and promotion skills will be tested throughout the process. It is essential to create a lot of buzz around the book. Be assured that Blogchatter will help facilitate this process.
5. Once the book is launched, remember that the book is offered for free. So the only thing that an author needs to actively seek is feedback in the form of a book review, social media post and later on Goodreads (once the author account is created).
I have written a more detailed post on my journey as a published author here.
The book launch trailer can also be viewed here.
The sign up for this carnival can be done by clicking on the link here.
As I take up the role of a mentor for the Blogchatter e-book carnival, I have a strong feeling of deja vu. Please feel free to reach out to me for any queries related to the carnival either through a comment here or on my Twitter handle link.