Sudha Nair won the Amazon KDP Pen To Publish Contest in 2017 with her debut book, The Wedding Tamasha, which had become a bestseller. She has a dozen titles to her credit including Strictly at Work. Nair talks with The Telegraph about her motivation for writing and her experience with Amazon KDP. Excerpts.
You have been writing for a while now, having penned more than 12 novels; what first sparked your interest in fiction?
I started writing fiction as an outlet for my creative expression. I was always an avid reader, but my interest in writing started much later in life. As I read to my kids, I relived the joy of the world of books and decided to take the plunge as a writer. The world of fiction and the creation of worlds where my imagination could run riot gave me a creative burst and a great sense of elation and fulfilment. Once I started writing, I enjoyed the process so much that I couldn’t stop.
Can you tell us how self-publishing platforms which are very popular nowadays have helped budding authors to start their careers? Do you think this has provided a sense of betterment for inspiring writers?
For years, writers have suffered innumerable rejections from traditional publishers either due to their work not meeting the publishers’ standards or due to long waiting periods. In such times, self-publishing services like Amazon KDP have provided great relief and freedom to writers of all ages. The easy access to publishing tools and comprehensive self-publishing services have allowed authors to share their words with the world at the click of a button. Also, the transparent book sales dashboard and competitive royalty earnings offer budding authors a great career start. For instance, Amazon KDP is a fast, easy, and free way for authors to reach millions of readers worldwide along with providing them with 70 per cent royalty. You no longer have to wonder if you’ll ever be a published author in your lifetime. I cannot think of a better time for us as writers today.
Can you give us a few tips on staying motivated as self-published authors? Do you think self-published authors should be more optimistic regarding their careers now that there are many platforms online?
Without external deadlines, it is completely up to a self-published author to stay motivated to keep writing and publishing books. Like any other online platform, self-publishing book platforms also reward consistency and frequency of uploads with better sales. So, self-published authors must keep themselves motivated to publish books consistently. One of the best practices is having a writing routine, an allotted writing space, and a fixed writing time. Showing up regularly at the writing desk produces steady word counts per week, which can help authors keep up their publishing efforts. With growing numbers of readers on online platforms and the easy one-click access to downloadable books, it’s much easier for authors to be really optimistic about their writing careers today.
The Wedding Tamasha ; The Love Streak
“I started writing fiction as an outlet for my creative expression. I was always an avid reader, but my interest in writing started much later in life. As I read to my kids, I relived the joy of the world of books and decided to take the plunge as a writer. The world of fiction and the creation of worlds where my imagination could run riot provided a creative burst in me and a great sense of elation and fulfilment. Once I started writing, I enjoyed the process so much that I couldn't stop.”
We are discovering so many new genres and new perspectives on fiction and mythology and art. Do you think self-publication has given writers a new sense of freedom and confidence?
Self-publication has broken all barriers and boundaries in the publishing industry. With no more gatekeepers to stop a writer from putting their work out into the world, it has helped to hear several new and varied voices. Self-publishing has also dethroned all so-called genre fiction norms giving rise to various fiction genres. It is as if there are as many kinds of fiction writers out there today as there are readers, which has opened up an array of possibilities for writers to explore their individual writing styles, voices and perspectives. It’s a very exciting new world out there for both books and writers, as well as readers.
As you are one of the jury members of the Amazon KDP Pen to Publish contest this year, how do you think this platform has affected the lives of authors around the country and how being part of this contest has impacted you?
As a nationwide contest in English, Hindi and Tamil, the Amazon KDP Pen to Publish contest draws thousands of new and seasoned authors to participate every year. The contest is a great way to gain visibility for your book and access to multitudes of readers across the globe. The KDP Pen to Publish contest is a gateway for aspiring authors to follow their literary dreams. It is a flagship event by Amazon KDP, wherein Amazon invites budding authors to publish their original work with Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and get a chance to win cash prizes. Personally, this contest changed my life after I won the contest. It helped me gain recognition as an author, kick-started my writing career, and made me a bestselling author.
Can we expect anything new from your desk? If so, could you tell us about it?
My latest book, The Love Streak, published in May 2022, is the story of a young writer who moves to a different city to pursue her dream job despite her parents’ disapproval. The story follows the young woman and her struggles in trying hard to make a mark in her career, getting into all sorts of trouble and misadventures at the building she’s living in, and finding love. It is a sweet and inspirational story. I am ideating my next book and will start working on it shortly.
Pictures courtesy Amazon KDP India