Sideffects of bad reviews…

Okay, finally, after all these years, I am ready to accept bad reviews as part of the deal for authors.

The first really bad, read harsh, review I got for my first ever attempt at writing and publishing (self) a novel – back in 2013 – was, wait a minute, maybe I didn’t get a bad review at all!

But when I decided the book was not good enough, I retired it and worked tirelessly revising over and over, till I could not do it anymore, sending it to three more copy editers , costing me (US$ 1,200). The first book had gone to four editors, one developmental editor, a line editor, a copy editor from India to recheck the facts were right and a proof reader, making me 3,000 US $ poorer. I am not even mentioning the formatting, cover and promotional expenses to spare any aspiring writer reading this a heartache. bleeding-heart-800x800

I was pretty sure I had it right this time. I had spent about six months revising and perfecting the book structurally, chopping off scenes that I thought bored the readers, basically gave it my best shot, and published it as a Kindle book, renamed it ‘Meantime Girl’ chose a more suitable cover to match the story, as a novella of 32,000 words approx (the original novel was 50,000 plus words!).

cover copy fullI sat back and hoped for some appreciation. I still didn’t think I would earn millions. But I knew I had made an honest effort to “unbore” my readers.

bad reviewsInstead, I got really merciless reviews,and mostly from readers who got free copies to read during promotional offers for which I had paid myself. (I did get some good reviews as well, one got removed by Amazon admin who suspected it was by one of my wellwisers!, my efforts to convence them failed :(, sadly).  In short I paid for those harsh reviews, again hundreds of dollars to get pelted with stones. I have been flogged in life, literally and metaphorically; but here I was doing more than what I was expected to do, and hence the hurt surpassed the bleed.

Initially, whenever I read a really bad review, it used to feel like a slit thorugh my heart. Now it is better, I mean easier to bear.

Maybe I am getting used to it; is it a good thing? Don’t know.

But each time a harsh review appears on my Amazon page or as an email, it hurts like hell and robs me a couple of weeks of productivity. I feel like a looser and am unable to write, read or live normally.

So dear readers, if you don’t like my book, please resist an urge to be mean or so harsh. Don’t ever read my books, tell all you friends what a lousy writer I am; but don’t, please don’t, put it where I can read.

Why am I writing this? Can’t waste any more time over bad reviews. Don’t know how much time is left for me on this earth, to live and write. I really want to leave behind a legacy my son can be proud of when I am gone.  No, I am not suffering from any known tricky heath condition. I just feel within this nagging urge and rush to write something brilliant. Hopefully…

Gratitude…

I wish to thank all of you who have checked out my book ‘Past Life’ and for those genuine feed backs. I am especially moved by those touching comments (something I never got for my previous books). I know why this book was special for the reader in spite of it being a one woman show written and put together in a span of less than three hours – it is a story told from my heart. Besides, we humans know how to see real from fake instinctively, intuitively rather.

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#7 in Kindle ebooks religion and spirituality…

At one point when I checked my Amazon rank I found myself in #7 in my category, qualifying me to call myself Amazon bestseller, I guess. I was not constantly checking my sales rank, so maybe I missed a point in time when I possibly could have been on the #1. I don’t know much about marketing or algorithms etc. So I won’t claim any fame.

My gratitude to one and all who downloaded and read my book, and my prayers to all those who have gone through similar feelings at some point in their lives. I didn’t mean to make you sad, recall your lost loved ones. Forgive me if I have unintentionally made you relive sad times. My intention was not it, honestly.

In gratitude, I have made the book a free download today (June 22). Those who haven’t read ‘Past Life’ yet, please do.

The links are: (and so on according to your region of purchase)

https://www.amazon.com/Past-life-Journey-my-Soul-ebook/dp/B01H941XA0

https://www.amazon.in/Past-life-Journey-my-Soul-ebook/dp/B01H941XA0

 

P.S. While you are there, please do check out my contemporary fiction work ‘Meantime Girl’. It is a love story and a lot of work, time and money was invested in the production of it. And honestly I think, I have done a good job with it. You might differ, but do check it out. Or, alternatively, you might love it. I hope you will.

Dad

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On birds and bees

Winter is here and so are the “seasonal” birds, who, they say, come flying all the way from Siberia (really?, this far!) to enjoy the pleasant weather in Bahrain. Here it’s cold mornings in December and first half of January, mostly.

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Photos by Mandeep Singh

From the first week of December this year, flight of birds were seen hovering over the shimmering bay. I can watch them across the glass window pane, outside my office. So many of them, in small or large groups. At times they sit put on the shallow sea bed even at dawn or dusk! Wonder if they are waiting for the sunrise or taking in the spectacular sunset, rested on the warm sand!

Suddenly they take wing and that moment is awesome, breathtaking. They fly close to the water surface, to the right, or left, sometimes right and left. It’s not an aimless flight. They sweep over the sea, peering into the water, following the school of fish, diving in to fetch a few for lunch. Image

What a life! Casual and spontaneous.

Bees have an interesting life too, sweet actually.What a deliciously purposeful life! Image

Not complaining; as of today, I have an ideal life too, as I reach midway of writing my second book. I am not working on a deadline; I work according to my mood, I enjoy the slow pace.

So am I a bird, or a bee? A bit of both I guess, but more of a bird. 🙂