Guest Post – Author: A.J. Chaudhury

Introducing indie author A.J. Chaudhury – thank you so much for your comments here today! Over to A.J.

Hello from India!

I am A. J. Chaudhury, a nineteen year old author of fantasy and historical fiction books. Writers love talking about themselves, their struggles and achievements; so when Melanie asked me to write about just that, I have leapt at the opportunity.

A Bit of History

Well, writing has always been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I was creating my first stories back when I was in kindergarten. Sure, they were total rip-offs of cartoon shows I used to watch, but the writing bug had bitten me successfully and infected me with storytelling. I remember a certain story I wrote with my sister when I was five. It was a romance involving dinosaurs, in which the hero dinosaur somehow survived to the modern age and reunited with his girl.

Between the ages of ten and thirteen I wrote a series of detective stories revolving around an old sleuth, Placenbroke, and his young nephew Caniole. They were wild adventures and I’ll always cherish them in my memory although I don’t think they will ever see the light of day.

I ventured into the land of fantasy when I was thirteen and wrote a novella of about thirty thousand words featuring a king trying to escape a witch along with his most trusted man.

I would like to mention a certain person without whom I would have never taken up the pen. The person is my father. A witty man, he loved reading and encouraged me to do the same, opening the door to the land of fiction. He passed away when I was in the eight grade, but I’ll always remember him as that good man who nurtured my love for books and made me the person I am today.

Hitting “Publish”

I self published my first book, a fantasy of 48k words, in July of 2015. The first sale was from someone in Denmark and boy, I have never been as excited about 35 cents in my life as that glorious day. I have since pulled down the fantasy book, since it had some grammar issues and the cover art wasn’t exactly great. I have shown it to an editor now and would be republishing it shortly. For the time being I am dabbling in short stories and novellas. I published my first Pragjotisha short, filled with gritty action, in July this year. It has received many good reviews and I have also published two sequels. I have found that writing short fiction helps me hone my skills a lot.

I am also currently writing an experimental novel with a very unique premise. I am nearing its ending and am amazed at how it is turning out. I plan on giving trad publishing a try with this book.

Marketing

Every indie author knows that marketing is tougher than the actual process of writing and preparing the book for publication. For a long time I tried out all sorts of common marketing tactics with little success. But it was only a short while ago that I hit gold and boom! My mailing list surpassed one thousand subscribers for the first time! I stumbled upon this website called Instafreebie. Every time anybody downloads my book through it, they are automatically opted into my mailing list. They have a high open rate, and when I release my new fantasy series titled “A Dragon With Fur” in January, I’ll be having a lot of people looking forward to it. In the meantime, I am trying to get my subscribers even more engaged by asking them questions regarding the fantasy series, giving them free books etc. I have realized that when it comes to marketing you just have to consistently keep trying (for years sometimes) and one day your efforts suddenly bear fruit.

Same goes for the actual art of storytelling. You have to write day in and day out to get to a point where you can actually make people get lost in your stories. If you let the daily chores get in your way then you’ll never be able to live your passion. Be it other forms of art, or science or whatever. You have to keep hitting your passion, until it hits you back.

I still have a long way to go in both marketing and storytelling, but the future looks bright.

Thanks to Melanie for inviting me to her wonderful blog!

 

You can find A.J. blogging here

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