'Why' and 'How' this CA wrote a book and self-published it despite his friends making a mockery of the idea
- Hi, this is Aditya Bhutra, a Chartered Accountant, who is trying to look at life beyond numbers!
- I hail from Jodhpur, Rajasthan (India) and after completing my CA in 2015, I decided to move to Mumbai (the financial hub of India) for better career opportunities.
- My determination to go the extra mile while working a full-time job led me to hone my writing skills and eventually I wrote and self-published a love story in the form of a novel titled, "Love Beyond Hlookup".
- Here is my story of 'Why' and 'How' I wrote a book and self-published it (despite my friends making a mockery of my idea).
Rekindling my writing habit after Qualifying as a CA
After passing my CA Exams in 2015 and getting settled in a well-paying job I thought it was my turn to do my bit and guide other CA aspirants in their journey to becoming a Chartered Accountant!
In Nov'16, I started engaging with CA students on Quora and answering all their questions!
I was enjoying it so much that I wrote around 10 answers each day and every answer had a word count of almost 1000. That is almost 10k words a day!
I don’t know where I was getting the emotions and words, but I continued writing on Quora and luckily the readers started loving my answers.
Within 10 short days, I became the 'Most Viewed Writer on Quora' and soon after that, the Top Writer badge followed. I have garnered around 3 million+ views on my account with 1000+ followers since then.
So what Next?
Deciding to write a book while working full time
Somewhere in Apr'18, I decided to write on topics beyond CA. So, I diversified my writing style and started sharing my views on love, life advice, politics, etc.
I was enjoying writing so much that after almost six months, I thought to myself 'Why not write a book and take my writing skills to another level?'.
Finally, in early Dec'18, I made up my mind to write a ‘Short Love Story’.
But how do I do it with a hectic job? The easiest way was to leverage my "Travel Time"!
Since I work in Mumbai (India), the most convenient mode of transport is the train! The travel time, one way from home to the office was almost 45 mins. I used my commute time to pen 21 short love stories!
And that’s how I wrote my book on a local train on my phone….ain’t bad at all!
What next? Getting rejected by several publishers
After around one month (early Feb’19), I decided to publish the same! But how do I find the right publishers?
I was totally clueless and that’s when I took the help of the all-knowing Google Aunty!
I did my homework and took the following steps:
- Categorized the publishers in three categories – Biggies, Medium and Small-Scale Publishers
- Thereafter, I noted the name of each publisher in the excel along with their email
- I used to target two publishers daily and drop them an email along with my sample manuscript, requesting their response on that.
- I sent around 60+ emails in the span of one month and in response, though it may look weird to you, I got rejected by a majority of the publishers and no one affirmatively responded to my script.
One of the publishers responded with useful insight. His reply was: ‘Aditya, you have just written a short storybook, had you written a novel we could have given you a chance!"
Needless to say, I was disappointed l, but then I started to think, why not write a novel!
Eventually, I invested another 8 months and completed this book with more than 10+ rounds of editing and re-editing.
From waking up at 4 am on a regular basis to several discussions with my publishers. I gave it my all.
Was it easy? Not at all. I had swollen eyes on most days as I was so sleep deprived. But worst of all, I was so disconnected from the world!
Rejections were aplenty but perseverance was unshaken.
For publishing the novel, I tried to approach several authors through social media, but no one was willing to help me.
So, I decided to move on the path alone, with determination as my friend.
I searched on YouTube, did several Udemy writing courses and read lots of books. Then, taking the cut-off, I made a chapter-wise synopsis to decide what will go in each chapter and how many words there should be in each chapter.
I wrote up the first draft this way and it took me another 15 days to come to the final draft, which looked ‘near to perfect’ to me.
There is a phrase in the Publishing industry – "an unpublished story keeps pestering the author". It gives you pain until your work published.
After completing the manuscript of the novel, once again, I was faced with the challenge of getting published. Several rejections and criticism from my friends who outright said it is not a worthwhile exercise did not deter me. I continued the road without thinking about the outcome.
As said earlier, I approached several publishers but the majority of them rejected the manuscript and some of them kept it on hold. But I did not believe in false promises and kept looking for other publishers around me. Finally, taking into consideration the time, efforts and confidence in my writing skills, I decided to self-publish the novel.
Talking about my personality, before publishing the novel, I was kind of an impatient guy...I would arrive at decisions before hearing someone out!
But after publishing my debut novel and constantly being in touch with my writing love, I have become a guy who would listen rather than hear.
I have learnt that to grow in life, you need to rein in your thoughts and your emotions. Career-wise, my writing skills help me a lot to draft official emails in a professional manner. People do consult me for fancy words before writing mail. Writing can be a transformational experience!
Aditya Bhutra is a Chartered Accountant with experience at a Big 4 Accounting firm.
About the book: The book is all about online dating. There are two protagonists in the story, Mukul, being the online dating stud, and another Vicky, who considers Mukul as his guru. The book has been designed with two stories moving in tandem, wherein in one-chapter Mukul would narrate his part, and in another, Vicky would open out his heart.
The book is available on all major platforms, say Amazon, Flipkart, Kindle and it has received a good response from the readers. You can find 'Love Beyond Hlookup' here.
You can find here the links for more details – Quora Profile - https://bit.ly/3aDZ9hA
(Image edited by Ankit Lodhi)