Tuesday, 24 January 2017

A Published Author! Who Me?


There’s a very clich├ęd saying that computer engineers are all Geeks and perhaps that was always true in my case. I left a lucrative career in IT to become a full time mom and along the way I wrote a book. My name is Sapna Bhog and this is a slice of my journey.

My love for books started when I was introduced to Enid Blyton at age 9. And since then there has been no turning back. Be it racy thrillers to urban fantasy to super natural to simple romances and many young adult books, I read them all. But I think my ‘all time go to’ books have been romances. They are my happy books. I totally enjoy the happy ever after at the end of such books. They are my stress busters. I was always the type of girl in college who had M&B’s in her bag at any given time. Most of the time I used to face so much flak from friends when they heard that I read romances. “Oh you read those M&B types”, “It’s all fantasy, how can you tolerate them?”, etc, etc. So you can imagine my apprehension when I started writing a romance.


To be honest writing wasn’t a planned endeavour from my side. It just happened. It’s really hard to explain because one day I just woke up with the idea of the book and it took off from there. The characters of my book came fully formed in my head and it’s like they kept talking in my head until I decided to sit in front of a laptop and started typing.

It took me almost a year to get the story in shape and I think I surprised myself when I read the whole story for the first time. My book, something that I had written, actually made sense. That feeling was undeniably euphoric. I just couldn’t believe it.

I sent the finished book to a few close girlfriends to read it and give their opinion and they all encouraged me to publish it. I think writing the book was the easier part of this journey. Finding a publisher was the most challenging.

I researched on the net on various publishers and their requirements for submission of finished manuscripts. Every publisher has a different set of requirements for submission and so many times you just never get a response back on your submission.

But the major problem as I saw it was that romance as a genre is not that big among Indian publishers. If you compare to the West there are publishers whose biggest business comes from selling romance books. But unfortunately that’s not the case here. I tried, unsuccessfully to find a publisher interested in my book and I didn’t find any takers.The book then went into a hard drive on my laptop and remained there for two years or more.

In 2014 I became friends with Nirja Sharma who was from the publishing world and already had tons of experience in publishing. She read my book and loved it and decided to help me find a publisher through her various contact. She tried but she wasn’t successful either. At this point she decided to fulfill her own dream of becoming a publisher and launched Aarahan Publishers and she wanted to print my book as the first book of her publishing house. We faced several challenges together right from struggling to get ISBN numbers, getting the book edited and re-edited so many times till we both were satisfied, designing the cover page and finally launching the book in November 2016.

It took us a year but now my book “Take a Chance on Me” is out there available on Amazon in both paper-back and kindle versions and is available on select crossword stores across the country.
I had asked Nirja so many times before we got the book printed if she was sure about this and she always replied her is usual calm manner than she had full faith in my story and my writing and she wanted everyone else to also read it and love it as she had.

Today I am happy to receive lots of positive reviews on whoever has read my book and I am working towards the second novel in this series, which is already sold to Aarahan Publishers to print in 2017.