As the results of class 12th board exams came out, I was ecstatic on scoring 97% in PCM. I was the State topper in Physics with a 98/100. I had been given a scholarship by CBSE to study any Science course of my choice. My score gave me the liberty to opt for a course and college of my choice. While the usual debate of what to do next was running high on my family’s mind and the suggestions had started pouring in from friends and relatives, I woke up one fine morning to astonish everyone with my opinion of what I wanted to do next. I wanted to follow my passion. I aspired to become an author and so wanted to do a course in English Literature, which was quite unusual for a Science topper.
Determined as I was to live a life that made a difference, I opted for English Honours from Hans Raj College as my next stepping stone. I was questioned for the choice that I made by my friends, teachers and relatives. But their doubt only strengthened my resolve to become an inspiring author. My family was very supportive of my decision but I knew that I was taking on a journey with no assured results.
During my graduation days, I worked as a freelance writer for DU Beat, a DU newspaper. I had finished writing my first manuscript when I was 18. As I started submitting it for publication, I started knowing what rejection felt like. I was rejected by a lot of publishing houses because I was a debut author and none of the established players wanted to take a risk with a debut novel. There were days when I felt disheartened but the next thing I knew was that any rejection could not decide my destiny. After one and a half years, I could convince a publisher to publish my book. But this was just the beginning. The next challenge was marketing and promotion.
As my book released, a lot of my friends complained that it was not available in the nearby market. It seemed like Amazon and malls weren’t enough. Then, I took the rein of book marketing in my hand. I contacted small local distributors to increase the reach in the local markets but to my surprise, I again suffered from multiple rejections as nobody liked to deal with the author. They had tie-ups with publishing houses. A tie-up with an author didn’t suit them. From CP to Daryaganj, I explored every nook and corner, trying to find distributors. All I could get was small shop owners who were willing to keep the book, that too for free. After struggling for two years, a wholesale trader managed to help me but I got peanuts in return.
But amidst all the struggle, I realized that I was not only investing in the book but also myself. Now, my debut book, A Silent Promise (2015), will complete 5 years in September. My second book, The Full Circle.. Stumbling Upon A Sinful Mystery (2018) completed 2 years in July. Both the books are doing well. A Silent Promise was made a part of and released by Mr. Sudhir Mishra (Indian film director) at Gurgaon International Film and Literature Festival, held at DLF Cyber Hub. The Full Circle.. Stumbling Upon A Sinful Mystery was ranked #26 in Crime, Thriller and Mystery on Amazon.
The challenges have not ended. It is a long journey ahead of me. But now I know that no matter what challenges you face, your determination should always be stronger than them and that is the only key to success.
– Namrata Gupta