Self-Publishing Tips by Aithal + Podcast: My Abortion Story

Blog post title and covers of some of the novels by Aithal.
Some of the novels by Aithal.
Want to listen to a podcast/audio version of Happiness Between Tails? Click the Spotify podcast link above. And please give it a follow.

The right to safe legal abortions and to wield guns — given how the first is crumbling and the second is more out of control than ever — a fellow Meetup writer mused, “Guns will be used freely to hunt down anyone remotely associated with abortion. Just like in The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel and TV series).”

My heart is heavy with all that’s happening. Today’s post is brief, though it took a long time to write. Meantime, I’ve been researching whether it’s a good idea to add a podcast version of my novel, Flamenco & the Sitting Cat, to PRX’s roster (they act as intermediaries for producers and public radio stations). This week’s podcast is My Abortion Story, which you can also read as a blog post.

Tangled Locks Journal (thanks, blogger par excellence KE Garland, for the heads up) seeks personal abortion stories. The literary site featured mine. Their latest post offers an up-to-date overview.

Keep current on how to obtain safe abortions and avoid legal repercussions at Infidel753’s site. Readers of Happiness Between Tails know him from when he wrote about helping women at Planned Parenthood and being vegan. Among the many links on his Sunday round ups, he includes safety nets for abortion.

This week’s guest, Aithal, was born and raised in Mumbai, India. He immigrated to New York in 1989 and now lives with his wife and two kids in Orange County, California. He’s self-published a shelf-worth of far-ranging novels, his stories often interleaved with analogies to these increasingly frightening times.

In his own words, he explains, “I’ve written six books so far. The first book is on India. It’s called India Was One and the next four are part of a science fiction series, called The Galaxy Series. They are: Beyond The Milky Way (#1), Return To Earth (#2), Divided States of America (#3) and 2120 (#4). My last book (released very recently) is called The Man From Afghanistan. I dub it as an international adventure as the story starts at Newport Beach in Orange County and ends in Rajasthan, India. All my books are available on Amazon in Kindle as well as paperback format.”

They feature gorgeous artwork by Darshini. Check out her website and her Instagram page.

To compliment them, Aithal produced a video for the artwork of India Was One. His Beyond the Milky Way illustrations move one way to music, and then another way. He’s also been interviewed by David Pakman.

Here are his self-publishing insights. He’s also written guest posts for Happiness Between Tails here and here

DIY Publishing by Aithal

Being an indie can be hard. Very hard. Take it from me; I’m one. Here are some of my experiences that I want to share:

Back when I wrote my first book, I was new to the game. Now that I have put a few years doing this, I can say that I know a bit more. In no way do I consider myself an authority, but I’m sure lots of you have experienced something similar, if not the same. I’m merely sharing this so that the newbies don’t have to go through my horrible experiences.

As all indies know, there is a very limited budget to spend. So, the best, and the most economical, way to do things are free. Fortunately, almost all the tools available are free (or inexpensive). If you are serious about getting your work seen by many, and by many I mean many strangers and not friends and family members, here are a few “musts.”

  1. Website: You have to have a website showcasing your work. There are many free website builders available in the market. They will help you get started for free.
  2. Facebook: Creating a Facebook Page for your book is an excellent way to spread the word, and it’s very easy to setup one. After setting up the page, you can invite your friends to like the page (and hope & pray that they invite their friends and so on)
  3. Twitter: Create a Twitter account to tell the world about your work and then use free services like Hootsuite to automate your tweets.

These three are the minimum “musts.” And the good news is that they all are free. You don’t have to spend a dime on creating these. There are other few you should think of having. However, they can be secondary, depending on the type of book you are writing. All of them are free.

  • YouTube: There are excellent resources to produce a book trailer. Search “free book trailer,” and you’ll find many free to use. 
  • Pinterest: Even if your book doesn’t have any artwork, you should create an account here and upload your work.

Apart from these free resources, there are many free resources available that you could (and should) take advantage of.

Have you considered writing a book?

40 thoughts on “Self-Publishing Tips by Aithal + Podcast: My Abortion Story”

  1. I’ve often thought of converting my five years of travel blogging on Word Press into a book?
    I’ve dabbled with self publishing options with half hearted effort but maybe it’s time to a more traditional way? Any thoughts on this would be appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Forcing people to have babies but not caring if they’re killed at school by a gun is the epitome of stupid. Some great tips by your indie author–I’m traditionally published but I still do all of those, and now you’ve reminded my that I need to get a book trailer done for my last novel!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Forgot to ask, Suzanne — given that you have to self-promote even with a “traditional route” agent & publisher, could you pls comment a little about how you came to choose traditional?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It wasn’t so much that I chose traditional—it just kind of chose me. I was encouraged by a couple of colleagues to submit to a publisher that took unsolicited manuscripts and it was accepted. The first book did well and they were happy to publish subsequent books. It was the same with the publisher in the States for my two short story collections. I most likely would have gone the indie route if none of that had happened 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Dear da-AL, it is good to hear that there is a kind of network for the women, who need help. I am glad that your story is used in this helpful way. You are a great writer, that is why I am looking so much forward to your books 😉 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  4. My husband wrote a book (The man from Tehran), a political thriller. But I can’t make him write another … 😉
    I am more into writing short stories.

    It is curious, how alliances that were formed to make life more secure (or so I assume), are now crumbling apart. In Europe it started with Yugoslavia and then the Soviet Union. Now Brexit and separatist ideas in the US. I read that Texas wanted out of the Federation. Even within the German Federation there was always one state, where people had separatist ideas, and that is Bavaria.

    I haven’t heard so far of separatist ideas in India though.

    Liked by 1 person

          1. If they are good ones, why not. There are some good travel blogs. I did publish one of my stories in a forum, in German in English. Maybe I will give it a thought with selected short stories and some of the “poems” from my blog.

            Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks for the mention, as always.

    The right to safe legal abortions and to wield guns

    I also increasingly think of these issues together these days. One really needs to spend a fair amount of time on the right-wing blogosphere, as I do, to grasp how hugely important the gun issue is in that culture. The fall of Roe v Wade caused barely a ripple on interest there compared to the ruling on the New York gun law, for example. I can’t help but think a lot of the tension and polarization in this country could be reduced by a sort of cultural grand bargain — you leave our abortion rights alone, we leave your gun rights alone — but it’s hard to see that happening now. There are too many people who are determined to restrict others’ freedom.

    If I were to write a book now, I’d almost certainly go the DIY route. Too much hassle dealing with publishers and editors — gatekeepers. I don’t know if I could stomach all the marketing and self-publicizing stuff, though. Having a blog, I’d at least have something of a built-in potential audience to start with.

    Seeing that Aithal’s first book was about a partition of India, at first I assumed he was referring to the split into India and Pakistan in 1947 (a civilization divided by religion, as our own was), but apparently it’s about a division of the present-day country of India. I know there are some major differences between the north and south there, but I hope people are not seriously thinking of such a thing. It’s alarming enough how much people talk about dividing the US these days.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, India Was One, has a story about what would one do if India was further divided? Here’s a brief premise:

      Have you ever imagined India being divided into two countries? What happens to the millions of Indians who are from South India but are now residing in North India? Kaahi & Jai were two such people who got trapped in this situation. Everything was going smoothly for them and suddenly, their world turned upside down.

      BTW, It is very interesting you say how alarming it is when people talk about dividing the US. My fourth book is titled Divided States of America and its cover pretty much describes ( how the country thinks is after the SCOTUS decision on Roe Vs. Wade.

      Liked by 3 people

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