Geetanjali Mukherjee

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Guest Post: Why Crowdfund Your Book?

Today's guest post is by two authors who have decided to crowdfund their book.



Why Are We Crowdfunding Our Book?

Long before I could write my first book, I was just another book-obsessed fan girl who loved hiding herself in the pages of her book. I imagined the world within the stories as I turned one page after another. Little did I know years later I would be working hard to join the ranks of an author? I loved writing almost as much as I loved reading. While reading made me imagine a world from the characters I read, writing was therapeutic. After years of freelancing as a writer, I decided to write my first book. As an immigrant, I was always disappointed there were very few books that reflected the journey of an immigrant. My journey as an immigrant included several mundane goof ups, mispronounced name when I was called Shitanya - situations that are rarely talked about. I decided on writing a short story collection about real people. I wanted my book to reflect the stories of real people with extraordinary journeys. When I began writing this book, I did not know we would have a story of a nine year olds survival tale from the Taliban, or an immigrant who became famous in Kansas because he was an Afghan immigrant in an American town.

After completing the book, Shaima and I approached several publisher and agents. Every response was very positive which on every writing forum was considered a good sign. Every feedback established I could write but no one wanted to take a chance on a newbie author. We had our chances stacked against us. As an engineer I was always looked upon as a unicorn when I said I worked as a freelance writer. I was always told, “engineers cannot write”. Our engineering degree and our ethnicities did not necessary signal authors or even writers. We still knew we were going to make it in a traditional way even if it took years. The urgency for this book changed in the past six months. When Donald Trump started running for Presidency and walls were being talked about, we realized our book was more relevant than what was planned. With every travel ban and every time someone talked about immigrants as legal and illegal, we knew our book was important to the times today.


Why crowdfunding? is something I am often asked. In the technology world crowdfunding sites include cool toys that are often unheard of. There are several crowdfunding platforms such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo, etc. As engineers, Kickstarter was known for crowdfunding. After extensive research we found Publishizer, a book crowdfunding site. Publishizer is marketed as Kickstarter meets tinder where in a successfully crowdfunded book is matched with a publisher. A crowdfunded project, be it a book or a gadget is backed by people who find the project interested. In our case, people pre-order the book based on the content and sample. Upon reaching each milestone of pre-orders we get publishers interested in us. We went with Publishizer because they had publishers who had partnered with them to give new authors like us a chance. We have twenty days to crowdfund our book. Please check out the sample chapters, get to know us and please pre-order if this interests you.

Author Bios:
Chaithanya Sohan immigrated to America from India in 2001. She currently works as an Electrical Engineer in the Silicon Valley. Chaithanya graduated from San Jose State University with Bachelors in Electrical Engineering and a Masters in Electrical Engineering from Santa Clara University.

Chaithanya Sohan has worked as a writer since 2002 when she started writing content for various websites. She free-lanced as a writer until 2013 when she decided to write her book America Deconstructed.  Some of her works are published in websites such as www.rethinkreality.com. Chaithanya enjoys traveling and runs her own blogs www.nomadicsue.wordpress.com & www.wordspeare.wordpress.com.

Shaima Adin came to the United States as a refugee in May 2000 at the age of 16 with her mother and sisters. She is originally from Afghanistan but has lived several years of her life in Pakistan as a refugee as well.  Currently, she works in an engineering management position at a Safety and Quality testing laboratory in Union City, CA.

In light of recent times and all the debate about immigrants and refugees around the world, Shaima joined forces with Chaithanya to put forth the stories of immigrants from different backgrounds that have called America home. Her purpose in doing so is to paint a different picture of immigrants and refugees by displaying their side of the stories and the struggles of starting from nothing.


AMERICA DECONSTRUCTED

Naseer was nine years old when he escaped Taliban and fled Afghanistan. His story, “There are some people who are coming to take me away”, chronicles the resilience of a nine year old boy as he traveled from Afghanistan to America in his quest for the American dream. “I saw a ripe mango I’d like to pluck” showcases the love story of Chidibere and Ifeyinwa and their struggles with language, culture and being African in America. In the story “Kosovo, really...cool”, Lisian takes us through his journey to America and often being asked his identity in spite of being white.  In the story “I am exotic, mocha, P-Diddy”, Parag describes his journey from a young sixth grader who hid his attraction to boys in conservative India to embracing his sexuality in America. America Deconstructed follows the journeys of sixteen immigrants as they maneuver cultural differences, accents and uncomfortable situations while feeling a sense of belonging in America.

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