Instead of sending his book to a big publishing house where hundreds of manuscripts are sent in every day, Raam Reddy, 22, chose a different path. He got his novel, It's Raining in Maya self-published by CreateSpace, a subsidiary of www.amazon.com. What's unique is that CreateSpace will print the book only upon orders, even if it is just one book.
The book is a about a little girl named Aditi who lives in a town called ‘Maya', the city of the lost, and falls under the genre of magic-realism.
In an e-mail interview, Raam, currently studying film direction at the Prague Film School, talks about self-publishing and his world of Maya. “I didn't want the book to get lost among piles of manuscripts. I believed in the book and wanted to see how the public responded to it before I approached a regular publisher.”
“Self-publishing is simple,” he says. You upload the interior and cover files of your text, and then you are given an International Standard Book Number (it can be bought or the website will assign you one).
Though free, you can pay for some additional services, such as an editor. As of now, the book is available on Amazon.com as well as Flipkart.com.
Raam says this method of publishing was a “way for me to make my book available to people across the world. Plus, there is no contract with Createspace. So, I can have it published elsewhere without any issues”, says the author, who hopes to get the book published by an Indian publisher once he is back in the country.
Speaking about the book, Raam says, the book is very personal to him and hopes it touches a chord in every reader. The cover was illustrated by a friend and the formatting was done by him.
“I started writing this book while studying Economics in St. Stephens College, Delhi. I sat at the back of every economic history class either catching up on lost sleep, or writing. Sometimes, I wrote poetry, other times, I wrote short prose. Then, a story was born that had more life in it than the others — the story of Aditi,” says Raam.
The book draws inferences from his life. After a sheltered life in Bangalore, his hometown, Raam stayed in the back alleys of Malka Ganj in Delhi. Here he was witness to midnight brawls and children being beaten up. They find resonance in …Maya, he says.
The book is a metaphor for a society gone wrong. And, Aditi is a metaphor for the core of love in the centre of all the dirt and violence, he says.
Raam, whose other interests are photography and short film-making, says poetry links all his works. “If I am writing fiction prose, working on a film or taking photographs, I see everything as poetry in different forms. It may sound clichéd, but what I love about poetry is that there are no rules; it is whatever you want it to be,” adds the writer.
Raam the photographer has put up all his works on his website (http://www.raamreddy.com/), where you can buy his art photographs. Twenty per cent of the proceeds go to the Drik-Dwaraka network, which works to educate underprivileged children in villages in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
As for filmmaking, Raam says it brings together all his passions — writing, photography and sound. He is now in the process of submitting a short film “Ika” (meaning feather in Telugu) to film festivals around the world.