Interview with Nihar Suthar
Tell us about your latest book.
My latest book is titled The Corridor of Uncertainty. It was released on February 1, 2016 by Pitch Publishing, and is a narrative about the miraculous rise of the Afghan cricket team. Cricket surprisingly is uniting the entire country of Afghanistan from violence and political unrest. The book itself is unique because it blends together politics, religion, and culture of the little known Middle East region together with sports like never before. Readers do not have to know anything about sports to enjoy the book either.
What marketing methods are you using to promote your book?
I’m using several marketing methods to promote my book. The most obvious method is to promote my work through social media and a strong online presence. However, through my experience, I’ve found that two stronger methods of promotion are: 1) sending out my book for reviews to well recognized sports columnists (since The Corridor of Uncertainty technically is a story about sports) and 2) running book giveaways on GoodReads.
To my surprise, many high profile people have been very willing to review my book. I reached out to Jacques Kallis (one of the most famous South African cricket players of all time), Joseph Romanos (a highly recognizable sports columnist in New Zealand), and several other writers. Almost all of them responded positively to reading the book and writing a review. Joseph Romanos published his review in several newspapers and it helped me generate more than 10,000 additional views of my book. Ultimately, you have nothing to lose by reaching out to experts in the field which your book addresses. It helps to better the reputation of your work by having good endorsements.
GoodReads book giveaways are also amazing. I ran two giveaways (for one week each, and only gave away one signed copy of my book). On both occasions, I had close to 1,000 people enter the giveaway. In addition, close to 400 people added my book to their “to-read” lists after seeing it listed on GoodReads under a book giveaway. Book giveaways are thus a great way to gain exposure.
What formats is the book available in?
My book is available in both paperback and ebook format. I believe both formats are important. I know the audiobook market has also been growing, so I would like to see my book in audiobook format at some point in the future as well!
What advice do you have for other writers?
Don’t rush in trying to release your book. Too many authors just want to get their book out as quickly as possible. As a result, they take shortcuts on editing, formatting, etc. This results in a bad book that obviously nobody will want to read. Take as much time as needed and do it right.
Also, I’ve helped so many “writers” who say they want to publish books. They start writing, but quickly lose motivation and discontinue their work halfway. Be disciplined to write every single day and complete your books.
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
People can find out more about me and my writing at www.niharsuthar.com. All my social media links are on that website as well. I’m not hard to find J.
How long did it take you to write your book?
From the day I first had the idea to write The Corridor of Uncertainty to when it was actually released into the market took two full years. It’s strange because writing the book probably only took me about six or seven months. However, the research for the book took a year. I had to immerse myself in the Middle East region. I also traveled with the Afghan team for a month and learned basic Pashto, the official language of Afghanistan, to make sure I was telling the story as accurately as possible.
So, the research and writing process combined took about a year and a half. After that, the process of getting the book published took another six months, for a grand total of two years from the beginning to the end of the project.
Did you learn anything from writing your book that was unexpected?
Absolutely. I learned so much about the Middle East region (in terms of history, culture, etc.) that I never knew before. That’s the beautiful thing about writing. You’re always learning something new.
Where can a reader purchase your book?
The easiest and most recognizable place to find my book is on Amazon. However, it is also available in several other bookstores and on several other websites around the world.
Who inspires you?
My guru, Pramukh Swami Maharaj, inspires me. He is extremely humble, but also on a constant mission to make the world a better place. That is what I admire most about him. One of my favorite quotes that he said is, “In the joy of others, lies our own.”
What are your thoughts on self-publishing verses traditional publishing?
I prefer traditional publishing, so that is the route I have personally taken for my books. I believe there is a certain level of prestige associated with traditional publishing that you cannot always achieve with self-publishing. As I mentioned, anybody in the world can self-publish a book. As a result, there are many books out there that are not properly edited or formatted that can give self-publishing as a whole a bad reputation.
However, traditional publishing has its downfalls as well. You may not always retain the rights to your work with traditional publishing. It’s also a slow and much longer process to go with a traditional publisher in terms of time taken to get your book published and out to the market. Still, I prefer traditional publishing because of the prestige.