Tell me a bit about yourself.
My name is Aakanksha Jain; born and brought up in Indore, India. I recently got married and moved to a new city. I was blogging since 2017, and my blog, Books Charming, is one of the top Indian book blogs. I'm also an author, YouTuber, and Podcaster. I was recently awarded as a Best Book Blogger of the year 2020.
What genre/s do you write in?
I only wrote one book to date. It's a non-fiction named How to Become an Amazon Influencer? But I'm also working on a few fiction short stories.
How long have you been writing?
I'm doing book reviews since 2017 but published a book in 2020. So overall, it's been around 3-4 years.
Do you have any published books or articles? Tell me a bit about these.
Yes, my book How to Become an Amazon Influencer is available on Amazon and Goodreads. It is basically for those who are interested in making money through Amazon.
Did you use an editor? If so, who?
No, I don't.
Did you use a book formatter and cover designer?
No, I did everything from editing to formatting to cover design.
Did you self-publish or get traditionally published? How did this go for you?
I self-publish my book via KDP. It goes very well because I learn many things during the process; Amazon KDP is easy to use, and they provide advantageous features to the authors to track the sales and promote their books.
How do you market your work and promote your brand? (Include links)
I promote my work via social media, and you can connect with me at Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/bookscharming/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/bookscharm/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/aakankshajain22
What social media and writing platforms would you recommend?
In this age of technology, it is essential to have an account on all the significant platforms because you never know from where you get the work or inspiration. So, I recommend it all.
Do you use an agent?
No, I don't.
Do you use paid advertising? If so, what?
No, I don't. There are many ways to connect or advertise oneself without paying anything.
Do you have a blog or website?
Yes. Here's the link - https://www.bookscharming.com/
What inspires you most to write?
Two things inspire me to write, first my pain, second, the loneliness I feel. Writing my thoughts helps me to overcome my anxiety and gives me a sense of purpose.
What do you do to help with writer's block?
From time to time, I have gone through writer's and reader's block. To overcome that, I stop writing and reading thoroughly. I binge watch or go outside, and then after some time or some days, things start getting regular, and the block has gone. It comes intuitively; you know.
How do you plan your writing and start?
To be honest, I don't. I'm more of a go with the flow kind of person. If I want to do something, I do. If I don't, then no one can convince me. So, whenever I write something, the words and thoughts took control, not the other way around.
Is writing your full-time job? If not, what else do you do?
It is a full-time job for me, but more in the sense of book blogging. Before that, I was a schoolteacher, but I quit my job to focus on Books Charming.
What are you working on at the moment?
I have two short stories in the pipeline, one in Hindi and the other in English. Apart from these, I'm thinking about writing non-fiction; I haven't decided on the topic yet, but it will be for the bloggers as in my previous work.
What is your target audience?
My target audience is those who want to focus on blogging, digital, or affiliate marketing.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It sounds unbelievable, but I write my first book in one day. I remember I went crazy because I haven't eaten, didn't bathe, or talk to anybody. I was in the zone, and whenever I write or have an idea, I need to work on that asap; otherwise, I can't sleep or be able to do anything.
When did you first discover you enjoyed writing?
Writing is in my genes; I got it from my father. When I was in high school, I don't have a cell phone, so I used to write letters to my ex, and then whenever I feel sad or angry, I note down my feelings in the form of poems or two-liner; I still do, and it makes me calm. So the first impression of my writing is to soothe the inner turmoil, and when I start showing my work in the public domain in 2017 and got all the love and appreciation, I started enjoying it.
What is your writing schedule look like?
I don't have any. I work seven days a week, sometimes I read and write 18 hours a day or sometimes less, but there is not a single day when I don't do anything related to my work.
What does your family think about your writing?
My family always supported me; they never interfere in my life unnecessarily. If I want to do something, they were like, do it, and if I don't want to, then don't. They are not like any typical Indian family. But I'm the only one who made blogging and writing a career, so it is hard for me to make others understand what I exactly do. In India, blogging/writing is not considered a job by the majority. It breaks my heart sometimes, but I don't care anymore.
What do you do when you are not writing?
Oh boy, I love to just eat and chill. I'm a binge-watcher. I also love traveling, so I spend my time googling the places I want to visit next.
Where do you get information and ideas for your writing?
From my own experiences and the people, I came across.
What do you think makes a good story?
Every story is different and diverse aspects make it good or bad, but the three things that make or break a story are - grammar, narration, and character development.
Thank you for the chance to get to know you better and work together, Aakanksha.
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