Okay, readers: Impressing the Whites (possibly my second most successful book in numbers, though it may be overtaken by "I Will Not Go the F to Sleep'" shortly), is back, temporarily, and I will also soon be releasing a print edition--but I reserve the right to withdraw it if I don't get enough reader support.
For two years of work, which for someone of my qualifications would mean an income of around $120,000 in a different profession, I earned around $5,000 for this book. And I committed that time and effort, and my living expenses for the period, without an advance, and any guarantee of return. Please don't balk at the $6.99 price. Tina Fey's Bossypants sold for $12.99 and it sold a million copies. My book sells around 30-50 copies a year. Indian readers: please respect your writers. And respect their freedom and their diversity. Do not insist that a writer should write exactly the books you want and reflect your ideas exactly--that's not a true writer, that's a hack.
Yes, there are a handful of good writers who manage to sell large quantities of books at low prices, and others who are lucky; but it is generally agreed now that that game is up, with the market being deluged by cheap and free books whose quality is highly variable. Please respect your own time--and how many hours of pleasure a good book can give you, again and again--and that of the writer who is a writer rather than a marketing whiz.
Links to a very enlightening post by Faith Mortimer.
As Christmas time approaches and many of you will head out on vacation and not be checking your email, this is the time to wish you a Merry X’mas and a Happy New Year, and also to announce with delight my new publications, as well as to provide links for a few other favorite titles. I hope you consider bringing joy into someone’s life, and shopping at home or on your I-phone/I-pad/computer with a convenient click (on Amazon, the gold button on the top right side that says, “Gift It”—no charge to deliver an e-book):
I WILL NOT GO THE F**K TO SLEEP : the print edition(for those who must have it in printed format!): http://www.createspace.com/3714495
THE WHOLE WORLD IN HIS PANTS: a short, highly readable adaptation of my widely published novel (called "very funny" by Kurt Vonnegut) The Revised Kama Sutra, containing the juicy middle parts. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B006FJNV9M
Only 200 pages versus 440 pages for the full novel. It has already received a 5-star review on Amazon: "Hilarious. . . .Highly recommended."
A SHORT HISTORY OF PECKERS:
LORD BUSH OF IRAQ: (A satire on the Bush family and its Iraqi adventures) https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/115571
FATHER, REBEL, MANGALOREAN
THE REVISED KAMA SUTRA (my bestselling and best-reviewed book):
"Should be a recognized classic."--Mark Ledbetter. "Absolutely spectacular."--Afternoon Despatch & Courier "Gritty."-The New York Times "Very funny."--Kurt Vonnegut
I WILL NOT GO THE F**K TO SLEEP (my bestselling e-book): pure humor for the open-minded:
"For the rebel in you. Made my day"--Amazon 5-star review
EATEN BY THE JAPANESE
"As a war memoir, ranks with the best."--Amazon 5-star review.
And general links:
All my books on Apple: http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/richard-crasta/id421345553?mt=11
All my books on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001ICH6H4
My web site: http://www.richardcrasta.com
For a few other suggestions, please visit this blog:
I have survived a challenging year thanks to a few friends, and perhaps a certain buffalo-like stubbornness within me. I have continued to focus on writing, though first concentrating on e-books as my turnaround strategy, because, theoretically, there are no gatekeepers, and if just 1% of the owners of Kindles and I-pads worldwide were to try even a single book of mine, my luck would change.(Meanwhile, I am grateful to have a comfortable bed to sleep in and food on the table.) The ultimate goal is to be financially free so I can complete the important and serious works in progress.
Thank you, and all good wishes for the new year,
The new revised edition of "Impressing the Whites" is titled "The Coconut Bible" and published on Amazon.com as an e-book and under a pseudonym.
I think a line from the book states: "The moral for Indians is: when you see a brown man coming, run in the opposite direction."
I would say the same thing about Indians who praise you for your courage. The moment you are in trouble, they, despite all the encouragement they have given you, will run in the opposite direction. I imagine them pushing one of their kind to the frontlines on the Pakistan border, and thus saving their own skins.
So be it.
I have changed the title of this post, and I have also changed the post itself, and I will explain why.
When I decided to publish independently through Invisible Man Books, it was after my second book had been published by a major Indian publisher in 1997, and I had run into censorship problems.
Since December 1997, Invisible Man Books has published six titles, including 5 original titles, in print, and every one of them is a daring book, daring in its own way. Kuldip Nayar, author and journalist, said of "The Killing of an Author": "An integrity that is rare." Others have described the books as "courageous" and "going where no Indian writer has gone before" (see http://www.richardcrasta.com/reviews.htm for details). Every one of these books would not have been in existence but for Invisible Man Books, and the very existence of Invisible Man Books, is a challenge to the Establishment. Many of these contain Prefaces that are manifestos of independence, of nonconformism, and resistance: yes, even the Preface to What We All Need, which I have just published at my other blog: http://richardcrasta.blogspot.com
Maybe I was wrong to be so naive, but I have never regarded my writing or my publishing as a business (though I am aware of the need to survive so I can continue writing). I regard myself as a freedom fighter, as a fighter for justice and for democratic rights, someone in the service of a larger cause. Writing and publishing, to me, is part of my my commitment to freedom of expression--to equal freedom of expression for all human beings, including those of Indian origin. At lulu.com, where The Killing of an Author was first published as a POD book, one reviewer calls it "not a book, but an act of bravery."
I have regarded my work as a sacred calling, as a public service, as something I owe both to myself and society. I am flabbergasted when someone asks me "How is your business?" or "What is the breakeven point for your books"? And I realize these people don't know the first thing about me. I have invested about $50,000 of my time and money into these 6 books over 12 years from 1997 to 2009, and partly because I have been cheated by distributors, booksellers, and others, and the books repressed and treated as mere commodities, with far less respect than "Chicken Soup" and bathroom joke books, and I have earned back only around $10,000. In my blogs, especially at http://richardcrasta.blogspot.com , I have campaigned for public interest causes.
Freedom is never free. If you wish that Invisible Man Books should continue to be in existence, not to bow its head and slink away, not to have no premises even to store its books, feel free to follow up your wish with action by clicking on the "Tip Jar" at the top of this blog (slightly right of center) or by ordering books at http://www.richardcrasta.com/buybooks.htm
Also, as a symbolic gesture of support, you can "like" the Invisible Man Books page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Invisible-Man-Books/234258493292819
Who's afraid of panties, a brief but potentially interesting item of women's clothing that British Cabinet ministers and politicians of all stripes also happen to be like to dress up in when no one is looking? In 2011, when you can get thousands of microscopically accurate views of any part of a man's or woman's body on the Internet--free? Apparently there were quite a few pussies among the distributors of India, who banned this book from distribution in 2005/2006, though it was a bestseller in one bookstore: 140 copies sold! So, after briefly regressing to a picture of my friend's cat on the cover of WHAT WE ALL NEED (not many got the connection), and preaching to whoever would listen about hypocrisy (while practicing it myself), I've decided to return to the original: the woman in panties who decorated the print cover.
I did try to get a devout Christian artist friend of mine to give me a better cover, free, without the brassiness of this, but he agreed but never did it, so finally, it's returning to the book's roots. The book is my most expensive e-book--but if you read the matter, which is smoking hot, besides being funny, passionate, and heartfelt, you'll realize it's justified. For me, an Indian who was repressed by imported Victorian morality, writing about sex is a political act, a declaration of independence, the sexual-literary equivalent of the Salt March. Which is why I have dared to go beyond any limits that Indian writers have observed so far. I don't want just anyone reading it; I would rather restrict the book to a select audience for the moment.
Still, I need all the sales I can get, and the word of mouth, reviews, and likes. So, for those who would bother to help, here's a partial list of links:
I Will Not: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/i-will-not-go-the-f-k-to-sleep/id444134043?mt=11
Thank you, friend.
All of my books are written at a moment in time, and try to be true to the mood, the passion, and the understanding of that time. They try to reproduce my emotional history with accuracy and truth. If you were to ask me now whether THE KILLING OF AN AUTHOR tells the story of a person who was suffering from drug withdrawals and a person who was too blind to see the Big Picture, I would say, of course, that is partly true. The book itself contains plenty of disclaimers, apologies, and moments of humility and raw humanity.
Despite all this, the book has received some passionate reviews, and this new review is the kind of review that authors dream about, and it almost made the writing of THE KILLING OF AN AUTHOR, a project of enormous daring and will power, almost of obsession--to tell the truth and not be stopped by anyone--worthwhile:
The review is on the website of lulu.com:
It's a book that touches your innermost soul - with all its raw emotions, desires, pain, anguish and a feeling of injustice that any Indian author can experience at the world's publishing capital - New York. Its not a book - its an act of bravery, its a kick in the pants of the publishing lords and its an eye-opener for anyone who is awed by the glitter of the modern day institutions of the world, be it publishing world or another. Reading this book was a very different experience for me since I laughed, I cried, I was pained, I felt angry, I was shocked... but I smiled nevertheless and thanked the author many times in my heart for such an open and honest writing, for such a courageous book...and of course for such a gift of words that he has. Richard knows how to weave a magic with his words and always maintains a wonderful sense of humour in his books.
It's a book that is not to be missed and its not a surprise that it had to be self-published by the noted author. Who else would dare publish such a courageous book after all?
The book is also available on amazon.com at:
The brief truth about THE KILLING OF AN AUTHOR, the third book of my Freedom Trilogy, is this: I promised to publish it no matter what, and I did it!
And I move on, but hope a few readers will honor my commitment to the truth by reading the book and telling other people about it.