Indie Interview: Geetanjali Mukherjee

Indie Interview: Geetanjali Mukherjee

Copy of APPROACH BOOK BLOGGERS

A few months ago I had the big pleasure to read and review Anyone Can Get An A+: How To Beat Procrastination, Reduce Stress and Improve Your Grades by Geetanjali Mukherjee (Review). As a student myself I was excited especially about the “How to Beat Procrastination” part, and of course about all the newest tecniques applied to neuroscience to reduce stress and reach your full potential.

Ms. Mukherjee is a young self-published author, with six books published and a very promising career. For the Indie Interview she tells us about her work, her audience, cover designing, book marketing and how to overcome the fear of failure.


1. First a little about you. Who is Geetanjali Mukherjee?

Wow, difficult question right off the bat! I am not sure how to answer philosophically, but in practical terms, I am the author of six books of varying lengths, all non­fiction at the moment, hoping to use my love of books and writing to create books that touch readers and in some small way, make their lives a little better. I also have an academic research background, with degrees in law and public policy.

2. Your book “Anyone Can Get An A+: How To Beat Procrastination, Reduce Stress and Improve Your Grades” is a guide meant to help students. What moved you to write a self-­help guide for that audience?

I actually wanted to write a book for students since I was in high school. I was always a good student, but I went through this phase where I really struggled in school. And when I turned that time around, eventually getting the highest grades that year, I wanted to share the lessons I had learnt, especially because I saw many students who did poorly adopt this attitude of “I am just not smart enough”.

The reason I finally sat down and wrote this book last year was because I had been reading a lot of books on how the brain works and how we learn, and I was fascinated by the idea that anyone can learn anything if they approach it in the right way, and inherent “intelligence” or “ability” play a much smaller role than we usually ascribe to it.

3.Cover design can be tough for a lot of authors, and while getting it done by professionals may be the easiest option, it can also be quite expensive. You designed your own cover, what lead you to choose the colours, the font etc…?

Yes, cover design is quite difficult, and I am constantly trying to learn and improve. The current version of the cover is my second major redesign actually. I knew that I wanted a bright color, and somehow I wanted to include yellow in some form from the beginning. Other than that I researched other covers in my genre, tried many different options, and then finally something clicked and I finalized this cover. The advantage of indie publishing of course is that you get to change things, so I might change this again in the future, but for now I am happy with it.

 

4.Do you proofread your own book or do you get someone to do that for you?

I actually have done editing and proofreading professionally, for organizations and also as a freelancer, so I have a fair bit of experience. I am one of those people who read newspapers or books published by major publishers and find all the typos, which then ruins my reading experience! I do most of my proofreading myself, but then I get some family members to read through and point out any errors.

 

5. You have your book ready, now it’s time for marketing. How do you get the attention you need?

I think marketing is an ongoing endeavor, and it is never quite done. My main strategy is to get reviews, and get people to discover the book and the message. I also believe in content marketing, and have recently launched a blog dedicated to the ideas from this book. I have also done several promotions, with different levels of success. Earlier this year my book hit the #1 spot on Amazon for its genre, albeit only for a few days. The book has also been on 7 other bestseller lists on Amazon. However, it doesn’t get any easier, and one month it could be doing well, and the next month nothing happens.

 

6.Social Media for marketing. Does it work for you? Which social is the best?

I heard somewhere that you should pick the social media site that you like and focus on that. I am not sure how helpful that is, but I believe in that. My own favorite isTwitter, mainly because I enjoy it, there are lots of writers on there, and it doesn’t feel so intimidating to me. I don’t really know if it sells books, but it has other advantages. I think Facebook is obviously the big one for everyone, but it can be tricky and I think I have a lot more to learn. I have recently fallen majorly in love with Pinterest, and again, I don’t know if it helps me with my marketing, but it is a way for me to show my personality and share my own interests with others, and hopefully engage genuinely with potential readers.

 

 

7.Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? One is better than no one or are you picky about who you ask to review your work?

Well in some ways I am not very picky, in that anyone who wants to review my work is welcome. But I am choosy about who I reach out to, mainly because I try to focus my energy on asking those who are more inclined to read my type of book. I like reaching out to bloggers mainly because although they are swamped and it can take some time to get a review, they are always thoughtful and comprehensive and I think readers trust book bloggers more than someone who just may be a friend of the author.

I believe in the elbow grease method, and I have reached out to many, many more reviewers than have responded or shown interest, and then a smaller subset of that number have actually written reviews. This is definitely a game for the patient and perseverant. In terms of specifics, I reached out to the top reviewers on Amazon, as well as those on Indieview and The Book Blogger List.

 

8.Back to your book. One of my favourite chapters is called “Adopting the Right Attitude”, where you talk about the importance of developing the right mindset. What’s your inspiration? What keeps you positive?

Thanks, that’s actually my favorite chapter too, because I think it’s the advice I need personally the most. I often think that we write what we need to learn ourselves. Here’s the thing ­ it’s not possible to stay positive all the time, and I have had my share of feeling overwhelmed and defeated at many different junctures. I guess my coping strategy is to have a lot of different ways to inspire and pick myself up, so I try not to wallow in those negative feelings for too long.

I read a lot of self­help and motivation books; I have been reading self­help books since I was 9 or 10 years old, and I love those movies where the team wins the trophy at the end. I love the idea of going from failure to success. I am lucky in that my parents are very supportive, always there to give me a pep talk if I need one. Some of the advice in the book in fact came from things they told me over the years.

My biggest inspiration is my mentor in life, Dr. Daisaku Ikeda, who is a Buddhist, philosopher and educator. He has written a lot about character, and success, and especially given a lot of advice to young people, and I try to follow his advice and share it with others. In fact, I just read this quote this morning: “Simply deciding from the outset that you’re just not good enough, without making any effort, is nothing but escapism. Each of us is different, but we are all alike in that we possess tremendous potential. The truth is, you can do almost anything if you set your mind to it. The worst thing is to lose confidence in yourself and limit your own potential.”

When I feel defeated or negative, I read his guidance ­ there is always something that helps me to look at my problem or challenge in a positive or hopeful manner. That, and my daily practice of Buddhism keeps me positive and inspired.

 

9.A big obstacle ­for both students and writers­ is searching for perfection, or “fear of failure”. How do you ­as a young writer­ overcome that?

This is actually a huge issue for me, and lately I have been really trying to work on this. My need for perfectionism actually permeates every aspect of my life, and is far more insidious than I realize. I don’t have any magic solutions, but there are a few things I try to do to minimize its effects.

Firstly, I use deadlines to ensure that things get done and sent out. Anyone Can Get An A+ was actually on pre­order and I knew there would be real consequences to my not completing it (I was days away from the deadline and still needed to finalize a couple of chapters). I just had to get it done and sent off, and actually the chapters that I had to rush turned out to be my favorite ones.

I also try to remind myself that if I don’t get it done, I won’t be able to move on and work on the next project. Earlier I would just abandon one project and go on to the next shiny one, or if I was feeling stuck just let it sit for months on end (who am I kidding, I still do that sometimes!) But nowadays, more often, I just decide that I will complete this project and put it out there, and so I have to complete it, no matter how much I want to stall. I can be pretty stubborn, so I try to channel my obstinacy towards finishing something and not getting stuck in trying to be perfect.

Finally, I surround myself with inspiration. I go to bookshops and libraries and see the rows of books and try to remind myself that if all these authors could finish their book, so can I. I also listen to podcasts and read blogs of successful authors, who are usually very pragmatic about how they view their work. If nothing works, I read bits from some of my favorite writing books. A combination of the above usually does the trick, at least for that day. And the next day or week or month, I go through the whole cycle again!

 


Bio:

Geetanjali Mukherjee grew up in India, spending her early years in Kolkata, and then attending high school in New Delhi. She attended the University of Warwick, United Kingdom, to read law as an undergraduate. She went on to earn a Masters’ in Public Administration with a concentration in human rights and social justice from Cornell University, USA.

Geetanjali is the author of six books, and currently lives in Singapore. Her latest book Anyone Can Get An A+: How To Beat Procrastination, Reduce Stress and Improve Your Grades is available at all major retailers. In her spare time, she reads as many books as possible, watches romantic mystery movies and tries to avoid cooking.

 


You can find Geetanjali here:

Blog: geetanjalimukherjee.blogspot.com

Twitter: @geetumuk

Facebookfacebook.com/geetumuk

Google+: Geetanjali Mukherjee

Pinterest: @geetumuk

Goodreads: Author’s Page

 


 

Thank you Geetanjali for taking the time to answer these questions and for giving us the chance to enter your creative space! Thanks for sharing your experience with us!

Check out Geetanjali’s book review at Study Struggles: Strategies That Work and College Starter Kit.

 


#indiecorner

#indieinterview

 

Books of the Week

Books of the Week

CaféLatte

 

Happy Independence Day WeekEnd!! I love the fourth of July… delicious barbecues, friends and a good book, of course! Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, play it safe and enjoy the fourth! … Here’s my best books of the week.

Ready for college? I have the perfect College Starter Kit ready for you, the best books that will help you managing your finances, writing the perfect paper and becoming the best student ever.

Did it ever cross your mind to fake your death? Too much work -if you ask me, and Playing Dead  will show you how this is easier said than done. #NotAGoodIdea

Speaking of hashtags, Babe Walker vs Suburbia in American Babe. Funny, irreverent and absolutely enjoyable.

That’s not how we do it here and a mob of meerkats will teach you about management and leadership. Not just a fable, but an inspiring lesson for every entrepreneur out there.

The Indie Corner is officially open! Interviews, tips and tricks and much more.. for indie authors! Join us! #indiecorner

Social media addicts in search for inspiration try this:  Post this book and explore your inner artist with creative prompts to doodle, color, collage, pictures. And don’t forget to #PostThisBook!

This is all for now! Enjoy your day, have fun and celebrate the fourth! Happy reading!!

Books of the Week

Books of the Week

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How on earth has this week gone by so quickly? Well, at least I had time to read a bunch of books..

This week The Essential Books to Understanding.. covered candidate Bernie Sanders, a short collection of very interesting books that will help you understanding the man and the politician who’s running for president. (Previously The Essential Books To Understanding Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump).

Beyond politics I am a True Crime enthusiast, Dead Ends by Joseph Michael Reynolds is one of my favourite books about Aileen Wuornos. Written by the Reuters reporter who initially broke the story, in 1990, Dead Ends is the firsthand account of Wuornos’s capture, trial, and sentencing to death by lethal injection, that goes deep down where nobody ever before.

The “word of the week” has been “Brexit”. On June 23 Britons were called to vote about whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union or leave it for good.  A State of Independency by Mark Brolin will give you an objective and critical analysis of what’s really going on in the Old Country and why Brexit is good.

Don’t get a job, live your dream by Scott Haug, a new sel-help book, contains 7 important reasons that will help convince you to live the life you truly want to live.

The Crow Girl by Erik Axl Sund has been a real challenge for me to read..784 pages of a really dark and disturbed psychological thriller. Epic but well written.

Something different that took me out of my comfort zone: poetry. Djinni Hunter by Thomas Kozumplik is a splendid collection of poems that I am still enjoying.

Well, readers.. that would be all for now!  As always, feel free to comment and share your best books of the week. Happy week and happy reading!

 

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Millennials: Are You One of Us?

 

9d861ac5027505d5d61fe9eb36448da7One of the best part of becoming a self-proclaimed “book blogger” is when authors and PR people from publishing companies reach you out asking if -by any chance- you’d like to read this or that book and help them spreading the word.

Duh!! I’m a bookworm. Sure I would like to read your new/soon-to-be-published book!!

A week ago, Jack Cahn -a first-time author and college student- offered me to read an advanced copy of When Millennials Rule: The Reshaping of America,  written with his twin brother David.

I knew JaWhen Millennials Ruleck and David Cahn -the Twin Titans of Stuyvesant High School– from the media attention they received in 2013 because of their involvement in school activism, and I am an avid reader of their Huffington Post posts too (read here David’s entries and here Jack’s entries).

Jack and David’s book -which I will review soon- is written by and for a specific demographic cohort called Millennials.

According to all the legitimate sources I have consulted, I am -my birthright- one of them. Yes people, I am a Millennial.

Despite there are no precise dates for when the generation starts and ends; most researchers use birth years ranging from the early 1980s to around 2000.* The credit of naming the Millennials goes to authors William Strauss and Neil Howe, which -in their latest book titled Millennials Rising: The Next Great Generation– defined the Millennials as a “civic-minded generation with a strong sense of community both local and global“.

Pretty cool, huh? Sure is, on paper. Here comes the reality check.

o-THE-REAL-ME-GENERATION-facebookAfter further research I found out that Millennials don’t exactly enjoy widespread appreciation, nor consideration among society; lazy, entitled narcissists who still live with their parents, tech junkies and guinea pigs for everything marketing related.

We might be more tech savvy, more entrepreneurial, more tolerant and even more optimistic about the future, but we also are the generation with the highest joblessness and debt out of school.

Statistics show that we are the best educated generation of history but -apparently- our political views don’t make any sense, our ideas are unrealistic and we will never reach higher political positions.

3-Steps-to-Reaching-Millennials-on-Facebook.pngGo figure that!

We are good buyers though. No kidding. In fact, there are a lot of books about how to make us buy even more things:

  • Marketing to Millennials: Reach the largest and most influential Generation of Consumer Ever, by Jeff Fromm and Christie Garton (Book) – (eBook)
  • Your Customer is the star: How to make Millennials, Boomers and Everyone Else Love your Business, by Micah Solomon (Book) – (eBook)
  • Managing the Millennials: Discover the core Competencies for Managing Today’s Workforce, by Chip Espinoza and Mick Ukleja (Book) – (eBook)

Just to name a few. That’s quite sad, isn’t it?

My question to you, brave reader, is: What’s really hiding under the sand? Who’s keeping Millennials out of the big game? Why society doesn’t give Millennials credit? Are Millennials really narcissistic personalities characterized by a damaged sense of self?

When Millennials Rule: The Reshaping of America by Jack and David Cahn is an extraordinary reading that I recommend (pub.date August 2nd, 2016). If words and ideas can change the world, and if “it depends on us, on the choices we make, particularly when big changes are happening and everything seems up for grabs“** than we -Millennials- have a lot of work to do.


 *Source:Wikipedia

** President Obama to the class of 2016 at Rutger University 250th Anniversary Commencement

***This post reflects my personal opinion. I am not sponsored by none of the people mentioned above. The reason why I am  highly, strongly, shamelessy suggesting to buy Jack and David’s book is mostly because I believe in the message that carries. I will never get tired to recommend any writer who is not afraid to share good ideas and knows how to use a perfect consecutio temporum!

****If you don’t know what the consecutio temporum is…get out of here!! Kidding, just google it!

TGIF and What’s New at the Book Club (Goodreads)

TGIF and What’s New at the Book Club (Goodreads)

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Happy Friday Everyone!

Today is the first day of April and it’s time for some changes for the Book Club on Goodreads. We gained around 31 new members over the last month and we have a lot of ideas! Let’s see what’s new:

Pollwednesday1

A well-worded  question is the quickest way to connect with other readers and also a good conversation starter. Poll Wednesday will be online every week 🙂

Follow the link on the main page and you’ll be redirected to the group page on Goodreads.

Vote and share your thoughts with other readers!

READEROF THE MONTH

Make a comment, vote on a poll, share what you’re reading at the moment and join us on Twitter and on our Facebook Page,
you have an entire month to show me how a good reader
and active member you are. There will be a new Reader of the Month Challenge every other month, next one will start May 1st.

Sign up and try your luck..win the title and the prize!

P.S. We have our first winner for the month of March! Congratulations Cheryl!!

Book Talk aka The ArenaBOOK

Is there a book you’d like to read and discuss with other readers? Book Talk is a “group reading” made by genre, you can join the one you like the most -history, YA, business, fiction, true crime,…- write the title and ask other members to join you into the arena 🙂

Join us Facebook , Tweet with us and be part of the Book Club

Do you Body Shame?

Do you Body Shame?

I Do It with Lights On: and 10 More Discoveries on the Road to a Blissfully Shame-Free Life, by Whitney Way Thore

I am enthusiastic about this book and I couldn’t have been happier to read it before the official release date, which will be May 31.
I Do It with Lights On is Whitney’s personal account of her life as a talented dancer, straight As student and young girl dealing with the pressure to be thin.

From developing an eating disorder as a teenager to extreme weight gain in college to her ongoing struggle with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) Whitney tells it all, opening up about the depths of her decover85954-mediumpression as well as her tremendous resilience in the face of constant harassment and mistreatment.

I know Whitney Thore from her reality show My Big Fat Fabulous Life on TLC and that is also how I got to know about the “body positivity” movement. The “No Body Shame” campaign is to help every individual overcome the debilitating effects of societal-induced shame, promoting self-acceptance even if others do not accept us. By doing that real changes in confidence and quality of life are not only possible, but inevitable.

Written with brutal sincerity this book will find its way to your heart and it will teach you that “fat acceptance” only means that even big people still deserve basic human respect!

Stop body shaming and show some support to this AMAZING girl!!

You can find her on Youtube , @WhitneyWay on Twitter ,  on Facebook and on her website.


Get your own copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (Ebook)

Are You Afraid of Your Own Mind?

Are You Afraid of Your Own Mind?

A Dark Assortment, by Mikey Campling

A Dark Assortment is a collection of seventeen stories just mildly scary.
What’s really and truly scary is what your own mind and imagination create out ofcover84826-medium.png it.

I liked this book for a very simple reason: it made me use my imagination; it made me think and create something unique, something that only my own fears and experience could mix up together and turn into a work of fantasy.

Read this book and let your mind play with it..they’re just stories, aren’t they?

 

 


Get your copy now! On Amazon.com

 

When You’re Young, Broke and Hangry

When You’re Young, Broke and Hangry

Quarterly Life Poetry. Poems for the Young, Broke and Hangry, by Samantha Jayn

If there’s anything that we can have absolute certainty about is that nothing in life does always go the way we want! Especially if you’re in your twentiecover80177-medium.pngs and fresh out of college.
Samantha Jayn thought things would look different by twenty-five. Instead she has a student loan and some Thai leftovers in the fridge.

From the creator of the popular Tumblr and Instagram “Quarter Life Poetry” a collection of poetry that captures the voice of who knows that being in your 20s doesn’t always mean “the best years of your life.”

This book is a book you might want to keep around just to remind yourself that the key of living content and surviving life is a good laugh.


Get your copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (Ebook)

 

 

 

Life Lesson from Zach

Life Lesson from Zach

If at Birth You Don’t Succeed: My Adventures with Disaster and Destiny, by Zach Anner

Zach Anner is a comedian, actor and writer who gained world-wide attention with the submission of a video to Oprah’s “Search for the Next TV Star” competition, thanks to that he won his own TV show called Rollin’ With Zach, a wheelchair travel show filmed throughcover82372-medium.png the States and aired on OWN TV in 2011.

Zach’s has a YouTube channel, where he posts regularly, with over 290 thousands subscribers and over 13 million total views.  His projects include a travel show Riding Shotgun, a workout show Workout Wednesday and a show in collaboration with SoulPancake titled Have a little faith, in which he explores the basic of several religions that have a foothold in the United States.

If at Birth You Don’t Succeed is a hilariously irreverent and heartfelt memoir about finding your passion and your path even when it’s paved with epic misadventure.

Zach Anner is out of any doubt a talented comedian and an excellent writer, this book is about an intelligent and sagacious man who has the nuts to live life.

Splendid. Do yourself a favour and read this book. I promise you won’t stop laughing!!


Get your copy now! On Amazon.com (Book) – (Ebook)

 

Books of the Week

Books of the Week

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Hello Readers,

another week another bunch of books. Not a very fortunate one, I have to admit, but still worth sharing.

Coincidences amaze me and knowing that there is a science behind that amaze me even more, Connecting with Coincidence will show you how they work in our lives. This book wasn’t exactly my favourite, a bit redundant, but quite informative anyway.

Evicted brought light on an extremely painful issue that America needs to face! Removing families from their homes in name of profit and greediness is wrong and counterproductive on the long run.

Being reclused because of a bad seasonal cold made me think about loneliness and if it’s really a bad thing that we should avoid at any cost. If you live in the city though, some “alone time” can be something your body and mind will crave at some point. The Lonely City is a beautiful reportage through the art of being alone.

My deep love for New York brought me another splendid book: A Bronx Boy’s Tale is Newell’s personal account of life in the Bronx, when life was good.

That’s it for Books of the Week. See you the next week… happy reading everyone!