So far I have featured many awesome bloggers & personalities on my Blogger Interview Series column. But today I am going a feature a young personality with some awesome skills on writing books, in-depth passion & knowledge for Shiva and a big heart to help people around him selflessly.
Friends, let’s welcome Santosh Gairola, the founder of a unique lifestyle blog Viyali and the co-founder of Blogging pal (the other pal is Rahul Bhiccher). Without wasting any time, let’s start this awesome discussion.
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Interview of Santosh Gairola (Viyali.com)
This is a very interesting discussion and you will be able to know some awesome facts about Lord Shiva and also learn how to write your own book and publish on Amazon.
Hey Santosh, I am happy to feature you on my blog. Please share something about yourself to my audience.
Hello, big bro thanks for providing me an opportunity to speak to your incredible audience.
Hi all, my name is Santosh Gairola; I’m from Dehradun India. Previously, I was working on a tech comp as a coder, but now I’m working in the Blogosphere as a blogger; I operate a couple of blogs, in which Viyali and Blogging pal are my favorites.
Apart from writing content for my blogs, I love developing programming code in Microsoft .net framework platform for myself, which I apply for my personal use.
On the other side; apart from Blogging, I have a great passion for books, especially books from indie authors. Hence, I have a massive collection of physical and ebooks, including all genres. Recently, I have started reading Love story novels.
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What your blog Viyali is all about? How did you come to this name? Please share the story.
Viyali is something which, is close to my heart. It is a lifestyle blog, in which I share the article related to positivity, self-development, and spirituality, but the influential segment of the blog contains spiritual content. When I say spirituality; it means Lord Shiva for me.
Well, it is an intriguing story behind the name of Viyali.
Before getting started with the name Viyali, I was going with Vardana (Blessing / Boon) name. I checked the name on Bigrock it was available then.
Those were my initial days when I had no idea about the business. The mistake I did was I started creating facebook page first to get the preserved audience. It took me a couple of months for getting organic page likes.
After making a small audience built up for my future website under Vardana name, I thought to register the domain. Unfortunately, somebody took it from me. That was my first encounter with Domain flipping.
My Fb page became useless for me, and the only thing that left was the Initial V. I decided to turn V into Victory and searched another name for a few days. I was desperate to go with a single inspiring word. Finally, I stumble upon Viyali.
The name Viyali invokes greatness, strength, and modesty into the listener. Hence, when someone says how is Viyali going on? The name gives me positive vibes. The first initial of Viyali inspire me for Victory.
What is your educational background, and how come you have traveled this journey to a storyteller?
Interested in computer education; I chose the Bachelor of computer application, which led me to professional international certification into the dot net framework. Later for technological advancement, I enrolled myself in Graphic and animation courses. Today, I see myself these Docket files but seem to be of no use; as I changed my mindset from an employee to an employer.
Are you a full-time blogger? How do you earn your bread & butter?
Yes, I’m a full-time blogger now. Sponsored and Advertisement networks help me to earn online money. Now, I’m also doing Affiliate marketing.
I have other sources of Income, which from projects and Training my students and rest are coming from my Books Royalties.
Why did you start a lifestyle blog? Why not a tech blog to make money from different channels?
Lifestyle Blog is a niche, which helps me to become a better version of myself. It gives me peace of mind when I surf any lifestyle Blog, and it’s cool to be different.
Please share something about your love with SHIVA (if you are feeling okay only)
Shiva is a transcendental supreme God in Sanatan Dharma. Here Dharma means righteousness, not the religion, and Connecting with Shiva means discovering your inner consciousness.
There is something in me which correlates to Shiva. He is gorgeous as Chandrashekhar, as well as terrible as Rudra. He is kind as Bholenath as well as devastating as Mahakaal.
There are several manifestations of Shiva, and I adore them all. Shiva’s anger and gentleness are both within me.
I have no doubts in my life as he is with me in the form of my trust, and I have seen big dreams on the bases of that particular faith. He is with me, so I feel that everything is doable for me. I don’t know what kind of energies surrounds me, which makes me fearless to take tough decisions in life.
It might be because Shiva’s support is selfless for me. Whenever I failed; he held me and convinced me to try once more.
I feel a beautiful connection with Shiva; he has all my answers. By remaining unbiased; he gave me results of all my struggles and hard work. I’m thankful to Shiva for giving me the justice of my all Karmas.
You wrote a few books and featured them on Amazon too. How exactly that happened?
As I mentioned above, I love reading a lot. I read many authors’ nonfiction books. I admire the way authors pick the right vocabulary for defining something.
It is an art that takes years to master. I want to be in their shoes. Hence, my passion for book reading inspired me to write books. It was also on my bucket list.
How do you guide a beginner to start writing their first book?
Book writing is a great way to express your words to the world. If there is something which you want to share with the world, you are welcome to the Author’s world.
It is a fabulous place to be there. Possibilities are limitless here. Famous authors like Seth Godin worth $34 million. I think I don’t need to mention JK Rowling’s name. Her net worth is 1 Billion.
There are a few things that need to take care of before writing a book?
- Your genre of the Book [ Health, Romance, Self-Help, Horror, Kids Books]
- Your language of the Book [English, Hindi, Marathi, Tamil]
- Do you want to go with traditional publishing or Self-publishing? [Traditional – Penguin | Self Publishing – Amazon Kindle ]
- Your distribution rights. [It means your book’s worldwide rights]
- Pricing of the Book
Writing a book and blog post is different. But still, what is the importance of niche selection? Please share a few tips from your experiences.
Yes, writing a book and blog post is different. A blog post is a collection of limited data, whereas a Book is detailed researched by the Author. It takes months to sometimes years to write and publish books depending upon various factors.
Hence, it becomes imperative to select the right Niche. Otherwise, all the hard work will go into vain. Select a Niche that suits you better. Write only the quality book.
There is no benefit of writing a book in which you are not well interested and writing for just the sake of money. The audience can sense low-quality Books; hence, try to become an authority in your Niche.
Is publishing on Amazon a good idea? What are the other platforms available?
Amazon is a global market and a trusted brand. They dominate the market with maximum shares. You can trust them but as warren buffet said never keep your all eggs in one basket.
Other platforms are
- Info spark
- Google Book Store
- Apple books publishing
- Pothi (For Indian writer)
Is it free to publish a book on Amazon? Any validity till when your book can be on Amazon etc.
No, there is no validity, and publishing a book is free on Amazon. Under the Amazon exclusivity program, your product becomes exclusive for Kindle store for 90 days.
After that, you cannot sell it anywhere else. Amazon is strict with their policies. If you do that, Amazon may penalize you by blocking your books.
Generally, how much time it takes to complete a book? And then what are the other processes you follow before making it live?
For me, it takes more than 45 days as I have other blogs and work to do. After writing my manuscript; I double-check the grammatical mistakes.
Formatting is the most significant part of the process. You cannot miss it. Finally, I design Book cover on Canva; I also use paid assistance.
How do you make sure your book is grammatically error-free? Do you hire any service for quality check?
I have a VA; she does the proofreading for me. When She is not available due to any reason, then I do it myself, which becomes time-consuming for me.
Do you use any tool to create Kindle books or eBooks?
Google Docs and Canva is the only tool; I use for my Books.
How do you decide the price of your books? Could you please share a few tips on that?
I do it depending on targeting potential Readers. There is a tremendous market for my genre. Still, I want to make my book affordable to all.
Never set your price too low or too high. Therefore, I value my work and generous with my pricing.
How do you make sure your book will reach to the right audience? Please share some promotional techniques you follow.
Indeed; I have a sales page on my blog Viyali, which sends them to my book store. Therefore, it is good to have an author’s platform.
I also use Email marketing as I have 1500+ Email subscribers. Amazon also runs my book promotional ads on various websites. It feels good when big brands feature you for your work. I also hit the best-seller spot at no 49.
Apart from that, AMS (Amazon marketing services ) is a great way to promote your book.
How do you handle your readers’ expectations, positive or negative feedback?
Fortunately, lots of people are appreciative of me.
Only a spiritually calm person can get the meaning behind the criticism and appreciation. I understand that and live a tension free life.
I try to take everything positively, as after reading several books; I realized many secrets of life that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. I don’t have time to waste my energy on unproductive stuff.
It is a mindset which depends on how you perceive reality. I’m the calmest person in the room until someone forces me to wake meditative Rudra inside me.
Where exactly do you see yourself after 5 years?
Life is beautiful.
Well, that is an enjoyable question. After creating multiple streams of massive inflow Income; I see myself in a jungle surrounded by nature; planting a tree and watering it.
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