Born in Madhya Pradesh, her journey as a daughter of an army officer is no less than an adventure in itself. The journey from Madhya Pradesh to Mussoorie has been a long but fruitful one for Nandini Kumar, the winner of KDP Pen to Publish Contest that recognises and celebrates self-published e-books written in Hindi and other regional languages. Much like Roald Dahl's Matilda, Nandini has always loved to read! Some of her earliest memories are of looking for books in homes that her family would visit. This young woman has been writing in English since she was 16 years old and recently took to penning compelling stories in Hindi.
What brought this winner of Pen to Publish to writing in Hindi?
Nandini recalled looking for stories written in Hindi when she visited bookstores and libraries but soon realised that there was nothing new. She learnt that there were hardly any writers who were providing a voice to the present generation. And most stories in Hindi were merely translations of stories from other languages. Inspired by greats such as Premchand and Saadat Hassan Manto, Nandini decided to become that voice and began her journey of writing in Hindi, a language which hasn’t been touched by many authors of today. She adds, “I was always in awe of Manto and I craved to look for books which had his style of writing and his books always intrigued me. I always took inspiration from him and his stories.”
Journey from being a writer to having a story published
While Nandini always wanted to publish her works, she realised that finding a publisher who would accept her writing style would be a tough find. “I always was keen on writing women-centric issues and I knew that going to a publisher would mean that the publishing house would make me tweak my lines or concept even. I wanted to be the voice that has been hushed for far too long in our society,” said Nandini. She sure wasn't willing to change her story for publishers.
She learned about Amazon's Kindle Direct Publishing through online articles but didn't realise that it was a serious option. As time passed, she discovered that KDP enabled writers to connect with readers of all kinds from across the globe. For a young woman who preferred reading from a book printed on paper, it was a leap of faith to opt for Amazon's KDP. She took the risk to publish Neeli with KDP to make sure her story reached the masses, and that's exactly what happened.
The Joy with Kindle Direct Publishing
“Sometimes you write a story, sometimes the story writes itself,” says Nandini who won the KDP Pen to Publish Contest 2018 for long form writing in Hindi. Forever thankful to Kindle Direct Publishing, she thinks it has opened up a wide horizon for upcoming and budding writers. Without being judged and without being edited, the works get accepted and published for masses – from all geographies to read! It has not only made her journey to getting her works published easier but also gave her complete freedom in writing about topics that she felt deeply about. She loves that it's just as simple for readers to be able to download, read and review through free Kindle app on their mobile phones.
Empowering Indian writers
Nandini feels that many people do not take Indian writers seriously, particularly when they are writing in Hindi and other regional languages. She believes that the option to self-publish through KDP has opened a gateway of opportunities to writers like herself. She adds, “Amazon's KDP is truly empowering writers by paving a smooth path to publishing.”
Nandini is now living her dream as a writer and has settled into Mussoorie. The hill station that continues to see talented writers come and go, is now a second home for the author of Neeli. She spends time soaking in the beauty of Mussoorie and loves that she gets to meet all kinds of people. She even gets to interact with other writers! Nandini looks forward to writing more stories and publishing with Amazon's KDP.