Yogesh Chaabria shares Tips behind Authoring Six Books
Here’s the transcript of the podcast:
Kiruba: Hello and welcome to the first book podcast. India’s first and only podcast dedicated to helping first-time authors. In this podcast series, we have conversations with bestselling authors and business leaders to understand how they successfully cracked their first book, their journey as an author, and what lessons they can give for future authors. This podcast is done in association with Notion Press, one of India’s largest publishing ecosystems. In this episode, we have a conversation with Yogesh Chaabria, a successful investor, a bestselling author, and an entrepreneur. He has authored half-a-dozen books, mostly on finance, money, and investing, as part of his larger mission to help others be empowered financially and spiritually. I caught him in Delhi at Manifest, India’s largest conference for founders, where he was one of the speakers. Let’s listen to Yogesh Chaabria on his journey as an author and his writing tips.
Kiruba: Yogesh, it is such a joy to have you on this first-book podcast. Thank you for coming in.
Yogesh: Thank you so much, Kiruba for having me. It’s a joy on my end, too.
Kiruba: Yogesh, you’re the author of six books, right? Tell us what your latest book is about.
Yogesh: My latest book is on helping children more about money and finance and it’s called Happionaire’s Money Game.
Kiruba: Happionaire! I’ve seen titles of your books. They are all around smart investing; they are all around holistic living. So, that’s an area of passion for you, right?
Yogesh: Yes, it’s an area of passion and I truly believe that if you are happy, you can earn better, you can do business better, you can invest better. So, it’s a very holistic approach, you’re absolutely right, Kiruba.
Kiruba: Got it. So, what motivated you to bring out your first book and when was that?
Yogesh: The first book happened in 2008. Writing has been a passion for me ever since I was a small boy. I used to write for newspapers, for magazines, anywhere on scraps of paper. The first book happened in 2008. It was a pleasant coincidence. I would share my ideas through a blog and in those days, a friend of mine was looking for some help with designing. He was a designer. So, I contacted a large media house to help him out and while they were able to help him, they read some of my writings. They got happy and I started writing for them and that’s how the fist book came out. IT wasn’t an approach to seek getting published, I was simply helping a friend.
Kiruba: And this large publishing houses, the Network 18 group?
Yogesh: Yes, the Network 18 CNBC. CNBC TV 18.
Kiruba: And that’s a brilliant platform to start your first book with. So, what is the business benefit that you sought from your first book that motivated you to then bring out one book after another. You’re totaling six right now. So, obviously something must have happened after your first book. Tell us about that.
Yogesh: I didn’t look at it as a business benefit. I believed it’s just a story I want to share. These are ideas which I feel would help people help them learn a bit more and I didn’t see any business benefit in it. It was simply passion because I believe if you go in with the business benefit, your eye is always looking at the financial number or the figure and sometimes, that takes away from the passion, takes away from the feeling that I want to share an idea. Whether the book is going to sell a million copy or not is secondary, I think a lot of listeners of your podcast should simply look at it as a passion that this is something that we believe in, this is the story we want to share with the world and go out and do it without having any expectation of any large benefit or no benefit at all.
Kiruba: That’s a brilliant tip you gave. I think it is very important because everybody writes with some end objective in mind and if the end objective is just sharing your idea and helping others get better, success eventually follows. What were some of the best practices? While authoring your book, what is the schedule that you followed?
Yogesh: Everybody is unique and every individual is unique. I share what I experienced but your listeners can adopt whatever practice they want. So, whenever I write a book, what I do first is start with a goal – Why am I writing this book? What is the purpose of writing the book? And I make a note of it. Once I write this goal, I then lay out a road map so there’s a plan on what would be the points I would like to share. After I share the points, a structure comes in place. Once I have the basic skeleton or the structure, I can fill those things with my experiences. It’s different for fiction; it’s different for different genres. Mine is slightly non-fiction but I believe even for a fiction writer, they can first write a synopsis of what they have in mind and after that get to it because that way they have a clear path to follow a clear plan.
Kiruba: Do you have any writing hacks that seem to have really helped you with your authoring?
Yogesh: My writing hack is largely just be very conversational. Most of my writing is as if I’m speaking to you. It’s very simple, it’s very conversation and it’s a lot like who I am. So, be true to yourself. If your style is conversation, be conversational. If your style is bit more complicated, be that way. Whatever you are comfortable with, be with that.
Kiruba: What writing tools do you use – some apps or any kind of software that has really helped you?
Yogesh: To be honest, I like using a nice notepad to jot down the ideas and once I have the ideas, I simply use Microsoft Word. Nothing very complicated. Very simple!
Kiruba: Perfect! Are there any mistakes that you did in your earlier authoring experience that you have changed since then?
Yogesh: Yes, there have been a couple of mistakes. All of us make mistakes. So, the first mistake which I think I did was I did’t focus while writing on the marketing aspect of the book and when my first book came out, I was very happy. When I went to the bookstore, I found out very poor sales. The books were not selling at all. And in those days, that motivated to me to contact a lot of people. In fact, I contacted you also to talk about the book and a lot of bloggers, a lot of people to speak about the book and when they did that, it came on the bestsellers list. I think a lot of authors besides just writing should look at even the other aspects. In the end, the publisher is running a business. If you focus on the marketing aspects; if you are thinking of writing a book and your expertise is let us say HR or IT, if you build a following around your message by helping people that would really help you.
Kiruba: Got it. That’s brilliant. Any other marketing hacks that seemed to have worked for you?
Yogesh: A couple of them, firstly, is get people speak about your book. Secondly, who do you think your readers would be and where would be your readers going? So, your readers would be to, for example, a particular website or a person or look up to somebody. Make sure you establish a rapport with them, contact them, and get those people speak about your book, have a few contest, give away free books, feel free to speak about your message so you can get your message out.
Kiruba: Yeah. And you spoke at Manifest 2016 summit. But the beautiful thing is that your books are also available for anyone to buy outside and thanks to Network 18, they had the stall, I think that is super smart because buying can be a quick impulsive decision; they would quickly want to learn more and they quickly learned by. So, that’s another smart hack as well. Any further books in the pipeline?
Yogesh: Yes, there are a couple of books but I am sometimes a bit superstitious. Till I don’t have a book out there and ready, I don’t speak about it. Maybe I am a bit conservative but of course, it’s more of a passion; it’s something I enjoy.
Kiruba: Got it. Excellent! So, wonderful speaking with you, Yogesh. Thank you so much for your time.
Yogesh: Thank you very much, Kiruba, for the lovely talk. Thank you so much.
You were listening to the first book podcast, which is India’s first podcast specially aimed at first time authors. Do tune in every week to notionpress.com/podcast to follow new conversations with bestselling authors to hear their tips, tricks, and techniques to become a published author. On that note, a word of appreciation to Notion Press for supporting this show. I would love to hear your feedback and encourage you to write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until next week, take care and bye!