Sabarna Roy: the author of Pentacles, Frosted Glass, Abyss, Winter Poems, Random Subterranean Mosaic: 2012 – 2018, and Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020 about his activities and thoughts in and around the Pandemic.
Q. What are some of the strategies you’ve incorporated to stay relevant to writing and working on your current book and selling of your book/ business/ writing productivity/position immune to the massive job loss amid the pandemic? Since earlier it was an easy task to place your book but during the pandemic what innovative/different steps have you taken to tackle the sales as well as to reach your audiences during pandemic as none of the traditional methods could work during the pandemic?
I am a Senior Engineering Professional employed in a large engineering-manufacturing Company and an Author of Literary and Technical Books and peer-reviewed Technical Papers that are published in National and International Journals of repute.
After the National Lockdown, which started on March 24 and carried on until May 31 our production facilities were closed down and we incurred huge financial losses. Thankfully, we did not retrench a single soul during this time but were forced to implementing pay-cuts to keep our cash-flow afloat, with the higher salaried white collared staff taking the highest hit. Now that we have reached 90% of Plant efficiency, we have withdrawn the pay-cuts as well.
As a traditionally published Author the first thing that hit me was: My sixth book Etchings of the First Quarter of 2020, which was published on June 26 came out on Amazon Kindle and could not be published in hard-bound format as was planned earlier since the printers were not working in Mumbai at that point in time.
As such, the book could not have a proper physical all-India launch. My publisher and I had planned this book as a slim and an elegant hard-bound book, which has not seen the light of the day till today. However, I believe the hard-bound paperback version will come out in October as the situation is improving day-by-day.
However, the pre-publication and post-publication reviews were planned intelligently and as such, the sales on Amazon Kindle have been phenomenal on a sustained basis. I have been busy during the continuing pandemic with various Webinars in the capacity of a Senior Engineering Professional in some and in the others as a Literary Author.
I also planned and structured my next book on the Pandemic during this time and wrote and published 4 Technical Papers on the Irrigation sector in India, Specialized linings/coatings that are anti-corrosive and anti-abrasive, and Desalination Plants in India. In the end, I must say Pandemic has been a learning in tackling despair, hopelessness, remoteness and boredom. However, human beings with their implicit imagination, intuition and adaptiveness carry on learning from one-moment-to-the-other.
Q. Your word of advice/message to other Authors, jobholders, employers and entrepreneurs according to your experiences amid the pandemic?
I believe in threat being an opportunity. For Authors the Pandemic has unleashed before us a plethora of topics and ideas on which we can write and explore new avenues. For Employes it is a time for learning new skills. For Employers and Entrepreneurs, it is a time to grab Industrial Revolution 4.0 comprising Artificial/Applied Intelligence, Machine Learning and Robotics; in short: aggressive automation. Pandemic has given us an opportunity to reinvent ourselves. We have become a part of history living in these times and will never be the same again.