Neel Preet: First of all, Big Congratulations on your recently published book, “CHENNAI TO CHICAGO – Memoir Of A Software Engineer” Sriram Sir! What kind of responses are you getting from your book? Please share your experience about this book.

Sriram Ramakrishnan: The feedback and response I got have been positive so far. It’s primarily a memoir/travel-memoir genre. Some of the words in the reviews were, “Gave me goosebumps”, “Inspirational”, “Astonishingly good story-telling” etc.

Marketing is indeed a challenge as with many other authors. When I started writing my book, I thought it would become famous. Slowly, when I got deeper into the marketing world, I realized that it might get lost in the pile of millions of books sold on Amazon. I realized how hard it is to actually put something out there to the world! It requires a lot of perseverance, hard work, creativity, and unfortunately, that’s not enough, we need luck! There are over 15 million books sold on amazon (~1500 books published every single day), how many are popular? 50,000? 100,000 maybe? That’s like 0.5%! What about the rest? I am sure most of the remaining 99.5% of the authors are equally persevering and hardworking. I believe, apart from being a good book, it requires a “viral factor” for it to sell widely. 

Neel Preet: I’ve read your books and I had genuinely liked the concept of your Travel-Writing Book, so my next question to you is that what inspired you to write this book? 

Sriram Ramakrishnan: I used to blog or write to my friends. They kept saying that the writing style is very good and that I should consider writing a book. I thought why not attempt it, I like writing anyway. It didn’t take me much time to write the book, especially since it’s a memoir. In fact, the opposite happened. I wrote too much and had to edit out a lot. I might have removed 30-40% of what I wrote. Maybe, because the events were from my life I might have thought that it’s important to narrate them. But for someone reading them, it should make sense as a story. Without a good story to tell, memoirs might get boring. 

Neel Preet: Your readers would definitely like to know about your work ethics, so can you describe the impetus behind your work?

Sriram Ramakrishnan: We learn from other’s life journeys. Memoirs should either inspire or inform. People read fiction for pleasure, but they read a memoir to see what someone has gone through, what they learned from their life’s events, and how they evolved. The fact that a memoir has real events and every page has been lived by someone, it makes the stories interesting.

Neel Preet: Reading the narrative, subject matter, and theme used in the plot of your book, Chennai to Chicago, I’m greatly impressed and I want you to explain to us, in your version that how this book will appeal to the readers.

Sriram Ramakrishnan: I have a lot of travel experience, heartbreaks, and spiritual seeking in my life. I believe this would appeal to an audience who are travelers, spiritual seekers, software engineers, and also the 18 to 28-year olds who tend to take things too seriously who need someone to say, “It’s alright. I have been there, it’s not a big deal, you will get over it”. 

Neel Preet: Sriram Sir your writing seemed to be really impeccable and you truly are amazing with your writings in your book. So next, I want you to tell us about some of those writers, who had inspired you and whom you follow!

Sriram Ramakrishnan: I used to read John Grisham, Michael Crichton, Ken Follet, Dan Brown, and many other fiction authors in my early twenties. Slowly I lost interest in fiction and started reading non-fiction and memoirs, especially the travel and spiritual memoirs. I became more interested in learning from people’s lives and real experiences. I don’t particularly favor any author, but some non-fictions I loved reading are – “Into Thin Air” by John Krakauer, “The Journey Home” by Radhanath Swami, “The Surrender Experiment” by Michael Singer, “Apprenticed to a Himalayan Master” by Sri M, “Chants of a Lifetime” by Krishna Das. 

Neel Preet: Are there any other books being worked by you? Please let us know about your future projects.

Sriram Ramakrishnan: Yes, there are some projects in the works. I’m expecting it to be completed sometime early next year.

Neel Preet: Thank you so much for answering all my questions. All the very best to you for the future and your book too!

Sriram Ramakrishnan: Thank you!

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