26th March 2019, Mumbai: Visitors to Crossword Bookstores on Monday were in for a rare treat; a workshop on how to get published in India!
Well known journalist and columnist Meghna Pant released her book ‘How to Get Published in India’- a very useful guide to navigate the often opaque Indian publishing industry.
Replete with essays by mavens in the publishing ecosystem- Meena Kandasamy, Jeffrey Archer, Namita Gokhale, Anup Jerajani, Twinkle Khanna and Shobhaa De among others; the book fills a vacuum in the market, and is sure to answer many questions nesting in the minds of aspiring authors.
The book was officially unveiled by best-selling author and writer, Ashwin Sanghi, who said in a lighter vein, “ There is a story inside everyone. Sometimes it requires a little whiskey to coax it out,” acknowledging that many young authors would like to be heard today.
Meghna set the context, for her book by saying, “ Every 10 minutes a top publisher gets a manuscript in their inbox. The rejection rate with traditional publishing is 95%. Thats because a lot of people who have the desire to publish a book don’t know about the process. There are over 9000 publishers in India today; and many of them allow self-publishing within a matter of minutes. It has become easier than ever before to get published; but thats just the beginning. Whats more important is to be able to sell. You are competing with 75 million books that already exist on the planet. There are 5 million books that come out every single year, across the world, and 1 lakh books that get published every year in India alone, if you leave out the academic books. You are competing not just with other books, but every medium of entertainment; such as Netflix, Pokemon and Taylor Swift.”
Its a fight for attention alright as only 2% of the books that are published in India make it to the bookstores.
Stand-up comedian Sorabh Pant, also the author’s brother, spoke at the launch; and emphasised how tough the journey is. “ Writing a book is a ridiculous amount of work. Ashwin Sanghi, a bestselling author today; has gone through 47 rejections.”
Ghostwriter Gayatri Pahlajani navigated the launch process with some fine moderation.
“The Indian publishing industry has seen massive growth in the number of books produced- at the rate of 30%. Meghna Pant’s How to Get Published in India, is a bonus to those who are entering the field of writing or are struggling to create a space for themselves,” said Maulik Desai, Head, Crossword Bookstores.
The panel fielded many questions from the audience; about challenges they had faced while publishing their book.
As a closing remark, Meghna Pant added, “ we need to stop treating our publishers like our enemies. From the time you sign a contract to editing, book covers, blurbs, marketing, to the availability of the book, there are many stress points between an author and a publisher. So you must remember as an author, the publisher is your friend.”