Author Vadhan had gone through rejections from publishers but he stuck to his guns and shares his experience with readers today.
A few words to aspiring authors on publishing
Keep submitting. Repeatedly. Without rest. Each time your manuscript is rejected, you will find yourself improving your presentation and fine tuning your skill. Shatru, book 1 of the Kronikles series was rejected more times than I can count. But it helped me improve my skill, my thought process and patience. While the first book took years to publish, the second one took four months and I was fortunate to have Bloomsbury, the publishers of Harry Potter, take me on board. I think that somewhere, all those rejections for my first book made me a much better writer.
What about self publishing?
I have nothing against self-publishing. It is a good thing but if you’re a good author, you will be picked up by a publishing house, if you’re yet to become a good author, you need to walk the path of fire to get there and only refusals and rejections will take you there. If you don’t want to pitch yourself against the market, you’re taking the comfortable way out. It’s easy to just publish your book without putting it through the tests that it needs, even deserves. But then, do you have any idea about the competition in the market? Self-publishing businesses take their money and profits up front. Their profits are not connected to your book sales. They don’t care how your book works in the market. They’ll take more money from you for marketing if you press them for marketing the book. You’ll find yourself pitched against bestsellers on every platform and you will not have the distribution or the reach to market your books.
Listen, think about it. It’s your masterpiece, your labour, your hard work, self-publishing takes away the edge of having it convincingly displayed to your readers through the aegis of a professional publisher who tests the book on many levels including the way it is structured, written, presented and finally brought into the market. Why would the publisher do it? Because it’s their bottom line too. Their name, profits and sustainability depends on how well your book does. They are your equal partner in growth. Your book deserves it and you deserve it. Yes, publishers are very choosy but that’s what makes a book deal all the more sweeter. Self-published authors have succeeded, of course, but if you see the fine print, that’s because the authors have hired external editors at huge costs to fine tune their work and marketed the book like there was no tomorrow. If you have deep pockets, then self-publishing works for you.
Book Marketing in India
Which brings me to the book marketing part of the deal. It’s a tough market out there. Believe me. I am not discouraging you, I am merely informing you. I was naïve once when I thought that all I had to do was write a book and I would be an overnight sensation. I thought I could garner readers just with my book. No such thing. There is an over-abundance of choice in the market. There are established players with fan followings. Their books are sold out the first day. On the other hand, your distributor can manage to send your book to a mom & dad shop that will display two copies for about a week and then return them because no one’s heard of you. Do you get the idea?
Marketing is everything. Creating a brand around yourself is most important. Authors sell, not books. No matter how good your book is, your reader will buy Amish Tripathi or Ashwin Sanghi or Chetan Bhagat and many more successful authors who’ve already got their brand up and running. The name of the book, the blurb, all of it is important but what is more important is who’s written it. Think about it, that’s how you’ve always bought your books.
About the author:
With more than two decades as a litigator and consultant for legislative compliance, Vadhan turned to writing a few years ago. He is a lawyer by training, an entrepreneur, and dreamer. His first book, ‘Shatru’, part of the Kronikles series, is highly praised and critically reviewed to be one of the best fantasy novels in India. Vadhan is married with two children. He aspires to be a politician and a reformist one day. Vadhan lives in New Gurgaon, India, with his wife.