Be An AU­THOR

you fi­nally get that book out in the world! By Priyam Chaturvedi

Cosmopolitan (India) - - CAREER -

Q. As a first-time au­thor, where does one find a pub­lisher and get her to say yes?

Mad­huri Ban­er­jee: “Most pub­lish­ers have a sub­mis­sions e-mail ID on their web­site where you can send your writ­ing sam­ple. Or you can di­rectly call up their of­fice and ask for their sub­mis­sions con­tact.”

Aastha Atray Banan: “You just need to have a good story. You can con­tact a pub­lish­ing house di­rectly and sub­mit three chap­ters of your book, along with a clear syn­op­sis. There is a team of com­mis­sion­ing au­thors who prac­ti­cally go through ev­ery­thing that comes in. If a pub­lish­ing house likes your ini­tial draft, they’ll get back to you with an of­fer. You can also hire an agent who’ll help pitch and ne­go­ti­ate on your be­half for a fixed fee (usu­ally 10 per­cent).”

Preeti Shenoy: “Write a strong cov­er­ing let­ter to the com­mis­sion­ing edi­tor. Out­line your story, ex­plain your tar­get au­di­ence and why your book is worth in­vest­ing in. Peo­ple don’t usu­ally do this, but the ex­tra ef­fort can of­ten tilt things in your favour.” Cosmo: We’re guess­ing a lot of first-time au­thors re­ceive re­jec­tions...how do you deal?

Nikita Singh: “The idea is to send your work to mul­tipe pub­lish­ers at the same time, so if you get re­jected by one, a dif­fer­ent house might make you an of­fer.” Cosmo: What kind of money can you ex­pect to make from your first book?

Mad­huri Ban­er­jee: “It could vary any­where be­tween ` 30,000 to 1 lakh, de­pend­ing on your genre.”

Preeti Shenoy: “Bear in mind that usu­ally, there is no ad­vance on a first book. All you will get is roy­alty from what you sell, which is be­tween 7.5% to 10% of the price of your book.”

Meenakshi Reddy Mad­hvan: “A large part of what you make will de­pend on how you mar­ket and pro­mote your book. Do speak to your pub­lish­ing house about hav­ing a mar­ket­ing plan built into your con­tract, get in­for­ma­tion on what they’ll be do­ing to pro­mote your book. Pop­u­lar­ity and pub­lic­ity equals profit.” Cosmo: How many copies does a first-time au­thor usu­ally sell?

Meenakshi Reddy Mad­hvan: “In In­dia, any­thing above 5,000 copies is con­sid­ered a best­seller. If it’s a lit­er­ary novel, you could aim for 15,000 copies in the first year.” Cosmo: What is a good way to pro­mote your book?

Kish­war De­sai: “Have a Face­book page where you talk about it!”

Nikita Singh: “What I do is post an ex­cerpt or quote from my up­com­ing book on so­cial me­dia. If it’s catchy, your friends and fol­low­ers will share it and help cre­ate buzz.”

Preeti Shenoy: “A lot of new au­thors hire agen­cies to help pro­mote their book through so­cial me­dia. But that can be danger­ous—sim­ply col­lect­ing ‘Likes’ may not trans­late into ac­tual sales. In­stead, use so­cial me­dia to en­gage peo­ple and col­lect or­ganic ‘Likes’. Even be­fore your first book is out, write blogs or ar­ti­cles on topics re­lated to the genre of your book.”

Meenakshi Reddy Mad­hvan: “Blog­ging is a great way to get no­ticed—and gain fol­low­ers—be­fore your book is out. You don’t have to start your own blog; you can of­fer to guest-blog on other pop­u­lar sites.” Cosmo: What if a pub­lisher re­jects the book? Do as­pir­ing au­thors have any other op­tions?

Kish­war De­sai: “Try self-pub­lish­ing! That ba­si­cally means you bear the cost of print­ing and pro­mot­ing your own book.”

Preeti Shenoy: “Con­sider e-pub­lish­ing! For in­stance, Ama­zon lets you Pub­lish to Kin­dle, where you can up­load your book for free, at a price fixed by you. Or you could visit web­sites like blood­y­good­book.com or medium.com where read­ers get the opor­tu­nity to read and vote for your man­u­script, and the pop­u­lar books then get pub­lished.”

Mad­huri’s ad­vice: “It’s im­por­tant that peo­ple re­mem­ber your name, so do have a strong dig­i­tal pres­ence.”

“Pick a sub­ject you’re pas­sion­ate about, not

just some­thing that’s pop­u­lar!”: Kish­war De­sai

“Some­times, I lock my­self up in my room for days on

end, just writ­ing. Not ev­ery­body un­der­stands

that.”: Nikita Singh

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