So, What Exactly Do You Write?

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Before I became a writer, I was a reader and a voracious one at that. It meant grabbing any book that caught your fancy and reading it primarily for your enjoyment. It didn’t matter one bit whether or not I knew which genre it belonged to. As a kid, I loved thrillers, mystery novels, crime stories and stories about the wars. This kind of grew on me over the years. It was probably inevitable that when I became a writer, I would try to write stories of the kind I loved to read. More

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Writers and Advances

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So, what’s the deal about being a writer? How does one get to be a  writer in the first place? Let me try to give a quick summary of what can be a long-drawn and torturous process.

Firstly, you write a book. Yes, a complete one, duly edited, proof read and the rest of it. You then try to sell the book to a publisher. At times, and this make happen only after you are an established writer more often than not, you could be represented by a literary agent who sells your work. On publication, you get paid royalty based on the contract you sign with your publisher.

On occasion, and here’s where the glamorous image of being a writer comes in, you could sign a multi-book deal. The publisher signs you up to deliver a couple of books, without seeing what is in them. This is based on your track record and largely on what the world thinks of you, as evidenced by your book’s sales figures.

If you are good, you could be paid  an advance too. Renowned writers have been paid huge advances and a few such cases inspire every writer to believe that someday, somewhere, someone might sign them up on very lucrative terms.

But the world of publishing is becoming increasingly competitive, and I am not even talking about the self-publishing world. This too churns out a huge number of books into an already crowded market place.

As the traditional publishers seek to improve their profitability, they tend to consolidate through mergers and acquisitions at times. They seek various means to improve their business results. One move can be in the matter of advances. Here’s news that the famous writer Vikram Seth has been asked to pay back an advance. It’s only for $ 1.7 million !!!

Bring on the ebooks!

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Here’s this article in DNA by Priyanka Golikeri which speaks of how ebooks will over time be the next big thing in publishing in India. The market in India is still nascent at less than 1% of a Rs. 10,000 crore book publishing industry.

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The pre-order trend

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These days you would have noticed a trend. Many articles, including books, are available on pre-order. This is a great way to build up publicity for your book. As the name suggests, this means you pay for and book a book in this case ( pardon the pun) before it is released. Usually pre-orders give you the advantage of a very attractive price, which makes it all the more beneficial for you the buyer. More

E-books & India

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The reason for my new-found interest in e-books should be obvious. My first one is up on Smashwords and I am happy that I have been a relatively early entrant from India in this space. “He Sees Everything & Other Short Stories” is my first offering as an e-book. It’s an anthology of seven short stories set in contemporary India. More

Of Tablets and eReaders

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I found this article by Josh Smith in GottaBeMobile quite interesting. I like the saucy title ” Tablets Are From Mars etc” and the information provided on the latest trends in the tablet/ereader space. More