Monday, April 09, 2012

How TIB got its publisher

I know finding the right publisher is a big challenge. The biggest one, i would say. And the most important. Remember, if someone asks you for money to print your book, it is vanity publishing which is really best avoided. A good book should be able to find a publisher who has faith in it and is ready to put in the money required.

This is the story of how TIB got published.
When I finished putting together TIB which was then titled 'Happily Ever After',the next issue that cropped up was to find a suitable publisher.

Sitting half way across the world, in London, hunting for publishers who are nototriously absent online was always going to be difficult. There were a couple of documents i had prepared. First was a bio sketch- almost like a CV but more about how you would come across as an author.  The second things was a synopsis. I will probably write a small post about what i think the ideal synopsis should look like, but that will come later someday. For the time being, just google for it :)

And the third thing was a cover letter. It had to be catchy, it had to be something that would stand out in the pile of emails most publishers get. I must say my writing skills were already being tested.

I also googled a lot of authors who had books in the genre I was going to write in and sent them emails asking for help and advice. Unfortunatley, not a single person replied. Yes, not one. Which is why, I am doing all this- leaving bits of my experience for would be authors to get some help from.

Once the three documents were ready, I started firing off emails to every address i could find online. It was a tedious task and the wait was difficult, very difficult. I had heard and read of horror stories so i really did not know what to expect.

I actually recall that day very clearly. I was in Lucknow and Sid and Bhai were sitting with me talking about something. Bhai was showing Sid a magazine, Forbes India. One of the articles that that magazine carried was called 'Rupa, the paper Tiger'.

'Have you emailed your MS to Rupa?' Sid asked me. By that time I was already in conversation with a much smaller publisher.

I had not emailed my MS to Rupa not sure why they would be interested in a newbie like me but Sid asked me the question expecting me to say yes. Maybe i should have, i thought to myself. And here is the biggets bit of advice i would like to give to anyone who wants to publish his/her book- have faith in what you have written. The amount of confidence you have in it will probably determine its fate.

'Errr...i....i think i did...should have...' i fuimbled.

'Why dont you email right away?' said Sid. I had the laptop with me, I picked out an email i had sent to another publisher and simply forwarded it to Rupa with the author bio and synopsis.

We left Lucknow that day for London, and on reaching London , as the cab pulled out of Heathrow Airport, I flicked open my Iphone. There was a reply from Rupa. They would like to read the whole manuscript.

The whole way back home it was all i could think of.

In the next couple of days, i proof read TIB and emailed it to Bhai who printed it and posted the manuscript to the publishers.

And in the next 10-15 days, that fine morning, groggy and still half asleep, i yet againg flicked open my iphone to see another email from the publisher.

They were happy to sign me on, said the email, could i read the contract and if all was okay, sign it? the email said.

Sitting on my bed, in payjamas that had elephants made on it I remember i stared at my phone. A publisher was ready to publish my book. That was unbelievable.

At the moment Sid walked in.
'They said Yes!!!' i screamed.

I did not need to explain what 'they said yes' meant. He knew :)


PS in the dedication the first line reads ' For Sid, who read about the Tiger', now you know what that means and refers to ;-)


Aashirwad Nunihar said...

Now that was some story, looking forward to count on your experiences Ram Pyaariji. Good one! :)

Reema said...

too bad to hear no author responded to you!! how very rude!

Dr Roshan R said...

as in the previous post, want to thank you for taking the time to write these posts... they really are very helpful. looking forward to the synopsis post... did you have to send a couple of chapters in your first mail or something like that ?

Raajii said...

Congrats on getting published. When does it come out? :-)

akanksha said...

That was actually a fairy-tale ending :D

Raam Pyari said...

@ashirwaad- am glad you liked it :)

@reema- yes, thats the sad truth...and i understand everyone is busy but an email saying just that would have been nice...

@Dr R- yes, the first 3 chapters (or anythree depending on the demands of that publisher)

@Rajjii- ha ha. it came out 7 months ago and has been on bestseller lists since. you can buy it online:

@Akansha- ending toh abhi baaki hai mere dost ;-)

Harshita Srivastava said...

Wow...You make me feel better..I've just sent my samples to General Press...I guess you know the's killing me..I don't know whether I should wait or move onto the next publisher..And whom should I turn to for advice...Or should I start rereading and editing stuff..I am so confused..
Amazingly every time I read a chapter I find faults in it and then begins a new bundle of amendments and corrections...
I finally planned to go home today and give my mind a much needed break...Unfortunately my Internals begin from Monday and Mechanical Engineering is no joke so I have to start picking up my course books the moment I reach Kanpur or else I'm gonna flunk this sem :(

Chakoli said...



Thanks...actually i have just started to write the story and sometimes feel that i will get the success or not.....but your experience provide a better feeling.

Kundan Mishra said...

mam...i hv also faced these type of problem.every publisher want to know about"(1) Promotional Plan: plot a publicity and marketing plan that will establish or develop the author's platform (ability to attract an audience) and create opportunities to increase awareness of the book and generate sales.
(2). Target Markets: explain the criteria of at least two different markets interested in the type of book you are proposing. The market should be defined by the audience( age group, gender, by profession etc)"
help me

Jeremiah Surge said...

This seems to be a better story than the book itself.. hey, I just gave u an idea for ur next book!! :)

PS: myself hv attempted at humour after a long time..

Narinder Jit Kaur said...

I too faced the same problem when I wanted to get my book of translation to be published. no one really helps you, and i also sent a part of my manuscript to a number of publishers, and luckily Rupa & Co readily accepted it.
When is your book coming out? Would love to read it.

AmitVele said...

Hey loved ur aricle .. I m too undergoing through the same phase searching for a publisher.. 'Have faith in your book' was the best line u spoke!!