The world of bookmaking

Publishing industry

Books are a person’s best friend; no complaints, no demands.

This literal translation of a famous dialogue from Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani  highlights the importance that books hold in one’s life. These little entities open gateway to enormous volume of knowledge and wisdom. Books could be written in any genre for they could be used to enlighten the human soul on any context. But have you ever wondered what brings these books to shelves? 

The world of publishing is giant and is growing leaps and bounds. It takes great deal of labour to bring a book in its physical form. There’s an entire team of writers, editors, publishers, marketers and alike working together, brainstorming to deliver a
bestseller.

*Getting idea: The process begins with an author conceiving the idea for his novel. It could be fiction or non-fiction, an idea of self-help or spirituality. The seed for a book, thus, is the ability to let the imagination grow and then delicately translate those ideas into words. There are a lot of authors coming up today with good content. They have beautiful ideas sprouting out of their minds that they are effortlessly putting out on papers. It is this idea that makes a book a bestseller. Anuj Bahri, CEO, Red Ink Literary Agency, said at the recently concluded 4th Delhi Literature Festival, “A good book remains a good book” and its success can’t be stopped provided it has a story, an idea that can make a reader hook on to the book. “It is the imagination of the author that defines a book,” says Alexander Evans, member of British Diplomatic Service. Vaishali Mathur, publisher, Penguin India, says, “Good books get published, but they do get lost,” highlighting the truth that lots of books are being published today but sadly, in this vast ocean, they do not reach all the readers.

*Pain of publishing:
Writing down a book is not all that matters. The book has to be made available to the mass readers and that is only possible once the book gets published. However, this road to shelves isn’t easy. “Authors need to back their books,” says Mathur. No matter how many times a book gets rejected, it will get published someday only if the author keeps his faith alive in his book. Along with the book, it is equally important for the author to trust his editor for he is someone who will refine and fine-tune the idea the author carries with himself. However, Debashree Rakshit, publisher, Harper Collins, adds a note of caution at this point saying, “We are not here to satisfy the author’s ego. We are here to satisfy the readers.” Clearly, it conclusively says that ultimately content is the king.
Until and unless the idea in the book is great and something worth printing, it is not wise to publish the book.

“Publishing balances what people want and what publishers want to give to the society,” expresses Rakshit. How a book has been written too decides its fate. A bad writing style which needs a lot of editing might lead to rejection. “If we have to rewrite a book completely, the voice of the author would get lost as it will be our creation then,” says Mathur. A bad writing only gets accepted if the idea is amazing.

*Success mantra: Is there any success mantra for a book to be bestseller? “No” says Ajay Mago, publisher, OM Books International. There is no mantra for a book to be a winner. It can be a bestseller provided it offers good content, it has been marketed well and the author tapped the right connections before the launch. “Cover makes the seller,” adds Mago stressing on the fact that a good marketing strategy is utterly important for a book to go off shelves. Anuj Bahri advised the authors to have their own marketing strategies beforehand and to discuss it with the publishers at the time of the launch.

Publishing is a long process. At the end of the day it has to be a good book that has to be delivered and this needs time. Authors need to stop rushing for their books to get published for it takes time to polish a diamond. It’s never a difficult task to spot winners yet winners need preparation and this calls for a patient wait for the books to get written, edited, published and to top the bestsellers’ list!

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