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Sambhar Mafia - Cooked To Kill!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

How To Bag That Coveted Book Deal?

More and more first time authors are making a mark in the Indian literary scene. Samanth writes about this new trend and explains how publishers scout for new talent. I haven’t heard about some of the books mentioned in the article. Even the fairly active book enthusiasts in the blogosphere had not covered some of these Indian authors.

Often, admits a highly placed industry insider, that potential is spotted because of word-of-mouth. ‘‘It may not always be possible for somebody who is not already writing in some form or another to have a book published in their first shot,’’ she says. ‘‘Most debut novelists have written in newspapers or magazines, so they have some experience. Some are recommended to you by somebody you trust — not as a favour, but because they genuinely think the writing is good. It is somewhat like the agent system, in a way.’’

But publishers have their own eyes peeled as well, not least in the Indian blogosphere. Both Debi and Abraham admit that their firms keep a close watch on blogs. ‘‘Publishers have always been looking out for new voices, and we’re looking at blogs now,’’ says Debi. ‘‘We've always had people looking at magazines, newspapers and even academia, so now we have some people tracking blogs for that purpose.’’

Abraham is even more definitive. ‘‘We were even considering, at one point a book compilation of the best of blog writing,’’ he says. ‘‘Blogs are really effective monitors of good, reactive writing,’’ and the fact that a huge percentage of Indian bloggers are young, urban professionals helps. Blogstreet India, an online directory, lists 2,270 Indian blogs, and there are many, many more who have simply not registered with Blogstreet; that is a lot of writing that is often good, almost always honest, and rarely downright uninteresting.

Just like how the Indian movies target the expatriate market, there should be a way in which the new books / authors reach out to the NRI market. I guess there are not many Indian sites, which offer International shopping or the charges for the international shipments are on the higher side (sometimes the shipping charges can be more than price of the book).


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