Crossword Bookstores hosts Meghna Pant’s 'How to Get Published in India'

Meghna Pant, a renowned journalist, unveiled her new book along with Ashwin Sanghi and Sorabh Pant at Crossword Bookstores at Kemps Corner.

  • Crossword Bookstores hosts Meghna Pant’s 'How to Get Published in India'
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Visitors to Crossword Bookstores on Monday were in for a rare treat - a workshop on how to get published in India!

Well known journalist and columnist Meghna Pant released her book ‘How to Get Published in India’ - a very useful guide to navigate the often - opaque Indian publishing industry.

Replete with essays by mavens in the publishing ecosystem- Meena Kandasamy, Jeffrey Archer, Durjoy Datta, Ashwin Sanghi, Namita Gokhale, Anup Jerajani, Twinkle Khanna and Shobhaa De among others; the book fills a vacuum in the market and is sure to answer many questions nesting in the minds of aspiring authors.

The book was officially unveiled by best-selling author, Ashwin Sanghi, who said in a lighter vein, “There is a story inside everyone. Sometimes it requires a little whiskey to coax it out,” acknowledging that many young authors would like to be heard today.

Meghna set the context, for her book by saying,

Every 10 minutes a top publisher gets a manuscript in their inbox. The rejection rate with traditional publishing is 95 per cent. That's because a lot of people who have the desire to publish a book don’t know about the process. There are over 9000 publishers in India today; and many of them allow self-publishing within a matter of minutes. It has become easier than ever before to get published, but that's just the beginning. What's more important is to be able to sell. You are competing with 75 million books that already exist on the planet. There are 5 million books that come out every single year, across the world, and 1 lakh books that get published every year in India alone, if you leave out the academic books. You are competing not just with other books, but every medium of entertainment; such as Netflix, Pokemon and Taylor Swift.”

Its a fight for attention as only 2% of the books that are published in India make it to the bookstores.

Stand-up comedian Sorabh Pant, also the author’s brother, spoke at the launch; and emphasised how tough the journey is. “Writing a book is a ridiculous amount of work. Ashwin Sanghi, a bestselling author today, has gone through 47 rejections.

The Indian publishing industry has seen massive growth in the number of books produced- at the rate of 30 per cent. Meghna Pant's 'How to Get Published in India' is a bonus to those who are entering the field of writing or are struggling to create a space for themselves,” said Maulik Desai, Head, Crossword Bookstores.

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The panel fielded many questions from the audience; about challenges they had faced while publishing their book. On being asked about any 1 unethical practice and 1 best practice in the publishing industry, she said, "An unethical practice could be that there’s a lack of transparency, you wouldn’t know how many copies you sold. The best part about it is that it’s the best time to publish in India owing to all the great resources and readership."
Meghna Pant has a unique feather to her hat by tweeting the World’s longest epic- Mahabharat in 100 tweets. Enlightening the readers about it she further said, “ I was selected for an International Literary Twitter festival and stumbled upon the idea of tweeting the epic which is actually 1.8 million words. I was excited to condense this epic in 100 tweets! This garnered great publicity in India and International media and became more famous than my initial 2 books!"

Ghostwriter Gayatri Pahlajani navigated the launch process with some fine moderation.

On speaking about her process in writing, she said, “I savour the form and discipline of literature to weave life’s chaos and senselessness into linearity.”

As a closing remark, Meghna Pant added, "We need to stop treating our publishers like our enemies. From the time you sign a contract to editing, book covers, blurbs, marketing, to the availability of the book, there are many stress points between an author and a publisher. So you must remember as an author, the publisher is your friend.”

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