22 July, 2017

#SpecialFeature :: Four reasons your book got rejected by Shweta Taneja


*** Special Feature - July 2017 ***



About the Book:
Tantrik detective Anantya Tantrist is back, smart-ass comments, dark mantras and all.

In Banaras, Bhairava, a black tantrik, sets out to win control of life through mass murder, aided by an army of pretas. In Delhi, a tribal supernatural melts to death in a five-star hotel on the same night that an ancient demonologist is murdered. All this while, the government and the Central Association of Tantriks choose to look the other way and gods, demi-gods, immortals and rakshasas all join Bhairava’s army.

All that stands between the murdering bosses and the hapless masses is unofficial detective Anantya Tantrist, armed with a boneblade, a tote of mandalas and a cocky attitude. Just as she begins to see a pattern between a goddess who is selling art, a miracle-producing minister, an undead mob attacking a rock concert and her immortal friend throwing a tantrum, Anantya faces her most personal hell: her ex-boyfriend Neel has come back from the dead and is trying to kill her. He’s not the only one, of course. A powerful rakshasi wants her head, a pair of demi-gods wants her blood and the trolls are trying to squash her to pulp.

She cannot even sleep off the exhaustion, because each time she drops off, Bhairava invades her mind, trying to consume it. Join Anantya as she faces her most formidable enemy yet in the ultimate battle for her mind and her city.

Book Links:
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Four reasons your book got rejected

Early morning, you open your email box and out pops yet another rejection from a publisher you had your heart on. You fume, you wither, you get depressed and angry and want to hit someone. Everyone is against your voice. And you feel one of these things:

–       Your writing isn’t good enough.
–       You are not good enough.
–       You have no influence with the editor/publisher.
–       Nothing in India happens without money involved.
–       You should’ve gone to a literary festival and made ‘friends’ and maybe that would’ve helped.
–       No one understands your book. They are all idiots over at the publisher’s.

Sorry, none of the above reasons might be the ones that made your book get a no from the publisher. If they’ve sent you a rejection it means that your pitch actually made it to some editor’s table, got consideration and a refusal. It means it was given a fair chance. I have spoken to a lot of editors and publishers in the last five years and these are the most common reasons I found publishers rejected my work. None of it had to do with me or the book I had written.

1 It didn’t match the publisher’s list

A publisher is a commercial business. Every year, they have a boardroom meeting where they try and figure the trends worldwide, genres and book kinds they think will do well in the market. So each editor already has a list of sorts beginning of their commercial year: Tags in mind like #MetroRead #HighFantasy, #ParanormalRomance, #WarStories, #CelebrityExpose. In comes your book. It doesn’t fit into the boxes they’ve figured. The list they’ve prepared. Only if the editor really, really likes the pitch and then the manuscript will they veer from the list. So if you happen to write the ‘fashionable’ genre of the moment, you’re more likely to be noticed. For example, when Twilight series did well, suddenly all publishers started to take in more fantasy romances. It didn’t mean there weren’t romances being written before, it just meant they started to get a yes from the listmakers.

2 You sent it to the wrong editor

Finding the right editor to pitch your work to is essential in getting it published. There are two things to look out for. First of all, what section is the editor handling? Big publishing houses in India have segregated editors in their editorial team. There’s a Young Adult editor, a Children’s editor, an Adult Fiction editor and a non-Fiction one. So your first step is to find the right genre editor within each publishing house you are targeting. Secondly, editors are hardworking people who are deeply passionate about the books they pick up for their list. Each editor across the industry, loves a particular genre. Do your research for each publishing house, find the right editor and try and connect with them and pitch to them directly. Some of them are open to it. I’ve done is successfully two times in the past.

3 The sales team thought it wasn’t sellable

The decision to publish a book is not of an editor’s alone or even of the editorial team overall. They do sort of a round table conference with their sales and marketing team. The book rights are bought only if the sales team feels confident that it can sell it in the market. Yes, if you’ve got the right editor to vouch for your book and he/she is willing to fight it out in that discussion, your book has a better chance. Which is why the point above is so important. Getting a voice in the publishing house which vouches for you. It helped me get my Anantya Tantrist three-book deal.

4 Your pitch wasn’t focused

We might be great at long form but when it comes to creating the right pitch, many of us fail miserably. In this scenario, the concept of an elevator pitch is quite helpful. If you meet a stranger in an elevator (the speedy ones), what will you say your book is about? You have five seconds. Do this exercise again and again till you cut all the vague meat off your book and know EXACTLY what to say about your book. Then write the email you’re going to send to a publisher. Any good publishing house gets a whopping number of book pitches a day. They call it the slush pile, because a lot of them are badly written emails, unclear and confused. Editors don’t have time to wade through each of them. They go by instinct and a well-written, focused email will always turn them on. It helps to know what each editor is looking for. So instead of a generic email to all, try and send a personalized one to up your chances.

There’s a lot of luck involved in the process and I wish you all the best. If you know of any other reasons of rejections, put them down in the comment box below.

Originally posted on Shweta Writes

About the Author:
I am a fantasy author, graphic novelist and journalist based in India. My weakness is to create, retell and listen to stories full of magic, fantasy and non-human thingummies. That and tea of course.

I’ve written seven books and two hundred articles in a career spanning fourteen years and I continue to write. I’m a Charles Wallace India Fellow (2016) and was shortlisted for Best Writer Award in ComicCon India for The Skull Rosary (2013).

My books include the bestselling series Anantya Tantrist mysteries (HarperCollins), Ghost Hunters of Kurseong (Hachette), and Krishna Defender of Dharma (Campfire). The latter is included in the CBSE Must-read list for schools, is sold internationally and has been reprinted many times. The latest How to Steal a Ghost @ Manipal (Juggernaut Books) is in the bestselling category online. Check out my Wikipedia for more on me.

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