15 June, 2016

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost - The publishing journey by Moitrayee Bhaduri

*** Special Feature - June 2016 ***

The publishing journey

Last week, my publisher informed me that my first book ‘The Sinister Silence’ is now available on the #JuggernautBooks mobile app, which means that readers can now read the book on their mobile phones (iOS and Android). I was amazed thinking about the technological advancements, especially over the last two decades. In my student life, I didn’t know about mobile phones and today we are talking about ‘mobile books’! Wow! I am delighted that my crime thriller has come a long way. There have been ‘highs’ and ‘lows’, but the journey has been memorable so far and there is a long road ahead…

How did it all start?

I realized early on that writing a book and getting it published were two different ‘projects’. Both needed focus and a lot of patience. As I interacted with more people and gathered information, the picture became clearer. Publishing the book wouldn’t be easy but dreams often act snoo¬¬ty – they like to be chased! So I pursued.

On the way
I decided to go the traditional way to publish my book. I wrote a lot of what I thought were impactful query letters, crisp plot summaries, and fast-paced sample chapters. Then I packaged them as a book proposal and started reaching out to a bunch of publishers and a couple of literary agents. Since I was new to the publishing industry, I invested a lot of time in research. Having worked in Information Technology for 14 years, I had to ‘unlearn’ a lot of things as I realized that the publishing industry functions far more differently than IT.

Rejections aplenty

Overall, the feedback I received was good and publishers were all very kind. But I still hadn’t found someone to represent my book. A literary agent wrote, “Your book has potential. Sorry we are full and cannot represent you now.” A reputed publisher replied, “Love your powerful story. But this is not a genre we are looking at right now.” 

My Publisher – Srishti

Finally, Srishti Publishers & Distributors selected my manuscript and published my book. The publishing process was simple and author-friendly. Srishti was already well-known as a publishing platform for budding and new authors. They took about 2-3 weeks to respond to my book proposal and requested for my complete manuscript. Post selection, I worked with the editor to further fine-tune the book. The publisher and editor were prompt, professional, knowledgeable, and friendly. We worked together as a team to ensure that the book that reaches the readers is worth their time. Overall, working with Srishti has been a great learning experience.

Help from Well Wishers
My book cover, trailer, social media marketing, book launches, and author events were all possible because of the help and support from family and friends. In this digital age, it is crucial for the author to actively participate in marketing and promotions along with the publisher. If the content is good, then marketing the book efficiently helps increase its reach and generates interest among readers. I am thankful to my friends, family, and well-wishers who selflessly helped me with book promotions.

Reviews and Media Attention
Book reviews and author interviews in newspapers, magazines, and social media also helped spread the word about the book. Getting a professional to review your book is a big challenge, especially because of their busy schedule and due to the increasing number of new books being published every day. Besides, nowadays, some companies also offer 'review packages'. It works well for some authors, which is good. But I am not comfortable paying money to get my book reviewed. Even if the number of book reviews I receive is less in number, it is satisfying to get balanced feedback on my work – both from reviewers and readers. 

Road Ahead
I have enjoyed my journey so far and have miles to go. I want to savour each moment and live each experience. As I continue working on my new crime thriller – ‘The Musical Murders’, I am all-set to go through the publishing lifecycle again. 

"Dummy crime-scene created at the book launch of The Sinister Silence at Crossword bookstore, Mumbai".

10 writing tips for first-time authors
1. Write daily – no matter how boring it sounds. Even 200 words is good.
2. Read every day – yes, important. 
3. Write drunk, edit sober – I totally subscribe to this
4. Get feedback – The manuscript is not your secret diary. Share your writing with friends and writer-groups. Seek comments.
5. Be honest to yourself – We writers procrastinate. So there is no point targeting 1000 words a day, writing nothing for 3 days and attempting 4000 words on the 4th day! It doesn’t work like that. Be disciplined. It helps. 
6. Re-read your manuscript 100 times- Or more, if need be. Don’t depend solely on your editor to edit and proof-read. 
7. Eat well, laugh a lot and exercise daily.
8. Don’t lose heart when there are setbacks. Keep fighting.
9. Don’t be overconfident if you earn success overnight. Stay grounded.
10. Stay modest and help budding writers. The writing industry is big enough to accommodate all of us. Readers will only read what they like.

Mumbai Book Launch Video of The Sinister Silence:

About the Author
Moitrayee Bhaduri is a writer, reader, and music enthusiast. She loves reading crime thrillers as much as she enjoys writing them. She adores epic detective characters like Sherlock Holmes, Miss Marple, Hercule Poirot, Feluda, and Byomkesh Bakshi. Since she wanted to read more Indian detective stories with women protagonists, she decided to create the character of Mili Ray. Moitrayee’s first book, The Sinister Silence is an action-packed suspense thriller that introduces private detective Mili Ray, an ex-super cop.  
Published by Srishti Publishers & Distributors, The Sinister Silence has been receiving great response and appreciation from the creative fraternity, booklovers, and the social media. The author has been featured in leading dailies like DNA, Dainik Bhaskar, Hindustan Times, and The Asian Age, as well as on popular online news & blogging sites.
Moitrayee grew up in a close-knit family in Kolkata, the booklover’s paradise. She enjoys dabbling with different forms of writing – technical content writing, copy editing, creative writing, and more. She has worked with leading IT organizations in various writing and people-managerial roles. For now, she is settled in Mumbai, working full-time, and trying to focus on completing her second crime thriller. In her leisure, she enjoys traveling, watching cricket, and hanging out with loved ones.


About the Book:
When ace software engineer Saahil is found battling for his life on a rainy morning, it looks like a case of attempted suicide. However, Saahil's family strongly denies that possibility and calls in ex-super cop-turned-detective Mili Ray to investigate. While doctors are uncertain about Saahil's survival, the police discover the blood-soaked body of Saahil's colleague Farzad. Why are IT engineers being targeted? Is there a link between these ghastly attacks and Saahil's cutting-edge invention – the PA software?
Ray and her team – Advocate Gatha and ex-army officer Anubhav – dive into this case, which is turning murkier by the hour. Unaware that a conniving assassin is stalking her, Ray races towards a dangerous trap while murderous attacks continue to haunt the IT world. Who is behind these assaults – a jealous co-worker, an IT kingpin, an estranged friend, or someone else? With the killer on the loose, Ray's credibility is at stake...
Set in Mumbai, The Sinister Silence is an edge-of-the-seat thriller that traces detective Mili Ray's journey through a mysterious case that poses new threats every time she inches closer to her goal.

Book Links:

3 Paperback of The Sinister Silence by Moitrayee Bhaduri - for Indian Residents Only
a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. A very helpful post for people like me who want to publish and need this kind of information. I have an advantage that Moitrayee being my friend, I inundate her with emails, messages, and calls asking for her guidance. This blog allows other people like me to benefit from her experience. Way to go, Moitrayee!