Sunday, September 5, 2010

Such a long journey

Writing your book is just the first step in the journey to becoming an author. Finding the right agent who can market it in the right places and take care of your interests is the more crucial, and difficult, part… almost like finding god...

Having finished your first novel, you have polished it to the best of your abilities, got rave reviews from your peer group of ‘wanna be' authors, and you think the most difficult part of your journey, of becoming an internationally published author is over. But, it is not. Before you seek an international publisher in mature markets like London or New York, you have to find a literary agent. ‘Finding a literary agent is akin to finding God…..if you believe in God,' says Anees Salim, whose novel Tales from a Vending Machine is slated for release by HarperCollins India later this year.

Agrees Vikrant Dutta, whose debut novel Dark Rainbow is soon to be published by an Indian publishing major. He says, “We have heard legends about Arundhati Roy. Ms. Roy submitted her manuscript of The God of Small Things to Pankaj Mishra of Butter Chicken in Ludhiana fame, who, at that time, was an editor with a publishing house. Impressed with Ms. Roy's writing, Mishra sent it to a few agents and editors in London; and David Godwin was one of them. The rest is the history we all know.” Vikrant further adds, “But, everybody may not be as lucky to have a Pankaj Mishra vouch for them. For lesser mortals, it is a long and tiring voyage. I have been striving to get an agent for the last fours year, but with little success. Then one fine day I decided to send my manuscript to Indian Publishers, and was fortunate to get an offer.” But he strongly feels that to sustain a long-term writing career, one must find an agent.

Full report here Hindu

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