Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Self Publishing in India

Indian Printer and Publisher talks about self-publishing as an Indian tradition.

Moreover, Mallya points out that self-publishing is nothing new in our country, especially for Indian language authors who took this route even in the days when painstaking metal typesetting of their scripts was needed. In fact the thesis can be made that Indian publishing is in a better position to take advantage of new technology platforms than publishing in the mature economies.

Most often, authors first try to find a traditional publisher before they venture into self-publishing. When they fail to find one, they self-publish. This was the case with the popular writer Amish Tripathi. “However, some authors might decide to self-publish directly for a variety of reasons. One reason could be to stay in control of the entire process themselves. Another would be to establish a direct connection with readers, unmediated by another entity such as a publishing house. Rasana Atreya wanted to do exactly that,” says Vinutha Mallya, principal consultant at LineSpace Consulting.

“Yet another reason could be to test the market for their writing and see the response among readers. 

Jitender Bhargava’s book The Descent of Air India, which was withdrawn by Bloomsbury India, is one example of several where litigants have been able to get global publishers to withdraw books merely by issuing legal notices and without even waiting for a court order. Although the printed book was withdrawn by Bloomsbury after the former civil aviation minister Praful Patel sent it a legal notice, the author self-published it as an eBook on the Amazon Kindle platform. 

Yet, the flexibility is still limited to the options offered by the company providing the self-publishing services. For example, for the printed product, only certain dimensions of the book and options for paper are possible. For eBooks, distribution might be limited, and time and effort is required to promote the book online, through SEO and other means. Although it is cheaper to produce an eBook through platforms like Kindle Direct Publishing and Kobo Writing Life, which are attractive because of their access to wide readership, getting books discovered online and getting them to climb bestseller lists requires time and an understanding of the platform’s algorithm and SEO techniques.''

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