Ravinder singh , Novoneel chakraborty , Durjoy Dutta , Sudeep Nagarkar are the names which have dominated the Indian book market in the recent time. They started with Srishti, (which was also called the KING of the publishing world) once upon a time.
The big names have finally terminated the contracts and have moved out..Its reputation is hitting an all time low. And the once awesome distribution of Srishti is better if not talked about.
I talked to some authors and I came to know that Srishti gives no Royalty figure (which is Rs 5 / book.) and no sales figure. Published authors don’t even get reply to their mails inquiring about their sales figure. Disappointing. The only option they are left with is to move out and publish with some good publishing house.
Now the question arises where will the new authors go?
Harper Collins, grey oak, penguin are distant dream for new authors. The funniest thing, I have come across while reading the “Publish with us” section of some xyz big publishing house. Who writes like this? If you are already published with Rupa, Penguin or you are famous journalist, then submit your script otherwise we won’t look at your script. I remember very well that when they opened their publishing house, they had the vision to give voice to new talented authors but with the passage of time, they have lost their vision. Writing such condition before submitting is a clear indicator of that. Even Harper and Penguin don’t put their criteria like this. Funnily enough. Obviously they want classy writing style, which most of the new authors don’t have. Therefore they are left with no choice but to fall prey to the Indian publishing houses that have a bad monopoly. They don’t spend a penny on promotion. Author has to do everything. I heard that too if an author’s doesn’t promote book well, then Srishti doesn’t give importance to that mail, deliberately avoids his/her mails and never replies to his/her query. Moreover they don’t have editors.
If you have read Srishti's books then you must’ve noticed the conspicuous grammatical errors. Sometimes its irritating to spot a mistake in every second sentence a novice writes.
Another factor which contributes massively towards the increasing monopoly of this house is the Indian mentality. Readers are ready to spend 200 bucks for ridiculous movies like houseful 2. Or else they always look for friend’s copies or ask authors to give him/her a free copy, if he/she is a friend of the author, but they will purchase only that book which cost 100 or 125 maximum.
Obviously the authors are "once common people" who did have the same mentality. They know if the cost exceeds Rs 100 , their book won’t become a best seller anytime soon. So they contact cheap publishing houses. Now this is where the exploitation starts.
Which includes forcing writers to write intimate scenes. (They know this sells well...), not replying to their mails once they get published, not giving the actual sales figure and much more. No doubt some of the biggest publishing houses are on the brink of collapse (if you know which PH I mean) The Indian book industry somehow runs on how many intimate scene a book has to offer. Most of the books are a replica of the dirty picture. Modernization is good, but to the point where love is not confused with lust. Funnily enough we have modernized so much that lets say if the name of the book is "Love story" we buy it keeping in mind it is a "Lust story". Frankly speaking I guess somewhere this is what most of the aspiring authors have to offer. Or let’s say they are FORCED to offer...A lil bit of decency please? Let’s say our new honchos try to copy Jackie Collins somehow or the other, missing out on the decency part. Most of the books are lost amidst the huge cabinets of books with identical names, mushy lines from Hindi movies, little or No classic literature and Romantic and poignant scenes stolen from English movies, which somehow fail to weave the same magic ...Because if it sells, it is ought to be a bestseller..Again...Did I miss, we live in a country where a best seller is determined by the number of copies it sells and not the number of lived it effects?
With all the famous authors moving out , who made it what it is today , Srishti is left with the memories of being the once king of the publishing world. Their monopoly had increased too much so that they sent books only on order by stores. Their once famous promotion and distribution is now what no author dreams of at least for his first book.
But with Srishti on the brink of collapse I am sure there are so many dreams at stake as well. Most of the big publishing houses don’t give a chance to the newbee's. You can kill yourself waiting for a reply from penguin or Rupa or Harper Collins but I can assure you about the very fact that there isn’t a chance they will introduce a new debutant author in the market like they introduce a Chetan Bhagat book. No I am not being biased, but the simple point which I want to throw light upon is "Why give so much of importance to someone who is already at his careers best? Why not give a chance to the struggling authors who despite of having ample talent, potential and determination have to face disappointment only because they are NEWBEE's ?
Is this what we preach in a country where "Equality" is considered to be an important component of the constitution?
Even if you get selected I can assure you they won’t give you the much needed exposure. They will promote only those books which come from the kitty of best selling authors. End result = like in India rich are becoming richer and poor are becoming poorer, in the book industry, the already famous are becoming more famous and richer (with 8% and 10% royalty and 50k advance: if what I heard is true). The publishers like Srishti, of royalty with no advance. While the struggling writers keep on struggling and hoping that someday they will be recognized worldwide for their talent.
Yesterday night I was talking to a friend of mine who is a bestselling author, told me that he always gets one-third less royalty than what he expects. Yes. Another reason why Srishti is on the brink of collapse is their unprofessional behaviour.They say "Its all about fame..And not the MONEY" . What’s the problem in paying right amount? They should remember that they make money by selling these author’s copies.
While writers outside India are earning millions, Indian authors hardly get the royalty due. Who is to be blamed? It is for you to decide. Another need of the hour is certainly good editors.
Some books instead of having grammatical mistakes ,so conspicuous, make up to the best sellers list. I am yet to figure out how. With all due respect.
I will leave you here and let you decide where the Indian book industry is treading. If you find out the answer you are most welcome to share your views.
Again I am just another Indian who is using her Freedom of expression under article 19 20 21 and 22.Happy reading..Happy thinking..