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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Publisher on The HOT SEAT


           On the HOT SEAT: Srishti Publishers &Distributors

Publisher On The HOT SEAT is a ground breaking attempt to discuss the trends in Indian writing and publishing. Per our knowledge, this is the first attempt in India to hear the voice of an often neglected but very important part of the publishing cycle : The Publisher. This group of people are visionaries, the final decision makers and the very people who decide fates. They decide fates of not only the manuscripts but of authors too. They have the power to establish trends and deliver to us what we would like to read.

Our first guest on the HOT SEAT, is none other than "Srishti Publishers & Distributors". One of the most influential trend setters of Indian books market in the current times 

"Srishti" has reach; you go to the smallest town in India and you are likely to find their books. I speak from experience because I could find their books in one of those small towns, in south Gujarat, where I grew up. Widely seen as the promoters of young talent, they have launched the likes of Preeti Shenoy and Ravinder Singh. Srishti is a boon for readers, like me, who save their pocket money for books. They have published many a bestseller each year, concretely proving their belief in the budding writing talent of India. Even in the face of criticism from the media, on the falling standards of Indian literature, they have continued to work with young talent. 

Q. What was the main motivation behind starting Srishti Publishers?
A:  Srishti stands for creation, and has been referred since time immemorial to the creation of the world by Brahma. Srishti Publishers was set up with the objective of creating a unique set of books that provide unmatched reading pleasure to people across the country. We have not only given a platform to budding, debutant authors, but have also made quality books available at affordable prices across India.

Q. What is your opinion about the current trend of writing in India “where anyone can be a writer”?
A: Writer by definition is someone who uses words to convey idea’s, images and stories. So we firmly believe anyone who has a story to tell or an idea to share can be a writer.
But that does not necessarily mean anyone who writes is a writer. A gripping storytelling style, firm grounding in basics of grammar and the power to create images out of their words still remain as the most basic and necessary qualities of a writer.

Q. Srishti has been a pioneer in the 100 INR category written by young authors, why? There has been a lot of critique about this, how do you answer that?
A: The main objective behind the price point of INR 100 was to encourage the youths of India to become readers and increase the readership in India. The pricing is done keeping in mind, affordability of an average Indian reader ensuring that it does not burn a hole in the pocket, making them ideal gifts or regular indulgences for the reader themselves.

Q. How many books have you published so far?
A: We have more than 350 titles published by us till date starting with our Teaching Series, incidentally international rights for which were bought by Random House UK.

Q. How many best sellers so far have been published by you?
A: We have approximately 45 titles which can be categorized as “bestsellers” in terms of traditional definition.

Q. Which books are your personal favorites?
A:  All of them are personal favorites. A strong emotional connect, is but natural, owing to the fact that we work so closely and invest so much personally into each title. So it becomes really tough to single out any such favorite.

Q. What are the upcoming books coming from Srishti?
A:  2013 is going to be a very exciting year for Srishti. We will be breaking into the field of multiple new genres with books by debut authors coming out from our stable. Releasing in April we have The Homing Pigeon by Sid Bahri and The Secrets of the Dark by Arka Chakrabarti followed by Ketan Bhagat’s Complete/Convenient and K. Hari’s When Strangers Meet in May. In the month of June we have Ohh! God’s are Online and The Guardians of Karma scheduled for release.

Q. Tell us a little bit about these books?
A: The Homing Pigeon is a tale of love- lost, found and lost again set in the backdrop of 2008 recession. Coloring the tale with even more interesting shades is the moral complexity of the characters, interesting anecdotes and the unique storytelling style.  The same title has been endorsed by Dr. Shashi Tharoor as “a remarkable novel by a first-time novelist of immense promise... often exquisitely rendered... An exceptional achievement.”  Also in my personal humble opinion this is one of the finest piece of fiction I had the fortune of reading as a Publisher.

The Secrets of the Dark on the other hand is a tale set in the mystical land of Gaya- a land of wise kings and evil guardians, brave warriors and devious renegades, fractured by a prophecy foretelling of doom. Involving elements of both Western and Eastern Fantasy and Mythos the author vividly creates a new world of epic proportion and wild fun.

In may we have Ketan Bhagat’s Complete/Convenient which explores and contrast’s the life of a young professional in India and abroad. Based on personal experiences of the author it provides a complete new outlook towards life abroad.

Q. Srishti has managed a good number of “best sellers” in the last few years, what is the secret of success? Is it the in depth understanding of distribution that helps?
A: Marketing and distribution both play an integral role in the sale of these books. Our reach enables us to ensure that our books reach our readers not only in the metros & big cities but even small towns and cities. The readerships in these parts, long neglected, are quite size-able and are hungry to read.

A special mention of the role of social media is very important. The intended audiences are most active there and are not shy to voice their appreciation or discontent over the same medium. Hence the need to engage them over the same is also important.

Q. In your opinion collectively speaking is Indian writing suited for an international market? Why?
A: Indian popular fiction is primarily aimed at the audience in India. The plot, writing style and language are very India centric. But with increasing globalization and integration of world cultures soon these walls will crumble and lead to introduction to a more global audience.

I thank "Srishti Publishers & Distributors"  for encouraging The Readers Cosmos in their newest and first ever attempt to bring a publisher on HOT SEAT and more for their honest answers. I also wish the authors of their upcoming books Arka Chakrabarti, Sid Bahri, Ketan Bhagat and K. Hari all the best. Looking forward to reading wonderful stories from Srishti.