Friday, January 10, 2014

THE TIME OF MY LIFE XIV...An author's woes




 As an author, dealing with a publisher, has not been too pleasant an experience either. My book, How to Manage your husband was published by JAICO IN 1988. No signing amount was given, only a contract offering me 7%  royalty .Except for ads released in their own group publication, no  hype was created. I got the book released at a function and had some press coverage. A anyway, it has Limped through two editions and has been translated into tamil by a publisher from Chennai. It has not filled my coffers very much.
I have to share an ugly episode which put me off my publishers. I wrote How to be an ideal husband as a sequel to my first book. Since JAICO was dilly dallying, I went ahead and published it myself. I commissioned the same person who had illustrated my first book and paid him. Eve;s weekly offered a mail order of this book to its readers. My publisher jumped to the conclusion I was selling my first book without their permission and wrote to the Editor accusing me of transgressing their contract. Luckily ,Mrs Gulshan Ewing knew the truth and ignored the accusation. I am amazed how a publisher can level a charge against an author without verifying the facts. An author and publisher must be allies, not adversaries. They have a common interest….the book. I learnt this through my pleasant interaction with N J Publishers who have been the best friends an author can hope to have.
Shabdanjali Communication Services ,is the name of my small publishing firm, which  I floated , to publish Ideal Husband. I combined the two books to publish Marriage Masala which is now converted to audio on radiowalla.in...an internet radio platform.Under its banner,  I have published several self development booklets which are marketed as training material to the corporate sector .I subsidise the printing cost by getting related advertisements. Since  the book Etiquette for PR is aimed at executives, a hotel with conference facilities, a,  credit card  organisation and an audio\video manufacturer,  released ads.16 Simple steps to become a confident woman has a cosmetic giant and domestic appliance manufacturer promoting their product. The Principal- a great motivator , has a book  seller ,promoting his shop. None of these books are sold through retail outlets . I sell them directly to organisations that place an order after I mail fliers to them. My experience in advertising and direct marketing has been useful.