Truth behind the Publishing and types of publishing.

A ton of people who are interested in writing have been getting in touch with me to gather information about publishing industry, agents, how to get your book published and what not. Well since I got so bored of answering the same questions again and again, I decided why not write a post and share my knowledge of whatever I have gathered based on my intel in all these years. Let me remind you this is not me self-proclaiming anything. I am just sharing my knowledge. On the past several posts regarding publishing I have recieved some not so friendly messages and egoistic people which I'd ignore here and share the truth.

As many loved the way I explained the past topics in a form of a story lets do the same with this one and let me tell you the story of a girl named Megha.

So, Megha is a mere 20 year old who has just done with her degree in some other field rather than literature and wants to have writing as an career option. She writes really well and honestly all the contests here and there she has won has given her enough courage that she could muster and write a full length novel.

It took more than a year for her to write,edit perfect, have beta reading done and finalize one manuscript that she wanted to get published. She started googling, doing all the circus that friends and fam around asked her to do. Writing letters to agents, publishing houses and what not. Interestingly, Instead of getting replies from people she wrote to, she got replies and offers from some unexpected places which called themselves publishing houses.

She ignored those people and went on her letter and application sending journey for a year. One day there was one author's meet and greet and she met 2 more girls just like her who are ready with a story and are encouraged enough to get published. Megha told Avni and Tina about the things she'd been doing in past one year to crack a deal with a nice publishing house. She had this dream to get published with a big huge house that is famous for making its authors millionaires( at least that's what people say and think).

Avni was a girl on the similar path but the only thing was her family wasn't supportive enough and she was doing all on this her own. Tina laughed when both finished their part of story. She had a vision that to make money one needs money and hence she sooner or later will crack a good deal with a major publishing house soon.

The trio kept each other in touch and continued their dream to get their manuscripts published. Out of the trio Avni was the first one to share the news of her getting published. Both Tina and Megha were quite shocked by the news and envied Avni with the whole heart as they were still on their way to struggle with their books and yet getting no chances anywhere soon.

Avni had won some contest by a leading newspaper and her manuscript was now selected for getting published as a novel by one of the top publishing houses in the industry. Also soon her book will be adapted into movie soon. This was a news was like a nuclear bomb on both Tina and Megha's dreams as both were now demotivated to hell. But here there was a major catch that Avni hadn't shared with both of her friends. She had to sign off her rights to her work to the house. So that they can proceed with the other work. All she was getting is an offer to get published and honestly Avni was pretty happy with that, even when she was not supposed to get anything out of it.

Here out of jealousy, both Megha and Tina boosted their attempts to crack a deal with publishing house that they could find. But both landed upon a semi-trad publishing house. They gave an offer where author would keep their rights, earn the royalties and publishing house would only take some commission of sales. But they'd have to invest in their own books. All the budget needed for marketing,editing, printing of books and making them reach was supposed to be funded by authors themselves. Publishing house would just give them support.

Megha's parent's were indeed supportive but she had a dream where she'd be getting recgnised as an author with her work and not with her parent's money so she backed out from the offer. While Tina had this ideology where to make money you need money. Hence, Tina took the offer and she was the second one of the friends to get a deal. Now both Avni and Tina happy at their own places glanced upon their friend and pitied her. They wanted her to take her parent's money, invest in publishing and later on return them back since that would be same as earning on her own. But Megha being adamant, she didn't even budge her parents about the whole publishing idea that she had in her mind.

Both Avni and Tina's books were in process for publishing soon after a few months. But a few weeks later of trio having chat about it, Megha came across a e-commerce platform where she could just upload the manuscript and people can buy her book as ebook, also if formatted and uploaded in a particular format, she could get people to buy her book as a print version as well. All of that required no investment from her side. Hence she decided to go underground and started editing and polishing her work to extent that would match professional standards. Just a month before Tina's book was about to publish, Megha shared her book's buying links with her friends and started promoting it on her socials.

Both Tina and Avni were shocked as a month back there was no update regarding Megha having a publishing deal and now her book is even out on sale before theirs?  They thought their friend betrayed them and decided to confront her. While here Megha was struggling day and night to promote her book to her friends and family via whatever means she could.

See saw her friends' messages in group and decided to reply them clearing their confusions. Megha had self published her book and she was the only person who was editing, making covers doing basically everything from her formatting till marketing. Both Avni and Tina had a breath of relief and laughed at Megha and her ideology behind doing this. They mocked her by taking such a bold step by not being backed by a publishing house and called her fool by showing such desperation. Insulted by her friends Megha decided to leave the group and never messaged them again.

Not sooner after this happening, Tina's book got published and Avni's was yet to arrive. Soon all three of them were on their own paths trying to fulfill a common goal of getting published. A year past by and none of the three had contacted each other. Each of them was regretting their decisions and trying to think that others have done so much better than her. But none of them tried to get in touch with each other out of ego? shame? regret? who knows?

A week later they got invite from the author about a meet and greet that has been put up for his 20th book getting published by the a very big publishing house. It was the same author and same publishing house that they had attended event for when all of three first met. Each one of those accepted the invite and headed to facebook to see if other two were attending the event or not.

The event was over and the first copy signing was going on and all 3 faced each other now. Tina was first of the trio to apologise and followed by Avni and Megha. It felt like all three and back on good terms now and each one of them wanted to know how was their part of the experience with publishing world.

Megha was first one to share where she openly accepted that her idea of jumping into publishing without any backing of publishing house was a bad idea. She had only sold somewhere around 50-60 copies of her book and at 60% royalty on average. She although was glad that she didn't have to sign off her rights to any publisher for the sake of getting published. She was just unknown as she had been before but only happiness she had was that each of the review she had was from a genuine buyer and not reviewer. Also, there were most 5 stars and a few 4 star reviews for her book. She felt she had achieved something at least and not something like Tina and Avni did on large scale.

Tina and Avni were shocked on this and apologised again for being so rude to her. Tina was the next to share her part of story. Tina was most popular amongst their circle and had spend almost 32 lacs in all of her marketing adventures. She had sold around 2000 copies but had a royalty of 5% and it was a totally well received book. Although, she had suffered huge losses in terms of money and her family had now refused to invest even a penny in her further publishing ventures. Hence she planned to cash out from her publicity gained from popularity of her first book. But her second book wasn't getting as much attention and without marketing budget, she sold mere 200 copies this time at the very same royalty rate. Her publisher decided to no longer extend her contract and now she is looking for some other idea where she can live off her writing without handing rights over to any publishing house just for the name sake of being backed by a publisher.

Avni who was bedazlled by listening to both of her friend's experiences. She decided to not tell her own but after a lot of push from both her friends she shared hers finally. Avni had earned nothing and invested nothing in this whole scenario but here she hadn't told her friends that her work no longer belongs to her. Even if the book is publisher in her name, but her super famous story which is been adapted into movie soon isn't even hers to claim anymore. Nothing is worse than a writer getting ripped of her own work she tells them. Now for namesake they may add her name in credits but she was still the same where she had began and her family now wants her to live off her writing since she had rebelled against them and now had got so much of fame. They think she has some secret treasure earned from her books and is now not telling them because they didn't allow her to write.

Both friends had their mouths open and Avni was on the verge of tears. Both held her shoulder from one side each and supported their friend. Listening to all of this a producer from seat behind approached the trio and offered them a writing career where they had to just write and offer some rights to him for obvious publishing reasons and their works will also be converted into movies and tv shows. What do you think they should reply with? Do let me know down in the comments below.

Also if you love such style and format of me telling stories with a controversial topics and uncovering more truths then do follow the blog by clicking here and support me and encourage me to write more. this writer surely needs motivation both ways mentally and financially.

ps: I haven't edited it and its just me pouring out words in a single shot. I like to keep it that way without any form of adulteration. 
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  1. Its amazing how you wrote the dark reality of publishing and the struggles that we as writers face . Truly a very intrigruing review. This is one of the most indept and iconic review I read so far and I am so blessed to have read something that define my writing journey too . Thank you for the well written and very amazing masterpiece ❤

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this with us. It is sad but true that publishing industry has become a scam market for aspiring authors. Hope people will get aware reading your post. :)

  3. I am one of the people hounding you about this post. And to say the least, I am not disappointed.

    While writing started off as simply a hobby for me. I was soon into the dream of publishing. I love the fact that you have highlighted how the publishing industry is not as glamorous as it seems to be. Many new writers need to read this.

    I am not saying that we should all give up our publishing dreams but it is very important to know what the stakes are and what you should throughout the journey and decide what kind of writer are you.

    In addition to your entire piece, I would also like to add that before you sign on anything it will be the best to get the documents looked over by a lawyer - understand the fine print because no author wants to experience what happened with Avni.

    Coming back to your post, I absolutely enjoyed the format and hope to read more such posts. A story with a moral is very effective to send across the message. Thanks for writing this!


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