Readomania has launched several publications and most of them are unique in their own way. Crossed and Knotted boasted of being the First Composite Novel of India while The Dove's Lament by Kirthi Jayakumar touched the raw nerves of the readers. Rudraksh, another anthology, highlighted the talent of the writers in the mythological genre. Then Readomania came up with a Romance with a message in The Madras Affair by Sundari Venkatraman. Time has come now to delve into the mind of the creator of Readomania. Over to you, Mr. Mukherjee.
- From the conception till today – tell us about the mind (and heart) behind Readomania’s growth?
Readomania, thus becomes an eccentric mix of idealism, literary conscience, entertainment and commercial awareness along with a resolve to prove that this mix can be a success.
- Readomania has always strived to think out of the box. Crossed and Knotted being India’s first composite novel to Dove’s Lament, stringing soulful stories which raise many questions within a reader. Who is your target audience? Are you consciously targeting the literary audience of India?
Over the last few years, interest in reading has waned away; poor experience with the falling quality of books being one of the many reasons. This is what we see as a market opportunity. We want Readomania to stand for quality and entertaining reads that appeal to a discerning reader.
We want to encourage and support authors, who can create respectable literature that can be widely read and in the process help them attain a place in the sun.
- Readomania is a new venture. In your 5 books old journey what is the most difficult aspect of publishing? How do you reach out to your target audience?
Now, the vendor ecosystem and processes in content identification, pre-production and production are very mature. One hardly faces any problem in these aspects. However, marketing, sales and distribution are in a state of flux. Distribution is highly disorganized; data visibility very poor and insane trade discounts exist fuelled by self publishers. In addition, the cost of marketing has increased, due to heavy demand from deep pocketed authors and self publishers. All this puts a huge pressure on start up houses like Readomania to throw commercial viability out of the window and splurge on marketing, sales and distribution. This has been our biggest challenge.
However, we have been lucky to be able to tide over the situation. Over the last one year, we have brought onboard some of the best distributors, managed to market books with lesser budgets and yet leave an impression with the readers.
- Do you think India is ready for the onslaught of electronic media? As a publisher have you accepted the digital media?
- Writers find it hard to reach publishers. Can you tell us what is the first criterion you see when you choose a manuscript?
a.Uniqueness of the plot – this should strike us in the synopsis. This could be the characters, the setting, some nuance or the storyline.
b.Grammatically correct English – this should strike us in the sample chapters
c.Authors ability to market the book – this is the research we do on the author
Once we clear these hurdles, we seek the full manuscript, wherein we see,
a.Narration and coherence in flow and presentation
b.Ability to hold reader interest
d.Consistency in language
- The publishing business is becoming expensive day by day. What must an author expect they have to be ready for before sending their manuscript to any publisher?
a.Writing your book is just 50% of the work, marketing yourself is the next 50%. Writing a good book is a given, authors now have to work very closely with the publisher to promote. Many a times author has to do it independently as well.
b.Give your book the best, dream of making it a bestseller, but don’t lose hope if it doesn’t shine overnight. A book takes times, unless you are a celebrity.
- Like every publisher is not in the Big 5 league, nor are every writer a celeb author. What is the standing of a new author in the publishing business in India?
From a publisher’s point of view, a new author will not be chosen unless the manuscript is extremely good (read as talent) or he/she has a great potential (read as contacts or money) to promote the book or involvement of other commercial propositions (read as paid publishing).
Talent in a new author is not very common. Given the fact that, a new author is inexperienced and untrained in editorial aspects, it needs a lot of effort to churn out a good manuscript. So if you have talent, you do tend to create some standing automatically.
The rest must be created through marketing.
- Where do you see Readomania 10 years from now?
- Any suggestion to upcoming authors?