Alok Mishra: Nataraj, first of all, how did the idea of Self-Publishing: Expectations vs Reality come into your mind? It should be something you might be thinking about for a few months if I guess. Elaborate on this point, please.
Nataraj Sasid: I have been in the publishing industry for many years, recently there has been a spike of authors trying to publish their books, they don’t research properly nor do they have a basic idea about self-publishing, so they have been taken for granted by some publishing houses that make many fake promises.
So I came up with a book that will be helpful for the upcoming self-publishing authors to distinguish the reality of self-publishing.
Alok Mishra: How long have you been writing? I ask this question because I find your book written comprehensively and it is something that only experienced author can do. Do you have and books published before this?
Nataraj Sasid: I have assisted to publish about 30,000 books for top publishing houses and self-publishing authors all over the world.
Alok Mishra: Coming to the question of your interest in writing, Nataraj, you have been a publishing professional for long. How and when did you decide that you can write as well? Was it a sudden change or a gradual transition?
Nataraj Sasid: I have wanted to write a book for a long time and came up with publishing this self-help book first as it is the need of the hour for upcoming self-publishing authors. There are many more books which are in the pipeline to be published soon.
Alok Mishra: You have covered self-publishing in your book. It should come to you naturally because of your profession. What do you think about the future of self-publishing in India? How will it impact the future of Indian literature?
Nataraj Sasid: In India, Self-publishing is rapidly growing at a fast pace as more and more authors are trying to come with their stories and motivational books. If 100 authors approached us to publish their books of which 70% are motivational books, 10% belong to biographies, 10% are related to self-help and hardly 10% are of good content so the readership in India is less compared to the world market hence you can imagine where we are headed.
Alok Mishra: You have also included a chapter on writing in your book. I ask you something related to it and your experience as a publisher. Many times, many ‘authors’ just want to be authors anyhow and publish ‘anything’. How will this ‘get published’ attitude impact the idea of Indian literature? Tell your opinions as a reader as well as a publisher.
Nataraj Sasid: That is one of the reasons I came up with this book to help budding writers to be a good author, as good author’s read and research on many books before taking the plunge to write a good book, sadly this not the case as most of the self-publishing authors nowadays don’t read books and write whatever comes to their mind.
Alok Mishra: When we talk about self-publishing, the role of publishers has often been questioned by book critics and columnists when discussing the lowering quality of literature. How do you see the role of publishers in it? What, as a publisher, should be your role?
Nataraj Sasid: Publishers pay an author an advance for the work and take care of the editing and all aspects to publishing a book and also pays for the marketing and distribution of the book and takes his share in the royalty. The so-called custom publishing, self-publishing, aided publishing, and vanity publishing companies get paid by authors to publish their work so technically they don’t have rights on the authored content.
Alok Mishra: As your book has been received well by the first-time authors and critics, do you plan to bring more educational books like this in future?
Nataraj Sasid: Yes, there are plans to do so as I have already written a few drafts which are in the pipeline to be published.
Alok Mishra: Do you also plan to write books in other genres, Nataraj? Also, as a reader, what are your preferences? What is your overall assessment of the current race of bestselling authors in India?
Nataraj Sasid: Yes, I have been writing a book based on fiction which is half-finished and I am planning to get it published by the year-end. I am an avid reader, I read everything whichever I stumble upon.
Alok Mishra: How will you describe your book to a first-time author anxious about self-publishing? Tell this to all the readers who might be wanting to know more about your book and its benefits from you.
Nataraj Sasid: This book is a humble attempt to help the scores of authors and writers who wish to have their works published by someone who assisted many publishers and authors to publish over 30000 books. All the authors who have probably run from pillar to post trying to find publishing solutions for the books they so diligently wrote.
Alok Mishra: Thanks for your time and answers to all these questions, Nataraj. I wish you the best with the present as well as other books you may write in future!
Nataraj Sasid: Thank you very much; it’s a pleasure answering your questions.