SS: People believe that publishing is a male-dominated industry. Did you have any notions of that when you joined the publication fraternity?
TB: Well if you ask me, I never gave a thought about it, neither I thought about the aftermaths of it too. Before coming into publishing I have promoted almost 60 titles and I knew the in and out of this industry and trust me till date so many publishers have issues with me because of the fact that I have my own ideologies and the way me and my team work is different.
When I entered this bastion I was well aware that people would take me as just a girl who has an idea of a startup but I was also convinced that I have my own ideals to implement and that I was not merely a young entrepreneur but also somebody who does not consider this industry to be the inheritance of our male counterparts but simply as somebody who could bring about a positive change in the literary industry of India.
SS: Selling books is harder than writing them. Is it true?
TB: Well yes it is and there is a thing common in both the things, I read it somewhere ‘ I write what I want to read’ and while I am selling books, my ideas does not change, my prime objective is to sell those books which I feel deserves to be a part of the literary field of India. Coming back to the question, well I feel that yes, both the things require utmost sincerity, dedication, hard work and yes it requires to be equipped with the preferences of the target audiences in that way I can be assured of the fact that I m selling the right books and yes I m encouraging authors to write books which stand out from the millions of book that have flooded the literary market. And in that way selling books is made a tad bit difficult.
SS: People are more obsessed about titles and covers. Your comments.
TB: Yes I absolutely agree with you. Yeah definitely attracted with catchy covers and curiosity generating titles aren’t we? Suppose if you walk into a bookstore which book would you opt for, a spiritual book which has a yogi baba standing naked on the cover or a Preeti Shenoy book with a sublime cover and a title that say ‘ The One Who Cannot Have ‘. Well according to me I will go with the latter because the yogi baba does not deserve an ounce of my money and time and I don’t get an idea when I read the blurb and try to connect it with the bookcover and title, because A yogi baba standing evokes no interest but the catchy Preeti Shenoy surely does. Its a trend that the best sellers have the best titles too, if you look at Durjoy Dutta, Sumrit Shahi and Ashwin Sanghi they are on the top because they have catchy titles and one can not belittle this fact. For ex : of course, I am single and so is my girlfriend!
SS: Some books (classics) like Moby Dick get famous after decades. Does this scenario stand true even today?
TB: Yes it does, because if you see on a daily basis people change their preferences and what they want to read changes. In this scenario you can not really depend on just the numbers of books that the author manages to sell and let’s face it the taste of the indian audiences is such that the classics stand neglected and underrated while the novels which have the same plot spiced up make moolahs in the literary field.
SS: Since you are in process of writing a book a candid question: What do you enjoy the most? Publishing or Writing?
TB: Well I enjoy publishing books the most because when I see the authors holding their babies in their hands after getting it published the smile is priceless and that makes me feel proud of the fact that at least I made someone’s dream come true. And trust me my writing sucks and I don’t think I would be coming with my book soon, I feel amateur when I read so many good books and that fact haunts me that I can’t even manage to write .01% of what they have written.
SS: How do you combat distractions emerging from so many tasks related to publishing, writing and various engagements?
TB: Credits goes to my team, they give me ample time by managing everything on their own.
SS: Any anecdotes or experiences that made your detractors shut up
TB: Well they made me what I am today and am grateful to them, their positive ways enriched me and made me successful, and their negativity strengthened me. While they still are back bitching about me, I am here and expanding my venture and yeah I can shout this from roof tops that I AM HERE TO STAY. And I would like to say this to my competitors who are copying our ideas and making quick money that ‘ you can steal my ideas but not my efforts and personality ‘.
SS: Future plans?
TB: Yeah right now I am working on my venture and I am doing every possible thing to make it one of the most promising startups of our country and I guess only time will tell about my future plans!
Tushti Bhatia, 21 has completed her graduations and is preparing for her post graduation. She has completed her education from various cities like Chandigarh, Lucknow, Jaipur and Ajmer. Currently she resides in Jaipur where she is working on her startup Author Paradise and MAD ( her publishing house ). She is a B.com graduate and left CMA in between to pursue her dreams. She is a part time baker and loves reading.