Self-publishing should become transparent and minimum in terms of cost – Alok Mishra (founder – Self-publishing Network)

“Why at all do the publishers need to trap the authors into the web of data, confusions, metrics, updates in 3-6 months network? Self-publishing should be as easy as a b c and d. Also, the authors should be told in exact terms that Kindle publishing will fetch them more opportunities to sell more books compared to paperback or hardcover which is costly and not profitable…”

Tells Alok Mishra, well-known as a poet and author and also the founder of BookBoys PR, the only dedicated company that works exclusively for authors and publishers and indulges solely in book marketing. However, this time, it was not a discussion about some book marketing strategy or author branding story. This was about publishing a book and Alok Mishra was favouring a transparent publishing industry. We are all aware that traditional publishing is almost a closed-door for first-time authors and seldom have these authors a massive budget to put the first-page advertisements in the newspapers like Chetan Bhagat or Amish Tripathi can do. So, to satisfy their wanderlust of being an author and see the dream of a published book coming true, the first time writers often knock the doors of self publishing companies (or, rather they knock their doors through advertisements and constant emails or phone calls).

Self-publishing is a very big industry in India and in India because there are many ambitious people who want to become overnight sensations. And these self-publishing companies, most of them if not all, are only banking on these ambitions. An average publication deal of about 30,000 RS brings a company an average profit of 18,000 RS because they literally do nothing in terms of editing, proofreading or marketing. They simply design the cover, layout and publish the minimum number of copies – to send some author copies to the writer and put some instant copies on leading online shopping sites like Amazon and Flipkart. Done. Rest is on-demand… when someone buys a copy, it is printed and it is sent to them. The author is happy because he or she is ignorant and the publishers are happy because they are growing fast in their pockets. Readers? They get mediocre content to read and make some money (reviewing or publicising the same).

Well, things don’t end here. Alok, who works with authors from leading self-publishing houses in India as well as those who are ‘really’ the bestsellers, has a scary thing to share which might confuse most of the first time authors who try to do some research before publishing their books. “Working with many authors have made me realise more and more that modern-day self-publishing companies in India are becoming more and more greedy day after day.” Says Alok and adds:

“Why do they have to keep the access to Amazon dashboard with themselves? Why cannot just sign the author up himself or herself and let them manage at least access to their Kindle edition? Isn’t it confusing? And thus, authors never know the actual data of book sales or any other updates.”

Alok has set up a new platform for authors who want to explore self-publishing. Self-publishing network will allow the upcoming authors interactions with experts, already published authors or other aspiring authors who want to publish their book. In the form of a classic forum, authors will be able to discuss their issues and concerns with others and it will certainly help them realise many things, learn new things and understand much more about this confusing industry…


BY Gunjan for Intellectual Reader

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