Doing something for the first time is always challenging. Isn’t it? You have no clue where you are heading, the kind of people you come across, the process, the wait and the grind you go through, All of this is special & a learning experience . Our Author in-focus ‘Shunali Khullar Shroff’ author of ‘Battle Hymn of a Bewildered Mother’ talks about her journey of accomplishing the first book.
It is a good idea to start with wanting to be a writer and one who wants to be published not because he or she is courting fame and glory but because there is a compelling need in him/her to share their story with the world.
Then comes putting that story down. Do it at your own pace, carefully and with full engagement and commitment. If possible get an editor to clean your manuscript before you submit it. There are two ways to submit an MS. One is to write the first few chapters and etch out the rest of the story line in case of fiction or a chapter wise detail of what is to follow in the rest of the book in case of non-fiction. I wrote out my entire MS and then got it edited before sending it out to various publishers because I wanted to put my best foot forward.
After I sent in my submissions I alternated between twiddling my toes and checking my inbox in regular intervals. When after nearly 5 weeks of no news from any publisher, I decided that perhaps I did not have what it took to be a published writer. I thought of all the published tripe that I had seen in the market over the past few years and felt worse for it.
And then, one fine day in July, nearly 7 weeks after submission I heard back from Mr Ashok Chopra of Hay House, who is a very well respected figure among publishing circles and it only took me a few minutes to sign up with them. I did hear back from one more well known publisher who wanted to sign me up a month later but by that time I was in a happy and committed relationship with Hay House.
Please steer clear of agents who will promise you the world but deliver little. You do not need an agent at all. Details of most publishers are available online and that is all you need once you have written your manuscript.