When I heard that British writer Preti Taneja (she won the Desmond Elliott Prize for her first novel, We That Are Young) was turned down by all the big names in the publishing industry, I realised that my angst over not finding a traditional publisher for my book was misplaced.
Preti’s novel was published by a small publisher in 2016, and the publisher could not understand why there “hadn’t been a bidding war for the rights.”
Preti’s prose, according to the judges, contained “prose as sensual, perfumed and parti-coloured as a wedding basket of ladoo, inset with gems of pure poetry”.
I do not write literary prose, and do not consider myself in Preti’s league, not by a long shot. Then why in the world was I resentful of publishers who did not bother to respond to my book proposal?
It’s made me realise that I have to go it alone. I am fine with it now. I have confidence in my book.
I did wonder whether my book proposal was good enough, although I did all the right things by reading HowTo articles. No one asked for the manuscript (in India traditional publishers accept book proposals directly from authors). A friend, who was published by Harper Collins, told me that my book proposal was probably lying in a slush pile somewhere. Harper Collins hasn’t responded even though it has been over 8 months.
This post was written as part of the monthly post for the Insecure Writers Support Group.
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The monthly (July 3) question was: What are your ultimate writing goals, and how have they changed over time (if at all)?
After I completed my first novel in December 2017, I became confident of my ability to actually complete a full-fledged novel. Before I finished it (took me 2 years), I was sure that this was going to be my first and last novel. But now that I actually finished writing a 300-page novel, I have decided to write 4 more books, two of them non-fiction. I know I can do it, and it doesn’t matter if it takes years, maybe ten! All that matters is that I am enjoying myself.