Just like the two faces of coin, writing has brought in a lot of competition in the market as well. There is a horde of authors, good and bad. Exploitation is as always present here. Often the publishers do not give due respect to the authors, the standard royalty rate of 8-10% has come down to 5%. I have even heard about publishers not responding properly to the authors about the sales figures.The established publishing houses are not ready to give chance to the budding authors while the ones that give chance do not even posses editors, leave alone good editors. the rough manuscript is published as it as. Even the editors are unable to correct the grammatical errors. In a recent book that I read, the single change that the publishing house brought in the manuscript was changing ‘hair’ to ‘hairs’. Amazingly we always studied it as ‘hair’ in lower classes but then we can’t do anything as the author is already indebted to the publisher for getting his book in the print with no capital investment.
If you are a debut author and your work isn’t of romantic genre, you might as well become a rolling stone because the expectation from a young Indian author is a love story or another campus life. They have a good reason for you that romance sells anyway but for a debut author something different may create losses for the house also. They can’t take a chance. While a recent interaction with another youth author, I was told that a publisher had once said to her that love,sex,fun and a fresh story line is that sells the most.
These are just a few instances. And of course we can’t forget that we all have to be grateful to them as they are the ones providing us bread and butter, the fame we needed and unique identity. All we need is a little more value to our work and little effort from everybody’s side to bring out the best for the nation.