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How I get published

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Published books and printed words have been bringing changes in human relationships and making difference in lives of people. The power of words has caused people to loose their existence or to better them.

I always wanted to get published. But this could not happen. So I decided to self publish instead. When my first self published book Izhar came off the press, I personally distributed the book and placed it on all the show rooms in town and sent some copies to other cities as well. I also did a lot for promotion of my first book. After six months, when I went around to see the result of my book promotion efforts, one of my books sellers told me that four books have sold. Surprised, I wondered who are those four patrons and asked him. He came up with a small list on which one name was written: Erum, Erum, Erum, Erum.

Which is one of the reasons that Pakistan’s printing and publishing industry has not developed. Services like editing (manuscript reviews, proofreading and editing) Graphics (book covers, illustrations), publishing consultations and marketing are generally not available. The author and or the publishers do every thing by experience. There is no formal book promotion here.

And not only me, this is what happened to Abbas Khan – a celebrated short story writer and author who self publishes but does not promote his books.

Abbas Khan's published work includes three novels, seven short story books and a compilation of his observation: [Zakham Gawah Hain, Tu Aur Tu and Mein Aur Umrao Jan Ada (novels), Dharti Binam Akash, Tensikh-e-Insan, Qalam, Kursi Aur Wardi, Us Adalat Men, Jism Ka Johar (short story books), Reza Reza Keenat and Pal Pal (afsancha -- shortest storybook) and Din Mein Charagh].

One of the biggest publishing houses with sound distribution network printed his novel (now third edition) and gave him 25 books in royalty. He had to buy 26th when he needed. Another publisher published his one book in the form of a journal (monthly Sputnik – Pakistani version). Few others printed his work and expected him to be thankful for being published and getting promoted (what promotion?). This is what is meant by getting published free around here.

Now he has given rupees 15,000/- to one of the publishers to get his latest book out in print. This is the only thing the autor can do to promote and selll his new book!

Writing, self publishing (printing, binding, distributing) promoting and selling is the process. I wonder if anyone has gone through this whole process.

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posted by S A J Shirazi @ Wednesday, May 26, 2021,


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