It was the Asian Age that called his writings ‘high-octane thrillers’ and as my review of one of his books agrees with this opinion, I thought it was best to pick the words to title my chit-chat on a few interesting aspects on the writer’s world. Kulpreet, the person, is unnervingly straight-forward and has a clear view of his relationship with writing. The interview, therefore, has a lot of relevance for those readers who dream of making it big in the writer’s not-so-big world.
The Kulpreet Yadav interview
Arvind Passey: As I have reviewed one of your books I am tempted to ask if reviews matter to you as an author.
Kulpreet Yadav: Book reviews do matter as they help create an interest among prospective readers. Reviews also allow a writer to understand what worked in his book and what didn’t. This can be a matter of personal taste of course, but a comparison with other reviews for the same book works as a good litmus. And since I am looking to improve and grow with each book, I take reviews seriously indeed.
AP: How do you react if the review isn’t flattering?
KY: A sincere criticism is easy to discern. But sometimes reviewers can be malicious too. I have had one such bitter experience. I try to ignore reviewers who derive pleasure in trashing targeted authors.
AP: How essential is it for writers to read books… and maybe review them too? Can blogging be considered to be like a trail leading to writing full-length books?
KY: It’s an absolute must. Good reading habit makes you a smarter writer. Reviewing is a very good idea too and I do it all the time. If you decide to review a book that you are reading, it transforms you into a student and makes it is easier for you to spot strengths and weaknesses. If you read a lot of books and blog about them, over a period of time, I think, it will make you a better writer.
AP: To what extent do successful writers write with sales and readership graphs in mind?
KY: Contrary to what a few writers might say, every writer wants his books to sell. I am more open about it—I write to sell. And therefore readers are very important to me. I am excited to share that my first novel in the Andy Karan series, ‘Catching the Departed’, has been so well received by the readers that it has become a bestseller on most charts.
AP: How important is the social media for writers? Is the social media a free source for inspirations… or is it important because of the networking clout that it appears to have?
KY: Social media is a blessing for writers. It’s cheap and its penetration is amazing. I use social media to reach my prospective buyers and also use it to network with the larger community of readers. The only trouble with social media is that it is habit-forming and can consume too much of your time. I try to restrict my time on social media to two hours a day.
AP: I’ve heard writers talking of distancing themselves from the social media platforms as it interferes with their creative output? What is your opinion?
KY: I have never felt that way. Creativity is an inherent expression which, to my understanding, can’t be dulled so easily. If one is disciplined, I don’t think social media can be a distraction.
AP: Writers write and writers sell… how true is this statement? If you say that writers sell, do you think the publishers of the day are getting smarter or lazier or simply disinterested in new-age marketing?
KY: I think selling books is a combined effort that involves the writer and the publisher in equal measure. But since publishers have to divide their time among many authors, they sometimes may not be able to commit each of their writers the same amount of time, energy and resources. Particularly if you are a new author. I see no harm if an author does the initial digging, because if he hits the gold soon enough, the publisher will get more hands and the digging will get more profitable.
AP: If it is writers who are anyway going to sell, why is vanity publishing still a taboo?
KY: Vanity publishing is a different world. Firstly, your book may not be good enough to be published but the vanity guys won’t say it. Secondly, they don’t distribute the books. Thirdly, the media does not review self-published books. In short, the vanity publishers will look the other way when your book is out and they have got their payment.
AP: Is conventional publishing still the best? Will eBooks really be able to compete with their print brethren?
KY: The EBook market has been growing steadily. We all know it. But it is hard to tell if it will replace the print books. I think at best the two will complement each other. Like Cinema and television.
AP: Any mantras for would-be writers and bloggers who want to write novels?
KY: Read as much as you can. Write as much as you can. And be as think-skinned as you can. Because everyone will reject you, sometimes even your shadow. But if you manage to get on the other side, it will change your life forever. It has changed mine.
Kulpreet Yadav’s spy thriller ‘Catching the Departed’ was shortlisted by Hachette – DNA in a contest called ‘Hunt for the next Bestseller’ and launched at Singapore during July 2014. Founder-editor of Open Road Review, a literary magazine with a global footprint, Kulpreet lives in New Delhi.
More at www.kulpreetyadav.com
13 May 2015