Monday, July 29, 2013
5 Questions With Publisher Shilpa Mudiganti...
Shilpa, thank you for joining us today. We appreciate your time, creative input, and expertise here at Pen and Prosper.
1. Can you tell us a little about your background?
I come from a simple, book-loving family. I remember how I used to sneak in the Sidney Sheldon novel within the bigger physics book I was pretending to read and burn the mid-night oil! That’s where I come from – an electronics engineer with an insane need to read everything from the next novel to the labels on milk cartons. And I write too. At least I think I can!
Today, I am the founder of Inkspell Publishing LLC, an independent publishing house of enchanting romance and fantasy fiction. And, more recently, The Good Villain, a writing and publishing resource for authors and publishing professionals.
I am married to the most wonderful man I could wish for and on the way to add a new family member this Oct! J
2. What was the purpose behind starting your publishing company and The Good Villain?
I started Inkspell Publishing LLC in Jan 2012 after I shopped around for my novella for about 3 months. I know that’s not much of a time to give up, but the experience I had with other small publishers was very disappointing. There was no professionalism or quality. I realized the need for a fair deal for the authors in terms of quality and support, and at the same time, the variety that a reader deserves, and I was confident that I could do a better job.
Well, a lot said it’s very naïve for me to think that really, considering I have no background in publishing, but I knew what I wanted to give and I started doing that. It’s perhaps the best thing I did in a long time. Today we have 48 published books (26 full length novels and 22 free short stories). There are 4 more novels to release this year. 20 authors and growing and we nailed the publishing process. In fact, one of our books “The Star Child” just hit Amazon #1 in the Fantasy/Coming of Age category and we cannot be more thrilled. It is a combination of high quality and consistency.
At the same time, I also realized the gap in writing and the knowledge of the publishing process amongst the aspiring and published authors and I felt a need for a platform where writers and publishing professionals can come together to share their knowledge. I learned it that way – from peers-- and I don’t think there is a stronger medium of learning than peer help. Therefore, The Good Villain. Weird name but plan to provide awesome content to help everyone.
3. Are you currently accepting submissions, and if so, what are you looking for?
Actually yes and I am glad to be making the announcement on your blog!
Inkspell Publishing quite recently opened up three imprints – Inkspell Romance, Inkspell Passion and Inkspell Teens, all stories of romance within 20K-50K word count. The word count can be relaxed a bit if the story is great. It will be digital only with all the regular stuff Inkspell provides – quality editing, great cover designs, publicity and moral support. J
Our digital royalty rates are 40% net sales and are paid quarterly.
You can find more details at our submissions page: http://www.inkspellpublishing.com/submission.html
I strongly encourage writers to check out some of the books we mentioned in each imprint to see what we are talking about. We have noticed a particular trend in stories that our readers like and we intend to provide more of those to them.
4. What would it surprise others to know about you?
I am terrified of dogs! Haha..
5. If you could have one literary “super power” what would it be?
Editing! I think I am very bad at it and I don’t take editing feedback too well. I spend hours in the dark corners of my house once the MS is back from the editor telling myself I don’t need to throw away that book. I wish I knew how to make that cleaner myself.
One more question, to round things off here...
* What advice would you offer to today’s writers?
Connect with your audience even before you finish the book. Make genuine connections with like-minded people and grow your skills. You need only 2 skills – writing prowess and social aptitude. Everything else like editing, design, etc – leave it to the professionals. You can get publicity done from a professional as well, but even that would require a basic platform from you and there is no better time than starting it today. Like Now!