22 year old author who has been traditionally published twice. Ask me anything about how to find a traditional book publisher.

Nihar Suthar
May 15, 2018

My name is Nihar Suthar and I am an international author (www.niharsuthar.com). I started off as a completely unknown author, but quickly cracked the formula of traditional publishing. I have been published by a traditional publisher twice. Ask me anything about the process or how you can pitch a traditional publisher.

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What do you feel is the number one mistake self-published authors are making in today's time?
May 21, 12:29PM EDT0
Why did you think your book wouldn’t be right for a commercial publisher?
May 21, 10:23AM EDT0
What is the difference between sales and reaching readers?
May 21, 2:09AM EDT0
Do you think anyone can be cut out for self-publishing, or does it take a certain soul to take on the venture?
May 20, 5:27PM EDT0
How does one choose the right publisher? Any qualities one should look for?
May 17, 1:04AM EDT0


This is a really important question. Keep in mind that a publisher is not only printing your book. It is really critical that the publisher is responsive whenever you communicate with them, but that they also offer to help you market and distribute your book well. If you can find a publisher that does all of these things, then I would say that is as good as it can get! Additionally, the bigger and more reputable the publisher you can find, the better. These publishers will likely have better distribution and better audience reach to help your book sell more!

May 18, 9:23PM EDT0
Who’s one author you look up to and admire?
May 16, 11:46PM EDT0

Hi Nour! I greatly look up to Paulo Coelho. He is the author of my favorite book (The Alchemist), AND he is an incredibly humble / eloquent writer. I hope I can write as well as him someday!

May 18, 9:21PM EDT0
How did you come to realize you wanted to become an author?
May 16, 7:41PM EDT0

Great question Noor12! It was actually completely by accident. I never loved reading or writing when I was growing up...but then I went to New York University (in New York City) for my first year of university. I found that in New York City, everybody around me was always in a rush. It almost felt like life was passing them by completely while they were stressed out running from point A to point B. So, I decided to write inspiring stories that would help people slow down and realize what they were missing out on by being stressed out all the time. I soon found that I had written enough stories to publish a book...and I loved the entire process of writing too, so I never looked back from that point. I have been writing since 2013.

May 17, 11:37PM EDT0
Are wide vocabulary and perfect grammar highly important for authors?
May 16, 5:47PM EDT0

Hi Soreta! I think a wide vocabulary can help, but is definitely not necessary. In fact, I think using large words often can make your story worse. Why make a story difficult for readers to comprehend by using large words they have never heard before? I like to keep my books as simple as possible from a vocabulary perspective for this very reason. I do think having good grammar is highly important for authors, though. It's critical to have a book that reads well and is free of such errors. If readers discover grammatical errors in your book, they will lose a lot of confidence in your books in the future. You should edit your book over and over to make sure there are never grammatical errors in your work.

May 17, 11:34PM EDT0
What are the usual requirements you need to have ready before pitching to a traditional publisher?
May 16, 3:03PM EDT0

Hi Joshuabonque! Usually you need to have two main elements ready before pitching to a traditional publisher:

1) A pitch letter. This letter should be no longer than 3 paragraphs. It should clearly demonstrate the reason why people will buy your book and how you have organized it. You should craft this letter to be as short and sweet as possible. I say letter, but realistically, it will be an email that you will fire off to several traditional publishers.

2) A sample of 2-3 book chapters. Along with your letter, publishers like to see a sample of the work you are referring to. If they like your sample, they will ask to read the entire manuscript, and then offer you a publishing contract :)

May 18, 9:10PM EDT0
What’s more difficult to write - fiction or non-fiction?
May 16, 12:53PM EDT0

Hi Katy B! I think both are super hard to write. But if you forced me to pick one or the other, I would probably say that fiction is harder to write. It requires a ton of vivid imagination and language to draw the reader in and maintain his/her attention for the entire book. Non-fiction, however, requires a ton of research in advance which I think is also very difficult (it's more of an information gathering/interviewing and presenting information in an interesting manner for non-fiction) and time-conusming. Both fiction and non-fiction certainly require a different set of skills.

May 17, 11:29PM EDT0
What’s the best advice you have received about writing?
May 16, 9:25AM EDT0

I love keeping things simple. And I keep coming back to this, but I think the best advice I have for writing is to simply write! It's so easy to get lost in thinking you need to design a website, do radio interviews, and all these other things. However, the most important part about being a writer is to REGULARLY dedicate time to writing. Discipline yourself to write for at least an hour (or however much time you can dedicate) every single day. This is the only way you will become a top author. Don't get me wrong, marketing is important too...but your writing is the most important.

May 17, 11:25PM EDT0
Are you a full-time author or do you have other jobs as well?
May 16, 5:05AM EDT0

Hi Djan! I am currently a part-time author. I studied economics in college and work during the day at a technology company in Boston, thinking about how to best grow it out :)

May 17, 11:09PM EDT0
Have you also tried self-publishing your books too? What do you know about the process?
May 16, 3:45AM EDT0

Hi Bishop Jacob! I've never tried self-publishing my books so I don't have a ton of expertise here. However, if you want to try self-publishing, I would suggest using the Createspace Amazon platform. This allows you to print your book on-demand and immediately list it on Amazon as well. From what I've heard, it's the best platform out there. You can read more on the steps of self-publishing through createspace at this blog: www.thebookdesigner.com/2014/03/lyn-horner/. Feel free to contact me with any specific questions you might have on the self-publishing process. I know a lot of writers who I'm sure can help!

May 17, 11:22PM EDT0
Do you still get writer’s block? How to deal with it?
May 16, 2:04AM EDT0

Hi George! I definitely still get writer's block! The way I deal with it is to go through 2-minute writing bursts. For example, if you find yourself with writer's block, just take two minutes to write every single thing that comes to your mind regarding the topic you are thinking about. If you are struggling to write about plants, take 2 minutes to jot every single thing on your mind about plants. The trick is that in those two minutes, you should never stop writing...even if you have to write "I don't know what else to write, my mind is blank right now" to continue writing for those two minutes, do it! I find that my thinking is much more free-form after doing these writing bursts and I encourage you to do them when you feel stuck as well.

May 17, 11:08PM EDT0

...and that's a wrap! Thank you all for stopping by and asking such great questions! Feel free to contact me (my email is at www.niharsuthar.com) with any follow-up questions or thoughts. Always love hearing from you all :)

May 15, 11:15PM EDT0
Would you consider your stories fiction or non-fiction?
May 15, 10:25PM EDT0

I write all non-fiction stories :)

May 15, 10:30PM EDT0
What are some of your favorite books?
May 15, 10:21PM EDT0

My most favorite book is "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. Other favorites of mine are "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline and "The Kite Runner" by Khaled Hosseini.

May 15, 10:33PM EDT0
Should authors get formal education in writing to be more effective?
May 15, 9:59PM EDT0

While I think a formal education may help you develop a more polished writing tone, I don't think it's necessary by any means. I personally don't have any formal writing education and am still able to write effectively. I think the most important thing as an author is to read other books. This is how you learn most about other writing styles and expand your vocabulary.

May 15, 10:03PM EDT0
What is it about traditional publishing that attracted you to try it out instead of self-publishing?
May 15, 9:45PM EDT1

I believe there is a more respected brand and element of prestige that comes with traditional publishing over self-publishing. Don't get me wrong, it's 100% possible to be successful as a self-published author and sell lots of books. However, I find that on average, traditionally published authors will be more successful than self-published authors. There are millions of self-published books out there right now. Because there aren't really any standards on self-publishing a book, some authors have given it a bad reputation by not writing or editing their works to a proper quality level. For example, one writer took a picture of his foot, set it as a book cover, and wrote a few sentences about his foot inside his manuscript as a joke. He submitted the manuscript for publishing on Amazon's platform, and it immediately got accepted (much to my dismay). Works like these would never be accepted at a traditional publisher, which is why I feel like the brand, reputation, and prestige is stronger there. This is what attracted me to try it out over self-publishing.

May 15, 10:12PM EDT0
What are some great ways to promote a book written by a newbie author?
May 15, 9:39PM EDT1

There are lots of awesome ways to promote a book. Here are just a few ideas:

1) Run a book giveaway on Amazon (or even on your personal website if you have one) to spread awareness of your book

2) Reach out to your local town newspaper (or the town where your book is set) and give them a compelling reason as to why they should write an article on your book

3) Look up (on Google) a bunch of book reviewers in the genre of the book that you have written and reach out to them, offering to give them a free copy of your book if they write a review for you

4) Run creative social media ads across Facebook/Instagram. These platforms allow you to advertise to targeted markets, so you can choose markets that would be relevant for your books (i.e. if you wrote a book on cooking, you can advertise to ONLY people interested in cooking).

Feel free to contact me for other ideas.

May 15, 10:38PM EDT0
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