January 16, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Ravi Mirchandani: Amazon is more interested in selling Kindles than books

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In the SWF Publishing Symposium yesterday, Ravi Mirchandani of Atlantic Books, Jayapriya Vasudevan of Jacaranda Literary Agency and Anna Davis of Curtis Brown Literary and Talent Agency discussed new and different ways to get published

Before the arrival of digital publishing and distribution platforms (such as Amazon.com), agents and publishers were the gatekeepers, and authors were at the mercy of these agencies. Not any more. That is true to some extent and we all have heard about this trend but what is the whole truth? Are agents and traditional publishers still relevant? One of the Symposium tracks discussed this topic at the National Museum of Singapore.

Anna Davis said that agencies are still important and relevant to shape the career of a writer. She sees, at least in the UK where she works, more people reading books off their Kindles on the London tube but physical books are still relevant and so are traditional publishers. Physical books are doing well in the UK market, she said. Novels are still doing very well in the UK and it is possible to make good money by becoming a novelist, Anna added. An average novelist makes about 10,000 pounds a year in the UK but the bestselling authors make a lot more.

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