In conversation: Mrunal Pandit, Publisher, NRI:Now, Returned to India
Posted On April 6, 2018
Hi, I am Mrunal, founder of Shree Gajanan Consultants and publisher of the book NRI: Now, Returned to India by author Amar Vyas.
Hi, I am Amar Vyas, author of the Amol Dixit Series of books which is a fiction (humor category). The first book NRI: Now, Returned to India was released in August 2014 in print and ebook on Amazon. Some of you may also know me as Mrunal’s husband.
Mrunal : Before we get started, would you like to tell our listeners how you got into writing and become an author?
Amar: Oh! How did it all begin? Every time I think of responding to this question, I want to add a different flavor to my answer. But simply put, my journey as an author began in 2008 when I had just returned to India after spending eight years in the United States. I used to maintain a blog on the Return to India forum where I narrated my experiences coming back to India. Surprisingly, a lot of readers found my writing useful, interesting and entertaining. Many of them asked me if I was planning to write a book based on my blog and then of course I must thank you for bantering me till I actually turned into an author.
Mrunal: Ya that’s true because when I saw the response on R2Iforum and then I thought if your blog has received such a great response then why not write a book based on your experiences of the return to India journey.
Mrunal: What is the book NRI about and are you writing a series because trilogy is the current rage?
Amar: Let’s start with the novel first. NRI is an acronym used most commonly for Non Resident Indians or people of Indian origin who now live abroad. I thought of giving a slight twist to this and relate it to Amol’s back to India journey. Amol Dixit, the protagonist , originally plans to return to India for an year, but decides to stay back. In the process, he loses the woman he loves , quits his job, goes broke and even sleeps on the streets of Mumbai. But as things turn around, he learns what it means to be a NRI.
Coming to the series itself, I am writing a four part series and not a trilogy because I think trilogies are passé. On a serious note, Amol Dixit’s life takes so many turns over 10 years period that it becomes necessary to write a four part series.
Amar: Mrunal, now I think it is my turn to ask you questions, are you ready for it?
Mrunal: Absolutely, go ahead.
Amar: The loving and supporting wife that you have been all along , what made you take up book marketing and publishing as a full-time activity?
Mrunal: Thank you, you made my day by saying this. Well regarding book publishing , you know that we sent the manuscript to over 25 publishers and were rejected by 20 of them. Even things didn’t work out for the rest of the other 5 publishers as well because we realized that efforts required for marketing, content creation, identifying a publisher were immense and the financial returns were miniscule and that too close to 2 years down the line. After almost 300 hours of research over 6 month period, we decided if we were doing all the work then why not publish t ourselves.
Amar: That’s true Mrunal and that too 300 hours does bring a thought to my mind that if one were to write a conservative 200 words an hour, over 300 hours i.e. a 60,000 words novel we could have written between us if we would not have been researching ,right.
Mrunal: Very true. Very True.
Amar: About the 2 year period, you know it is true, I have spoken to quite a few authors , so by the time they submit the book till the time book hits the book stores , most of them have said , it has taken them 2 years time. So if we were to self publish it which we are now doing , in 2 years time, the complete series will be out.
Amar: Can you share how has been the experience so far?
Mrunal: Considering we are the first timers in our respective fields, you as an author and me as a publisher, the response has been quiet encouraging I should say. If you consider in terms of numbers, there has been close to 5000 downloads in the past 7 months. We ran a promo of kindle free ebook deals for 2 days in the month of January which resulted in close to 3500 downloads in 2 days. So I think we did something right at that point . Apart from that NRI: Now, Returned to India has received nearly 40 reviews across Amazon site globally with an average rating of 4.4 and Goodreads rating of 3.5 which is quite promising.
Amar: Yeah, one thing I like about the reviews ,quiet a few reviewers have said that they are looking for the next part in the series and personally I think I am quite encouraged by the response that we have received so far.
Mrunal: Yes, absolutely.
Amar: Can you tell about the availability of the book , where can the listeners look for the book and what are the future plan regarding the series itself?
Mrunal: It is available as an ebook worldwide on Amazon and as a print book on Amazon in India as well as North American as well as the European market. In the future, we are planning to release it on ibooks, kobo and flipkart.
Amar: So that’s also something that you will be trying out new for the first time right for the upcoming books , right?
Mrunal: So Amar, let us go back again to the Amol Dixit Series, so when do we expect the sequels as lot of your reviewers are looking forward to the sequels. So what should we expect?
Amar: That question kind of puts me under little pressure but let me tell you that “Urban Sophisticated” is the next book in the series and if all goes well , it should be published in August or early September i.e. if my publisher agrees to the timeline.
Mrunal: Absolutely and would you like to tell our readers what” Urban Sophisticated” is all about?
Amar: In “Urban Sophisticated”, Amol relocates to Gurgaon with his family and he ends up taking the role of a merchandiser in a kid’s wear section of a retailer and what happens to Amol’s life with this change that he brings upon himself, that’s what the book is all about.
Mrunal: So wishing you all the success in the next book of the series and nice talking to you Amar. Thank you.
Amar: Even I enjoyed the conversation and thank you to the listeners for listening to our little conversations and we would love to hear from you and you can leave us a feedback or can learn more about Amol Dixit Series on www.amarvyas.in