Monday, September 15, 2014

Book Publishing Secrets with Subhash Kommuru, Author of the Children's Picture Book Chatur

The husband and wife team of Kommuru Books 
Subhash and Sujata hail from India. They migrated to the United States along with their memories of childhood and youth. Now that they are parents, just like every immigrant they crave to introduce their child to the culture and values of their upbringing. Yet it is challenging to teach something while you are in the midst of adjusting to a different culture yourself. Subhash and Sujata both work in different disciplines and have different styles and backgrounds, but it is the upbringing of their son that brings them on the same page. That exact place where they meet is captured and reflected in their stories, where Subhash can express in words, and Sujata can illustrate them beautifully. Where he puts it in black and white, she adds color to it. You get the idea! These stories are their attempt to share a glimpse of their childhood days with their son. He is their inspiration to write short stories that have meaning to them and provide teaching in some shape or form.

Name: Subhash and Sujata Kommuru
Book Title: Chatur (Hindi)
Genre: Children’s Fiction Picture Book
Publisher: Kommuru Books
Title is available at Amazon

Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble

Hello Subhash,
Chatur Book Tour
Thank you for your time in answering our questions about getting published.  Let’s begin by having you explain to us why you decided to become an author and pen this book?
Subhash: Thank for your giving me the opportunity to share my opinion on your distinctive blog and exceptional readers and besides all the other great authors visiting here. I migrated to US from India and brought with me memories of land rich in culture and beliefs. For as long as me and wife were by ourselves we never took a moment to think about our cultural heritage and our values. But once we had Arya, our son, our perspective changed. He was growing up fast and seeing American culture all around him. That’s when we realized that there is a treasure called “India” which he is not exposed to and will never get to know unless we do something about this. Sure you can take him to local gatherings, temples, celebrate one of two festivals but that simply is not enough. Kids learn a lot from many different channels, One of those most effective channel is books. For Arya any time is story time, no matter how sad or how mad he is a book can always come to rescue.
So that got me into making up stories and morals that we have learned as a kid and narrate those stories to him. But I had to pick up a pen when he started to demand that I tell the same stories over and over again and use same immersive words every single time. So I decided to pick up a pen and start writing something with cultural significance, something that he cannot learn anywhere else and put it on paper so every time I read it will be exactly the same.
Is this your first book?
Subhash: My first book is Bargad it was released in 2013. Bargad is also a very special story which goes beyond a traditional story. Bargad has many arcs to keep kids and adults alike entertained throughout the book. It also enlightens a cultural tradition and links it to nature and how simple traditions can help protect nature. I can go on and on about Bargad but that would only bring nostalgia in me. Chatur (Hindi) is going to be my second published book in Hindi and by no means last J
With this particular book, how did you publish – traditional, small press, Indie, etc. – and why did you choose this method?
Subhash: I am a self-published author and feel very good about using this channel. I am a father and for me the idea behind writing a book is not really to be a box office success but instead a simple attempt to reach to my son and kids like him who can appreciate diversity and a flavorful story. It’s not about doing any kind of market research and thinking like a kid and then determining oh, may be race is the theme to connect with kids or throw in some slang that would get me to New York Times best seller. None of that jazz.
It’s plain and simple, think of a moral or an issue that you want to bring to kid and then decorate it with words and put it in story format.
Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?  The pros and cons?
Subhash: This is not for the one with faint heart… ok I am kidding. Just like anything else in life you have to like what you are doing and enjoy doing it. This is a time consuming process but a rewarding one. Of course your definition of reward needs to be firm and realistic. It’s thrilling to see your work in print and know that your opinion has been voiced. Once you start having fun on this road then it’s hard to stop. You get consumed by it and can easily lose track of everything else.
What lessons do you feel you learned about your particular publishing journey and about the publishing industry as a whole?
Subhash: It’s a fun filled experience. There are lots of kind people willing to help and offering help. All you need to do is ask for it. So don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help and at the same time be careful there are tons of crooks out there too who prey on aspiring authors.
Would you recommend this method of publishing to other authors?
Subhash: Absolutely yes. I would encourage more and more people to do this. Books need more content and a story needs to be told. There is a story in everyone. You never know how your message is being received and what impact can it make on readers. Your goal should be keep it positive and encouraging you will be amazed of how reader interprets it and gets out of it.  Just as an example, one of my book ‘The Magic of Friendship’ has a theme of diversity and friendship and one of the young readers thought it said about people having different talent and how they can use it for larger good. Chatur has a humorous theme with a subtle message and my young readers not only have a laugh but towards the end connect with each character and sympathize with them. One reader said that she likes the elephant a lot.
What’s the best advice you can give to aspiring authors?
Subhash: First thing is to start writing and write it from your heart. Put your soul in it and get best out of your own content. One thing I believe plagues more than anything else is competition, its good and healthy but from outset if you keep your focus on that you will lose objective and run behind an elusive figure. Instead set your own goals and chase that goal, you will get there and that too in style. Keep smiling and produce great content and please do pick up a copy of Chatur and read it to your kids.


No comments:

Post a Comment