Easy reading makes for tough writing, says Ashwin Sanghi | books | Hindustan Times
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Easy reading makes for tough writing, says Ashwin Sanghi

Primarily a historical and mythological fiction writer, Ashwin has branched into various other genres like thriller, out of fear for being compartmentalised in one category.

books Updated: Oct 09, 2017 14:28 IST
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The author gives credit to his grandfather for getting into the habit of writing book reviews at a young age
The author gives credit to his grandfather for getting into the habit of writing book reviews at a young age(HT File )

Author Ashwin Sanghi's session on 'Making of a bestseller: 70 secrets condensed' found followers among the younger audience who listened rather attentively as he divulged his secret.

It's all about being able to read where the page turns itself - for Sanghi- that's the biggest mantra for becoming a bestselling author. "Easy reading means tough writing, " he said talking on the amount of time he spends on research for his texts.

Primarily a historical and mythological fiction writer, Ashwin has branched into various other genres like thriller, out of fear for being compartmentalised in one category. "I really want to explore horror, paranormal genre next. People actually joke in my family, as to howcome a Baniya had the qualifications to be a writer. They say I'm not a writer, but trying to be one, which is somewhat true, I'm trying to be a writer every day ( laughs).”

Rejected 47 times for first book

The author gives credit to his grandfather for getting into the habit of writing book reviews at a young age. “My grandfather would actually ask me to tell him about every book I read, and write to him as to what I liked about it and what I didn't right from my early days," said Sanghi who said he didn't belong a family of writers at all.

Author Ashwin Sanghi says that for him it is all about being able to read a book. (HT Photo)

He witnessed rejections 47 times for his first book. A firm believer of how writers don't go looking for stories, but stories coming looking for them, Ashwin Sanghi shared how he turned some of his minutest observations into novels by engaging in indepth research about these topics.

On a lighter note, he said, " I'd like to modify the old saying slightly and say write drunk, edit sober and wake up the next morning and market your product - that's the hangover." He said it was important to market books these days, as visibility is what sells.

" I'd like to modify the old saying slightly and say write drunk, edit sober and wake up the next morning and market your product - that's the hangover.”

The writer who would visit book shops in his early writing days to see if he found his books on the racks said he even picked up one of his texts from a dusty shelf and put it on the bestselling rack at a Crossword store in Mumbai. " Few years later, I actually informed the owners I did this, " he laughed, only to find himself be ranked a bestselling author today.

Besharam, a " a damn good liar"-he concluded that this is what made fiction writers turn into best selling fiction writers, so much so that, that they lie so well, that your readers believe it is as close to the truth as can be.

‘Translations don’t sell’

While most of Ashwin Sanghi's texts are read widely in English, his translated work has also gained popularity. Responding to a question by Rahul Singh, the author said translations didn't sell as much. "Hope they start selling for 20-25% of the amount of the original as even that much would make a difference. Even e-books are available in translations today which shows things are changing slowly, " he added. Talking of authenticity, the author has his own confidante for every translated work of his besides the official translator to know if essence of book had been maintained or not.

Box: Tips to become a bestseller from Ashwin Sanghi -End every chapter on a hook. Keep your reader captive - Last chapter be full on content and give satisfaction. - Most imp, ensure the reader is motivated to know what next after your last chapter too - Educate: Keep that element of surprise. Give your reader something he might not already know or may have predicted. - Key: Too many ppl destroy their stories if it's bestseller or not . Treat book like a product, figure out how to sell it