Sharath Komarraju is a renowned author of fiction and nonfiction books His best known work (to date) is the Hastinapur series, in which he speaks into the silences of the Mahabharata story through the voices of the epic’s many women characters. His first novel, Murder in Amaravati, was long listed for the Commonwealth Book Prize, 2013. Prior to being a full time writer, Sharath was once a software engineer with IBM. On lazy days he watches cricket and talks to his wife (often at the same time). He runs a busy blog on his website which keeps him on his toes pretty much all of his waking hours. Sharath Komarraju currently lives in Bengaluru (Bangalore), India with his family.
I look at writing another book as the best investment towards marketing my books.
Discussion With Sharath Komarraju
- Sharath’s was born to a Doctor father and Lawyer mother. He opted for engineering because that was one of the choices given to him.
- Sharath has an engineer like approach to his writing and he likes to adhere to schedule. It is a discipline he attributes to his experience with IBM.
- Sharath joined a writers group called The Write Club when he moved to Bengaluru. Over a period of time, he became a key member and eventually the organizer of this club.
- He enjoys being around writers, people who like to write and read. He does not see his engagement with authors as a marketing activity and he does not appreciate when other authors approach him to market their books.
- Sharath has published Sixteen books so far. Ten of these are novels, remaining six are shorter books.
- Sharath beganwriting when he had just taken up a role with IBM. He was considering photography as a hobby, but that involved buying a camera and since he already have a laptop with a word processor, he began writing.
- He began to spend a couple of hours everyday in writing three months after he decided to write.
- The first book that Sharath published, Murder in Amaravati, is not first book he wrote.
- Sharath wrote his first book in 2008. His first book was published in 2011 – eighteen months after he submitted his manuscript.
- Sharath became a full time writer in 2013, when he had published three books, and two more under contract. In terms of timeline, Sharath took five years to turn into a full time writer.
- He wanted to make enough money to make his full time writing a viable option, and though he saved money for two years, he was able to earn enough income from his writing to think ahead for the next 5 to 10 years.
- Sharath watches his word count closely and adheres to his schedule quite diligently.
- Sharath is able to earn enough money from his writing for the past two years to support make aliving: he has not dipped into his savings, in fact, through the earnings from his writing, he has been able to add to his corpus.
- Sharath might take up a full time career role in the future depending on his life and family situation.
- In his opinion, there are only three or four fiction writers in India who are full time writers.
- Sharath is one of the few hybrid authors in India. Nine out of his sixteen books are traditionally published, including first seven of his books.
- Of the publishers he has worked with, his experience with Harper Collins and PanMcMillan has been positive. He feels that he is a partner in the book publishing process.
- A debut author needs to look at the marketing and distribution strength of the publisher in addition to the brand.
- Sharath has published a book through Amazing Reads, an imprint of IBD, one of India’s largest book distributors.
- Sharath works on a production schedule, that is, the manuscript must be completed in a timebound manner- that translate into keeping a daily wordcount goal.
- Sharath has also written a nonfiction novel- Moneywise, which deals with money management and personal finance. This book has been translated into Marathi and Hindi, and was published by Harper Collins.
- All of Sharath’s self-published books are available as ebooks only. He plans to go wider with his
- He thinks that audiobooks might be a couple of years away- he plans to spend the next couple of years to learn cover design.
- In his opinion, “The more books I write, the more readers tend to stick.”
- Marketing with sixteen titles offers him ore bang for the buck compared to marketing with only one book.
- He prioritizes writing, followed by covers and blurb. He calls it passive marketing.
- Sharath spends very little time on social media. He has not seen any disadvantage to his book sales because of his low social media presence.
- Book recommendation: The End of Eternity by Issac Asimov.
Contact Details for Sharath Komarraju