Shaping the thoughts in ink…

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Siyahi, in Urdu means ‘ink’, the dye that stains the shape of our thoughts and Siyahi literacy consultancy firm helps authors to get their books published and read. We try our best to cherish and nurture the timeless magic of words, tells Mita Kapur, CEO, Siyahi, a literary consultancy firm. “Here at Siyahi, we’re with the author right from the beginning – from editing the manuscript to finding the right publisher and promoting the book after publication – we stand firm by our authors through it all,” shares Mita. “While we deal primarily with manuscripts in English, we are actively involved in facilitating translation of books to and from other languages,” shares Mita.

From love for books…
to being a literary agent…

“I grew up in a family who couldn’t see beyond reading – it’s like we instinctively reach out to books/ reading material,” she shares. But becoming a literary agent was never on her mind. “I was trained as a journalist after my degree in English literature. It wasn’t a decisive career move to become a literary agent, I just felt it was a good idea and followed my instinct but that was also because Siyahi got a lot of support from the publishing industry without which it wouldn’t have been possible,” she shares.

Journey so far…

“We began in April 2007. It’s been a mixture of learning, growing, experimenting, winning, losing, struggling but overall, a very rewarding and enriching journey – I have met some extraordinary people who have made it all worth it,” shares Mita. But Mita had her shares of lows and highs as well. “But when a peak comes, we treasure it for a long time, so it’s all good,” she shares.

On self publishing…

“There is no harm in self publishing and the “looked down upon” attitude has to be shunned. I think everyone is concerned about the depth and gravitas of the content being self published,” she comments.

Trends in publishing…

“We expect a lot more experimentation in genresthrillers, crime, humour and the growth in seriously researched non-fiction. I’m still watching the e-book and how its numbers grow in India – lots of question marks there,” she shares.

What next?

“We are focusing on international sales and translations in all languages – Indian and European…I just hope to see a tremendous incline,” she shares. Siyahi represents books in many languages from across the world. “We have sub-agents in USA, UK, Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Turkey, Korea, Brazil and Germany and also work directly with publishers worldwide. While our core is good literature, our portfolio links various aesthetic and artistic fields such as dance, cinema, music and textiles. We also organize literary events – everything from intimate readings to international literary festivals. Our aim is not only to boost book sales. We believe in creating a platform where writers and readers can meet, exchange ideas and discuss their love for books,” she concludes.

–Smita Dwivedi

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