From Imagination To Publication

Thursday, February 18, 2016

MY PUBLISHING JOURNEY: Author Sangu Mandanna

Have you ever wondered how authors get their start?
How do they get agents?
How do they get published?
Is it luck? Talent? Drive?

This segment is an attempt to satisfy my immense answer the one question I'm dying to ask every author out there: 

How did your book become a book?


Sangu Mandanna

Author of 


Do you have an agent?
Yes! I’ve also had another agent in the past.

How many queries did you send?
22 the first time I signed with an agent, 36 the second.

If represented, how long did it take to get your agent?
6 months the first time, 3 months the second time.


Are you traditionally published or self-published?
Traditionally published.

How did you (or your agent) find your publisher?
I haven’t yet gone out on sub with my second agent, but my first had a sub list based on editors she knew and was aware were interested in the kind of book I’d written.

How long did it take to find a publisher?
It took about two months from going out on sub to get my first offer from a publisher.

What do you like about your publisher?
I found the team I worked with (everyone from my editor to my copyeditors to the fabulous sales and marketing teams) were hugely enthusiastic and supportive. I worked closest with my editor and loved how smart, supportive and committed she was to making the book the best it could possibly be.

What do you dislike about your publisher?
There’s nothing I dislike about any of the publishers I’ve worked with.

Did you or your agent hit any snags along the way, and if so how did you overcome them?
There were plenty of speedbumps along the way when ideas were scrapped, manuscripts were shelved and sales didn’t seem to be as spectacular as I’d always hoped they would be, but I think this is inevitable in publishing. As disappointing as it is to shelve a project you’ve worked on, sometimes you know it isn’t the right project for now and sometimes you know you need to fight harder for it. I think I always got past these speedbumps by working on something new and focusing on the next exciting thing instead of dwelling on the projects that didn’t work out.

Did traditional publishing get your book(s) in Barnes & Noble or other bookstores?

Did your publisher produce a hardcover of your book or just paperback?
My US publisher produced a hardcover only, while my UK/Commonwealth publisher produced paperbacks only. My other publishers produced a mixture of the two.

Did your publisher create an audiobook for you?

Looking back would you do anything differently?
I would spend a little less time fretting about how much better everyone else seemed to be doing than I was! You can’t measure your career or success by anyone else’s because each publishing journey is so specific to the author and each novel so unique.


What marketing tactics worked for you?
Engaging with readers directly has always worked for me, whether that’s by chatting to readers on Twitter or by doing interviews and guest posts with bloggers.

What did your publisher do to market your book?
My publishers put a lot of emphasis on online marketing. There were tons of guest posts with bloggers, for example, and one of my publishers also organised a radio interview.


What lessons have you learned? Any advice for those about to go down your path?
Don’t give up. If one project doesn’t work out, start another. Fight for the stories you love and completely believe in.

Can you provide any names and/or contacts?
Agent: my current agent is Eric Smith of PS Literary

Publisher: The Lost Girl was published by Balzer + Bray (North America) and Random House Children’s (UK and Commonwealth)

Eva's life is not her own. She is a creation, an abomination—an echo. She was made by the Weavers as a copy of someone else, expected to replace a girl named Amarra, her "other," if she ever died. Eva spends every day studying that girl from far away, learning what Amarra does, what she eats, what it's like to kiss her boyfriend, Ray. So when Amarra is killed in a car crash, Eva should be ready.

But sixteen years of studying never prepared her for this.

Now she must abandon everything and everyone she's ever known—the guardians who raised her, the boy she's forbidden to love—to move to India and convince the world that Amarra is still alive.

What Eva finds is a grief-stricken family; parents unsure how to handle this echo they thought they wanted; and Ray, who knew every detail, every contour of Amarra. And when Eva is unexpectedly dealt a fatal blow that will change her existence forever, she is forced to choose: Stay and live out her years as a copy or leave and risk it all for the freedom to be an original. To be Eva.

From debut novelist Sangu Mandanna comes the dazzling story of a girl who was always told what she had to be—until she found the strength to decide for herself.

1 comment:

  1. Loved reading about this! I completely and thoroughly enjoyed Sangu's debut. It was on top of my wishlist back then. :)

    Thanks for sharing. I'm an aspiring writer and I find these very useful.

    Precious @ Fragments of Life