IntroductionThis is Part II of our discussion with Bestselling author Karan Bajaj. We discuss Karan’s upcoming book Yoga of Max’s Discontent. The book is about a Wallstreet Banker who becomes a Yogi in the Himalayas. It is the contemporary version of the story of the Buddha. Part I of Karan’s interview is at www.mykitaab.in/karan Karan journey as an author is unique in many ways. He began his journey in India, got his books traditionally published in India, his book has been translated into Indian languages. His book is now getting published internationally, and also translated into Spanish, and being released in Print, eBook and as audiobook.
“Your goal in the United States should be to get the best possible agent, because they will open the doors for you.”
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Discussion with Aspiring Yogi, Bestselling Author Karan Bajaj
- Gatuam Buddha’s story has had a big influence on Karan. But Karan wanted to write a spiritual thriller, unlike The Alchemist, The Celestine Prophecy or Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance which thinly disguised storied.
- This book is the International Edition of The Seeker. The original Indian edition was published in June 2015, when Karan had submitted the manuscript in April 2015. The International edition has about 20 percent changes.
- For a traditional publisher, three months from submission to publishing is a record of sorts. Penguin Random House published Karan’s book in this record time.
- The months of February to May are dominated by text books in India (study guides, etc.). As such, very few publishers want to publish fiction books in this period. For the rest of the year, publishers plan their book release schedule around the book launches of a popular author.
- Debut authors getting a tertiary treatment (or Tier IV treatment as Karan calls it) is a common practise- it is purely a business decision.
- Karan is getting Tier IV treatment, but he is okay with it. He believes that he became complacent with the launch of his second and third books.
- Yoga of Max’s Discontent has over 200 reviews on Goodreads with an average rating of 4.5. He has a very strong launch plan. He has reached out to over 1,000 mid-level influencers. Book Bloggers, Book Instagrammers, BookTubers and Podcasters have all played a role in his book getting the visibility.
- Karan believes that getting a popular author’s blurb will not help in selling books, reaching out to Mid-Level influencers will.
- Pre-orders for the book: about 1,000 copies, which is a record considering that Karan has no following in the US. The author community in the US is a very closely knit community. Karan feels that he is an outsider, but the pre-porders are an indicator that his marketing efforts are working.
- In his professional life, Karan has managed marketing campaigns for Tide, Pantene, CapriSun, Cool Aid, India- Ariel Detergent.
- Karan has bundles his book with other offerings (a free meditation course, Yoga Course, and other personal transformation courses.)
- According to Karan, a Pre-Order Campaign gives a momentum for the book. Publishers start taking you seriously if the sales start trickling it. The sales for pre-order campaign help in the bestseller ranking for the book. But Karan believes in longevity of sales (90% importance in his strategy) rather than bestseller ranking (he gives it 10% importance)
- The audiobook version of Yoga of Max’s Discontent will also be released. The book is available through Audible.
- Keep Off The Grass and Johnny Be Gone has been translated into Hindi and Marathi. Yoga of Max’s Discontent will be translated into Spanish.
- Karan’s book recommendation: The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
- Karan meditates every night for 30 minutes, or whenever he can in the morning, He is a Yoga Teacher, he practices Yoga once a week, and considers himself an aspiring Yogi.
- His personal preference for consuming books is e-books.
- Karan’s advise to authors: get a good freelance editor and then pitch it to Literary Agents. As Amar puts it: “The structure needs to be sturdy, the facade can always be changed”.
This post was updated on 2016-04-27