13.6 C
Munich
Saturday, February 22, 2020

Her First Novel Sold 8 Million Copies and is Available in 42 Languages — How She Did It

Arundhati Roy is a political activist, human rights advocate, and a best-selling author. In 1997, she published a book entitled, The God of Small Things. Within months, it had sold 400,000 copies and won the Booker Prize. Fast forward 20 years later, and the book has sold more than 8 million copies and is available in 42 languages.


The book, which took her 5 years to write, is a semi-autobiographical tale of family in India in the 1960’s, and though it included some terrible events, its sorrows were private, muffled, and personal.

Getting started

Before she became a best-selling author, Roy was a successful playwright who won the National Film Award for Best Screenplay in 1988. She wrote the screenplays for In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones (1989), a movie based on her experiences as a student of architecture, in which she also appeared as a performer, and Electric Moon (1992).

On writing a best-selling book

Roy says writing her best-selling book was the result of taking her time to create a polished product, and giving it her very best.

She comments, “When I was writing my book, I just knew when it was ready, when it was true and that’s all that mattered. The process of writing a book is such a lonely and yet wonderful process. And at the end of that process, for the person who was writing, the process of doing it was more important than what eventually came out, though what came out is necessarily bound to that – the process of polishing it, of making it as good as you possibly can.”

She continues, “It is such a wonderful privilege to have spent five years doing something which I know is the best that I could possibly have done, whatever anyone else might think of it, it is a blessing and a privilege. The fact that I finished it is something that I am eternally gratefully for. For me, the biggest achievement in all of this is that I actually finished it.”

Her advice for other authors

According to Roy, in order to write better fiction and non-fiction stories, writers need to understand the difference in voice between the two genres.

She also encourages writers to be generous, and not selfish. “Selfish writers,” she says, “leave you with the memory of their brilliance whereas generous writers leave you with the memory of the world that they have evoked.” But she believe that writing should be an act of generosity, not an act of self-indulgence. “It’s important that you keep in mind that you’re not going to burden the world with what it did for me or didn’t do for me,” she adds.

Finally, her thoughts on the secret to a great story is “the secret of great stories is that they have no secrets.” She comments, “Great stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t.”

Sharing her profits

Obviously, if your book sells 8 million copies over a period of 20 year, that’s a lot of steady revenue coming in for the author, but Roy is not a greedy person.

She has been living off the royalties ever since it was first published, but says she has given the vast majority of it away.

For more details about Arrundhati Roy, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ArundhatiRoyAuthor/

Blackbusiness.org

Related articles

Leave a Reply

Latest article

Twelve African EdTech Companies Named as First Fellows at Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in ICT

The Mastercard Foundation Centre for Innovative Teaching and Learning in Information, Communications, and Technology (ICT) has announced the first cohort of 12 EdTech Fellows,...

BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards 2020 (400,000 euros prize)

Application Deadline: June 30th 2020 The BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Awards recognize fundamental contributions in a broad array of areas of scientific knowledge, technology, humanities and...

Brooklyn Entrepreneur Launches Black-Owned Champagne Brand

Marvina Robinson, an entrepreneur from Brooklyn, has been passionate about bubbly and sparkling wines since her college days. Now, she has turned her passion...
READ ALSO:  Kofi Anna, Bill Gates, Patrick Awuah, Announced among 2017 Most Reputable People on Earth.

Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) Summer School 2020 for Young African Scientists (Fully Funded)

Application Deadline::Friday, February 28, 2020 The Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS), the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development...

King Baudouin African Development Prize 2020

The Prize endeavours to reward innovative initiatives of Africans with a longer term vision and impact proven track record in improving the quality of...

Popular Posts

He Wanted to be A Musician or Doctor but He is now Ghana’s Best Blogger, Meet Ameyaw Kissi Debrah!

The world is going digital and those who master the digital way of doing things are surely ahead. Mark Zuckerberg is one of the...

He is championing the fight against Revenge Porn in Ghana. Meet the ‘Chief Blogger’, Barimah Amoaning Samuel.

Revenge porn is the revealing of sexually explicit images or videos of a person posted on the Internet, typically by a former sexual partner, without the consent of the subject and in order to cause them distress or embarrassment. It may refer to all sexually explicit videos and images of a person by former partner, old friend, hacker, blackmailer or whoever for whatever motive. One man has decided to stand in the gap and end the act and his name is Barimah Amoaning Samuel.
READ ALSO:  15-Year Old Black Teen Entrepreneur Signs Licensing Deal With the NBA

From A Broken Home to Being the Inspiration of Many in Nandom; Meet Jacob Kuutuome.

Jacob Kuutuome was born to Mr. and Mrs. Kuutuome Tang and Marciana respectively in Kumasi and spent all his early childhood development and education...

Meet Mojolaoluwa Olaifa, The Young Law Graduate Championing Peace in Nigeria.

Just like Mirabelle Morah and Feyisayo Adanlawo, Mojola is also a young Nigerian making waves in her small corner to make sure peace becomes a...

Meet the Award Winning Health Journalist Providing Free Hygiene Kits for Girls in Nigeria

When Yecenu saw school girls who couldn't afford sanitary towels, she decided to find a solution and that solution is the reason why Wundef.com considers her a game changer. Today we are looking at the motivation and works of a young game changer in Africa's most populous country, Nigeria. I believe her story will inspire you to do greater things for your community, country and Africa as a whole.