Sidharth Rao is the CEO and Founder of Dentsu Webchutney, designated India’s top digital agency at the Goafest 2018 and the top winner at the Cannes Lions 2019. Sidharth is also the author of the upcoming book How I Almost Blew It to be published by Amazon Books India.
Here, he talks to Write Advice about being a first time author and why he thinks the pre-publisher editorial process is important for any book.
How I Almost Blew It was not an easy book to write – just the content development for it would have been a challenge many others would have shied away from. What made you think you could put pen to paper to create this book?
Fortunately for me, I know many of the people I have talked about in the course of this book, which helped of course. So getting them on board wasn’t a challenge. Just coordinating time and schedules was. There is a lot of such content available in the western startup ecosystem; I thought there was a considerable gap when it comes to the Indian ones; hence I decided to give it a go.
As a first time author what were the challenges you faced during the writing of this book and how did you overcome them? What was the most difficult part of the process for you?
I don’t think I had the theme clearly outlined in my head when I began the journey. Interacting frequently with Jayapriya and Smita undoubtedly helped a lot in putting the whole thing together under a theme. That was the biggest challenge personally.
Investor/entrepreneur or writer? What are you enjoying more right now?
I have always enjoyed working with startups on their challenges, so that will remain my first love. That said, seeing the book to its completion brought great joy and satisfaction. Now I am looking forward to its release and the response it will receive.
What role did initial editing and feedback play in the creation of your book?
It helped tremendously. I would give that advice to every first-time writer to have a strong partner in the editing process. In hindsight, doing this solo would have been near impossible. There are too many times the author deviates, digresses, and gets knotted up. The parallel editing and feedback part of the process helps immensely through that time in shaping the work.
Now that you will be a ‘published’ author soon, do you have any wise tips for those sailing in the same boat?
Always have a sounding board while writing the book, the editor can be your best friend in this journey if you are doing it solo for sure. Find a literary agent to represent you if you can; they help you with the filtering process that publishers have. And finally, don’t lose heart, you may get rejected, many a time. Remember you aren’t the only one going through the process!