People & Spaces 16 and up

A Children’s Author And Children’s Book Publisher Meet In A Children’s Bookshop

If the title seems the beginning of a bad joke, it isn’t. The Author Meets Publisher event was held at  Kahani Tree, the children’s bookstore. The two panellists were Anushka Ravishankar and Natasha Sharma. Anushka was present in the capacity of a publisher (Duckbill publishers). Natasha Sharma is a well-known author of books like Easy Peasy Princess, Rooster Raga, Squiggle Takes a Walk, Akbar and the Tricky Traitor etc.

Also present were an audience with many aspiring children’s books writers, distributor and children’s book fans in it. Little Kulture was lucky to be part of this interaction and this is the ensuing post.

The objective of the Author Meets Publisher at Kahani Tree on 9th February was to kickstart a more steady set of events for the Mumbai chapter of SCWBI -Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators– with Natasha Sharma being at the helm. Writers and illustrators, particularly children’s book writers and illustrators find it difficult to get feedback on their writing, understand how a manuscript must be sent and the norms to be followed.

Anushka Ravishankar who has the dual understanding of this segment being both eminent author of juvenile fiction like One, Two, Tree.., Moin and the Monster, Excuses, Excuses, Today is my day etc. and the publisher at Duckbill publications in Delhi.

The panellists started the session by talking about their own experiences as writer and publisher.

Natasha Sharma decided to start writing for children after a career in marketing. She always loved writing in verse and that is how she started her foray into writing by writing a book of verse on how ‘Zebra lost its stripes’. She sent the manuscript to many publishers way back in 2008. She had no knowledge about publishers and literally cold called the ones she found in her favourite books. The refusals were many, but she kept at it. Eventually, when she did get published it was after many false starts.

The work, unfortunately, Sharma noted did not end there. As an author, she really had to get behind her book. The state of distribution of children’s books was poor and still is to a great extent. Further, marketing budgets are small. She visited several schools for readings. She also enthusiastically got involved in book fairs and bookstores to showcase her books. She did this in tandem with her editor at the publishing house, who then helped her get slots at them. This is true for her latest book releases as well.

Anushka Ravishankar (left) answers a query while Natasha Sharma (right) watches on

Natasha exudes a childlike enthusiasm and gusto when she speaks about her books and how she helps them take flight.Natasha emphasises on the need for structure while planning of the book, writing it and later on marketing it. Writers and illustrators of the Mumbai chapter can rely on her methodic mind to mentor and guide.

Anushka Ravishankar opined that children’s book authors in India currently look at a multi- publisher route. They cannot dedicate themselves to one publisher alone. Indian children’s literature has low visibility according to Anushka. Indian books can literally mostly be found in the darkest corners of bookstores wherever one goes in India, away from the spotlight that Stilton and Wimpy Kid enjoy. The times are a changing, though.There are, she noted a growing number of independent book publishers in the market. A writer looking at getting published can benefit greatly by getting a good editor at the publishing house, among other things, she said.

As a publisher, she often gets manuscripts with ‘Our fab book’ when submitting and a ‘You will regret it’ note from owners of rejected manuscripts. Duckbill gets hundreds of manuscripts every day and what is really required is a clear synopsis. If the synopsis interests them then they go on to ask the entire manuscript. The key factor lacking in many manuscripts is structure, she said. While imagination, creativity and free spirit are laudable, a clear plot, a great beginning an end with a strong middle, are even more so. Authors must also be amenable to changes in their manuscript, she added.

Anushka and Natasha are both very optimistic about the future of English children’s writing in India, as more and more writers aspire to write for children.

Little Kulture asked Anushka and Natasha how to encourage children to read more. This is a bulleted synopsis of their thoughts.

  • Let children be around books
  • Try to move away from the moral perspective and textbook type learning
  • Provide a varied reading diet
  • Read books that make sense at different reading levels (can be enjoyed by both parent and child).
  • Visit libraries and bookstores

Most of this advice is for parents, rather than children. Young readers are often open to reading a variety of books and enjoy it. Parents too can join them on this interesting journey.

A parting but important note on Kahani Tree run by Sangeeta Bhansali. Kahaani tree is choc-a-bloc with many wonderful picture books and chapter books by Indian and international authors. It also holds story-telling sessions and author interactions in schools and bookstores. They also help to set up libraries and reading rooms.

Kahani has on its shelves many a Caldecott Award Winner. You can also spot Arun Gandhi, Nina Sabnani, Natasha Sharma along with Philip Pullman, Pam Muñoz Ryan, kits from Brown Toy Box and many, many delights to enthral child and adult alike.

Sangeeta started searching and stocking Indian books when she found none for her sons. She did eventually, but her sons had outgrown picture books by then. ‘No more’, decided Sangeeta. She started going to several schools in Mumbai with her collection of Indian books and started selling them at school fairs where bigger players like Scholastic did. Today, Indian books find a place of pride in her store with picture books by various Indian authors and illustrators hobnobbing with books from the world over.

Sangeeta Bhansali with her Indian collection of picture books at the Kahani Tree (translates to tree of stories) bookstore

If you are in the Prabhadevi area in Mumbai drop in, browse and buy (which you can’t resist). You can walk into their store in Industry Manor or contact them at Kahani Tree.

The evening concluded with tea, a great chocolate cake baked by Natasha, aloo bondas (potato fritters?) courtesy Kahani Tree, much laughter, exchange of emails and goodbyes.


  • I simply want to mention I am just newbie to weblog and truly enjoyed you’re web-site. Likely I’m likely to bookmark your website . You absolutely come with impressive articles. Cheers for revealing your webpage.

  • MetroClick specializes in building completely interactive products like Photo Booth for rental or sale, Touch Screen Kiosks, Large Touch Screen Displays , Monitors, Digital Signages and experiences. With our own hardware production facility and in-house software development teams, we are able to achieve the highest level of customization and versatility for Photo Booths, Touch Screen Kiosks, Touch Screen Monitors and Digital Signage. Visit MetroClick at or , 121 Varick St, New York, NY 10013, +1 646-843-0888

  • MetroClick specializes in building completely interactive products like Photo Booth for rental or sale, Touch Screen Kiosks, Large Touch Screen Displays , Monitors, Digital Signages and experiences. With our own hardware production facility and in-house software development teams, we are able to achieve the highest level of customization and versatility for Photo Booths, Touch Screen Kiosks, Touch Screen Monitors and Digital Signage. Visit MetroClick at or , 121 Varick St, New York, NY 10013, +1 646-843-0888

  • Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted keywords but I’m not seeing very good gains. If you know of any please share. Thanks!

  • Hello, i think that i saw you visited my weblog so i came to “return the favor”.I am trying to find things to enhance my site!I suppose its ok to use some of your ideas!!

  • I think this is one of the most important information for me. And i’m glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The website style is great, the articles is really excellent : D. Good job, cheers

  • Thank you for any other informative site. Where else may I get that type of information written in such a perfect means? I’ve a challenge that I’m simply now working on, and I have been at the look out for such info.

  • hey there and thank you for your information – I have definitely picked up anything new from right here. I did however expertise several technical issues using this web site, since I experienced to reload the web site many times previous to I could get it to load properly. I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but slow loading instances times will often affect your placement in google and can damage your quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Well I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for much more of your respective intriguing content. Ensure that you update this again soon..

  • I was recommended this website by my cousin. I am not sure whether this post is written by him as no one else know such detailed about my problem. You’re amazing! Thanks!

  • I am not sure where you are getting your info, but good topic. I needs to spend a while learning more or working out more. Thank you for magnificent info I used to be looking for this info for my mission.

  • F*ckin’ awesome things here. I’m very happy to peer your post. Thanks a lot and i’m taking a look forward to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  • whoah this blog is wonderful i love reading your articles. Keep up the great work! You know, lots of people are hunting around for this information, you can help them greatly.

  • I do agree with all the ideas you have presented on your post. They are very convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are very quick for novices. Could you please lengthen them a little from next time? Thanks for the post.

  • Hiya, I’m really glad I have found this information. Nowadays bloggers publish only about gossips and internet and this is really frustrating. A good website with interesting content, this is what I need. Thanks for keeping this web site, I’ll be visiting it. Do you do newsletters? Can not find it.

  • Thank you, I’ve just been looking for info approximately this topic for a while and yours is the greatest I have came upon so far. However, what concerning the conclusion? Are you positive about the source?

  • Oh my goodness! an amazing article dude. Thanks Nevertheless I am experiencing subject with ur rss . Don’t know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting identical rss drawback? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  • I¡¦m no longer certain the place you’re getting your info, however good topic. I must spend some time finding out more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful information I used to be searching for this information for my mission.

  • I¡¦m now not certain the place you are getting your info, but great topic. I must spend a while learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for magnificent info I used to be on the lookout for this info for my mission.

  • I like this weblog very much, Its a really nice post to read and incur info . “A little in one’s own pocket is better than much in another man’s purse.” by Miguel de Cervantes.

  • Great paintings! This is the type of info that are meant to be shared around the web. Shame on Google for not positioning this put up higher! Come on over and seek advice from my website . Thank you =)

  • I’ve been surfing online more than three hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

  • Normally I do not read article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to check out and do it! Your writing taste has been surprised me. Thank you, quite great post.

  • I actually wanted to construct a word to say thanks to you for all the awesome information you are writing at this site. My time-consuming internet research has now been paid with good quality points to write about with my friends and family. I would believe that many of us visitors actually are very fortunate to exist in a great place with many special professionals with valuable guidelines. I feel somewhat fortunate to have used the website and look forward to many more thrilling minutes reading here. Thanks once again for everything.

  • I like this web blog so much, saved to my bookmarks. “American soldiers must be turned into lambs and eating them is tolerated.” by Muammar Qaddafi.

  • I have not checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  • magnificent publish, very informative. I ponder why the other experts of this sector don’t realize this. You should proceed your writing. I am sure, you’ve a huge readers’ base already!

  • magnificent issues altogether, you simply won a new reader. What would you suggest about your submit that you just made a few days ago? Any certain?

  • Whats up very cool blog!! Guy .. Beautiful .. Amazing .. I’ll bookmark your site and take the feeds also…I’m satisfied to find so many useful information here in the put up, we need develop more techniques in this regard, thank you for sharing. . . . . .

  • I¡¦ve learn some excellent stuff here. Definitely price bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how much effort you set to create any such fantastic informative web site.

  • You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something which I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

  • Hi there, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam comments? If so how do you protect against it, any plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it’s driving me crazy so any assistance is very much appreciated.

  • Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your web-site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you’ve on this web site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and just couldn’t come across. What a perfect web site.

  • You can definitely see your expertise within the work you write. The sector hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. At all times go after your heart. “What power has law where only money rules.” by Gaius Petronius.

  • Thank you for another informative web site. Where else could I get that type of information written in such an ideal way? I’ve a project that I’m just now working on, and I’ve been on the look out for such info.

  • Good ¡V I should definitely pronounce, impressed with your site. I had no trouble navigating through all the tabs and related info ended up being truly simple to do to access. I recently found what I hoped for before you know it in the least. Reasonably unusual. Is likely to appreciate it for those who add forums or anything, web site theme . a tones way for your customer to communicate. Nice task..

  • Good day, I’m truly excited I came across this blog page, I actually found you by error, while I was browsing on Google for selecting good mesothelioma lawyers. Nonetheless I’m here now and would really like to say thanks for a wonderful article and the all around entertaining website (I too enjoy the theme), I don’t have sufficient time to read it completely at the minute yet I have book-marked it and also included your RSS feed, so whenever I have the time I will be returning to look over a great deal more. Please do keep up the fantastic work.

Leave a Comment

Free eBook - 20 Unmissable Books for Kids

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and receive the free ebook - 20 Unmissable Books for Kids (Grade 1 to IV)  

Check your mailbox. You will receive an email to confirm your subscription.