Wednesday, November 30, 2016

A Unique Publishers Training Programme Now in Delhi!

Since digital media is proving to be a disruptive technology, the one that has changed everything from knowing the happenings of the world to buying your toothpaste, it has also become the most effective marketing and publishing medium. In India though majority of readers still prefer reading the old school way.i.e. a hard copy, the merits of reading on a single tablet like device which fits into your bag and can carry hundreds of books on a single device is not lost on the younger generation. You cannot create a bookstore in every village but with a mobile phone you can access every reader, no matter which corner. The importance of evolving isn't lost on the publishing industry and many have started developing their soft media content greatly.



However, the world of digital content creation is a complicated one with so many different platforms and consumption patterns. In India, there is currently another shortfall in the area of short term hands-on training modules. Understanding the lacunae in mentoring needed at this stage to come up with this mega-revolution and utilize it to create more business in 2014, The German Book Office (GBO) launched a training programme called Young Professionals Program to impart skills needed for the same. This year the third event of this initiative,  a two day workshop is scheduled for training on content/product development for professionals from the publishing, media and content industry, on from 2nd-3rd December 20-16, India International Centre, New DelhiThis program is aimed at young professionals who are already working in the industry and wish to acquire expertise in new techniques in publishing and allied sector. The two YPP training workshops that have been organized in the last two years have catered to the learning needs of 136 participants from more than 30 publishing houses.  
 
Need for a training event for young professionals in Product Development
By virtue of the fact that professionals in the content/publishing industry are engaged with certain specific aspects of the industry, it is not uncommon for them to lose sight of a bird’s eye view of their respective organisations. At the heart of this year’s YPP training programme on product development is the belief that developing a new product/service is similar to developing a new enterprise. The programme, therefore, aims to inspire the participants to cultivate an entrepreneurial approach, enable them to execute an idea and refining it continuously.



Focus of Young Professionals Programme 2016
With new product/service development strategies for publishing and content industry as the theme, the two-day workshop addresses a major need felt by the young professionals by offering a platform for generating and cultivating ideas as well as by providing access to networking opportunities, new methods as well as inputs and mentoring support from the most renowned industry specialists.

 
Format
The two-day workshop is based on a hands-on exercise format led by experts intimately involved in the development of new products and services in the content sector. The participants will work in cross-functional teams to work through the stages of product development and present the product pitch at the closure of the programme. The teams will engage with their ideas using the design thinking method that is relevant for customer-related creative projects. Issues of licensing will also be touched upon.


 
Participants
Publishing/ content professionals from the Editorial, Design, Operations and Sales & Marketing domains.
 
Highlights:
·         In order to witness the outcome of the workshop, the CEOs/MDs of the participating publishing companies will be present during the idea-pitching session that is scheduled towards the end of the second day of the programme.
·         Input on Consumer data by Mr. Vikrant Mathur, Nielsen India
 
Participating CompaniesBajaj & Co. Oxford University Press, MBD Group, Agamee Prakashan, Scholastic India, Harpercollins India and others.
 
Young Professionals Programme-Mentors/Speakers

R. Sriram co-founded “Next Practice Retail” in 2006 and is an advisor to Seedfund. He is an Independent Director on the Boards of Kokuyo Camlin Ltd and Kokuyo Camlin Alphakids Ltd. He served as President of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE) Mumbai (2010-12). He serves on the board of advisors of the non-profits Pratham Books, Junoon Theatre and Toybank.  He established the Crossword Book Awards (now Vodafone Crossword Book Awards) to annually recognize & reward the best of Indian writers & books that he continues to oversee. He has curated the Kala Ghoda Literature Festival from 2005 to 2010. He’s a visiting faculty at IIM A & a guest lecturer at IIM L & other business schools. He is particularly interested in entrepreneurship, innovation, business strategy & incubation, purpose & culture, leadership & next practices.


Katja Splichal(Germany)
, is head of online, software and new product development at Stuttgart based publisher Eugen Ulmer since 2013. Since April 2014, she is also heading the online publishing department and is member of the Executive Committee. Her main fields of work include the development of the CMS, the development of digital business models, the implementation of solutions for digital publishing in e-books, apps, e-papers and databases, as well as support for the e-learning business segment. Prior to that, she was the Head of Media Relations & Product Development at PaperC from 2011 to 2013.
 


Consumer Insights by Nielsen India, Vikrant Mathur: Vikrant Mathur was appointed as Associate Director of Nielsen BookScan in 2010 and currently heads the India operations of Nielsen Book. He and his team are also responsible for the development and sales of Nielsen BookData information services and instrumental in educating the book industry about the importance of metadata to both publishers and booksellers and the benefit and value to their businesses. With more than 13 years of experience in the Market Research Industry, Mathur has worked across verticals including information, technology and consumer markets.
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Check the pictures from the previous sessions and see the intense discussions:




I am sure by now you truly wish to be a part of this! So hurry there are only a few seats left! Click on the link below for registration and other details: http://www.publisherstraining.com/

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Book Review: Glory At Dawn by Sidhanth Majumder

Title: Glory at Dawn
Author: Sidhanth Majumder
Publisher: eBooks2go

Genre: Fiction(suspense)

Date:  2016

Price: INR 241/ Kindle-235

Pages: 264

Siddhant Majumder in his debut book comes up with an ambitious formula to create a suspense-thriller that is aimed at surprising you at multiple points. The story begins with the defense minister of India getting kidnapped by an aircraft in stylish and chilling manner with a plane crash and his successful rescue. On the other hand, as the country waits for ransom demands, there are none, the news of crash creating a verdict of his death. Restless his friend and chief of army Digvijay is unsatisfied with the findings and gets into action on his own. The CBI aids his findings with inspector Malik and agent Neha. They together employ the fugitive DON as their undercover agent to get to the roots of the mishaps. With lost agents, army men taking charge of missions a story emerges traversing through Somalia, Israel and ultimately having links with terrorists long before and Arabic fund raisers.

The story has a constant fast pace and a novel plot with sudden twists and turns which make the reader keep flipping the pages. The language is simple but there are some spelling errors and a lot of repetitive words which for a lover of words can be a little bit of discomfort. The writer has great ideas but need to work on writing to make it a perfect concoction that will serve its flavor perfectly. Hoping that would come up in his upcoming books. For this one, read it for the plot. 

Rating: 2.5/5


         About the Author:

Sidhanth Majumder is an Indian Author. Born on November 18, 1993, in Assam, India, Sidhanth Majumder always has a desire to become a writer. He is currently pursuing MBA in NIT-Silchar. In addition to writing, Sidhanth supports various NGOs. Being surrounded by the army and the paramilitary forces constantly, he has a sole interest in their lives and work. He keens in following various documentaries, especially war coverage across the globe. Apart from these, he plays various sports and loves animals. Glory at Dawn is a fiction work on espionage, written after meticulous survey on various grounds for about six years. Thus this book dedicates to the Indian armed Forces.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Author Interview: Vikram Balagopal

Once upon a time I read somewhere "too many talents can be a curse". But human race has placed people with multiple talents at the epitome, with each century we aim to be jack of all trades and masters of many. Today we bring to you one such upcoming artist, Vikram Balagopal. I wouldn't call him a writer alone as he uses various mediums to express his thought. Its films, graphic novels and currently a verbose book is how he finds satiety in his creations. His first graphic novel "Simian" published by Harper Colllins India won the best graphic novel award in the category at comic con Bangalore last year. Vikram is out now with a new novel "Savage Blue" published again by Harper. I was intrigued as to how a person of multiple talents selects a particular medium of expression from the many. To know more about him we conducted a chat session and we are grateful the author could take out time for the same. Here is all you are curious to know about the art-maker...

 Q. You sketch, write and make films, so what is your favorite medium of expression ?
A: I love these different mediums because they allow me to express myself in different ways. I enjoy film the most because it brings together everything I love doing, with so many possibilities. But it’s also the toughest to do, and do well. And even then, it doesn’t mean people will watch it, or enjoy it, because they have certain strong expectations from that medium. You’ll find that with every medium of course, in varying degrees, but it seems to be more so in film. It has its difficulties, but it’s still my favorite.

Q.     How did writing occur to you?
A: I don’t remember what motivated me to start writing, but I began writing poetry and stories when I was nine.I didn’t call them poems at the time because I thought I was writing song lyrics. Then I quickly realized that I can’t sing a tune to save my life, so they stayed on the page, and after a while a few people began referring to them as poems. They were very raw but I was thrilled when some of them got published.  When I turned 12 I got interested in film-making and steered my efforts in that direction (pun intended). I have been focused on it ever since.

Q. Are you a disciplined/ moody writer?
A: I can be moody, and I am very messy. I’ve been doing it for so long and every once in a while I get a rude reminder that telling stories is the only thing I know how to do.  Since I was 12, I didn’t bother learning any other real-world skills so I know I have to try to do a good job at it.

Q.     What is your most favorite story?
A: I read The Catcher in the Rye when I was in school and I fell in love with it.

Q.     Your favorite writers/books?
A: There are too many to list without me leaving out a few, and I can’t have that. So I’ll name just a handful from the top of the pile. Catch-22, Tolkien, Salinger, Alan Moore, Philip K Dick. Discussing books and movies over tea/coffee/drinks is my idea of a perfect date.  

Q.     Do you find any shortcomings in your writing? If yes how do you try to evolve in your art each day?
A: Definitely, I keep a lookout for short comings in my writing, and I am very sensitive to them. I’m always changing and trying to fix them, though I haven’t found any one way to do that yet. This is only my second book after all.

Q.     How did your current book happen to you?
A: In a lot of ways it began the way the story starts in the book for Shyam. From a dream I had when I was very young. But the meaning of that dream has changed over the years as I matured. In Savage Blue, Shyam meets Akila, the little girl from his dream, after twenty years and now they are both very different people. Their lives have changed them. Their first date doesn’t go very well, but they are still drawn together, because of that strange dream. And soon Shyam learns that he has to peel past the layers to discover more about this person he is falling in love with. Akila is an enigma at the start of the book and as the story unfolds we learn of the crazy experiences and adventures she has had. But these tragedies and the dangers she has faced have all been on other worlds, and to get closer to her he has to experience these worlds himself.I wanted to write a contemporary fantasy that we could all relate to as adults who have had these experiencesin our lives, and in our relationships, and through it take the reader on a wild trip. The best part of a relationship is learning about the other person, but you can be certain that there is still a lot you don’t know about them. What is in Akila’s past? I want the reader to have dreams about the book.

Q.     What was the best and not so good experience at writing it?
A: I remember the writing stage of it going very smoothly. The most nerve-racking part of it was sending it in to my editor at Harper
Collins the beginning of 2015, and waiting to hear what she thought of it. I wasn’t yet sure whether my non-linear narrative structure would work but luckily she got it right away and was very enthusiastic about the book from the start.

Q.     Is there a message you are trying to convey with “Savage Blue"?
A: I try not to make the book about a single message and it is a story meant to be read as a fantasy adventure. I am very concerned about many issues in our world like gender inequality, human effects on our environment, and conflict, to name just three, and I try to address these and others in new ways for the reader.

Q. The subject of your first and second book are widely diverse, is it an experiment to venture into different genre?
A: It wasn’t a conscious effort to make it different. The story just happens to be different,and I felt it suited a novel better than a graphic novel (Simian, Harper Collins Publishers 2014) in the way I wanted to tell it.

Q.     Are you writing your next book? What is it about?
A: I’m developing some projects but I’m taking a much needed break at the moment.

Q.     If you were to describe yourself in one line it would be…
A: I am a storyteller.

Q.     Apart from writing, what are your other interests
A: Film-making, illustration and photography.

Q.     In dark times how do you motivate yourself?
A: I spend time with people I love.

Q.     A few words for The Readers Cosmos…
A: Thank you for reading! Check out my new novel, Savage Blue.


Sunday, November 13, 2016

Author Interview: Gaurav Sharma

In our attempt to showcase young writers we bring to you a candid conversation with Gaurav Sharma, a nascent writer whose debut book "Gone are the Days" has been recently published. Know his creativity, writing and upcoming work in the conversation that took place here: 


 Q.    What does writing mean to you?
A: Well…there is no simple answer to this question. I am reserved in nature and have very few people whom I can call ‘friends’. Not every person I know deserves to be my friend as some of them are dangerously stupid, some are over-smart, some have their own hidden motives behind their friendships, while some are genuine but not compatible with me. There are few others as well who, according to me are beyond my reach and are overqualified to be my friends. I often keep myself from approaching them as I know it will be hard for me to keep up to their expectations. In a nutshell, it is tough to get along with me. That is why I write. Writing is more of a need for me. It is the best way for me to channelize my thoughts, emotions, feelings and ideas into creating something. Moreover, nobody tells me what to do in my book. I can do whatever I wish and to whomever I want.

      
      Q. Tell us a little bit about your current book?
A: ‘Gone are the Days’ is my recently published book. It has been published by Kalpaz Publications and Gyan Books Pvt. Ltd. Is responsible for its distribution. This is my debut novel (autobiographical fiction). Prior to this, I wrote three textbooks related to journalism and mass communication. Since I had no experience and exact idea about what it takes to write a fiction, I decided to proceed with my own story. After all, I could only experiment with my life and see how good I am at writing novels.

      Q. How did its characters, story etc. form?
A: ‘Gone are the Days’ is based on a true story fabricated with fiction. Its characters are inspired by the people who held remarkable (both good and bad) impact in my life. I recalled my memories form the past and spiced them up with some fictitious content.


Q. Were there any difficulties in writing the book? How did you solve them?
A: I wish I could say ‘No’ as my answer to this question. Sadly, I had loads of hurdles in my way. The most common and frequent difficulty was to keep up with studies, my job, other random stuff and writing, all at once. Another challenge was to keep myself motivated to write and keep my story proceeding in a way so that youth can relate to it.

Q.    How do you balance your day job with writing?
A: I live in Canada (as of now). Life has become quite challenging here. Despite being all by myself here, I somehow manage to withdraw some time for writing. The amount of time I withdraw for writing is becoming shorter day-by-day, I admit.

Q:  You have put a disclaimer at the beginning of the book about using inappropriate language, knowing it could be distasteful why did you still decide to go with it?
A: Oh yes! That disclaimer was a must for my book. I had to caution my readers. Even though the majority people think of ‘those’ words and use them frequently in their daily lives, it remains a taboo in our society. People should understand that swearing is just another way to release stress and frustration. The way and context in which it has been said should matter. It does not always demean someone or disrespect someone’s feelings. And I would not term it as inappropriate language. Rather, I would call it an appropriate language with some powerful slangs people fear to use openly so as to maintain their decent image in front of other people who do not care at all.

      Q: What’s your next book about?
A: My next book is a mythological fiction. ‘God of the Sullied’ will be the title. This book is centered around the evil happening in Kaliyuga and its impact on the world. The book portrays a story of a child who under the influence of Kaliyuga faces a huge turbulence in his life. This ultimately makes him an atheist and his search for the truth begins.
This book shall be published in less than a year from now in all likelihood.

      Q: Your favorite books/writers?
A: I always appreciate the works of my fellow ‘author’ friends, colleagues and teachers. I wish their skills and talent could be recognized on a larger platform. Somehow we all are in struggling phase of our writing career. Not exactly career, though, I mean who writes to earn money these days. It is becoming next to impossible to get published under a big brand like Penguin or Harper Collins.

‘Orphans of the Storm’ by Dr Ravi Dhar, ‘Blue Bangles’ by SomayaIqubal Khan and ‘Handbook of Print Journalism’ by Priscilla Paul are some of the works I admire. Apart from that, my own work motivates me to do more of it.

Q. Your favorite lines from a book?
A: “We middle class people are all same from inside. First things first, I logged into my Facebook account and checked-in there as well. You know what, it is more important to check-in on Facebook than it is to check-in for real at the airport. Let the world which gives zero fucks to what you are doing with your life, know you can afford a plane ticket for economy class. Right?” – Excerpt from ‘Gone are the Days’.

Q.    In dark times how do you motivate yourself?
A: It seems that my bad time is the only friend of mine. It stays with me always. To keep an edge over dark times I imagine the end result of my work, be it studying, working, writing or anything else. For example, to keep myself motivated to write I imagine how would I feel when I get my manuscript published and hold that book in my hands. This inspires me and rejuvenates my will to write.



      Q. Your hobbies…
A: I like to listen and keep as quiet as possible. I like to eat different types of vegetarian foods. Besides, I like to run and listen to the music. Travelling and writing are my hobbies as well. Not having enough money to travel and enough time to write is a different story, though.

            Q.    In one line you can be described as…
A: I am raw.

      Q. A few words for The Readers Cosmos…
A: It is a good platform for budding writers to learn from other writers and stay up to date with what is going on in writing world. Apart from that, one can promote his/her work. The creator of The Readers Cosmos is certainly doing a great job.