Find your book’s critics wisely – advice for first-time self-published authors

Many authors are often confused about many things at the beginning of their writing career. It is like a journey that sadly begins with a note of confusion. Am I going the right way? This is the question that keeps ringing in the ears of anyone who begins the writing journey with self-publishing as the stepping stone. It is natural. Self-publishing sounds promising at the beginning of the career when no traditional publisher is ready to bet big on a newcomer. Although, once an author realises that there is hardly a thing like traditional publishing in today’s market unless someone is a celebrity, famous or notorious. Nevertheless, we can agree on one fact that there is confusion for newly self-published authors. A number of the concerns are related to reviews as well. And, in a hurry to look solid, many authors tend to come down heavily on critical feedback. To begin with, this is a career-suicide move. Don’t argue with your critic just to prove a point that ‘you think’.

Arguing unnecessarily with the critics or book reviewers writing for various book review websites might decrease your chances of getting future books reviewed by them. Yes, if you believe that replying to someone is absolutely essential and your case demands attention, you can use proper channels such as email or comment section to put forth your ideas in a constructive and nice way. Going overboard might ruin the conversation. And since a beginner is a beginner, at the end of the day, your loss is way more compared to the loss of a book by one author for the critics or the book reviewers.

Yes, there are critics who take the word ‘critic’ in a very contracting sense and they tend to criticise anything they find to read. For those critics, staying away from them might be a very good strategy you can think to employ. Getting a very bad review is worse than getting no review and leaving your readers an option to look it up themselves. Be careful when you choose critics for your debut book. There are very balanced, neutral and fine book reviewers out there on many literary blogs who are very good at reviewing books. Yes, you might be charged a reading fee and that’s totally worth it if you get nice, honest and constructive feedback for your writing.

Criticism is something that an author cannot avoid. Moreover, one always learns from criticism. Critical feedbacks are the motivation that keeps an author running for the idea called improvement. You don’t have to be too touchy about feedback on your writing. Learn to accept things and use them constructively for the betterment of your writing. However, you do need to be careful when you choose book bloggers for the review of your debut book. This is a make or break situation because you are just starting. At times, therefore, be safe than sorry actually works. Hope you have learnt something from this poet. All the best!

 

By Alka for The Book Blog

Vanisha Uppal: an author on the way to her life goals – opinion

An author becomes successful in terms of popularity or critical appreciation. Both these things go on to build the reputation of the author in the future and in the present as well. New authors have to struggle these days because fame does not come to them very easily. Nevertheless, if they are into serious writing and they mean business, the literary business, critics and serious readers do accept their claim and honour them with the appreciation that they deserve. This stands true with Vanisha Uppal, the author of On The Way, her debut book. Though the book is newly-launched and it has not done that magic in the market yet, it is our duty that we honour the seriousness of her writing and apprise the readers with the same.

On The Way has been appreciated by readers on Goodreads and critics on their platforms and blogs. There is no doubt that every one of them appreciates what Vanisha Uppal, the author, has done in terms of her writing, the objective, the vision, the philosophy and the ultimate test of a writer – connection with the readers and their predicament. On The Way, the book, does not make any reader feel left alone. It is for everyone because it deals with our daily issues, goals, successes and failures. The book, though categorised as spiritual non-fiction as well, does not talk about spirituality in direct terms. Readers will have to encounter the life stories of Vanisha Uppal and big-little episodes of her life with her grandparents, friends, employers and students, teachers etc. They will have to extract their messages and interpretation from those episodes, offered as articles, and that’s a very easy thing to do – let me assure you all.

The author’s strength lies in her capacity to connect with her readers. She offer’s book’s content in a way that reflects various conditions that we usually find ourselves in. For example, we might be happy, sad, tense or worried. We may be anxious about some results to come, some answers that we don’t have, some problems that we want to solve. We may be joyous because of our income, when someone says yes when we get out of some sword-hanging trouble and so on… the author has managed to cultivate all these human situations in her articles and shared her experiences about the same. How did she react to some trouble? How did she react to solve a problem? How did she put her trust in God? How did she get help from the act of mediation? What does she think of questions that are not answerable in simple terms?

Vanisha Uppal’s writing goes beyond the simple connotation of spiritual or motivational writing. She tries to simplify the concepts that have otherwise been lionised by many authors who believe in making a mockery of their readers by using high-end words and sentences that are unclear. You might find a few mistakes here and there in the lines by Vanisha in terms of grammar or punctuation. However, you will never find an attempt to download the wit of her readers and that makes her a readable, likeable and ‘simple’ author!

We have to wait for more of her books to come out and then only we will be able to assess her literature on an overall and more holistic foundation. However, with whatever is available right now, Vanisha Stands out as a prodigy turned on late and she has to prove her worth only in terms of a prolonged literary stint. Otherwise, the ones who will read her will find it easy to connect with her writing not because she is a genius, but only because she is a simple person offering her honest opinions about things we all feel and experience.

 

By Anand for The Book Blog

Sudipta Roy, an emerging novelist, brings back the concept of an ideal narrative – an analysis

Many authors have emerged in India and many have ripped the rewards of their very first books. Getting into the details might not be necessary as we are here to learn about a new author, a novelist who is emerging with his splendid narrative and his debut novel has made certain fans. I will mainly focus on the writing style, philosophy, narrative and the art of fiction that distinguishes him from the rest of the contemporary novelists in India or, at least, puts him on a different pedestal among the Indian authors who are looking to make space for themselves. For the book review of his debut novel, A Dumb’s Story, you can visit platforms like Indian Book Critics or Literature News or The Last Critic.

Style: Sudipta Roy has begun his story with an ordinary set-up depicting an extraordinary young man braving the challenges of life and excelling at every front securing a good job for himself, making wealth, friends, luxuries and also a girlfriend. However, one bad habit brings him down to nothing as cancer gets his tongue and he is rendered dumb… a critical reader can observe a pattern in the writing. And then, starting with rising and continuing in a fall, the protagonist rises again to do something for others rather than himself. So, a traditional style and equipped with modern linguistics usage will help modern readers to stay connected with the storyline. The author has tried his best to stay in the loop with word selections, sentence formation and length of the chapters. However, at times, the length parameter does get out of sync and readers might feel otherwise. The author is not looking for a readers’ version of the novel and conclusion and he has gone with his artistic intuition and I feel he has been able to add more value by doing so.

Thoughts and Philosophy: Once you read his very first novel, you will feel that the novelist has tried to offer something new, even though it’s traditional. The names of the characters, the names of places, the chapters and major episodes… everything suggests something. Readers will not only like but also admire the philosophy once they connect with it. It is not new in Indian English writing, I must say. However, it is rather rare in modern Indian English fiction and the author has to be admired that he could come up with such thoughts and still manage to keep his storyline very close to youthful ambitions and ideas. A social worker, a politician, a reformer… the multiple facets in the personality of Nairit, the protagonist, also depicts the vivid thought lines that Sudipta can continue in one single fiction and yet not lose a bit… well-done!

Expectations & Future: Into the future, I do fancy this author bringing more delight and entertainment to the readers of serious fiction. Yes, I believe that authors like Sudipta produce serious fiction and they can still manage to bring modern and traditional, casual and alert and all the binary opposite class or cluster of readers together. He has been able to manage many things in the novel that come together to create the ideal fiction and make an impact upon the readers that’s useful, entertaining and also furthering… anyone who reads this novel will ask, answer and discuss…

All the best to the readers and the author as well!

 

Ashish for The Book Blog

Aurijit Ganguli – knocking the doors of myth & history with The Shambala Sutras

Whether it’s the inspiration by a few famous novelists or not, Indian English novelists have been trying their best to offer the massive reader base the fiction that takes them close to history, different hidden timelines of history and also the myth that we all love in many different versions – something that intrigues and something that entertains the readers more than any other thing could possibly do. Aurijit Ganguli, an author born in Kolkata (erstwhile Calcutta) and travelled extensively to many countries, has finally realised his inner calling for the creation of fiction and he has come up with a novel – The Shambala Sutras. Shambala is something which has always fascinated people because of various myths & history & curiosity around it. Aurijit Ganguli, who loves the style of Ashwin Sanghi as a novelist, has modelled his fiction around the myths but his artistic bend takes his writing to the level where he had been successful in making his debut novel a one-way street where you enter to come out on ‘that side’ only – you cannot put the novel down unless you finish it.

To understand the writing style of Aurijit Ganguli, one would certainly have to read the novel and find out the dots and connect them. However, based on his artistic vision and his choice of theme, subject and idea for the debut novel and also on the basis of his literary philosophy, there are the things that we can certainly assume. Aurijit, as an author, believes in emotional, intellectual and pleasure quotients in the readers and he tries to deliver the same to his audience through his writings.

Brought up in a Bengali family, as you could imagine, Aurijit was introduced to books, literature and intellectual space from an early age and his interest did not lose so much even after his life changed. Born in 1966, Aurijit did his schooling in Kolkata and completed his engineering degree from the University of Calcutta in 1989. He worked almost for a decade in engineering industry before switching to the IT industry and since then, he had been active with leading companies working majorly in the North American region. However, one thing was with him all the time – his interest in literature and his calling for something that he could not pay attention to until the publication of The Shambala Sutras in the year 2020, May.

Aurijit has done extensive research for his novel and he wanted to make it entertaining as well as realistic as much as possible. The readers will certainly find the extensive work that the novelist has done for this novel. Moreover, the art of fiction has been so subtle that the threading cannot be seen with bare eyes of the readers unless you are a critic or an extensive reader of contemporary fiction.

Aurijit’s fictional philosophy and his art of writing novels will be tested in the long run as he continues producing more novels. Nevertheless, the first one seems promising and readers must have expectations from the novelist for more to come in future. You can know more about the author by visiting the official website – https://aurijitganguli.in/

 

A story by a contributor for The Book Blog