Booknomics

Publishing, Print on Demand, Self-publishing in India from Pothi.com Team

November 19, 2019
by Neelima
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That’s the Word for It: Freegan

This relatively new word is a combination of free and vegan.  A freegan could be vegetarian or vegan or even meegan, meaning he eats meat. He eats food that is freely available to protest against the exploitative food system. This way of life involves eating discarded foods from dumpsters or wherever you get food for free. You can also use the word as an adjective- so you can attend a freegan wedding or receive a freegan package, which basically means food that is being provided to avoid wastage.

Learn more about freeganism here.

October 23, 2019
by Neelima
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That’s the Word for It: Luftmensch

You must have met dreamers with their heads in the clouds and who face trouble with the practical nitty-gritty of living. The Yiddish language has a word for such a person- luftmensch, where luft connotes air and mensch means human being.

Found a quote featuring this word:

Luftmensch—the impractical individual whose imagination has lifted him beyond the world.”
― Stephen Eric Bronner, Critical Theory: A Very Short Introduction

October 16, 2019
by Neelima
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That’s the Word for it: Triskaidekaphobia

This tongue twister was coined by Coriat (1911; Simpson and Weiner 1992). The fear of the number thirteen has led to some strange numerical decisions- many high-rise hotels don’t have a thirteenth floor. The idea of 13 as evil has been associated with the 13 people present during the Last Supper. The fear of Friday the thirteenth is called dubbed paraskevidekatriaphobia.

Here’s an example of how Stephen King explained Triskaidekaphobia without mentioning it:

“There were fourteen steps exactly fourteen. But the top one was smaller, out of proportion, as if it had been added to avoid the evil number.”
― Stephen King, ‘Salem’s Lot

 

October 9, 2019
by Neelima
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That’s the Word For It: Sotto Voce

Sotto voce means to lower the sound of your voice, not out of embarrassment or fear but more for emphasis. it’s a dramatic technique and also used in music and screenplay writing. I especially liked the Wiki reference to Galileo Galilei’s sotto voce utterance “Eppur si muove (And yet [the Earth] moves’.

Some more quotes from literature:

“I still can’t believe,” Michael said, sotto voce, “that you came to the Vampires’ Masquerade Ball dressed as a vampire.”
― Jim Butcher, Grave Peril

“Is it life-threatening?” they asked. They said it slightly sotto voce, but you could hear the thirst for sensation right through it: when people get a chance to come close to death without having it touch them personally, they never miss the opportunity.”
― Herman Koch, The Dinner

 

October 1, 2019
by Neelima
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That’s the Word for It: Salvo

The word salvo has more military connotations but you can also use the word figuratively as in the case of opening salvo, which refers to the first in a series of questions or statements used to try to win an argument.

Some instances of this word in literature:

“Agnes shut her eyes, clenched her fists, opened her mouth and screamed.

It started low. Plaster dust drifted down from the ceiling. The prisms on the chandelier chimed gently as they shook.
It rose, passing quickly through the mysterious pitch at fourteen cycles per second where the human spirit begins to feel distinctly uncomfortable about the universe and the place in it of the bowels. Small items around the Opera House vibrated off shelves and smashed on the floor.

The note climbed, rang like a bell, climbed again. In the Pit, all the violin strings snapped, one by one.
As the tone rose, the crystal prisms shook in the chandelier. In the bar, champagne corks fired a salvo. Ice jingled and shattered in its bucket. A line of wine-glasses joined in the chorus, blurred around the rims, and then exploded like hazardous thistledown with attitude.

There were harmonics and echoes that caused strange effects. In the dressing-rooms the No. 3 greasepaint melted. Mirrors cracked, filling the ballet school with a million fractured images.

Dust rose, insects fell. In the stones of the Opera House tiny particles of quartz danced briefly…

Then there was silence, broken by the occasional thud and tinkle.

Nanny grinned.

‘Ah,’ she said, ‘now the opera’s over.”

― Terry Pratchett, Maskerade

“It has been calculated that what with salvos, royal and military politeness, courteous exchanges of uproar, signals of etiquette, formalities of roadsteads and citadels, sunrises and sunsets, saluted every day by all fortresses and all ships of war, openings and closings of ports, etc., the civilized world, discharged all over the earth, in the course of four and twenty hours, one hundred and fifty thousand useless shots. At six francs a shot, that comes to nine hundred thousand francs a day, three hundred millions a year, which vanish in smoke. This is a mere details. All this time the poor were dying of hunger.”

― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

September 30, 2019
by Neelima
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Interview: Rajalakshmi Prithviraj

We spoke with Rajalakshmi Prithviraj, author of Silence Under The Blue Sky and Love Under the Blue Sky

Rajalakshmi Prithviraj is a military educationist and an air warrior by profession, a psychologist, psychotherapist, life coach and military strategist by qualification and a Veer Nari as well as a mother of two angelic kids in her personal life. She grew up in the Silver City of Odisha, Cuttack and considers herself to be an eternal child at heart

Tell us about the story behind your story Silence Under the Blue Sky.

Silence under the Blue Sky is a story that echoes the sentiments of every individual associated with a martyr. Silence represents the unspoken words of this clan and the Blue Sky symbolizes the Indian Air Force.  Though the story revolves around one martyr’s family, it is a tribute to every wife whose husband dies while serving his first love – our motherland. It is a toast to the spirit of every child who is forced to grow wise beyond his or her years due to the sudden and eternal absence of a father. The story also attempts to serve as an inspiration to Veer Naaris (War Widows) that life does not end with a death in the family. It symbolizes a new beginning. It also attempts to bring out that love is eternal.

Silence Under The Blue Sky

Tell us a little bit about the book and the person who inspired its creation.

The book attempts to bring out every single detail associated with the trauma that the protagonist goes through. It’s about her pain, the way she deals with the news of her husband’s death. This is a true story, hence, every single element is true and all the characters are alive. Therefore, names have been changed to protect their identities. The person who inspired me to create this story is my husband, Late Squadron Leader V Manoj. To be honest, this is our story, narrated verbatim, exactly the way things happened on that ill-fated day of 30th August 2012 in a nondescript place in India.

Has your background in psychology aided your writing and characterization ability?

Honestly speaking, I didn’t use my background in psychology to write this story. It is a chapter from my life book. So I narrated each and everything exactly as it happened. There was no exaggeration, no distortion. The only fictional element is the futuristic narration. However, as things are progressing in my life, I am sure, it will be a reality soon. Writing this story was my first step towards inner peace.

What is your take about the literature available in India about the Air Force?

The literature currently available all revolve around operations and autobiographies. Personal narratives are also available as parts of anthologies. However, the genre of military reality fiction, especially related to the Indian Air Force, is still limited.

When you narrate a real-life incident, what kind of caution do you take? What kind of advice do you have to share with writers who are struggling to write stories about their own lives?

While narrating a real-life incident, the most important thing is to protect the identity of characters who exist in real life. In my case, the story involves men and women in uniform and hence their true identities cannot be disclosed. However, the people I’ve mentioned are aware of which character represents them. My only advice to writers struggling to write about their lives is to write from your heart. The moment you start visualizing the incident, start writing about it first. The editing can happen later. When you write from your heart, your words have the power to touch the innermost corners of the reader’s soul. Also, it is important not to stick to one phase or one incident only, unless it is the very theme.

Every individual’s life is a unique story in itself. Hence, as a writer, it is important to identify which portion needs to be written about. One more thing, our life book has chapters that are happy, sad, bitter, memorable, embarrassing, painful and the like. It is important to choose portions that do not hurt anybody. We all may be negative characters in somebody’s life story, right?

Tell us about writing as therapy.

Writing is therapeutic for sure. In my case, it helped ease my pain. So I would definitely recommend writing as a tool to get over the trauma, deal with pain and attain inner peace. Words have a power of their own. While writing helps to pour out feeling, reading the same brings out a calming effect, like a catharsis. For me, writing my story has been the therapy I had been wanting to undergo. The loss of a loved one is painful for sure and when there is no scope to mourn in the initial stages, this bottled up pain can be really harmful for the psyche. In case anybody is unfortunate enough to undergo this kind of trauma, I would recommend writing for sure. Penning down feelings is like giving an outlet to pent up emotions.

Tell us about your experience with self-publishing.

I didn’t want to give away the ownership of my story to traditional publishers, not because of fear of rejection but more because the story is my life story and I didn’t want to give away its rights to anybody. Hence, I went the self-publishing way via Pothicom, a self-publishing platform in India, and it has been an amazing experience. Pothi.com has a simple dashboard and an uploading process that is a blessing in disguise for technically challenged people like me. Also, the team is really very friendly and responsive. The writer in me is really happy because self-publishing gave me the opportunity to share my story with the world without the hassle of losing my rights over it.

Your favorite fiction.

My favorite writers are Thomas Hardy, Harper Lee and Pearl S Buck. I have grown up reading To Kill A Mocking Bird, The Mayor of Casterbridge and The Townsman; these three are my all-time favorites. I love Mitch Albom’s writings and stories by Nicholas Sparks as well. Gone with the Wind is yet another story I love to read again and again. The stories that always bring out the child in me are those by Enid Blyton. I can spend hours reading the adventures of the Famous Five and Secret Seven or vanish into the Magical forest atop the Faraway tree or enjoy the ride of my life on the Wishing Chair.

Your future projects.

My future projects include writing more stories in the Under the Blue Sky series that would bring out different facets of the life of air warriors. Again, all reality fictions for sure. I am also penning poetry, especially couplets. So those are in the pipeline as well. I am also working on two non-fiction writing projects at the moment. So right now, the writer in me is busy juggling time with the professional and the mother in me.

Thank you Rajalakshmi, it was such a pleasure talking to you! Look forward to your future work!

September 27, 2019
by Neelima
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Visual Friday: Writers of India – Amitav Ghosh

 

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September 25, 2019
by Neelima
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That’s the Word for It: Excursus

The literary term excursus has to do with a more neutral sort of digression. An idea is expanded upon mostly in the appendix or the footnotes. Maybe the subject discussed will be of interest to only certain readers and maybe the information will benefit those readers who are more interested in back story. If you are familiar with Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, you will find that the novel makes extensive references to whaling, a kind of excursus in its own right,

Some instances of the word in literature:

“You are sure that I would not be well advised to make certain excisions and eliminations? You do not think it would be a good thing to cut, to prune? I might, for example, delete the rather exhaustive excursus into the family life of the early Assyrians?”
― P.G. Wodehouse, The Inimitable Jeeves

“But there is another class of assassinations, which has prevailed from an early period of the seventeenth century, that really does surprise me; I mean the assassination of philosophers. For, gentlemen, it is a fact, that every philosopher of eminence for the two last centuries has either been murdered, or, at the least, been very near it; insomuch, that if a man calls himself a philosopher, and never had his life attempted, rest assured there is nothing in him; and against Locke’s philosophy in particular, I think it an unanswerable objection (if we needed any), that, although he carried his throat about with him in this world for seventy-two years, no man ever condescended to cut it. As these cases of philosophers are not much known, and are generally good and well composed in their circumstances, I shall here read an excursus on that subject, chiefly by way of showing my own learning.”
― Thomas de Quincey

 

 

September 16, 2019
by pothi
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5 Success Tips for Non-fiction Authors

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Source: https://pxhere.com/en/photo/714869

Non-fiction is a genre that, despite its wildly successful nature, rarely gets the props it deserves in popular culture. Non-fiction is often seen as being dry and boring, but nothing could be further from the truth. And the sales speak for themselves – well-written educational books, textbooks and self-help books fly off the shelves. Unlike in fiction, where an author has to work extra hard to narrate a story that hasn’t already been told in some form, the topics and subtopics that can be covered under non-fiction are practically limitless. 

But having something important and informational to convey about a topic is only the first step. Here are five things you can do to increase the chances of success for your book:

 

  1. Tell a Story to Spread an Idea

    Remember, just because you’re not writing fiction doesn’t mean you can’t tell a story. Readers are always drawn to an interesting narrative, and you can use it to break down a complex topic and make it more accessible to readers.Ensure that the writing style is engaging and concise. Set out information in a way that is easy to read and remember. The use of visual aids such as tables, side bars, and bullet points will come in handy.
  2. Cite and Refer Generously 

    Be sure to include plenty of references to other works on the same subject. This way the reader gets to benefit not only from your expertise, but also from the work of other authors in the same field. Citations and references also boost the author’s credibility, increasing the reader’s confidence in the author’s knowledge.
  3. Nurture the Community

    An active presence in the community, both online as well as offline, is the most important asset for promoting your book. One of the ways you can get started is to read and review other books in the same genre you write in. Make sure to tag authors when you post the reviews publicly.You can also conduct discussions on the subject. Organize Ask Me Anything sessions on sites like Quora. This will reinforce your credibility with regards to your subject and boost the visibility of your work among your audience. Remember, a rising tide lifts all boats!
  4. Present it Well

    Unlike a fiction book, bad presentation can kill a non-fiction title. Typeset the book professionally to ensure that your visual elements and textual information are placed together neatly. Well-spaced books with a moderate amount of white space are easier to read. Ensure that standard fonts that promote readability are used. 
  5. Take your Book Out for a Test-Drive!

    Feedback from the intended audience is critical, and wouldn’t it be great if you could get it before your book is published?! 

    Find a small circle of people who fit the demographic you are writing for – students, professionals, hobbyists, etc. and release the early drafts of the chapters of your book to them, for free. Your beta-readers benefit from information about a topic they’re interested in, and you get valuable information on how to optimize your book’s potential! You can find interested readers among bloggers, and on social sites like Twitter and Instagram.Above all, your book is a labor of love. And with non-fiction books, the reward tends to be proportional to the effort, so spare no effort, and pour your soul into your work.