Brand New Feature 📢: Linking Print Book and eBook!

The pandemic may have taken a toll on print publishing, but that’s no reason to let it affect the sales of your book. And what better way to maintain your sales than to ensure that the eBook version of your book is available for sale?

We at Pothi.com have come up with a few measures to make setting up and selling your eBook easier than ever.

Linking of Print and eBook Versions Now Enabled!

In the most recent feature update to the Pothi.com Online Store, the link to the eBook version of a title can now be seen on the print book listing, and vice versa. If you already have an eBook version set up for your print book, and the two aren’t linked yet, please write to us at info@pothi.com with the SKU numbers of the books, and we will have the listings linked for you.

Take the book Ice Creams and Time Machines: A Young Author Program Anthology– we have linked the print and eBook versions on the same page!

 

You can also write to us if you haven’t published your eBook yet and you have a print book with us. Just send us an email with the SKU of your print book, and we will help you set up the eBook.

So what are you waiting for? Write to us now to set up your eBook on Pothi.com… for free!

 

Interview: Deeksha Divya Padhmanabhan

We spoke to Deeksha Divya Padhmanabhan, author of the book Personification on Planets and Sun. She collaborated with her sister Praganya while creating the book.

 

Why did you choose to write about the solar system during this pandemic?

I am 9 years old and as schools are closed during the lockdown period, I was getting bored. I like reading and writing so I was writing something. I wrote a page on Sun using Personification and my mother liked it very much and suggested me to write more on other planets. So, I decided to write on all planets.

How long did it take you to write it?

It took me 10-12 days to write and my sister took another few days in doing illustrations.

Describe how you and your sister collaborated on this story.

My sister Praganya who is 7 years old, lives in Bangalore. I live in Goa. So, when I started writing this personification, I thought of making it as a book. All kids’ books are incomplete without illustrations. I asked my sister if she would be interested in doing illustrations as she is very good at drawing. She happily agreed. So, I use to send her my completed part and she use to draw based on my writing.

What was your experience using the Pothi.com platform like?

My mummy and my Mausi took charge once both of us completed our book. They heard about Pothi.com and based on their experience, I can say that it is super easy and effective.

Of the nine planets, which is your favorite, besides Earth?

Besides Earth, Mars is my favorite because scientists are exploring life on Mars. After seeing “Mission Mangal’ I got more interested in this planet. I have also read that Mars might have aliens.

Tell us about your next project.

I don’t know but I think if I write again a book, I would write one on Dinosaurs.

Thank you for telling us about your book adventure Deeksha. Wish you and Praganya luck in your future writing ventures!

That’s the Word For It: Hierophant

Hierophants were priests of the ancient Greek city of Eleusis who performed sacred rites. Now a hierophant is an advocate or spokesperson.

Here are some instances of the word used in books:

“The Hierophant becomes a touchstone for many, either representing an artificial belief system (like religion or a work ethic) that we follow or through core beliefs we have created for ourselves.”
― Rob Parnell, The Writer & The Hero’s Journey

“The Hierophant. Special skills: warrior angel, commander and killer of demons. Alignment: Lawful Good…as long as by good you meant God.”
― Jenn Stark, Wilde Fire

Haiku Extravaganza with Pothi.com

There is a pandemic that is raging around us and a lot of things that we have taken for granted have now been postponed indefinitely. So a haiku challenge at Pothi.com felt like the perfect way to alleviate the mood.

A haiku is a seventeen syllable poem usually about nature. The Japanese poet Basho was a famed exponent of this form of poetry. This is a translated haiku by him:

In Kyoto,
hearing the cuckoo,
I long for Kyoto.

When you write a haiku in English, you follow the #fivesevenfive structure which means five syllables in the first line, seven in the second and five in the third line. A syllable is a unit of sound, e.g., the word haiku has two syllables.

What the Pothidotcomers did was frame a haiku each after a small session with me. We then decided to extend the haiku challenge to twitterverse. What started as a one day enterprise turned into a three day haikuthon!

We received over forty submissions and decided to frame each haiku in digitally beautiful picture frames. We got poems about the corona virus, the beauty of nature, summer holidays, folktales and the daily routine of living in pre-Covid times. People from all walks of life emailed us- first time writers, established writers, students, bloggers, teachers, friends….we were simply overwhelmed!

Here are some gems.

 

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For more of these you can check out our twitter moment. Have you ever tried writing haiku and has it lifted your spirits?

Free Resources for Your Lockdown Leisure

COVID-19 has taken the world by storm. Never before has an invisible enemy created such a global catastrophe in recent history. Countries are going into lockdown and the daily rut of pre-coronavirus days seems like privilege. But on the flip side, whether we are social distancing, in self-isolation or under quarantine, those of us who stay in a safe environment have an opportunity to introspect and work on creating healthier routines.

The silver lining of this crisis is the large number of institutions and individuals who have gone on a knowledge-sharing spree. We are especially grateful to everyone who has gone out of their way to make this dystopian present more meaningful.

Here’s a list of some free resources to keep you occupied and to help you get through these hard times.

Wordnomics: Books and Writing

  • Writing during lockdown: If you have tried writing 50,000 words for the NaNoWriMo, you may want to use this lockdown to pen down a chapter, a short story or the outline of a novel. Try to achieve a daily word count with #StayathomeWrimo. It isn’t easy and you don’t have to beat yourself up if you don’t get the required word count but even a paragraph can stand you in good stead.
  • Read at Home Initiatives: Although books are now considered non-essential commodities, there is a huge supply of books and stories online: 
    • Fatima Bhutto and Sanam Meher are presenting short reads by writers in different genres. 
    • Roli Books has also organized live conversations with well-known authors.
    • For children, the #ThodaReadingCorona project driven by Bijal Vachharajani encourages children to listen to stories. You can catch authors reading their stories on the facebook group Reading Raccoons
  • Many publishers are sharing great reads.
    • Juggernaut – This publishing house is offering books on their mobile app platform for free. You can spend your lockdown leisure diving into historical fiction like Rebel Sultans by Manu S. Pillai and romantic comedy like Combat Skirts by Sahana Ahmed at the tap of a finger. Read quick!
    • Audible – The audiobook store is also sharing plenty of free book content And if self-isolation isn’t perfect time to listen to classics and children’s fiction, what is?
    • Digital subscription to Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle – If you are a fan of Amar Chitra Katha and Tinkle or you want your children to read what you loved as a child growing up in India, this is the option for you. Subscription lasts for a month from signing up and you can read the comics on your mobile!



Virtual Wisdom and Documentaries

Many libraries and presses are providing free content access during these trying times.

  • JSTORThis digital library features the best of peer-reviewed scholarly journals and research reports, and has announced that all their open access content is now available without having to login. Catch up on your academic reading while in lockdown.
  • Oxford University Press – The biggest university press is providing free access to its educational resources to students and teachers, to aid efforts at creating a home learning environment for kids while schools are closed.
  • ScholasticOne of the world’s largest publishers and distributors of children’s books has also launched a website towards this end.
  • The Internet Archive- This library has even courted controversy by suspending waitlists for 1.4 million+ titles to create a National Emergency Library for the benefit of displaced readers and of those in quarantine. 
  • Library of Congress: The largest library in the world has select works on offer.
  • Project Muse– Publishers who wish to make their works available at this time are able to do so here.
  • The KKV Repository – You can also browse through Supreme Court lawyer K. K. Venugopal’s personal library archive. 

The Google Arts and Culture site is mind boggling. There are scores of museums, artworks and street scenes that are on view. If you feel too cooped up in the house, hop into the Uffizi Gallery and browse through Renaissance paintings or visit the Museum of Modern Art and examine the passionate brushstrokes of Van Gogh’s The Starry Night.

Miscellaneous

Chat apps are a great way of being with friends or colleagues even in this time of isolation. 

  • Bunch:  A group video chat app for live mobile games. 
  • House Party– A video chat app that enables you talk to up to eight friends in real time.
  • Zoom– An app that is now being used all over the world to conduct office meetings for those working from home, as well classes and workshops on various subjects.
  • Netflix Party – This simple Chrome extension allows you to watch Netflix episodes and movies at the same time as your friends, and the chat function lets you comment and react to what you’re watching in real time. Who said isolation had to be so… isolated?

The Metropolitan Opera is running its Live in HD series of free streamed performances every night this week. You can check this week’s schedule here.

For those of you who are tired of seeing only your pets, you may want to explore some nature documentaries  of peaceful places here in India. Check out these youtube channels for more:



Let us know how you are getting through quarantine. Stay home and stay safe!

That’s the Word for It: Panglossian

Panglossian comes from Pangloss, the name of a character from Voltaire’s novel Candide, first published in 1759. In the novel, Pangloss is an unpragmatic optimist with an attitude reminiscent of the character Don Quixote. The word originates from the Greek Pan which means all and glossa which means tongue.- this translates into a kind of smug facility with language, otherwise known as glibness.

Let’s have a look at how the word has been used in fiction:

“He wants to believe that Shakespeare wrote all those books, that Lincoln fought the Civil War to free the slaves and the United States fought World War II to rescue the Jews and keep the world safe for democracy, that Jesus and the double feature are coming back. But I’m no Panglossian American.”
― Paul Beatty, The Sellout

 

That’s the Word for It: Eponymous

The word eponymous has to do what is named. Some examples are Lake Victoria, Faraday’s Laws, etc. The usage of the word eponym as a noun and eponymous as an adjective is a trifle confusing especially when you do not know the difference between what is named and the name itself.

Some examples of the word used in books:

“The screen blanked, then produced a book cover. The jacket image—in black-and-white—showed barking dogs surrounding a scarecrow. In the background, shoulders slumped in a posture of weariness or defeat (or both), was a hunter with a gun. The eponymous Cortland, probably.”
― Stephen King, The Bazaar of Bad Dreams

“Emma is the eponymous heroine, which means having the name that is used as the title or name of something else.)”
― Joan Elizabeth Klingel Ray, Jane Austen For Dummies

That’s the Word for It: Gentrification

Gentrification is a controversial term when it comes to urban planning and has an unpleasant connotation.  When more well-off people move into poorer areas, the existing demographic is upturned and development occurs, mostly at the expense of the people who live there already. So here, development is one-sided and even hypocritical. The word gentrification comes from the Old French word genterise, which has to do with ‘people of gentle birth’.

Some examples of the word gentrification in literature:

“There is a gentrification that is happening to cities, and there is a gentrification that is happening to the emotions too, with a similarly homogenising, whitening, deadening effect. Amidst the glossiness, of late capitalism, we are fed the notion that all difficult feeling – depression, anxiety, loneliness, rage – are simply a consequence of unsettled chemistry, a problem to be fixed, rather than a response to structural injustice or, on the other hand, to the native texture of embodiment, of doing time, as David Wojnarowicz memorably put it, in a rented body, with all the attendant grief and frustration that entails.”
― Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

“It is ironic, in the manner of a dystopian nightmare, that an advanced capitalist empire which is founded on genocide and slavery, which still functions as the global police, which has an armed population, which routinely violates international human rights, which has the largest known military industrial complex in the world, which is the world’s largest producer of pornography, has also produced a saccharine ideology in which ‘positive thinking’ functions as a form of psychological gentrification. And it is not insignificant that the neoliberal lie that one is 110% responsible for one’s life—first powerfully encapsulated by the ‘alternative’ conservative thinker Louise Hay, and more recently echoed by Eckhart Tolle, author of The Power of Now (1997/2005)—is directed at women. Today, gendered victim-blaming has become a form of upwardly mobile common sense ‘wisdom’. Now victim blaming is expressed by voices that sound soothing, wise, calm, above all, loving.”
― Abigail Bray, Misogyny Re-Loaded

The Young Author Program Anthology is out at the Pothi.com Store!

Happy Valentine’s Day! Glad to announce that Ice Creams and Time Machines, the Young Author Program Anthology, is out at the Pothi.com Store today. It’s been in the works for a while.

Last year, I conducted a couple of writing workshops for children in the age bracket of 8-15. The classes were conducted at multiple venues. The children learned the art of weaving plots, creating characters and writing dialogues. The workshop ended in the creation of a piece of fiction with a well-etched character and an interesting plot line.

Each and every story in the anthology is a labor of love. And it was not just the writing…while some of the workshops were extremely cerebral, some of them were plain and simple fun! Hope to conduct more writing workshops with Pothi.com this year.

You can purchase a copy of the anthology here. Pothi.com and the contributors will donate any proceeds generated from the sales of this book to support a library building campaign via the Donate a Book platform.

Young Author Program Anthology