The rise of E-books

With the growing network of internet and booming sales of smart phones and tablets (even phablets have been introduced now), I was expecting the book-selling industry to be hampered. And to a certain extent my logical approach I was right. One could easily find books on websites on a much reduced price. On one hand, sites like Amazon, Flipkart and Ebay have grabbed this opportunity really well by selling heaps of books at sub market prices. On the other hand, low prices of books have made them within the purchasing power of many. With time the market seemed to have reached equilibrium.

Avid book readers are happier because having a personal book collection is no more an expensive hobby. With almost 50% of the books well within the reach of middle class, the scenario has clearly changed in past one decade.

e books

Where previously only noted well off historians or economists or lecturers could afford to have a vast collection of books, now every teenager has that luxury. A clear advantage is that knowledge available at a cheap price to anyone who wants it.

In addition, this has majorly boosted the confidence of young authors. Where the size of every fast selling novel ranges from 75-400 pages, it has become an achievable target for most aspiring authors. In fact, past few Indian best-sellers have no tough vocabulary that one has to sit with a dictionary. This is totally in contrast to the taste of people from a century ago, where only the literary works of Shakespeare or Emily Bronte were much appreciated.

Any English language major would be able to justify how the markets of books have changed since 1930s. Fewer people read complicated and original versions of accomplished writers such as Emily Bronte or Tennyson. Thanks to the adaptation and re-writing, even children books like Gulliver’s Travel have become easier to comprehend.

So, are the readers of today generation pleased and charmed by just a normal book in English? Of course not! Poems of Robert Frost are still a benchmark for judging talent. And maybe that’s all they have become, a benchmark. But yes to a certain extent, an easy to comprehend language is more appealing to the masses, where the classes still prefer quality work only.

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Over the years people have tried to ape the style of writing of successful writers, but that happens no more. We have our own Agatha Christies, Sherlock Holmes and Rabindranath Tagores in the making.

But do these generation-X writers reach the fame of honorary writers? Yes indeed. The successes of J.K.Rowling, Stephanie Meyer and author of 50 shades (who was it???) are clear indications that one has to be good at what they write, be it any genre, and have to either adapt with the generation or think ahead of it.

So not only has reduced price of books benefited the readers, it has given a moral boost to writers, since the risk involved is much lesser. Many write their books or novels as a part-time and as a hobby rather than indulging in it full-time, at least not until they have received an initial kick of success.

People are more willing to launch books in various languages because they know that they can reach out to various locations. Interest in regional and other internationally used languages is boosted when there are a good variety of latest books. Even the production houses are more willing to take bets. I have read some horrible and amateur love stories with a vague story line hidden behind the hoo-ha of fiction. At such times I really appreciate the books by Steve Jobs or Mark Twain, at least they are worth the money I spent on them.

In my opinion, it is not just the low risk or charm of instant success which drives so many people to become authors or poets; it is the need to be heard. With our society being much open and receptive to all sorts of bizarre ideas (school of magic or vampires living within our community), it has become easier for the authors to reflect what they think in their writings.

reading e book

Obviously there is no comparison to the classics. They are a class apart. But how many authors made it to that league of successful authors in those times? And how many successful authors are there today? So much difference, isn’t it? Indeed classic authors are still a class apart today. Nobody can compare with the libraries of classes and masses Salman Rushdie has breached. But such authors are few. There are more of mass writers than class writers today. Don’t you feel? 

This is not true in the case of the superheroes though. Since they arrived in comic books and finally made their way into movies, they have been a hit, pleasing the masses and the classes. So it is obvious, creativity is required to sell your product; originality not so much.

So, has the technology helped the business of book selling indeed? For people who don’t want to carry books around when travelling or ones who feel books create a crowd in the reading room, it is the best thing that could ever happen. Of course, the people who like the touch and smell and vision of books continue to buy books.

But there is another class of world citizens rising to become readers. Ones who were interested in culture of other countries but could not afford to travel or pay for international shipping of books – they now have e books at their service. The ones who secretly read fiction and love stories while pretend that such books are a waste (peer pressure) can now easily hide, thanks to e books. The ones who were interested in reading books written in previous century but are allergic to old yellow pages can now read away to glory on their tablets/smart phones.

click away

Such is the era we are living in, anything and everything we want to read is a click away. Be it buying a hard copy from a site online, or bidding on an original version of a novel by an author, or just a pdf or doc version of a book, it is all possible.

Knowledge increases with sharing. Thankfully sharing is cheap or free now a days.

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Inspired.

As the release date of a new book by Rashmi Bansal approaches, I am truly inspired, not just because her new book (Follow Every Rainbow) is about stories of 25 female entrepreneurs, but also because I finally see a direction to my dream.

rashmibansal

Rashmi Bansal is a writer, entrepreneur and a youth expert. She is the author of four bestselling books on entrepreneurship – Stay Hungry Stay Foolish, Connect the Dots, I Have a Dream, and Poor Little Rich Slum.

After more than 140 posts on both my blogs and heaps of inspiration from fellow bloggers and friends, what gave me courage was stories of ordinary people taking risks to do what they genuinely love.

Enter inspiration number 2 – Amish Tripathi. Economic Times tells his story –

When Amish Tripathi finished writing The Immortals of Meluha three years back, he took it to virtually every publisher in the country. All of them rejected his work, the first of the Shiva trilogy, for reasons as varied as a book on gods would have no readership and that it would have no connect with youth. That’s when the alumnus of IIM Calcutta decided to do the next best thing: go back to his marketing textbooks and chart out a plan to publish and sell the book himself. Tripathi printed the first chapter and distributed it at all bookstores in a unique sampling initiative; alongside he got a movie trailer made for the book and uploaded it on YouTube. A year later, Tripathi published the second in the series, The Secret of the Nagas. Together, the two novels have sold over a million copies. And earlier this month, filmmaker Karan Johar bagged the rights to adapt The Immortals… for the big screen.

Read more here.

amish tripathi

I quote Rashmi Bansal,

The qualities that I believe make for success are:
1) being pigheaded (believing in your story and way of writing when no one else will)
2) being ahead of your time (what you’ve written has not been seen before or done before)
3) being I-don’t-give-a-damn (I started doing this for fun, not to make serious money or a big career).

**

So, now I have a dream (publishing a book), I am a pighead (I believe I can do it), I am not sure if I am ahead of my time (everyone has an opinion now-a-days, will my opinion count?) and I don’t give a damn (I really enjoy writing, not for money but to make my thoughts reach the crowd)

**

P.S : I really like the idea of creating YouTube videos and distributing pamphlets for publicity – and mostly I’ll employ these.

P.P.S : Plz help me being one step closer to this dream – cast your vote!

I love Sidney Sheldon

sidney sheldon

Sidney Sheldon (SS). I love him. I absolutely do. He is the only author, whose ALL novels I have read. He published them in this order.

The Naked Face (1970)
The Other Side of Midnight (1973)
A Stranger in the Mirror (1976)
Bloodline (1977)
Rage of Angels (1980)
Master of the Game (1982)
If Tomorrow Comes (1985)
Windmills of the Gods (1987)
The Sands of Time (1988)
Memories of Midnight (1990)
The Doomsday Conspiracy (1991)
The Stars Shine Down (1992)
Nothing Lasts Forever (1994)
Morning, Noon and Night (1995)
The Best Laid Plans (1997)
Tell Me Your Dreams (1998)
The Sky Is Falling (2001)
Are You Afraid of the Dark? (2004)

I read them considering how I could beg-borrow-buy. I don’t remember exactly when I read my first SS novel but I remember first one was Master of the Game

Sidney Sheldon Books 1

I have met many people who say SS novels are for kids and they lack a certain taste which epics or classic fictions have. I believe- To each its own. If people can appreciate Harry Potter series, Twilight Series and 50 Shades of Grey series, C’mon SS series was good enough too. 

The story build up, the plot, the characterization, the minute description of each and every turn on the road and peck on the cheek in fact elates the quality of his novels. It keeps you hooked on to the book till you know what is going to happen Agreed, sometimes it becomes predictable, but hey! you can’t  judge him for that. All authors become predictable if they write many many many novels. (Dan Brown is an exception I feel).

Sidney Sheldon Books

So as a tribute to one of my all-time-favorite authors, I write this post and shamelessly fearlessly say that I can read his books over and over again. For people who act as book critics and yet secretly are charmed by Christian Grey or Edward Cullen, you just CANNOT judge me!!!!