Om Namah Shivaya

Om Namah Shivaya

I'll be grateful if you...

Nov 30, 2016

"HOW TO BECOME A BEST SELLER" - Story Mirror Creativity Workshop III

Sharing some of my thoughts on “How to become a Best Seller” from the 3rd Story Mirror CreativityWorkshop, which was organized in association with Story Mirror, ApparaoGalleries, Madras Photo bloggers and Aspiring Authors Group. The  speakers at the workshop were budding author and poet Sulaiman Sait, Director Brindha Sarathy, famous cartoonist of Hindu - foremost Krishna Devotee Keshav and Film Director / Producer as well as a fine Tamil Haiku writer NLingusamy

If you like to know more about the workshop III, please check this post by Madras Photobloggers. For the details on the upcoming Workshop IV on 17th Dec @ Apparao Galleries, please register here and checking on the 'Going' Tab.

The agenda of my talk was to get the aspiring author to understand what goes on behind making a best seller and how a budding writer can work on the ideas to get to the top. The agenda of my workshop was...

And here are the main point from the workshop.


First things first , to make your book a best seller, the content is the king. Write a great story with beautiful language, flesh your characters with interesting matter and thoughts, you have a winner at your hands.
Second, as I keep repeating in my talks the powerful words of Milan Kundera, “Any work of art has to have a purpose of its Existence”. Your book has to have a purpose to suastain interest in the long term.
And finally the 3rd basic thing is to “Write the Damn Book” as Naresh Fernandes advised me some years back when I was looking for the way to publish my first book, “Songs of the Mist”. This is what the enthusiastic budding authors forget to do and waste precious amount of time in contemplating, thinking and finding the right / any publisher to publish the book.


Find your champions: The best and the most powerful advise that I can give, in terms of marketing your book, is to find your champions, usually they consist of your friends, relatives and colleagues.

Create your champions: And equally powerful advise you should thing about , in the process of becoming a best seller, is to help others become a best seller. This way you will create your own champions.


Keep the buzz going
Find New angles, Promote in new ways, Launch in new places
Workshops, Book Clubs, Training
Create a platform to share your thoughts, ideas and reach out to your readers
Write something that other’s can find use for e.g my post on Hindu Lit For Life is used as archive for the official Hindu Festival Page. Click here and click on the "Archive Blog" tab. Below is the case for IndiBlogger's BNLF Curtain Raiser, which was used in their portal for their mega blogging event last year, Oct-Nov.

In the end, here are some key points that you need not only to keep in mind but also actively pursue. Sharing also some of the pictures from the Story Mirror Creativity Workshop III. If you would like to attend the upcoming 4th Creativity Workshop, please register here...


1. Advertisements on FB, Twitter and most of the social media’s do give ROI. Personal Emails do, personal interaction do. SO create an email List
2. Keep the interaction going on, help before asking for help
3. Celebrity Endorsements, High Value Influencers, High Profile Publisher’s don’t work in terms of ROI
4. Book Readers, Review Bloggers, Book reading communities work. Get on to them
5. The best turn around is your own website, blog or group is. So create each one of them and invest your time and effort on it.

6. Write the next book, get your book translated, publish Kindle versions of supplementary books
7. Create workshops, help in learning curve of your readers, provide value of your interaction
8. Solve a problem, provide support without any need of reciprocation, become an expert in your niche area
9. Focus on your area of expertise

10. Get one blurb that counts, Get an introduction by some one of authority or expert in your area, ask for their help in spreading the word.
11. Utilise Amazon’s marketing tools

12. Finally, get your champions together, which will come from your family, friends and network.

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

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On Writing Fiction                  

Nov 29, 2016

SPOTLIGHT: "Shadow in the Mirror" by Deepti Menon - A Psychological Thriller

“SPOTLIGHT is a regular feature at my blog, started with a view to promote new and upcoming authors and help them to reach their target audience. And yes, it is FREE, however to be featured in this section, you need to go through a selection process, please click here for details.”
Shadow in the Mirror’ by my friend Deepti Menon, published by Readomania is a cliff-hanger in which myriad lives come together. Here, as you read on, you will find many eras colliding, as they are all connected by threads in a tapestry that needs to be unraveled, one thread at a time,

As I interacted with her for this post, I liked her confidence about the book. She feels that through its language, pace and interesting theme her book will engage and sustain the interest of her readers. And as I went through the book “Shadow in the Mirror”, it seems to be true.

“I have always been a staunch supporter of the English language, If my creation ‘Shadow in the Mirror’ stands up like a beacon as an example of good creative writing and a story well told, that will be purpose enough for its existence.” - Deepti Menon

She writes with aesthetic enthusiasm as well as for the sheer love of the written word. She says, “My writing may not have an overt tinge of social value, but it does subconsciously highlight social issues, in its own way.”

“Shadows in the Mirror’ was twelve years in the making. Though she completed writing it in two years, she kept rewriting, editing till it got published in October this year.

Deepti Menon is the author of two books, ‘Arms and the Woman’ and ‘Deeparadhana’. She has worked as a journalist with several publications, and is now a freelance editor. Short stories with deft twists and tongue-in-cheek articles that tickle the funny bone are her forte. She is working on her next book plan to be published by next year.

Deepti Menon lives with her family in Chennai.

Life itself inspires me to write. Ideas throw themselves at me wherever I am – during a walk in the park, while watching a movie, reading a book, talking to friends, sometimes even during a bout of shopping. Anything that makes me think, smile or shake my head gives me inspiration.

As I have mentioned above, I love the English language deeply. My biggest challenge was to write a thrilling story that would keep my readers on the edge of their seats, without taking away from the beauty of the language, and without stooping to debase the language in any manner whatsoever.

“It was strange how old memories suddenly flash-bulbed in the mind, flickered for one brilliant moment, and were just as soon lost in oblivion.”

“Suddenly the descending darkness entered her heart, as the moon went behind a cloud. Just like the cloud hanging over our lives, she thought with a shudder.”

“Well-meaning elders would give dollops of good advice to all young couples.  “Name your child ‘Krishna’ and ‘Rama’. If they are naughty and you end up calling out their names a thousand times, you might end up attaining moksha.”

It all begins with a death. Nita, a pregnant woman falling from a balcony becomes the string that unravels the plot. Her death casts a shadow over many lives; her heartbroken father, her husband, and Vinny, a young journalist drawn in by the whiff of foul play and murder.
What follows are stories within stories, eras and worlds colliding with each other, leaving behind splintered relationships and mesmerizing slices of lives that appear to be drawn together and driven apart by the whimsical strings of destiny.
As events cast their shadows ahead to link the stories of Vinny, Kavita, Roma, Krish and Nita in an unrelenting knot, a journey starts to uncover the truth. What is the secret that links Nita’s death to the other characters? Will Vinny be able to unravel the mystery?
From intimate diary entries, letters, to bantering over a meal, and sharing memories while spring cleaning, this novel de-familiarizes the ordinary, presenting a kaleidoscope of our own pasts, broken edges and pulsating hearts.


Deepti’s favorite spot for writing is a comfortable armchair in her drawing room, with a little white table on which sits her laptop. She finds it an apt spot because of her books in the shelves all around her. The nearby television set serves the purpose of a much-needed break besides being the heart of her home.

a. I wear rose-colored spectacles that help me to see the world as a beautiful place. I am a die-hard optimist!
b. I love humor in all its avatars, which is why I enjoy reading PG Wodehouse.
c. I am a proud daughter, mother and grandmother, and enjoy all these roles equally.
d. Being a Sagittarian, I have a tendency to put my foot in my mouth at times.

She considers herself lucky to be in a space where she’s doing exactly what she loves i.e. writing full time. She considers teaching for many years as an achievement of her life as well - interacting with young minds, influencing them, and being influenced by them.

Drama, Literary Fiction and Mystery.
1. ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’ has always been a favorite ever since my mother first narrated it to me. I love the grandeur of the plot, the pace of the action and the realistic characterization. The theme of revenge has also been played out magnificently.
2. Another wonderful book is ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’, which brings out the lofty ideals of humanity, equality and the bane of racism. The book is a masterpiece as it reveals how one strong man can uphold his ideals and come out triumphant.

– Written by Shashi 
CEO & Partner ICUBE Projects
Speaker | Author of “Songs of the Mist” | Haiku Poet
Writes India’s #1 Spiritual Blog “Shadow Dancing With Mind

ॐ नमः शिवाय
Om Namah Shivaya

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"Ink on Water" by Shubhrata Prakash   "Initiated to Kill" by Sharlene Almond  

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