The Book of IndiBloggers

The road so far…

Ever since we made blogs into plays with the help of the very energetic Stray Factory, we have been trying ever so hard to get into waters alien to IndiBlogger.in. The publishing world! Since then, it has taken us over two years and many endless hours to get a partnership for an exclusive short story collection written by bloggers on IndiBlogger.in. We approached many publishers with the idea, but it didn’t seem to impress them. We longed for something exclusive because we wanted the whole book to echo the stories and experiences of IndiBloggers and not just one or two to be added as a footnote. Enter Harper Collins and Yashodhara Lal! The whole thing seemed to seamlessly take shape with Karthika, the chief editor at Harper Collins giving us a crash course on “Publishing for the clueless”. However, we like to believe that the whole thing happened because Harper Collins has a lot of women in their team and IndiBlogger has a lot of men! This book was meant to happen!

Challenge accepted…

We had many challenges to overcome and the road so far was not exactly smooth like some of you very rightly pointed out. With every team in different places across India and working together for the first time, it was hard to translate novel ideas quickly. For example, The IndiBlogger development team was in Chennai, while the marketing team was working out of Bangalore and Mumbai. Yashodhara Lal and Harper Collins were in the Delhi NCR region but by no means close by.  When we designed the initial site, it was like a big game of Chinese whispers. By the time the requirements ping ponged back and forth and across to the creative team in Chennai for some development, the reaction would be, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot??

Breaking all the rules…

A lot of questions regarding the rules and regulations have come up and we have had to change them a few times but here’s the thing, our primary aim is to get the best possible ideas and stories so that we can make a great book. The number of votes for example, is an indicator of the influence of the Blogger in his social circles and to establish the Blogger’s reputation in some ways. Having said that, if the story does not take shape or is poorly written, the editors will be reluctant to put the story in the book because it’s their call and their editorial name at stake.  So when it comes to the book itself, votes will amount to nothing. We would urge you to do your best to write, and take this as an opportunity to learn how and build your influence, because if not today there’s always a tomorrow. We realize that many people across the world know of the GetPublished initiative and we don’t have a name for the book yet. This is BIG!

It’s about family…

IndiBlogger is a big family and we can call it that because thousands of bloggers have met with each other in our IndiBlogger events across India.  Some of you might know that your family and friends can interact with the GetPublished program as well through their FaceBook, Twitter and many other platforms. We hope that they are proud of your efforts so far.

One of our directives is to create a book that will come alive after it is published. This in effect means that the readers of the book can easily interact with the bloggers again with most social mediums through the IndiBlogger network. We are sure that many with similar experiences would relate to the stories and will definitely want to have their say as well, keeping everyone engaged.

The road ahead…

One of the biggest issues for authors today is not the publishing itself, but the marketing and raising awareness. Bestsellers weren’t born because someone published a book.  It’s getting the word out that really matters after that. We believe that the bloggers on IndiBlogger will have no such problems.  As long as there is a good story, IndiBlogger.in’s experience of executing over 100 successful IndiBlogging campaigns coupled with your insightful understanding of social media will send this rocket into space. I must say that there are some very gutsy stories in some of the entries that we have gone through so far. I for one am expecting the book to be “Saucy with a hint of Ice”!

A glimpse of the future…

The activities around the book are going to get more pronounced as the year matures. To start things off, GetPublished is going to feature in the Bangalore IndiBlogger meet on January 20th, 2013 as part of HP’s interactive campaign to promote everything original including writing, products and supplies. There are many more activities planned through the year and we hope that you will jump in and give us some company through this long and IndiAwesome journey.

So the next time you look through a glass window of an airport bookshop, don’t be surprised if there is a book with your name on it.

Happy writing!

Anoop Johnson

Indian by Birth, Blogger by Choice