Bloody Good Book & Westland announce the co-publication of India’s first crowd sourced & crowd curated thriller novel: Brutal by Uday Satpathy

Bestselling author and entrepreneur Rashmi Bansal’s eBook publishing venture Bloody Good Book has joined hands with leading publisher Westland Ltd to announce the publication of debutant author and Bloody Good Book find Uday Satpathy’s novel Brutal.

Brutal will be India’s first crowd sourced and crowd curated thriller novel. It was found through Bloody Good Book, a novel online platform (www.bloodygoodbook.com) that uses the power and wisdom of crowds to discover and nurture great new books.

Bloody Good Book was launched on 2 June 2014. In three months, Bloody Good Book has over 5000 registered members and over 65 books on its platform. Uday Satpathy joined Bloody Good Book in its second month. In a short span of time, his novel Brutal rose quickly to the top of the heap, garnering great reviews from Bloody Good Book members.

Hetika Sanghani, star reviewer at Bloody Good Book said, “140 pages of sheer gripping pages…just absolutely loved the flow, the tension created and the way the story unfolds…The most striking feature is Uday’s brilliance of narrating so many stories together without creating any confusion…infact adding to the tension created making you want to read more and more…Uday-if BGB doesnt publish your manuscript I am definitely bribing you into giving me the entire manuscript…lol….cant wait to know more!!!”

Brutal also received effusive praise from bestselling author of thriller books, Ravi Subramanian. Ravi, author of Bankerupt and God Is A Gamer, said, “Brutal is a thriller packed with extraordinary detail, unbearable thrill and unequalled emotional depth. Uday’s writing is something to watch out for in the coming years.”

Brutal will be published as an eBook by Bloody Good Book and as a print book by Westland Ltd.

Synopsis of Brutal by Uday Satpathy

‘You are in real, real danger’ – a school teacher gets a creepy warning in his mailbox. Seven days later, he massacres eleven of his own students. Two months later, he is gunned down in broad daylight by an obscure militant outfit.

Justice served. The nation pacified. Case closed, the police say. But, two crime reporters think otherwise.

Seeking redemption through this case are Prakash and Seema, ace journalists in their professional lives, but broken individuals in the darkness of their personal hells. As they dig deeper into the mystery, they are led into the ominous forests of Bandhavgarh where an eerily similar massacre had occurred eight years ago. Little do they know that they have stirred up a hornet’s nest.

One by one their leads start turning up in body bags and they are chased by assassins at every corner. Soon they realize that they are pitted against evil powers pervading the business and political DNA of the country, with an unbelievably sinister agenda. As a massive terrorist strike looms over the nation, will Prakash and Seema survive long enough uncover a conspiracy of unimaginable proportions?

Find and follow Brutal at http://bloodygoodbook.com/brutal on Bloody Good Book.

About Bloody Good Book

Bloody Good Book is a unique eBook publishing venture that seeks to channel the power of crowd sourcing and crowd curating to discover and nurture new writing talents.

Moving away from traditional publishing procedures, Bloody Good Book has built an innovative and interactive, over 5000 members strong online platform where writers from all over India are invited and encouraged to submit their manuscripts. The first three chapters of their book are made available online and readers across India are encouraged to read, rate, and review for publication. The top ten best reviewed and most popular manuscripts are reviewed by Bloody Good Book and Westland for publication.

About Westland Ltd

WESTLAND LIMITED is a subsidiary of Trent Limited, a Tata enterprise.

It is the fifth largest English language trade publisher in India. Westland’s bestselling authors include Amish Tripathi, Ashwin Sanghi, Devdutt Pattanaik, Ashok Banker, Rujuta Diwekar, Rashmi Bansal, Anita and Harsha Bhogle and Preeti Shenoy among others.

Since Neilsen has started their Bookscan in India which tracks bestselling titles across the country, Westland has consistently had a strong presence in the top 50 best selling charts.  Some of the authors have also found a place in the Forbes list.

It currently has three imprints, which are:

1) Tranquebar Press – for literary fiction and non fiction

2) Westland – for trade books (fiction and non fiction)

3) EastWest – for south India heritage and academic cross over books

Westland has also ventured into Hindi language publishing and children’s books.

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Reasons to gift your sister a book this Raksha Bandhan

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Raksha Bandhan is around the corner and most of you will be shopping for your sisters, yes? Here are some very good reasons why you should consider gifting her a book!

1. Chocolates, clothing and jewelry are okay gifts. A book, on the other hand..

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2. Nothing excites a bookworm like a new book. Nothing.

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3. Sister’s not a bookworm? No problem. No matter what your sister’s hobby is, there’s a book on it she will love. Guaranteed.

Really. There’s even an award for the oddest book title.

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4. Your parents will be impressed with you for encouraging a good habit.

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5. The next time she’s on a train or a flight with nothing to do, she will thank you.

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6. She might just discover a new author or series that she *loves*. And you’ll be the hero who introduced her to it.

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7. You can borrow it from her when she’s done.

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Kanika Dhillon: Interviewed by Vaani Arora

We’re eagerly awaiting the release of ‘Shiva and the Rise of the Shadows,’ and found this interview with Kanika Dhillon a good read.

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Kanika Dhillon, the author of Shiva and the Rise of the Shadows, releasing in late September, in conversation with Vaani Arora, film-maker and writer.

VA: You are known to be totally into Bollywood, how did this post-apocalyptic story idea start?

KD: I have always been fascinated with fantasy fiction. I love the thought of creating a world drawn from myth, mythology and imagination, The post-apocalyptic idea started as soon as I was done with my first book, a satire, Bombay Duck Is a Fish. I wanted to go in a completely different direction as a creator and explore a genre that was unexpected, that posed both a challenge and a risk. I was apprehensive to attempt a story like this, but at the same time was excited to create a world that was fantastical and believable at the same time.

VA: What kind of books did you read…

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Tabish Khair‘s advice to young writers

1. Don’t write because you want to; write because you have to. 

2. It is not a career; it is a vocation. 

3. It is not going to make your life any better (or, hopefully, any worse). 

4. Listen to everyone’s opinion on your writing; accept only what you agree with. 

5. Don’t assume that what interests you will automatically interest your reader.

6. The only way you can learn this craft is by reading much and widely. 

7. If you like only one kind of writing, you are in deep trouble.

8. If you like all kinds of writing, you are in deeper trouble.

9. Strong opinions are necessary; prejudices are not. 

10. Alcohol and love, both in moderation, usually help.

Behind the Scenes

A dentist friend in Calcutta, famous for his painless surgery, once told me he lived in perpetual fear of being accosted at what might have been innocuous cocktail parties by lipsticked women who felt completely free to say, ‘You’re George Traub?! Can you look at this … aaargh?’ (Followed by a baring of gums in the full austere view of Calcutta’s enduring ‘suits’.)

I would like to tell George that one of his colleagues took revenge on his behalf. At a clinical sitting, halfway through inserting several appliances in my gaping mouth, the good doctor said, ‘I’m told you’re in publishing. Who with?’

‘…asla…’ I managed.

‘Would you take a look at my niece’s manuscript?’

That’s the trouble. Everyone has a book ‘inside’ them.

Which is why people in publishing are so shy of admitting to their profession.

Which is why, at those inevitable launches, when people ask me, ‘So, who are you with?’, I always say, ‘ Asla.’

(By an editor at Westland)

A Saga Waiting to be Told

ImageDoing What is Right: The CRISIL Story is more than a corporate biography for Hemanth Gorur and Sumit Chowdhury. From conceptualisation to publication, it represents more than a year of whirlwind conferences, exhaustive research and painstaking recording of the remarkable events that transformed CRISIL from India’s ratings pioneer to a global analytical company. The authors, for whom this was their first corporate book, narrate in their own words how a call to arms from CRISIL’s management set in motion a series of events culminating in the book’s release.   

Quite by chance, CRISIL’s senior management was privy to one of the biographies previously brought out by our company, My Life Chronicles, and they liked our writing style. And so it happened that one fine day in July 2011, we received a call from them to commence an engagement to bring the CRISIL story to life. Prior to this, we had only brought out only personal biographies; so a book on CRISIL’s twenty-five-year evolution was a quantum jump in scale and execution. However, the project itself was so prestigious that we didn’t hesitate before saying yes.

The first thing we did was get an idea of the company’s story. As we listened, our amazement grew. Born in the stagnant Indian economy of the late 1980s, CRISIL seemed destined to fail. Instead, rock-steady values, visionary leadership and an obsession with ‘doing what is right’ at all times, irrespective of the consequences, made it one the most respected companies in the Indian and global markets. It all added up to a heady story that was ripe for the telling.

Next, we sat down to crystallise the vision for the book and set the tone. This set the stage for the creation of the storyboard — the high-level design document of the biography and the most crucial cog in the project. We decided on a biography based on ‘themes’ rather than a chronological treatment — an approach that worked in retrospect.

While the detailed storyboard evolved, the interview process with various CRISIL stakeholders took off in right earnest. Recurrent themes were identified and questionnaires carefully aligned to the themes. Over the next three months, Sumit assiduously conducted interviews with close to forty-five luminaries of the financial and management worlds, intent on knowing all that there is to know about CRISIL. Meeting some of the industry icons — Pradip Shah, Deepak Parekh, U.K. Sinha, Chanda Kocchar, K.V. Kamath, Rama Bijapurkar — face-to-face was an experience in itself. The result was a treasure trove of primary information with some startling revelations that prepared the ground for the next phase — actually putting words on paper.

Over the next eight months, Hemanth painstakingly recreated in words the events that dotted the twenty-five years of CRISIL’s existence. His ability to craft episodes and conversations from the maze of research inputs came to the fore as the chapters evolved. While he supplemented the information from the interviews with some old-fashioned web-trawling and various company artifacts, what also came in handy were the newspaper cuttings preserved by CRISIL’s founder Pradip Shah since the late ’80s!

Months of unrelenting effort paid off as the CRISIL story finally emerged. In true CRISIL style, it was a subtle, yet defining statement of the brand. What sets the biography apart from most other corporate stories in the market is that the book talks more about how things happened rather than what happened. Thus, it is a commentary on CRISIL’s personality, much less its chronology.

The journey of bringing the CRISIL story to life was as important as the destination itself. The response from readers to Doing What is Right: The CRISIL Story has been a delightful affirmation of the fact that there could not have been a better time to bring CRISIL’s saga to life.

Hemanth Gorur and Sumit Chowdhury are co-founders of My Life Chronicles, a Bangalore-based boutique writing house that crafts biographies of companies, individuals, families and institutes. Sumit Chowdhury is an IIM-B alumnus who worked at Infosys and Honeywell in his previous life. He loves devouring books and preserving memories. Hemanth Gorur is an IIM-C alumnus with long stints at IBM and Genpact under his belt. He is an author, biographer as well as humour blogger.

Aarthi Ramachandran explains why the Jaipur coronation marks a decisive moment in Rahul Gandhi’s political journey

When Decoding Rahul Gandhi went to press in July 2012, a bigger role for Rahul Gandhi was in the works. After months of speculation about designation and timing, the 42-year-old Rahul took over as Vice President of the Congress on 19 January, 2013. The long-awaited event happened at the Congress chintan shivir (brainstorming session) in Jaipur. It marked a decisive moment. If it was a personal milestone for Rahul, then it was no less momentoufront_rahuls for the Congress. The baton had been passed to the next generation, the dynastic leadership tradition renewed.

For Rahul, it was also a moment of growing up. He was taking centerstage finally, eight years after he joined politics. In this period, he had been operating on the margins of politics as the All India Congress Committee general secretary in-charge of the Indian Youth Congress and the National Students’ Union of India. He shied away from the day-to-day running of the Congress and articulating his views on important national issues. The irony of the situation was not lost on anyone – Rahul was no marginal man. As the chosen inheritor, he was the de facto number two in the Congress.

The Jaipur coronation altered all this, simply but inexorably. He was now accountable, not just powerful.

Towards the end of an emotional speech at Jaipur, Rahul Gandhi, Congress VP, showed he understood things had changed, quite literally, overnight. ‘…for me the Congress party is now my life. The people of India are my life,’ he said, sharing with an auditorium full of Congress leaders and workers, how he woke up in the wee hours of January 20 to a sense of ‘responsibility’ for all those ‘standing behind’ him.

The rank and file of the Congress will have big expectations of Gandhi in the days to come, not to mention the polity as a whole. The biggest is correcting the Congress-led United Progress Alliance government’s image deficit as he spearheads the party’s 2014 general election campaign. His performance will be a measure of how much he has learned in the many years he spent preparing for his new role.

Aarthi Ramachandran is a political journalist who has worked with leading Indian newspapers such as The Economic Times and Business Standard. She has written about the Congress for the past seven years and tracked Rahul Gandhi’s political career closely.