How often do you hear about an author finishing the first draft of his first book in 20 days, stumbling upon his editor on Facebook, and meeting her for the first time only eight months later, at the official launch of the book?
This is the story behind the creation of Knocked Up, a coming-of-age tale about six teenagers and their various misadventures by singer, screenplay writer and author Shaiju Mathew published by Magic Moments. The book was officially launched in Pune on September 26 and in Bangalore the next month.
“I met Shaiju on Facebook through a mutual friend and author, Aditya Kriplani. I was in Mumbai then and he in Pune,” says the book’s editor Jasmin Lord.
“We kept in touch constantly through mails and phone calls. He knew exactly what he wanted and we worked well together,” says Lord.
Not only did the author meet his editor online, he built his entire team, which worked for his book, through networking and blogging sites. “In a sense, it was just the coming together of like-minded people, meeting over netcafe and working together towards a common goal,” gushes Mathew.
Extensive promotions were done through networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter. “Most of the world today is hooked onto these sites. Also it is a medium through which you can reach out to the right audience in just a few clicks. People in the entertainment industry use it all the time to promote their new movie or music release. So, I felt that I should try it too,” says Mathew.
Web designer Shrijit Nair, whom he met on Facebook again, helped him create a website for the book. “Shaiju wanted something that would reflect his personality. He wanted to reach as many people as possible. So his website has a very informal look. It has a notepad, cell-phone, a cup of coffee all the things that he needs close to him while he works,” says Nair. “Packaging it right plays a major role in a book’s success. After all, these days jo dikhta hai wahi bikta hai”, says Praveen Parashar, head of marketing, Talent Hatz Entertainment, a sister extension of Magic Moments, the publishing house.
Ask him what he thinks entails a good book and Mathew says, “Anything that finds a place in the reader’s heart and strikes a chord within him.” He believes a book is created through team effort and no one person can take sole credit for it. “Agreed, an author gives birth to an idea but once he finishes scripting he submits an uncut diamond, which is then shaped and polished by the editorial team,” he says.
Mathew has also been offered a film deal based on his books. “There were many offers to turn the book into a movie or a series. But we’ve decided to co-produce it with some big banner to ensure we have control on the script and screenplay,” he says.