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Kashyap Deorah is onto his fourth startup, having sold three of his prior ventures. Last year, he wrote "The Golden Tap: The Inside Story of the Hyper- Funded Indian Startups." This boom is a bestseller and it's paperback version was released last week. In his podcast interview on MyKitaab Podcast, Kashyap talks about how he used the Lean Startup methodology for writing his book, timing of the launch of the book and takeaways for writers who are looking to get their book published. Finally, we talk about how and why he ended up writing this book. Shownotes are available at www.mykitaab.in/golden-tap Or on #iTunes at goo.gl/MUvvUv #entrepreneur #bestseller #author #book #audiobook #ebook #thegoldentap #righthalf #leanstartup #startup #bestseller #india #nonfiction #amwriting #itunes #podcast #subscribe #bookstagram

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Many, Languages So Little Translations

Most Spoken Languages in India

India is a land of many interesting contrasts, languages is one of them. Many of the regional languages in India have more number of speakers than several major European languages. If you are an author who is considering translations, keep India in your mind. Not every language will be suitable for your style of writing, but 6 or 7 languages spoken by over 50 million people? Those numbers are huge.
Print may not be everybody’s cup of tea, but audio certainly is an option. And that is what the next phase of Mykitaab will seek to discover.
Source for the data: Wikipedia

visit www.mykitaab.in to listen on ways you can get your books published in India.

Mera Bharat MIHAAN

This is the concept cover page of my novella

Mera Bharat MIHAAN

Since schooldays, we have been taught the tagline “Mera Bharat Mahan”; which literally means “My India is Great”. My new novella, which is a prequel to my new novel in the Amol Dixit Series, is titled Mera Bharat MIHAAN, which is a play on words on this line. MIHAAN is also a twist on the acronym MIHAN, which is used to describe the large airport development project that is being carried out in the city of Nagpur in Central India.

What is this novella about?
Mera Bharat MIHAAN introduces three characters who will play key roles in a future book.

Satish Arora

Satish is the chairman of Nagpur Development Council. He is a third generation entrepreneur, and the Arora family has held business interests in the city for nearly 50 years. His Grandfather Jagat Singh Arora was a cotton trader, he later went on to set up textile mills just as the business of the Khataus was winding down. His father, who took over the business empire after Jagat Singh passed away, carried a secret with him. Satish learnt about this secret a few days before his father’s death. It was a secret that would change his life forever. Satish is 43 years old, married, and father of two teenage children.

Chris Khemani

Partner in Chris and Old, a consultancy company that provides advise to government and private companies alike on large infrastructure development projects.

Sanjay Marathe

Sanjay Marathe, a project manager who works in Construction. He has recently moved to his hometown Nagpur for what he believes to be an exciting career opportunity.

All subscribers to the Amar Vyas newsletter – new and current- will receive a copy of this novella as a “Thank You”.

 

The Ballad of an Entrepreneur

Definition of Ballad

Ballad (or a Poem) of an Entrepreneur

Im an entrepreneur they say,

One of the thousands in this age and day.

They think its the riches that keep me in the fray,

But there’s hardly a day when things go my way.

Today began with a surprise,

Was it punishment, or was it a prize?

The Dog puketh, and the monkey poopeth,

The maid’s off today; my wife almost cries.

The pitch is bad; the investors are upset and I am sad,

But at home, things are just as bad.

There’s the recordings, and the editing is tiring,

Just then the UPS fries, and burns all the wiring.

Hire I must, but pay them I should,

They enjoy the sleep that I otherwise would.

The hole is burning, and there is no turning,

Many would turn back if they could.

But then it’s a path that I chose,

Against the advise of those near and close.

This is just the beginning, they say-

Need to keep going, because nobody has time for my woes.

*********

We’ve all had our highs and lows- some days lower than others.Here’s a poem I wrote last night to bring cheer to an otherwise gloomy day, when nothing went right. As I read it again this morning, I was ready to fight another battle. Hope others will too!

Originally posted by me on Medium

The Unfinished Manuscript- Releasing in Audio

manuscript-Bhagvad Gita

The Unfinished Manuscript

The title of my post may seem odd, but the story behind it is anything but odd. In June 2013, I lost my mother. She was dying a slow death. Her kidneys had shut down and the dialysis was not helping. But the suddenness of her death and the shock nearly killed the author within me.

I say nearly, because for the next four months I did not write a single word other what I needed to write at work.It was as if the creativity within me had simply disappeared. During those days, I used to work as a consultant in the energy space. I sought refuge in my work, and spent a considerable amount of time writing reports. It was a form of writing that was mundane, and the reports would be read by very few persons, if at all anybody would bother to read them.

This is the story of my mother’s unfinished manuscript and how it inspired me to write.

Around October that year, I found my mother’s unfinished manuscript. It was her biography; one that she wanted me to read so that I would to know her story. She had even attempted to narrate a part of it to me once, but I had felt that it was a sob story, and she never spoke about it again. She kept writing her thoughts in a spiral bound notebook, and I found it when I was emptying out her closet. As I sifted through the pages, I learnt that her mother had also written a book. It was the biography of her spiritual advisor. My mother had also mentioned that her sister’s husband was one of the authors of the Constitution of India. That’s when I recalled that an aunt from my mother’s side has published ten books. She became a published author on her seventieth birthday. Long story short, I came from a family of authors, and it was a strange yet an uncomfortable feeling.

I spent the next several weeks thinking about the situation. Writing was in my genes, so to speak. But then was it a burden that I carried, or should I write simply to carry on the family tradition of sorts? What about my mother’s and my grandmother’s writings? Should I get them published? But they were in Marathi language, while I mostly wrote in English. I was not sure if I could translate their writings, and finding a translator was not only going to be difficult, it was going to be time consuming and expensive. Then one day, it occurred to me that I could narrate these books in the form of audio. That would be the fastest way of publishing their stories. Moreover, my friends and family could enjoy these books without having to read them. The younger folk are unfamiliar with the script, and the elder ones have failing eyesight.

As I started recording these books, I began to feel inspired to write again. Over the next few months, I not only finished my debut novel, but also planned a four part series around it. Somewhere in between, life happened, and I took up a new job and changed cities. Traveling for work put the audio project behind, but my writing had found momentum. Earlier this year, I finally completed the audio recordings. During this period I also became a podcaster. And in June this year, on my mother’s third death anniversary, I will become a published audiobook narrator.

In many ways, my mother’s unfinished manuscript had a profound effect on me. But most importantly, it inspired me to keep writing. It is not easy to hold a paper and pen and write when a needle is stuck in one’s hand for twelve hours a week. It leaves behind pain or a tingling sensation, sometimes both. When the eyesight is failing, one cannot even write in a straight line, let alone write legibly. And the weakness prevents the author from sitting in one position for longer than a few minutes. So the writing happens in spouts. Sometimes, the effort to find the eyeglasses, the notebook and the pen alone tires you out, leaving very little energy to write. But the unfinished manuscript deserves to see the light of the day, simply because it has inspired one author to keep writing. Maybe in the days to come, it will inspire many more.

Image courtesy wikimedia commons

I almost gave up writing at nanowrimo

nanowrimo in picture Music-symphony : wax museum at Mysuru

Before you think it is another article about #nanowrimo, it is not. It is the story of getting the act together.

I almost gave up writing last week. It was not the writer’s block. In fact, the challenge was problem of plenty. You see, there are three story ideas that I am working on in parallel. Four, if you consider the plot of a fourth that I wrote up two weeks ago. This is not to brag about one’s creativity, in fact, it was the worst mistake I could have made.

The first and novels are sequels to my debut novel NRI:Now, Returned to India, which was published more than a year ago. The third was a new story idea that blends (or atleast tries to) the world of startups and the underworld. The fourth and the final one is a science fiction. The first three are in Humor genre, the last one well.. could turn into humor as well.

chaos galore for my nanowrimo novel

The problem is, that the first is actually book # 3 in a series, the second is book #2. The third and fourth are standalone novels. Confused already? I know I was when the question came up: “What should I write today?” But there’s more. Wait till you read further. This nanowrimo was chaotic and fun at the same time.

Jumping between genres and plots takes a lot of time, to wind down from plot A, get into the zone of Plot B, ramp it up, etc. It is kind of like manufacturing process, where each product line requires a set up time, commissioning time, and ramp up time, in order to finish the process. Then comes the refining (in this case, editing, proof reading, etc.) packaging (cover design, formatting, etc.) and of course launching. While I thought that the writing process for all four novels could be completed in a couple of months’ time, the ‘post-production’ (read: refining, packaging and launching) were going to take significant amount of time. Not to mention that two of the novels were time sensitive. There are certain factors which I will not get into, which demand that two of the novels be published in the next 6 months. All this led to one result. I stopped writing for an entire week.

I literally went back to the drawing board. I worked out launch plans for each novel, spacing their releases two to three months apart. Then I added the time required for marketing, editing and proof reading, cover design & formatting. Based on the timeliness of two of the novels, they got the first priority, with a target release in March and June 2016, respectively. The science fiction book and the book on startups and underworld were lined for the second half of the year.

This week, I am back to writing, this time with a clear focus and priority. I hope my story will leave the reader with one key takeaway: when in doubt, or faced with multiple options, setting priorities will be helpful. Seems logical, and simple common sense, but I had to learn it the hard way to figure it out.

My Interview on India Startup Show

Indian Startup Show

A few days ago, I was interviewed on the India Startup Show by Neil Patel. We discussed about my writing, the fiction scene in India, my debut novel NRI:Now, Returned to India and my planned MyKitaab Podcast.

You can listen to the podcast here or you can listen to it on iTunes here iTunes- Indian Startup Show

The Indian Startup Show is one of the highest rated shows on iTunes in India. It is a weekly podcast show about Indian startups , entrepreneurs and more !

You can find more about Neil’s show at: http://www.neilpatel.co/podcast/

Visit to Bangalore Book Festival 2015

Bangalore Book Festival

Last Saturday, my wife and I went to the Bangalore Book Festival. I can summarize the experience in one word: disappointing.
Bangalore Book Festival
When we used to live in Delhi, a visit to the New Delhi World Book Fair was a must- do every February. The venue (Pragati Maidan) was very big, spread out, and it used to take us more than a day just to cover the places of interest, let alone spend some time exploring the booths. In contrast, the Bangalore Book Festival was a disappointment

Short Run at the Bangalore Book Festival

In contrast, my wife and I spent less than an hour at Palace Grounds, the venue for the book festival. Ten minutes of that time was spent in parking and purchasing the tickets.

When we walked into the exhibition area, the first reaction we both had was “this place is so small!” Even more surprising was the fact that nearly a fifth (20 percent) of the booths were empty! And almost every booth had trade books for sale at deep discounts: some for as less as 50 Rupees or less than a dollar. There were the usual suspects- large publishers: Hachette and Rupa, for example- the latter was represented by Sapna Book Store, one of the largest bookstores in Bangalore. Then there we booksellers selling cheap imported children’s books, an occasional startup displaying their e-learning modules for toddlers. Books on religion and philosophy also had a good representation- there were publishers selling books on Vedas, philosophy, Islam and Christianity.

As we walked through the exhibition space around 11:30 in the morning, a strong smell of food began to occupy the area: there were food stalls on one side of the hall that were attracting more visitors than the bookstalls.

State Bank of India, who are India’s largest bank, were the principal sponsors, and their banners could be seen at multiple places. Unfortunately, even their booth was poorly set up. My wife wanted some information about home loans – the persons managing the booth handed over a checklist and said that they will call us back later. Speaking of home loans- I am glad I did not see a single booth or advertising for real estate projects- they seem to be omnipresent at any and every occasion, with the probable exception of funerals.

I was expecting to spend a couple of hours at the venue but my wife and I were on our way back from the Bangalore Book Festival in less than an hour. On the positive side, I loved the cover designs one publisher had put up for the Tamil language books that they were selling- I leave you with some images of the Book Fair.

Cover Designs for Tamil Books
Colorful Cover Designs for Tamil language Books
Books in Sanskrit
Seller from Varanasi Selling Books in Sanskrit

NRI Now, Returned to India

nri banner

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NRI Now, Returned to India is Available on following stores:
Amazon, KoboKobo, iBooksIBooks and ScribdScribd

– click to learn more. Also available on Amazon.in and Amazon.co.uk

Summary:

Moving back to India was the last thing on Amol Dixit’s mind when he was leading a carefree life in Chicago. Then one day, he found himself sleeping on the streets of Mumbai.

Now, Returned to India is a Back-to-Rags story of a Non Resident Indian (NRI), and is a humorous tale of woes experienced by Amol Dixit, who relocates to India in a haste. It all begins when he interviews for a job that he doesn’t really need. He moves to India and plans to spend a year with his family in India before heading back to North America. However, a series of missteps throw his life in a turmoil, and even cost him the woman he loves. In short, Amol learns the hard way that living in India is no cakewalk. Inspite of these challenges, he decides to stay back in India. And just when his life has hit rock bottom, GB enters his life…

Now, Returned to India was shortlisted by DNA- Hachette in India for their “Hunt for the Next Bestseller” competition in 2014. This is the first book in the four part series by author Amar Vyas.

Amazon.com-NRI reviews
Amazon.in- NRI review

Amazon.in- NRI review 2
amazon.com-NRI reviews2

Urban, Sophisticated (Sequel to NRI: Now, Returned to India) coming soon!

Urban-Soph-Caricature

Urban, Sophisticated

Synopsis – Urban, Sophisticated

Amol joins an upmarket retail store chain following a chance meeting. He and M reluctantly move to Gurgaon, where Amol starts his new job as a merchandiser for the kidswear section. For two quarters in a row, Amol’s forecasts go horribly wrong: girls’ clothes are completely sold out in the cities, whereas the stores in smaller towns run out of clothing for boys. Amol has one last chance to get things right. One day, he makes a discovery that not only provides the solution to his problem, but also changes his life forever. Around the same time, M announces that their first child is on its way. While Amol is working really hard to prove himself at work, he and M wonder: are they Urban, Sophisticated?

Excerpt

” I looked up on Facebook last night- quite a few of our friends have had kids recently,” I said to M the next morning. As always, she wasn’t interested in what I had to say.

I persisted,”Curiously enough, most of them have had baby girls.”

“Whatever,” M replied. Her moodswings were getting more and more difficult to handle. “If it helps your case, let me tell you that the maid is on leave for the next week. Her sister delivered a son. She was very happy,” M replied nonchalantly. I put my phone away and paid attention to
what she had to say.

“As far as your theory is concerned, look at the statistics – there are more boys than girls in India. In fact, other than Gurgaon, the state of Haryana has the worst sex ratio in India. We were talking about this at work yesterday. One report said that in some parts, there are only 800 women for every 1000 men. This could be the story in the rest of the country in the years to come.Rural India will have millions of single men.”

“Interesting. On the other hand, India is urbanizing, with more than half the population expected to live in cities,” I remarked.

“Yes, Smita even commented that the cities will have more more girls than boys.”

“Can you repeat that?” I said while taking the last sip from the coffee cup. I had to leave for work, but our conversation was beginning to interest me.

“As usual, you don’t listen to what I have to say. Never mind, I need to get ready, have a job to go to,” M replied angrily.

*

During the lunch break, I recalled her words …”the cities will have more girls than boys.” On a piece of paper, I started noting down names of my friends and family members who had young children. the list soon reached 50 people. 30 of these lived in the cities, while 20 of them belonged to the smaller towns. Out of the 72 children that these 50 couples had, 45 were girls.

“This is interesting,” I thought to myself, “let me ask folks at work what they think.”

I asked Meet, the young intern, to ask everyone in the office to name 5 persons in their network who had children in the past two years, alongwith where they lived, and the gender of the child. Meet was confused, but he did get me the information I was looking for in a couple of hours. I spent the rest of the afternoon poring over the data, and did not realize when the clock struck 6 PM. It was time to go home.

“I need to tell this to M,” I said to myself, and hoped that the traffic will not be too bad. I had only ten minutes to reach her office and pick her up.

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