Penguin Random House, which recently launched its web series Bookish!, is calling it “an amalgamation of delights every reader would love, savour and cherish”.
Bookish! presents a freewheeling chat between an editor and an author, giving the readers a ringside view of the writing process, and the drudgery involved in the genesis of the works they love.
"Bookish! isn’t a web-series or a talk show. It is more than that. It is where a reader or an aspiring writer can turn to for inspiration, or to forge a deeper connection with the author,” says Vaishnavi Singh, content marketing lead, who is heading the project. What makes Bookish! different is that “they are not just talking about their next book in order to promote it, but talking about what makes that person a writer and why they write what they write. This is different from a book launch or an event,” she says.
Bookish!, to its credit, has an impressive line-up of authors from across genres. The writers come alive every Wednesday on their Facebook page, where people are invited to join them for “riveting conversations”. From Shaili Chopra who talks about feminism and the digital life, to Ravinder Singh who talks about the joy of holding your first book, to Shiv Aroor who speaks about why he finds it easier to write fiction, to Magandeep Singh who dazzles us with his knowledge of alcoholic beverages, Penguin Random House has roped in what seems to be quite an interesting mix of people from different backgrounds to keep the conversations simmering.
Gurmehar Kaur, who spent “almost one year” working on a book that she “always dreamt of writing”, was the first author invited to Bookish!. "That episode has already garnered an extraordinary number of views in a short span of time,” says Singh.
Kaur worked closely with editor Manasi Subramaniam on her book, Small Acts of Freedom. “As a reader, I’ve always wanted to understand the craft of writing, the process involved, and how editing happens. To have written my first book, and to get a chance to share that with the public was something I couldn’t have missed,” says Kaur.
Furthermore, Kaur says, “The conversation flowed very easily, and I think it is one of those interviews where I did not keep my guard up, and completely spoke my heart.”
Ravinder Singh called it “super fun” and said that he did it "because there is so much beyond the written words in the books that he could offer his readers."
But why Facebook? “We wanted to stand out, of course,” says Singh. “We are finding an engaged audience on Facebook, interested in consuming video content. We share a great relationship with all our media partners, whether it is Facebook, Twitter or Google, and are always striving to create content that works best for them,” she says.