Sunday, October 28, 2018

Book Spotlight: Shweta Ka Swayamvar by Sundari Venkatraman

Print Length: 55 pages
Publisher: Flaming Sun (Indie published) 
Publication Date: October 26, 2018
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Language: English
Available on Kindle Unlimited 
Genre: Romance, Short Story

When Shweta receives an irrefutable offer from a TV production house to participate in the reality show Shweta ka Swayamvar, she’s not as excited as she should be. And there’s a reason for it.

Adi is attracted to Shweta the moment he sets eyes on the fashion model cum TV actress. But he just doesn’t get an opportunity to woo her as he rushes off to the US for his father’s heart surgery. 

Disappointed at not meeting Adi or knowing of a way to contact him, Shweta signs up for the show, unaware of the surprise that awaits her when the shooting begins…

Are the two of them—Adi and Shweta—meant for each other or will fate keep throwing hurdles in their path? Read the full story to know more.

*A shorter version of this story was published before in the anthology Matches Made in Heaven

It would be great if you can add this book to your TBR

Sundari Venkatraman is an indie author who has 40 titles (36 books & 4 collections) to her name, all Top 100 Bestsellers on Amazon India, Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Amazon Canada and Amazon Australia in both romance as well as Asian Drama categories. Her latest hot romances have all been on #1 Bestseller slot in Amazon India for over a month.

Even as a kid, Sundari absolutely loved the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome as she grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. 

Soon, into her teens, Sundari switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine. Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. 

Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! And Sundari Venkatraman has never looked back.

Click here to check out all the titles by the author...

You can stalk her @

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Friday, October 26, 2018

Marketing Issue 5: How to Avoid Distractions While Writing

Chapter Four: The Birth of Your Book - Writing Component

 As a writer, you can understand that this is the most important part of your journey. You might have lots of ideas, storylines but sitting on your bums and fleshing them out is what makes you a writer. Of course, you can always hire a ghostwriter (And we do have an upcoming booklet on how to become a ghostwriter or hire one, coming soon by D.R Downer) but that being the case, you don’t need to read this section at all and can skip to the next.

But if you are writing because you love writing, there are a few tools which you might find useful in this journey of yours.

Tools you can use to write. Of course, there are many more but these are the ones I have used.

Ø  Word, nothing beats MS-Word or Pages in Mac.($69 to $149)
Ø  Scrivener ($45 but if you complete 50k words in the Nano month of November, you get rebates)
Ø  Evernote ($34.99)
Ø  Y-Writer (Free)
Ø  Onenote (Free)
Ø  Google Docs (Free)

Things to do every day before you start writing:

Avoid distractions: Very easy to say but very hard to achieve. There are few tools I use to cut off the people around me while writing. Don’t laugh but sometimes noise itself is the best form of keeping distractions at bay. Here are two sites for you.

Ø  Nosily (Free)
Ø  Hipster Sound (Free)

So just plug in your earphone sand start writing.

Keep your inner editor at bay but don’t kill it: The writing process is the lengthiest of all. Many feel that while writing you should kill your inner editor. But I would suggest (from experience) resurrect it from time to time and read what you have written. Too many errors make you lose interest in your own writing.

Stay connected with your work: There will be many times when you feel you are going in a wrong direction and your characters are not behaving as you want them to behave. Take a step backward. Go to a movie or meet with friends. Just chill. And return. Always return. Don’t take too long a gap or that work of yours will be shelved. Keep one thing in mind always. A writer sits on their bums and writes. I wish there was another way to express this. There isn’t.

At this stage of your work, keep all your marketing ideas or search at bay. Marketing is a very daunting business and if you feel that a hurdle is ahead of you, you will lose your interest. One step at a time is the best way to finish your novel.

Don’t even think of formatting your doc: formatting can be very distracting and if you justify your document at this stage, it will make you overlook many errors. The best thing would be to keep your formatting off and keep the document left justified.

Keep all your digital equipment away from your writing desk: Treat writing like a 9 am to 5 pm job. Even if you do it for an hour or two. While you are writing, try your best to avoid looking into your phone or emails. Facebook and Twitter are things to avoid. All those likes can wait. I know, I know, it’s easy to advise but hard to follow but hey you know what, whenever you are distracted, close your eyes and imagine your book cover and on that book cover, your name. It’s very motivating to go on.

Take breaks and sleep on it: Sleep, however much as a writer you want to avoid it, it is a must. People think I don’t sleep at all. If only you all knew that I can sleep at the drop of a hat. I don’t need much sleep out of habit but whenever I get a chance, I do take power naps. Sometimes, when an idea is stuck in your head and you just can’t translate it on paper, take a nap. Nothing clears your mind like a good sleep. Lack of sleep will make you lose not only your interest but also your objectivity.

So here is the moment where I tell you - Happy Writing!

Check out the first part @ Marketing Issue 2: Introduction to being an Indie Author Part 1

Other Booklets in this ToolKit series
Check out Devika Fernando's Booklet Why go Indie?
Check out D R Downer's Booklet A to Z of Ghostwriting

Check out Sundari Venkatraman's booklet 

Chapter Six: Our first date with the monster named Marketing: The initial part of Marketing

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Book Spotlight: The Storm - Ponnis' Beloved Volume Two: An English Translation of Kalki Krishnamurthy's Ponniyin Selvan by Sumeetha Manikandan

Blurb of the Book:

Kalki Krishnamurthy’s Ponniyin Selvan is a masterpiece that has enthralled generations of Tamil readers. Many authors have written phenomenal books in Tamil literature after Kalki Krishnamurthy, but Ponniyin Selvan remains the most popular, widely-read novel. It has just the right mixture of all things that makes an epic – political intrigue, conspiracy, betrayal, huge dollops of romance, infidelity, seduction, passion, alluring women, unrequited love, sacrifice and pure love. This is Volume II of the masterpiece.

Grab your copy from:

Customer Review

While translating an ever-classic epic novel, it is very important to keep in mind the importance of each character, the language and the flow of scenes. Sumeetha Manikandan gave us the perfect blend of all these in her book. Starting from the cover to the footnotes, this book, being the second in series, did not fail to impress me.

The First Part of this Series 

About the Author

Sumeetha Manikandan is a freelance writer and an author who loves to write and base her plots on the tambrahm community of Mylapore, Chennai. She is the author of ‘The Perfect Groom’ that has been a bestselling ebook on the top 50 charts of Amazon India ever since publication.

An avid reader, she loves to read across different genres – romance, historical fiction, non-fiction, mystery, fantasy etc. A history buff to the core,
she is currently translating Ponniyin Selvan – the evergreen tamil classic epic history by Kalki Krishnamurthy into English.

Married to film maker K.S. Manikandan, Sumeetha lives in Chennai, along with her six year old daughter.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Book Review: The Prince's Stubborn Bride by Devika Fernando

I have gone a bit wayward with this series of Royal Romance by Devika Fernando. I had started with 1 and went to 3 and then grabbed 2. Thankfully, the stories are not connected and I didn't face any loopholes. 

The story of The Prince's Stubborn Wife is a story of second chances. When Princes Olivia loses her husband to a freak accident, she is responsible for the kingdom he had left behind. Prince Sebastian, Olivia's brother-in-law, has no interest whatsoever in being a ruler. But the people of the kingdom are stuck in the age-old mindset of not having a woman ruler. Fighting against their dogmatic ideologies, her passion for Sebastian and a certain sect of people who are hell bent to remove her from the throne, Olivia is certainly not a princess I can envy. 

How she battles against political and traditional issues makes this story a wonderful read. Compared to the other books, I found this book the best in the series. It has the right amount of pathos, revenge, romance, and passion. 

The scenes are well-etched and what I loved the most is the way the author has created an imaginary kingdom is commendable. I felt I was a part of that place and in a royal romance that is something beautiful. 

There are many layers to this story - with romance the author has mixed a huge dose of feminism. From the queen mother of Olivia to Olivia refusing to step down from the throne just to please some male ego, made me root for her. Olivia is a much stronger character than Sebastian. His is quieter - like a pillar of strength.  He compliments Olivia's boldness with his quiet strength. 

A Quote from The Book:

But surely you do not truly think such a letter weighs heavier than the law? A law laid down by my ancestors and dealing with one of the most critical matters imaginable?

The First Line of the book:

“I am not getting married.” 

Olivia’s startled voice rang loudly in the silence, and she cringed. Yes, yes, princesses weren’t supposed to raise their voices and blurt out the first thing on their minds—but how could she not react like that when she’d been asked to marry again? And asked so nonchalantly, as if it was as simple as a walk down the beach or consent to an interview?!

My Recommendation:

A definite read for all romance authors.

Author of the Book:

Almost as soon as Devika Fernando could write, she imagined stories and poems. After finishing her education in Germany and returning to her roots in Sri Lanka, she got a chance to turn her passion into her profession. Having lived in Germany and in Sri Lanka with her husband has made her experience the best (and the worst) of two totally different worlds - something that influences her writing. Her trademark is writing sweet and sensual, deeply emotional romance stories where the characters actually fall in love instead of merely falling in lust.

What she loves most about being an author is the chance to create new worlds and send her protagonists on a journey full of ups and downs that will leave them changed. She draws inspiration from everyone and everything in life. Besides being a romance novel author, Devika is a faithful servant to all the cats and dogs she has adopted. When she's not writing, she's reading or thinking about writing.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Episode 3: My Journey To Stay Fit with Vinodini Iyer

2 months before
1. What made you take up this journey of staying fit?

I have always had a slender frame since childhood. But as years passed, with the arrival of my son and the obvious weight gain that followed, I realized that it wasn't so easy to keep the weight off as in my younger days. That's when I actually started watching what I was eating. I tried to keep myself active, although I started exercising only a few years back. I am not regular when it comes to exercises, especially since I am not a gym person at all but I do enjoy walking and doing a few stretches at home. I recently undertook a detox program after noticing that my weight was going up at an alarming rate. It helped me pull down a lot of those pounds. I am yet to get to my ideal weight but I'm now determined on not letting the scales tip on the higher end.

2. What's the biggest challenge you faced on this journey?

The biggest challenge I faced on this journey was my erratic work schedule. My work as a visual merchandiser for retail stores required me to be either glued to the computer for the whole day, travel and live out of suitcases for days or be on my feet for long hours to set up and beautify stores. So, my lifestyle would swing between sedentary or extremely draining physical activity. In such a scenario maintaining a healthy diet pattern and exercising regularly was the biggest challenge I faced. I would try to work around it by doing the right things on days when my body could cope with it physically.

Before joining TBC fitness group
3. Did your family support you in this journey? In what way did you need their support?

My family has always been supportive when it came to fitness, especially my mum and my son. My
mum would always coax me to go that extra mile and help me through this journey by preparing healthy and wholesome meals. My son is a fitness enthusiast himself, would encourage me to exercise regularly.

4. How much do you think diet is part of your journey?

For me, what I eat contributes to 70% of the end results. I have never been regular with exercise but it is only the healthy eating habits that have helped me keep fit. Thankfully, both I and my mum are blessed with small appetites and that helps. As per Hindu beliefs, the right portion one should consume for a meal should be the size of what fits into your palms and I follow this rule meticulously. I try to eat something every two hours and keep myself hydrated by sipping on the water all through the day.  Being a foodie, I do have my cheat days but I try and balance it on other days.

5. How can joining a group of dedicated weight watchers help you? Do you feel our group TBC Fitness has motivated you in any way?

I believe any group activity can keep your motivation levels high in the particular activity you're pursuing. For example, I recently started going for brisk walks with a friend in the neighborhood park. Before that, I used to walk alone on my terrace and I wasn't really regular with that routine. However, ever since we have started walking together, I and my friend enjoy this activity thoroughly and we try to make sure we don't miss it even for a day if we could avoid it.

TBC Fitness has especially made me aware of how committed others are about their fitness regimes and in turn motivated me to stick to my own fitness commitments. Both Rubina and Janaki try to keep everyone going by their own passion for fitness.

6. How can we as a group improve?

I feel the only small change we could make is by coming out with alternative methods on how the members could include exercise and diet changes in their routine, besides doing the regular gym and diet plan. We could probably brainstorm on such topics someday on a live chat, maybe on Twitter.

7. What is the one line you would like to say to those who are still thinking if they should or not start a fitness plan.

Go for it, the results are worth every bit of the efforts!

After joining TBC fitness group

Meet Vinodini Iyer

Vinodini Iyer is a design professional and a creative specialist. She has worked in the retail sector as a visual merchandiser and a fashion stylist for various well-known brands. Having worked closely with fashion brands she has always been fond of dressing well. Her motivation for a well-balanced lifestyle comes from her desire to retain a healthy glow and wear whatever she wishes to without stressing on the sizes.

Her professional assignments keep her on her toes, allowing her to explore new places and indulge in spontaneous adventures. She writes on various topics of her interest, namely, food, travel, fashion, parenting, and self-help. Her blog  is an amalgamation of her thoughts, experiences, pieces of fiction and poetry woven in her mind which find themselves translated into narrations in her writing.  She is a published author with her short stories published in anthologies and she looks forward to releasing her solo debut sometime when the time is right. 


Thursday, October 11, 2018


Check out all the articles here

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

Writing because you think you are better than another author: This is one of the major reasons why I see some of the reviewers turning into authors. I feel proud when they pick up their pen but what saddens me is the attitude that I can write better than so and so. You probably could, but please don’t forget your muse —the author who inspired you to write.

Indie world is an interwoven world of needs and demands. Most of the time, your demand today will turn into your need tomorrow. So working together with each other, might be a good idea in the Indie world.

3) Getting a fan following as soon as you hit the publish button. Ta da. Not happening. To get a readership, you don’t start with ‘hey, check out my published book,’ and your friends go gaga over it. For this, you have to start creating a network before your book is published. How to go about it I will cover in this booklet itself. But remember one thing at this point in time—to build a readership is tough. Start understanding the difference between readers, relatives, and friends. The latter two are for likes and the first one is for sales and visibility. Senseless selling of books on your timeline will not work.

4) Amazon will promote me: Of course, it will, but then think about this logically. Every one minute there is a new book being uploaded on Amazon. In this jungle of books, your new book with a brand new author name needs a push to have its presence felt. So before hitting the publish button, remember you are one in a million. How your book will stand out in this plethora of books, is your own success story to make.

Whatever you do, keep in mind that you are your own boss. And having said that it also means that you are solely responsible for your own book. All the profits are yours to keep, so are the errors.

Chapter Three: Components of Indie Publishing

I hope you have read my previous points carefully and decided to stay with me on this journey. As soon as you have decided that you want to be an Indie published author, here is a checklist for you to consider.

Ø  Writing - What stage of writing are you in? First draft, second draft… final copy?
Ø  Marketing before the book is launched
Ø  Self-Editing
Ø  Beta Reading
Ø  Editing - Development
Ø  Editing - Line Editing
Ø  Proofreader
Ø  Self-Editing Part 2
Ø  Cover Making 
Ø  Formatting and Uploading
Ø  Keeping the reviewers informed
Ø  Marketing after the Book is launched

I will be covering most of the topics mentioned above except Editing and How to look for an editor which will be handled by Inderpreet Kaur Uppal and Dola Basu Singh in their respective booklets. And uploading on Amazon will be handled by Sundari Venkatraman in the forthcoming issue. Marketing after a book is launched is a vast topic and will be in a separate booklet by me. But trust me, the part before you are ready to launch a book, is the most important of all and should not be neglected.

The above topics will hold good for all kinds of books. I will be speaking about how much each part is going to cost you, the pros and cons are for you to decide if you have the budget for that. I will be putting up links of the least expensive deals I have used in my entire career as a writer. You don’t have to spend much on anything except Editing and that too depends on how confident you are with your writing and grammar.

Check out the first part @ Marketing Issue 2: Introduction to being an Indie Author Part 1

Other Booklets in this ToolKit series
Check out Devika Fernando's Booklet Why go Indie?
Check out D R Downer's Booklet A to Z of Ghostwriting 

Chapter Four: The Birth of Your Book - Writing Component

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Monday, October 8, 2018

Marketing Issue 3: Chapter Two: Are you really an Indie Author?

Check out all the articles here

One of my ‘could have been Indian publisher’ told me to change my genre since romance was something they were not proud to sell. At least the romance I write. But I am a proud romance writer. How can I not believe in my own words? How could I change them?

I am not saying that you have to be stubborn and not listen to your editors. Always weigh the pros and cons. Think how much shifting of a scene will change a story. And only you can be the decision maker.

I am not here to give you a very colorful picture of the Indie publishing world. In this world, we have success stories, and we have failures too. Many of the authors have become dim memories. As a marketer and an author, I started noting down all their successes and their struggles. What fascinated me the most was that luck, timing and a lot of hard work, all had equal roles to play in the Indie journey of an author.

Don’t treat this booklet as a Bible –yet. Indie publishing is a dynamic process. It’s changing every day. We will keep on bringing out updates as we learn and hear from you.

For those who are wondering if you should write or not, hear me out. If words have formed in your mind, there is a paper out there for those words. When the words meet that paper, a reader is born for you. Just for you.

Don’t think this is a lonely journey. If you are an author and a reviewer who wants to promote their work, join our The Book Club Reviewing Group. And if you are an author, especially an Indie author, send us a request to join TBC Indie Author Group. We guide authors on how to promote and we love to show off our knowledge.

If you have doubts and questions, there will be a form at the end of the book for you to fill up. Just ask us anything related to writing and marketing and we will have someone who has experienced a similar situation answer it for you.
Now let’s take the plunge.

 Whenever someone approaches me I ask them one question. Why do you want to become an Indie author? The answers I get are:

Ø  Shalini told me that you can make a lot of money
Ø  Shalini told me that she is a success. So if she can write so can I.
Ø  Shalini told me I will get a lot of fan following.
Ø  Shalini told me that it’s a very easy job to do. I will write and Amazon will promote me.
Ø  Shalini told me… Shalini told me… Shalini told me….

Shalini told you. But you have not experienced it yet. But you want to be an Indie author because someone else told you about it or worse, you think you’re a better writer than Shalini.

First of all, understand the very definition of the word ‘Indie’. It’s derived from the word independent. It’s not only about making your book independent but also your thoughts and thinking process. Ask yourself - do you have it in you to be an independent author?

Let me first break down your innocence. Forgive me in advance.
1)     Making money: When you go to a publisher you might get an advance of 1,40,000 INR per book and a contract of three books. I would suggest you take it if you get that offer. Now if you are thinking I didn’t make that kind of money in my first romance, Finding the Angel, then think again. What you made it with a signing of a contract, I took around 6 months to make. And this book was published in the year 2016. Since then every year I am making that amount on that one book.

My book Destined came next. I was not prepared for the amount I made that month. I made around 76,000 INR on the release month and because of the Pen-to-Publish contest by Amazon, the sales skyrocketed. After that, it trickled down to a steady income of 20k per month. It’s not a very good amount according to those above me in the bestselling list. So you see, I still have a long way to go.

But money is not the same each month. It's erratic and you are slogging over your laptop over promotion and relationship building.

2) Writing because you think you are better than another author:.... To be continued 11th of October

Other Booklets in this ToolKit series
Check out Devika Fernando's Booklet Why go Indie?
Check out D R Downer's Booklet A to Z of Ghostwriting 

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Friday, October 5, 2018

Blog Tour: The Girl Child by De.B Dubois

Top post on IndiBlogger, the biggest community of Indian Bloggers

The Girl Child
De. B. Dubois


Growing up as a strong-headed single child with a privileged upbringing in Calcutta, Devi has learned much from her surroundings. Her childhood memories are filled with mixed emotions – especially as she remains angry with her mother and the hypocrisy of women in India. On an unexpected journey home, she encounters reality – new stories and experiences of strangers, as well as friends. It has been years since she left Calcutta, yet the city’s untold stories haunt her. This time Devi is back in town to solve issues and above all, through some painful and hard revelations, to make peace with those she can.

Grab your copy @

About the author

De.B. is an ordinary person with her daily struggles of being fun and peppy; as all those heavy readings on sociology, philosophy, history, art and culture have done her sombre. – Not that she is complaining, – however when things do get too hectic, her escape solutions are: long walks through nature trails with her adopted Maltese, a good glass of absinthe from Val-de-Travers, and creating visual arts. Her friends best describe De.B. Dubois as, – ‘the hermit’.

You can stalk her @


Prize: Amazon Gift Card worth 1000 INR

   This Tour is Hosted by 

We Promote So That You Can Write 

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