Sunday, March 10, 2013

Best Sellers

thecatsite.com

Ever since I began my literary journey, writing has pepped up life in more ways than one. With the boom in e-commerce, we bloggers and aspiring writers seem to be in demand.

While A, B & C (Amish, Bhagat and Chauhan) became published writers and made their millions, most of us earn zilch from writing. We don’t mind it at all. It gives us hope - someday, maybe... As Amishputra Tripathi says, if you are a writer, the first step towards success is rejection. It comes with the territory. Amish was rejected more than twenty times and so was J. K. Rowling. There is little point in writing, if you cannot deal with rejection.

However, being creative passionate souls, writers are suckers for some respect and appreciation. After all, we write to nourish our soul, initiate discussion and create awareness. Money? We simply love the guy who said that a good reputation is more valuable than money. That said, the way to a writer’s heart, as with most other creative souls is to serve dollops of appreciation. Then watch us slog as we strain our neck muscles and suffer from tendonitis or tenosynovitis.

On to the main course. The exciting times began with various blogging platforms organizing contests for aspiring writers. Since most of us are on-line shoppers well versed with bits and bytes, things automatically fell in place. I launch a product. You write about it. I showcase your articles. Both grab eyeballs. Win-win. And the cake is not without the icing. A slew of prizes – tablets, phones and air fares are great lures. There is something for everyone - movie tickets, books and assured gift vouchers.

So each time a new product is launched, irrespective of whether it is a split end demolisher or new cooking oil, FMCG companies jostle for our attention. They announce a blogging contest with attractive prizes. And the generous souls that we are, we oblige them by the magic of our fingers tap dancing on the keyboard. The fixation to involve the ever rising blogging community is a smart advertising strategy which serves the purpose admirably. Both ways.

If you thought that it is easy, you are as mistaken as Himesh is about his acting abilities. Imagine writing an engrossing article worth thousand words about your braids or about your nightmares with curly hair? Even as I write, my mail box tells me that twenty awesome bloggers will get a chance to test drive Tata Nano for a week (with fuel) if they write about their test drive experience. Whatever the experience, only an idiot will criticize his tryst with Tata’s bundle of joy.

Meanwhile, magazines are luring writers by announcing a ‘Reader’s only’ issue. I am not sure if this boosts magazine sales but it sure creates a buzz. Brunch (HT publication) did it. Femina is doing it. As I said, the generous souls that we are, most of us happily oblige without demanding any remuneration. The publication houses oblige us by publishing our articles. Consequently our social quotient inches up while we patiently dream of becoming Amish Loaded Tripathi.
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51 comments:

  1. Spot on for today's scenario. Everywhere there are contests and reviews and freebies. I haven't still done any review or contest or give-away. Somewhere down the line after I started a blog, I put up a sigh which read, "Art not Ads" and still following that to a T.

    Writing for the self is the greatest joy that I have. I will not compromise that. All said and done, I see myself as a blogger not a writer. Maybe I will graduate to becoming a writer but for now, a blogger.

    Good read, this was.

    Joy always,
    Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I read your post about bloggers wearing the mask of writers. Irrespective of the terminology, I find your writing very engaging.


      Cheers!

      Delete
  2. Sooner than Later, my hunch says you will definitely make it one day...promise me that you then won't say no to my request of Signed Copy of your book...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe, someday...One should never stop dreaming. Right?

      Delete
  3. Are you planning to write a book? Are you? Are you? Are you?

    The good thing is now Indian writers can publish their work without hesitation and the bad thing is everyone thinks he's a writer.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I neither have the talent nor the patience.
      Yes, good times for aspiring writers.

      Delete
  4. Apart from whatever you have mentioned, there's a new thing for bloggers! They can now be Experience Reporters too. A big group wants bloggers to go to these high profile parties, fashion shows, DJ events in their city, and share their experience of that party with some pictures and an article. Remuneration : A couple's pass for the event!! Beat that??

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    Replies
    1. Bang on Shilpa. Good times for those wielding a pen. Other than money, its all there.

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    2. Shilpa ,really?This is the first time I am hearing of this.Interesting

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    3. Yes, Mr Chowla, I got an offer for this!

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    4. I have two coupon guys asking me to write about their discount coupons and they are offering decent money. Unless I have used the coupons, there is no point writing about them. Blogs are the new advertisement boards.

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  5. oh i totally agree with this post.. was just explaining this 'evolution' of bloggers to a few newbies recently.. we do give in to the book reviews and the car reviews et al perhaps but in the end, the blog is ours at heart... the one thing we call our own which we prize above all. No rejections here.

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    1. Feels good to be wanted though. With e-commerce boom and on-line shopping, it's going to get better. If nothing else works, we have our blogs.

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  6. Yes we bloggers have arrived :) we provide free of cost publicity to the companies. It is everyone's dream to get published and earn money, but even if we are not in the same league as Amish yet, we can always keep trying.

    Lazy Pineapple

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Wind to thy wings. Light to thy path. Dreams to thy heart."

      Delete
  7. If I read that right, we might soon get to read your book. Go for it!

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  8. Whatever people do for recreation, marketers seem to be active there!! I have this idea of selling blog-posts to people who want to read the articles without ads/marketing messages in future :P

    Destination Infinity

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. With the boom in e-commerce, blogging is being used by advertisers. And we are not complaining.

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  9. Hah! How true. Everytime I write a new blog post, I know that the same hundred people - all bloggers themselves - will read it. Yet, somehow, there is satisfaction in that familiarity. This is my blogger family.
    Those FMCG folks and the Tata Motors guys can keep their lollies. I don't need them!

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  11. We are one big happy bogging family! Loved this post about everything that comprises the blogsvillie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True, there is healthy bonhomie and amazing bonding among most of us who have never met.

      Delete
  12. Every time I see a contest, I feel, when will I participate in one? Never tried so far...so, can we expect your book soon? :) you have aptly captured the blogging family's today's scenario.

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    1. I have written for contests only when the topic was interesting. Somehow I am not able to write about my hair, split ends or braids.

      Delete
  13. After the initial euphoria has died down, one learns to read between the lines. There are no free rides. Would you compromise your integrity because someone wined and dined you in style?

    Like you said, my blog is my personal space - it's up to me to maintain its sanctity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This is a new phenomenon. Initially it was interesting but now most of us refuse to write about our split ends and braids.

      Delete
  14. Absolutely true! I am quite disenchanted with the way we are taken for a ride. Of course, initially we might find participating in contests and the freebies fun! But as the understanding increases and the hidden agenda is understood, most of us understand the futility of it. Even blogging seems to have become no longer innocent writing and enjoying. There are so many murky things going on here. Yet there are genuine friendships to be formed here. I am grateful for those. In that sense, I love the medium for meeting like-minded people.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Currently there are several offers to write about discount coupons for on line shopping. With the boom in e commerce writers are in vogue. One needs to be wary of contests and promotional activities though. Time to read the fine print.

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  15. This post is an eye opener. I am a newbie and blissfully unaware of all the commercial activity in the world of Bloggers. I did participate in some WOW contests, but left it. I want to blog for self satisfaction and cultivate a few friends. At my age this is very satisfying.I can read some good, informative and interesting blogs of friends like you

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You are doing the right thing....writing for pleasure and making friends. Thank you for adding me as a friend. Loved your picture with grand kids.

      Delete
  16. I completely agree with you we bloggers are suckers for appreciation! Deep down most of us aspire to be published authors.....I blame a certain Mr.Bhagat for this phenomenon ;)

    Bloggers would mind doing product reviews/ book reviews... if they were to get a few goodies/vouchers.

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    1. As I reply, I hear the story of a fellow blogger who won an iPad in a contest and is now asked to pay heavy taxes. Worse, there are stories of fake accounts. When money pours in, there is bound to be some hanky panky.

      Delete
  17. Alks, I was about to criticize your post severely but the prospect of ending up as a caricature in your future novel, or trilogy which is more in vogue these days, is deterrent enough. But hey, thanks for the idea! :-D

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    1. He he he.... I have neither the patience nor the talent to write one, forget three. But I will watch out for caricatures in your book. Mention my name in the acknowledgement section.

      Delete
  18. As far as I am concerned,I am happy writing my blog.Ireally don't care about commercialising my writing.

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    1. That's the way to go, but you are a published author sir....been there, done that.

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  19. And I tell you..there's too many of such contests - creative too, particularly with their prizes. It's raining in blogosphere these days, and many of them are grabbing that opportunity to become Amish one day! But sometimes, it is boring to see contests getting repeated with different brands - like the Dove hair story, now sunsilk and tomorrow what tresemme?
    Tell me Alka, are you planning to write your book??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anu, the one which really tested our nerves was the Shave or Crave contest. I salute the winners who can write on such topics.

      No, I have no plans to write a book. Yet.

      Delete
  20. I cannot enter contests where I have to write about my hair and dressing style even if they are giving a helicopter as a prize. :) A contest should have an interesting topic to write about, something that goes along with my blog content.
    It is basically free publicity but in the end it is your choice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A helicopter can be a great incentive, only if someone is ready to bear the fuel charges. Lol... I can't write about my hair raising escapades either. But I do salute those who can write about such mundane acts and win prizes.

      Delete
  21. An Excellent Blogpost Relevant to the Topic. It really generates a new thinking pattern in the viewers. Please pursue with your Blogging Activities.
    Living In Wellbeing

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  22. Heard of those competitions and have even entered two. More than that blogging has given me the opportunity to discover
    - the writing skills of a few ordinary people who aren't established authors and
    - a few kindred spirits who I would never have met otherwise.

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    1. That is the true essence of blogging.

      Delete
  23. Commercial aspects apart, there's a lot more to blogging than just writing for oneself. For example, someone who comes to your blog and reads your posts is sure to have an increased level of cerebral activity in his head. And that too, stress-busting. At least I can vouch for that. :-)

    As for your reason of not having enough patience or talent to write a novel, I guess even if you get a compilation of your blog posts made into a book, it'll be even better. :-)

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    1. Thanks Shobhit.
      Writing fiction is an art and some are born to tell stories. I have met several such blessed writers through this blog and you are one of them.

      Delete
  24. Good times ahead.. :)
    commercial, non-commercial or personal.. everyone is experimenting

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    1. True. Blogs are the new advertisement boards.

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  25. I have even written about hair-raising :) Me!!! But it has been a long while since I did ANY posts for publicizing products. All THAT was in the first year of blogging when I was hungering for some visibility :) NOW I have given up on it :)

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