Frontlist | Author and media person Vineet Malhotra: COVID & reading

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Author and media person Vineet Malhotra has found that reading is a significant habit, especially amidst this pandemic. Here is a brief conversation with him about his reading habits and his opinion on COVID and reading:

Q. Why did you choose to be an author?
I wanted to share my experiences with the world. I wanted people to be inspired by the challenges I faced and how I overcame them.

Q. Besides writing, what are your other interests?
I am Prime Time debate anchor for one of the leading English News Channels in the country. I enjoy my work and besides that I am a professional musician. Have won several awards for music and it is very fulfilling.

Q. What kind of authors do you read?
I love reading Dan Brown and Stephen King novels. I have also been a fan of Ayn Rand and Emily Bronte.

Q. How were your initial days as an author? Any pointers for newbies?
It was easy for me as I didn’t have to go hunting for a publisher. Being in the public domain helps you connect with people and that was an advantage I had. Newbies should focus on doing a lot of PR.

Q. According to you, how to craft a bestseller?
Be honest and try and catch the pulse of the audience. There is no golden formula. This is the only trick. Give people something that they can’t put down.

Q. As the Covid-19 pandemic hit the global industries, as a writer
where do you think is the Indian Publishing industry heading right
now?
Indian publishing is doing well. Writers have had a lot of time to work on their books and newer authors have been born. Book sales were slow earlier but now they have picked up as digital shopping becomes
the new normal.

Q. What kind of role eBooks and audio books are playing during this
pandemic?
They are a substitute and a good one at that. They save time and accord flexibility to the listener. It is the future of reading.

Q. In your views, how will the lives of people be changed after the
pandemic of Covid-19?
Immensely. We will take time to get back to things and once we do, everyone will be careful about getting sick. A new wave of introspection in terms of health will begin.

Q.  What are the major challenges faced by authors from writing to
publishing?
Writers will always have challenges. Inspiration is one and the other is getting to do what is wanted by a publishing house and what u wanna write about. This is the biggest challenge. Coming to a middle ground
will help both.

Q. Reprographics is a major problem in the industry. In your opinion,
what are the solutions to deal with it?
It is a nuisance. Leads to pilferage of what rightly due to the content creator and publisher. Stricter laws and policy need to be formulated to curb the same. Penalties on people who are found to be indulging in this should be stricter.

Q. How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
It made me a more responsible writer. You have a reputation to protect and hence you are more creative and more innovative.

Q. What is your take on the National Education Policy (NEP 2020)?
It is wonderful. The new policy is in tune with the new norms of education today. Education policy has to be upgraded every 10 years going by the change in technology and digital medium being so prevalent.

Q. Do you think that learning in India is evolving with technological
advancement? What more can be done?
India is one of the fastest growing economies in the world. And our manufacturing sector is doing well. Soon we will be giving a stiff competition to China. More incentives from the government will help
the industry.

Q. Delhi Book Fair happened virtually this year, what is your
perspective on the whole scenario?
I was a part of it. It does not replace the actual event but it allowed for continuity. It is the need of the hour.

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