Tuesday, 14 August 2018

Truth Behind the Bestseller tag.

It's been a long time I had done a blog post on any topic which wasn't a review. There's this question that someone or the other keeps asking me whenever the topics of books and sales pop up, 'How come every other book is a bestseller?' then its followed by a number of conspiracy theories about someone hacking into databases or someone paying amazon or retailers to give the book a best selling tag and what not.

Apart from those bizzare theories, let me tell you there's nothing as such. Behind this 'every other book becoming best seller' is a very smart ingenious and tricky marketing plan that only people investing tons into their book launches can afford. This marketing plan is something that isn't a choice or option for an average joe or a newbie like me.

Being in this world of Internet, I realised that its very easy to misguide people by faking the number of likes,shares and what not. But when it comes to marketing where you have to sell any actual products these things don't work quite in that manner. Our bookish industries have made up and devised a really nice and smart plan to I'd say misguide the readers. Although, I'd call it smart and not cheating or a scam, even though it feels like one.

Lets say your average Joe has written a book and now he has a wish of getting it published, he went through the tedious procedures of publishing houses and their plans. Although he wanted to self publish but the tag of getting published with a publishing house sounded really nice to ears. It was a thing of self validation and ego satisfaction altogether.  Apart from that now as his book was now ready to hit market his marketing team came up with a nice plan for him.

His book was priced at 100 bucks (considering random amount and currency), which was although slightly above the market price where other popular books were been sold at 75 or 80 books for super lengthy books. His marketing team wanted him to sponsor them with amount from which he'd be able to buy 200 copies of his own book at least.

A few days before the book launch his marketing team connects with several reviewers and gets them collected, here some huge and popular ones are paid and while most aren't. This team of reviewers is now sent the amount to buy the book and for the paid ones their original amounts of review as well by any of the favorable means usually which are giftcards.

Now its the day of launch, each of those reviewers is now asked to buy the book by using the amount sent to them beforehand. They don't ask all of them to buy those books at once since that'd trigger the seller who'd then know that this book is trying to get into best selling charts by non fair means. Hence to avoid the suspicion the reviewers are asked to buy books in different time slots.

Now as the books are been sold every hour or say every other day, the retailer thinks that this book is selling like hotcakes, hence the book after a limited period of time say, one week will be seen in best selling charts. Now my average Joe is so happy that for his next book he can use the bestselling author tag on the cover of his book as well as he actually thinks that his book did so well that it became a best seller. Although in reality he'd have been buying 200 copies of his own book and giving it for reviews and total sales would be ranging from 700 - 800 books if the book is decent enough and might be more if its actually good.

Also the boost from the reviewers and then after getting the TAG of best seller, there's a very fine campaign of ads everywhere, from where you come to know about your new best-selling author and next time would even buy from him.

That's all for this time. I hope you liked this and do comment down and share your stories with me. I'm planning to do all such publishing related stories soon over the blog as soon as I get some free time to write down from my UNI-and personal coding projects. Also do subscribe to my blog and show me some love. ;)
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Monday, 13 August 2018

Review: The Pendant Path




The Pendant Path by Jane Barlow Funk
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blurb from Goodreads :

Kenji Okado has a secret. Trained since birth to be the ultimate weapon against a threat that might not even exist, he is struggling to navigate high school. His world changes for the better when popular student Hyrum Decker becomes his lab partner, but little does Kenji realize how his newfound friendship will be tested when he and Hyrum discover the hidden potential of a family heirloom.

Elsie, an apprentice clockmaker, is struggling to achieve Journeyman status in a place where being half British isn’t an asset. Recently, she can’t shake the feeling that someone is watching her. But that’s the least of her problems, now that her brother Xan has stolen a priceless artifact from the local crime lord.

Two teenagers. Two parallel worlds. Destined never to meet until they stumble upon the secret of the pendant path.

~*~*~*~

I usually don't take books by cover but this one is an exception where I liked the cover so much that I decided to give it a try. The blurb was interesting as well and hence it didn't took me long to dive into this book.

The story is a mix of fantasy and history, which is a very unique and creative blend as compared to other fantasies that I had been reading since last few months. Certainly, the plot was very well developed and characters were also well developed with a great bonding. I liked the way it began with kenji being trained for unknown things that he thought his father was paranoid about but later those very things came to his rescue.

Some really key good points that I really liked in this book are great blend of historical plot and their references along with the story's progress although as more if the story is been happening in the historical phase. Also another thing I liked is that there wasn't a cliche turn where the characters had to romance with each other, which is another weird trend seen in the books these days but this one was a huge relief to that annoying trend.

Also some minus points I felt were that, the plot of fantasy could've been explored much more. Like there wasn't much of a talk about pendant, its powers etc.. I felt that was a bit left ignored? Also since major of the part happens in the past, the story-line could've been much better as the present one isn't bad but it could've been much better exploring much ups and downs instead of singing the same tune till the end.

The climax although surprised me and had a nice stable ending. There were no weird things that would seem like a plot-holes but I felt much of the plot was left unexplored especially in the Fantasy portion where I felt history was overpowering over everything. There's action,drama and nice banter between young teens. I'd surely recommend this for children and also for those who want to avoid romance for once in a while.

Buy this on Amazon : https://amzn.to/2MKAEmP
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Friday, 27 July 2018

Review: Bluff




Bluff by Michael Kardos
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Blurb from Goodreads

Michael Kardos brilliantly constructs his new novel Bluff as a magician would, delivering a perfectly calibrated performance of intrigue and, ultimately, astonishment.

At twenty-seven, magician Natalie Webb is already a has-been. A card-trick prodigy, she started touring at seventeen, took first place at the World of Magic competition at eighteen, and never reached such heights again. Shunned by the magic world after a disastrous liaison with an older magician, she now lives alone with her pigeons and a pile of overdue bills in a New Jersey apartment. In a desperate ploy to make extra cash, she follows up on an old offer to write a feature magazine article―on the art of cheating at cards. But when she meets the perfect subject for her article, what begins as a journalistic gamble brings into question everything Natalie thinks she knows about her talent, and herself. Natalie is dazzled by the poker cheat’s sleight of hand and soon finds herself facing a proposition that could radically alter her fortune―to help pull off a $1.5 million magic trick that, if done successfully, no one will ever even suspect happened. With Kardos raising the stakes chapter after chapter, Bluff is a breathtaking work of suspense from a writer at the top of his game. 

~*~*~*~

I had read some of the previous reviews for this and felt this would be a great one to read. Rather I think I had my expectations high? I felt the story was pretty monotonous, like there's nothing much happening around. A main character who is a magician and has hard time being one to earn her bread and her struggle to something is all in the story. It felt totally one track thing to me. There were a few characters which were like left alone. Many characters were just there to have a dialogue or two nothing max. I felt there was a lot of scope where the author could've played more with the plot. Most characters were just underdeveloped or unused.

Since I do spoiler free reviews, I won't reveal which ones but pretty much story has only two characters used at most. There was a ton of backstory and reasoning for the ones who like to know more about the characters. I liked the fact there was a lot of explanation going on which can be good for a non poker person like me, but at the same time story lacked the spark. During the whole read I was waiting for something to happen, and at the climax I would give credit to that one single twist that made it a little enjoyable but when I see it as a book together, it felt a bit washed out.

I liked the writing style and the narration part though, the editing and formatting was done well( I read the ebook review copy). Although I said a lot of not-so-good things about it, the story was quite readable and nice. It's for someone who had a stressed day and needs a good book to read them to sleep. Not much of brain stressing twisters or story happening around.

Buy Link:

Amazon : https://amzn.to/2mNGys7
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Monday, 16 July 2018

Review: The Seductive Affair




The Seductive Affair by Rishabh Puri
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blurb :
Prisha Khatri is a regular college graduate, focused on her career, desperate to finally move out of her parents’ house and freshly dumped by her successful fiancĂ©. When she lands a job at a prestigious media house, she’s glad to have something to take her mind off her heartbreak. What she doesn’t expect is to be landed on a business trip with a famously fiery reporter Rajesh Lagheri. He’s travelling to a business conference for a story and doesn’t seem impressed by her involvement. But as soon as they’re out of the office, things change and it becomes clear that there is more to Rajesh’s trip than meets the eye. As Prisha is drawn into the story he’s trying to hide from their editor, their hunt for the story grows more intense and she finds herself growing closer to Rajesh. As their chemistry threatens to overwhelm them and Prisha is pulled deeper into the Seductive Affair, she must decide what matters most to her matters of the head or of the heart.

~*~*~*~

It had been a long time I had reviewed any Romantic thriller hence as I got my hands on it I decided to give it a chance. Its a really nice read which I finished within a day. It's quite short and hence if you are fast paced reader like me it'd be a matter of hours to get done reading it.

I really enjoyed to the story as the characters were really well developed. The narration was good and language was simple and nice to read with. You can read it while travelling or just for fun if you are bored. It was although a very predictable story as its already been given out in the blurb hence there was nothing much to expect from it inside. Yes, even though it was predictable it wasn't cliche or bad at all. Certainly an enjoyable read. I really like the fact that it didn't headed much on ranting about a free woman and all those already overused lines and plots from the other books. It was something unique and different.

It didn't had much of twists and turns and was quite a straight forward read. Nothing that you would find coming up unexpected. The narration and flow of story was so good that it'll keep you gripped to the book and you'd surely love to read ahead. You won't feel bored after a few chaps for sure. I wish there could've been more of twists and turns, more of plot where the insides of the press world is shown. Also there was a lot of plot left unused, where I felt climax could've been much more interesting and better. The present one isn't bad but it falls very short in expectations and its predictable.

There were some good moments to read as well hence it was an overall well balanced read that'd you'd surely won't mind reading once.

Buy Links :

Amazon.in : https://amzn.to/2NmK1cC

Amazon : https://amzn.to/2LdgN2g
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Saturday, 30 June 2018

Review: A Skin of a Dragon



A Skin of a Dragon by Frances Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blurb from Goodreads :

After a chance find in a smugglers’ cave, Tom Wild is kidnapped by a stranger and whisked away to London to face a secretive and ancient group of magicians. He is presented with an agonising choice: join them and forsake his old life and family forever or face a grisly death. Tom quickly realises that all is not as it seems and that the group’s leader is engaged in a dangerous game of magic, power and war. At stake is the future of England, her King, and the very existence of magic.

~*~*~*~

Dragons have always been a centre of attraction for every fantasy book. I thought it would be another Dragon vs knight or an Evil King kind of a book but to my surprise it wasn't that. The story was totally different from what I had been expecting it to be. There was a lot happening thought it did have an evil villain whose defeat felt quite weird seemingly the build up that had been created against it in the whole story but at the same time the twist and turns throughout the story were very interesting and had be gripped throughout. It was a fairly long read of more than 80 small chapters.

I really liked the turns and twists in the story and the narration was really good. Even after being such a long read, which I ain't a fan off it didn't gave out the feel of being dragged as there was a lot of content inside happening. Though I felt a lot was kept out of the scenes and it would've been awesome if that had been included but the composition felt nice and good to read overall.  The blurb didn't give away that much idea or story about what's inside the book but the story was quite unique and good.

I felt there were parts which could've been much more elaborated and they were certainly ignored in this story. I can't be assured if that is the content for the next book in the series. This is quite a standalone and is first in the book series. I felt glad to see that there was no romance forced into the story unnecessarily which seems to be quite a trend in the post-twilight fantasy books these days. Certainly it was a refreshment from what's being in the trend now.

Overall it was a good read and I'd surely recommend if you are trying to search something which isn't just a fantasy themed romance after all.

Buy the Books on :

Amazon.in : https://amzn.to/2lKnr1q

Amazon : https://amzn.to/2yWEabx
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Saturday, 23 June 2018

Review: Song




Song by Jesse Teller
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blurb from Goodreads:


Some of the darkest minds in Perilisc attacked Mending Keep, releasing all its prisoners. Despite his strained relationship with the crown, Rayph Ivoryfist calls old friends to his aid in a subversive attempt to protect King Nardoc and thwart terrorist plots to ruin the Festival of Blossoms. But someone else is targeting Rayph, and even his fellow Manhunters might not be enough to save him.

~*~*~*~

The very first thing I'd liked about the book is the cover. It totally goes with the theme of the book. Also I really liked the blurb of the book, it was quite catchy and hence got my interest in this book. It was a totally as expected book. I liked the whole grim dark theme and the story how it goes. For a few beginning chapters it might have you confused about what's happening and why but as the plot thickens its quite enjoyable.

Things I liked about this book is that the book is quite fast paced and there's a lot to read and discover within the plot. There's a lot going on and it doesn't get you off the book. It actually many times reminded me of Game of Thrones and I don't know why. The plot is mainly surrounded around Rayph Ivoryfist and One another character whose name I won't reveal because its a spoiler free review. :P

As I mentioned before there's a lot going on inside the book. I like the way the story is being narrated. The scenes have ample of descriptions and are narrated very well. One thing I felt where it could've been more better is the introduction to the plot world. The world in which the story is set isn't quite introduced which might get some of you confused in first few chapters but as you read it, you'd get to know more and more connecting dots.

Also I felt there were some scenes where I wish there was more backstory available on that point. Like on a place where there was introduction of a few new characters and new places etc. If you are someone who loves reading grimdark fantasy novels and something with a fast paced narration and loads of action scenes then this one is for you. Ah, there are a few places where some of you might be sensitive but its a part of theme and very well blended.

Buy Links:

Amazon.in : https://amzn.to/2KgNLec

Amazon : https://amzn.to/2K0ZHVn
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Sunday, 17 June 2018

Review: Burn One Down



Burn One Down by Jeffrey A. Cooper
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Blurb from GoodReads:

Retiring thief Jack Apple is offered a low-­risk, six-­figure payout to heist a medical marijuana dispensary from the feisty and impetuous Diane Thomas after Diane steals the robbery plans from her shady ex-­husband Alvin, hoping to beat him to the score.

Diane promises to stay out of Jack’s way but she can’t help interfering, forcing them to take hostages inside the dispensary when the robbery is interrupted by law enforcement, inciting a media circus that deteriorates into a full-­on urban riot.

To escape, Jack and Diane must negotiate the hostages, their agendas, an army of Sheriff’s deputies, the tenacious local news media, crooked deals, corrupt politicians, rioters, Diane’s shady ex-­husband Alvin, and their growing attraction to each other.

~*~*~*~

It was a one totally unexpected book. Post blurb reading it felt like this is gonna be some kickass crime series novel where there's a theif, robbery and some awesome badass action but it turned out to be something I had not expected. It was good and bad in their own ways but well It was totally readable.

Let me tell you something, If you pickup this book after going through the blurb and think its gonna be a serious mood super action styled story then lemme tell you my friend you are wrong. This one was weird in that sense and by that I mean it was weirdly funny. A inept thief is on his robbery adventures with a lady who is kind of attracted to him and asks him to rob his ex-husband's marijuana dispensary. I know that sounds damn serious but actually it ends up goofily and funny.

There was constant eye rolling through out my reading time and well there was a lot of goofy humorous things happening in an expected to be a serious situation. I felt there was a lot of scope where it could've been better. If it had been a humor genre book then I could've given it a 4 star but well this one appeared to be something else and ended up something else hence the disappointment.

It is actually quite readable and not bad at all. All the thing is that if you are up for some light read which might make you facepalm and roll some eyes at the character's actions then this on is probably for you. I wished the story could've been more serious in respect to the blurb or the blurb could've made it clear about what to expect in a book. The first few chapters actually had me curious and impressed but as I reached half the book I was actually more of like "what am I reading?" It was funny and weird as the serious thing ends up in a goofy way, something unexpected as I might have ranted a million times by now.

I won't actually recommend this to someone who is up for some serious reads. This one is better suited at someone who is expecting a light read with some silly humor.

Book Buy Links :

Amazon.in : https://amzn.to/2tinkOe
Amazon : https://amzn.to/2JUXI0Y

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Friday, 15 June 2018

How to increase your Instagram/Facebook/Twitter engagement.

Every other day there's this huge debate around the world in terms to what is the best to get more engagement on social media. Social media these days has become a kind of social status symbol as well as a good business opportunity who are looking forward to become something called as Social media influencer. But sadly many miss the major points here and then end up doing all the circus to get more followers, more comments and engagement and heck even end up paying for them!

Just wait a second, think for a while and look at it like this. Followers, Engagements, Comments, basically are nothing but things that people do normally. No amount of #hashtags or money expenditure on posts would help you to achieve that. Although I agree that Paid posts get more boost on social platforms because that's the common sense, social media companies aren't running for free and they will surely need to eat and spend some money on all the equipment and features they're getting to you so that you can start your influencer business right?

But without paying for promo posts and even if you are paying its not necessary you get all the expected comments or likes right? so here are a few researched and combined tips which are tried and tested by myself. Although everything is based on algorithm these days and is more rewarding to the genuine humans more then the so called made up and curated instagram feeds.

  1. Use the least amount of hashtags as possible. If possible don't use them at all.
  2. Write creative captions and something that would make people read that. Something that is surely related with your post. It won't be good if you have a funeral pic above and a party kinda quote caption down below. It should make some sense.
  3. Don't be mechanical with posts. Be irregular with posting times or days. I know it's absurd with respect to what other posts might tell you but a normal average human won't make his social media posts according to some schedule unless they're a time bound freaks.
  4. Be as genuine and real as possible. Don't make your account look like its been run by a robot. People love real people and that reflects in engagements.
  5. Stop robot-perfected social media pages. I know some Instagram and Facebook-s which look like they're either run by some supernatural deity or robot. So much perfection isn't quite normal to humans. Its okay to have some changes in the style or edits that you make. Too much curated feeds start looking like fake and then results in less following and less engagements.
  6. Don't be a person who smashes ad on people's faces. Like I have seen people whose each and every post/story is either a link, some ad, some paid promo and then they justify by making wide range of excuses. It might be good for you in short term but in long run it'll get your page/account dead soon.
  7. Keep a healthy gap between paid posts and random/genuine posts. If you are posting 5 ads and then 1 personal post it'd be bringing death of your socials soon.
  8. Relax and stop getting paranoid and just give out as much quality content and engagement as possible.
  9. Reply to DMs, comments etc it makes them , your followers feel good that you do care and tend to reply.
  10. Last but not the least, at the end of the day its just a social media page. Don't rely on it so much that if one fine day something happens to your account/social media itself and you lose your following or business as whole.
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Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Review: Awaken: Melody's Song Book 1




Awaken: Melody's Song Book 1
by Tanya Schofield
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Blurb from Amazon:

They want her dead, but she may be the only one strong enough to save them.

Melody has always lived a peaceful life, sheltered and protected by the few who know the truth about her past-- and about the danger that exists because of her growing magical abilities. Everything changes when an old friend arrives, and she is forced to flee a deadly attack. All she has ever known is thrown into turmoil, and she finds herself alone in a world she does not understand.

Two brothers, Jovan and Kaeliph, are in the wrong place at the wrong time. They're framed for a crime they did not commit, and they only seal their fate as they make their escape. Believing the brothers murdered his son, a powerful Lord tasks his soldiers with hunting them. They are one step ahead of a death sentence when they meet Melody.

The three young adults realize they are running from the same man, and only by sticking together do they have a chance. As they struggle to evade the Lord's minions, they learn of an ancient evil that is a threat to more than just them. It is a threat to the entire world.

The Lord's hold over the land grows. There is no horror he and his men are unwilling to commit to achieve power. The long dead Lich King's shadow looms. The world teeters on the verge of terrible darkness, and the only thing that can save it is Melody's Song.

~*~*~*~

This book is certainly has a unique story-line than you'd find in most fantasy books around these days. Certainly the characters are well placed and they also feel lively enough. It took me a while to get into the book but later on it turned out to be good. It's quite a long read, my kindle was showing 6+hrs considering I am a fast paced reader.

The was a whole new world buildup and everything seemed to be placed nicely. Considering it as a 1st book in the series, it can surely be read as a stand alone as it has its own buildup, story, drama and other happenings. This is a good things as most of the time when the books are in the series they lack the actual story and merely end up creating the world which rather leaves you unsatisfied as a reader. But certainly this one had a lot of things happening and I really enjoyed throughout the book.

As I mentioned before it had quite a unique story line from the on going trend of vampires, werewolves and sudden fantasy powers coming into people. It had a nice descriptions and though felt over at times and minor in some places but overall it was really good. I also liked the narration and the flow of story. The story telling was nice and also editing was good. I seldom comment on the book's way of formatting and editing but this one is something I liked. I hate the fact that book ended with a cliff hanger but you seriously can't help it if there's a sequel coming up. Well I'd be definitely eager to read the second part when it is released.

I'd surely recommend this book to people who are looking for something unique to read. You need not be a fantasy lover to have this book. It has a fine balance overall and a nice story.

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Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Review: Legends over Generations




Legends over Generations by Ashraf Haggag
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Blurb from Goodreads:

Since the beginning of human settlement, a lot of people came up with ideas, philosophies, beliefs, experiments, research, redesigning of thoughts, talents, and surveys to bring myths to reality.
People contributed to various life aspects science, politics, literature, arts, social activities and so many other fields. These genius minds put a keen interest in every phenomenon right from when they were young. The zeal, passion, dedication, hard work and efforts they put into their work helped them discover something new about the world we live in.



In these Legends, we’ve seen inexplicable abilities that helped us define our existence and human life. Their names are engraved in the sands of time for their work in the welfare of mankind with different inventions that have made our lives easy, enjoyable and successful. The following chapters commemorate the greatest personalities we’ve ever seen who changed the world.

They are among the most influential people of today’s world. With practical advantages in various aspects, they have helped us to grow a better understanding of the world and different working phenomenon’s that governs us. Their way of shaping modern day culture is completely unrivaled.

~*~*~*~


This book tells us information about most legends that you might have heard or know of. Its a very nice collection of information that tells us about them in brief. At times you might not be able to read biographies of all these legends but this can be a nice collection. I liked the writing and the format. I also liked the way it was categorised with respect to their fields of work or contribution. Since its a non-fiction there's nothing much to say about as it collects information about most legends of the world which are very well known. Its a nice piece of work I'd like to keep in the library. It can also be a good book for kids where they can learn more about these legends. Also there's a great conclusion at the end where there are sort of tips learning from these legends over generations.

This book is also featured as Book of the Month on Tredition which you can check out by following the link below.

https://tredition.co.uk/book-of-the-month-uk/book-of-the-month-uk-april-2018/


Book Buy Links:

Amazon.in : https://amzn.to/2kQstJD
Amazon : https://amzn.to/2sLF0BI

Flipkart : Click Here


Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/legends-over-generations/ashraf-haggag/9783743989979


Powells: http://www.powells.com/book/-9783743989979


Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/legends-over-generations-ashraf-haggag/1128310414?ean=9783743989979

About the Author :

Ashraf Haggag is a senior executive with nearly three decades of experience in close proximity to the corporate market. His more recent experience has also taken him to every facet of the hospitality industry.

Haggag has direct experience in many different aspects of business, including sales, marketing, revenue management, and administration. Having worked in Germany, the United States, Turkey, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia, his global experiences have helped him realize that companies must target new market zones in order to grow and prosper in the international marketplace. He is eager to bring enhanced cross-cultural awareness to today’s business leaders.  
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