The unique ability of print-on-demand to produce only as many books as required allows us, at CinnamonTeal Publishing, to experiment in exciting ways. Like our partnerships with publishers around the world, that allow them to introduce their titles in India at practically no cost and allow us to introduce good books to our readers in India.

CinnamonTeal introduces the titles in India on its own website and those of its channel partners. The books are printed on sale and dispatched to customers. The publisher is thus able to sell within India and does not have to spend a dime in the process. All rights, even those for sale within India, still rest with the publisher. By this arrangement, CinnamonTeal only charges for printing and shipping. The rest, after accounting for channel discounts, is reimbursed to the publisher.

Using this model, CinnamonTeal has partnered with publishers in Nigeria, South Africa, UK, Canada and Australia, thus allowing readers in India access to good literature from these countries. It has also allowed lesser-known publishers to introduce their titles in India and receive a readership for them.

CinnamonTeal wishes to partner with more publishers using this model. If you are a publisher and are interested in finding more about how you could work with us, do write in at contactus@ cinnamonteal.in

To view these books, do visit our website at:
http://www.cinnamonteal.in/index.php?go=gallery9
http://www.cinnamonteal.in/index.php?go=gallery10

Chidambaram Ramesh is the author of Shroud Of Turin – An Imprint Of The Soul, Apparition Or Quantum Bio-Hologram, recently published by CinnamonTeal.This is the first book on the Shroud of Turin by an Indian author, and proposes for the first time, the Quantum Bio-Holographic idea to explain the shroud image. It also gives re-birth to the forgotten science of palingenesis – the resurrection of spectral images of plants out of ashes. The author has attempted to explain almost all the peculiar characteristics of the Shroud image like photographic negativity, spatial encryption of 3-D data, non-directionality and other amazing aspects.


What inspired you to write ‘The Shroud of Turin’ particularly since there are so many books on the subject? What makes it different?
Indeed, there are numerous books on the Shroud of Turin. But most of them are documentary in nature, that is, they usually provide a comprehensive list of collected facts or information relating to the Shroud, its documented history, etc. This book is distinct in as much as it attempts to offer valid scientific explanation and a working hypothesis for the formation of mysterious image on the Shroud. There are only very few theories trying to provide explanation to the Shroud image; nonetheless they could not explain all the unique or extraordinary characteristics of the Shroud image. The quantum bio-holographic idea, the central theme of the present book, meets almost all the scientific criteria embarked by earlier scientific studies on the Shroud image. The photonegative characteristic, three-dimensional encryption of bodily depth-relief data, non-directionality, double-superficiality and other amazing aspects of the Shroud image are explained under the tutelage of quantum bio-holographic theory.

How did you get interested in the mystery of the Shroud of Turin?
In fact, I was initially working on a different, but closely related subject – morphogenetic fields. There are umpteen ideas and theories –both ancient and contemporary – to suggest that morphogenetic development of our body is more “structure-related” than “chemistry-related”. A precise blueprint of the body is always hypothesized to guide the process of bodily development. The raison d’être for my belief is an medieval practice – Palingenesis – which is the resuscitation of spectral plants out of their ashes and a natural magic where spectral 3-dimensional images of snakes/scorpions manifest out of decomposed parts of the corresponding organisms after their physical death.  During the course of my scientific pursuit of these ideas, I unexpectedly came across the Shroud mystery. I could observe and discover a close linkage and resemblance between the phenomenon of 3-dimensional image creation in the process of palingenesis and the 3-dimensionally encoded image on the Shroud. I believed the underlying science of these natural phenomena, if explored, can help  to unwrap the mystery enshrouding the image on the Turin Shroud. The result is the book before you!

How much time did you take to finish the book?
As I said earlier, I was initially researching on the ideas of morphogenetic fields. The entire idea is based on the process of palingenesis. So I decided to collect, compare, and analyze almost all the available literature on the subject.  This work spanned over about two years and my efforts, I hope, yielded results. I could collect very valuable observations made by many legendaries like Carl Linnaeus, Sir Thomas Brown, Athanasius Kircher,  Sir Kenelme Digby etc who were of high repute in Western science and whose views we may still regard with high respect. It is a collection of hard-to-find information. It took about three years to see the book in print.

Has the process been easy? Did it ever make you feel hopeless and bleak?
It was not easy but interesting and the most enjoyable pursuit for me. In a way, it is like digging for treasure – treasure of knowledge. My coming to know of the observations of persons like Carl Linnaeus that all organisms – plants as well as animals – are capable of manifesting their 3-dimensional geometric structure even after their physical death or decomposition was a wonderful personal feeling and experience. It was never boredom.

Can you tell us your one best moment while working on this book, something you’d treasure down memory lane?
Yes, it was the moment I had when I saw, for the first time, the Shroud image in 3-dimensional. It was sent to me by Dr.Petrus Soons, a renowned Shroud 3-D researcher and in fact its creator. I was always worrying I write about a thing I have not seen in person. But the 3-D image I received from Dr.Soons relieved me of.

Briefly describe to us how you went about conducting research for the book?
I have, of course, stood on the shoulders of many ancient and medieval authors. The works are theirs; I have only collected them and tried to bring them into the realm of current science. At the start, my mind was bogged with questions how the decomposed parts of organism can record precise 3-D geometrical structures of the organisms. David Bohm’s concepts of implicate order and holographic universe, Pribram’s idea of ‘holographic brain’, Rubert Sheldrake’s morphic fields etc helped me a lot to arrive at the quantum holographic idea to explain the miraculous 3-D profiles created by organisms after their physical death. Dr.Mitchell’s essays on Quantum Holography, Late Dr.Sue Benford’s article “Empirical Evidence Supporting Macro-Scale quantum holography in non-local effects” supported the idea of quantum holography in more concrete terms. Finnish scientist Dr.Matti Pitkanen was kind enough to explain me the scientific/theoretical basis of quantum bio-holography through personal emails. My academic background in engineering assisted me to grasp these concepts easily.   As regards the Shroud research, the findings of Dr.John Jackson, Particle Physicist Dame Piczek, Dr.Petrus Soons, etc made me to confirm that the Shroud image is an imprint of quantum bio-hologram.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Originally, my idea was to write a scientific paper on the subject. The multitude of information and ideas that I could collect over the period of time prompted me to make it into a book.

Any future projects in mind?
Now, I am a stern believer of the quantum holographic idea and indeed, I have enough scientific evidences to support my belief. The subject, if explored further, is certain to offer breathtaking discoveries, especially in the medical field. I have set my mind to work on these ideas further. My next book will be on Clairvoyance (Anjanam-Gazing) and Quantum Holographic Connections.

Can you tell us your experience of working with CinnamonTeal Publishing?
I must first thank CinnamonTeal Publishing for transforming my dream of publishing a book into a reality in a short span of time. I am very grateful to Ms.Queenie R.Fernandes, Co-founder/director for her patience to carry out all the corrections/improvements I used to suggest time to time. On all fronts, quality of print, cover design etc – I like and recommend CinnamonTeal Publishing.

Each month, starting this November, we will offer discounts on classics penned by authors celebrating their birthdays that month.

        

The classics are offered in 6×9 sizes with textured covers that are specially designed to make your book a sure conversation starter. What’s more, you can gift these and have a dedication page inserted in the book.

The covers shown here are just a sample of what can be ordered. The entire catalogue is listed here.

Perhaps there is no greater pleasure on earth, than being immersed in a good book. For me, it has to especially be crime fiction. I guess I will be eternally indebted to innumerable authors who have lightened up my life every single day. How much ever crappy the day was at work, the thought of a crisp thriller lying by my bedside, always made me look forward to the end of the day. Be it the immensely sexy, deadly Charles Calthrop as Jackal in Forsyth’s Day of The Jackal; or the century’s most enigmatic villan Dr.Hannibal Lecter – they’ve been a part of my life, as much as my family, friends and colleagues. No, I don’t hear voices in my head…yet.

So, when I decided to take a break from the corporate scene, I was warned gently that I would be back at a cubicle in no time. It was tempting. 13 years of experience behind me. Good pay. Bad roles. Why not? But then, it got me thinking. Did I not see anything else in my life, apart from sitting in front of a laptop? Here I am, young (okay…younger than most Hollywood top paid heroines. Younger, but heavier…) mid-thirties…and I don’t know what to do with my life? That scared the crap out of me. I decided to sit it out. I actually mean sit-it-out. Sit on the sofa. Stare into space…well stare at a communal garden where a three-legged cat did the same thing. A result of that ‘sitting out’ was the decision to try out something new. Something I loved. Writing. The thought was stimulating. I did not want to just blog. Not even short stories. I wanted to do a full-fledged novel. Did I have it in me? Did I have the discipline? What if I don’t get any ideas at all? Again, I decided to sit it out.

Four weeks. I cooked, I cleaned, I sat and stared into space. What did I want to write about? Well, I KNEW what I DID NOT want to write about. Identity crisis due to immigration to another country, arranged marriage, a bored housewife rediscovering her sexuality, slums, corruption …basically all the literary fiction that is associated with India and Indian authors. I wanted to write a story that I would personally love to read. My favourite genre. Crime. Good. What kind of crime? Will it be a robbery? A murder? A serial killer on the prowl? I scribbled the thoughts in a notebook. I did not want to write an apology for a novel – a one dimensional array of words – A kills B. A tries to escape. But A gets caught. I wanted to write something that was complex, rich and had strong, interesting characters. Something that would make the readers smile. Something that would make them put off the chores to see what happened next. Something that would make them look over the shoulders every time the power went off and the room plunged into darkness. At the end of two months of ‘sitting it out’, I had a basic plot in my head. I had my ‘subject’ – a paranormal thriller! It was a challenging, mind-numbing exercise, replete with derisive self-doubt. Can two separate genres – crime and horror be intertwined successfully? It requires skilful weaving of subplots. It requires bringing out amazing chemistry between the characters. Above all, both these genres are almost absent in India (at least in the mainstream English fiction). Yet, can I steer away from the cinematic clichés of ‘horror’ in an Indian context? Vermilion smeared lemons, headless chicken lying around, the weird-looking, cave-dwelling exorcists (if it is a man) or…if it is a woman – someone who smears kajal with a vengeance. The challenge had me salivating. I plunged into it.

I had the characters worked out. I had the location worked out. And yes, I took a month to get the first para right. No jokes, folks. Writing that first line is a b****. I did not follow any ‘rules’ or use any ‘planning software’ to prepare my manuscript. I suppose that’s an efficient way – figuring out the chapters etc. But these frameworks hamper creativity, and I just wrote as the words fell out of my head. In many ways, I did not know what happened next in the story. While the outline was there, the details were missing. But as I wrote, the sequences revealed themselves – it was like driving in the dark. You don’t know the road; but you can see only a few feet ahead thanks to your headlights. I think that was very thrilling.

The principal characters of my story are as unremarkable as you and I. Regular blokes going about their routine. Yet, they are remarkable when pushed to a corner – again like you and I. The only liberty I’ve taken is probably to make most of them good looking! We all love good-looking, sexy, intelligent principle characters…right? My principal characters are urban, chic, globetrotters, well-off and intelligent. Someone of my world, with whom I can identify with…and so can you. I believe we are a summation of our experiences. We are what we are because of those memories, those lessons learnt. And that’s how I’ve attempted to reveal the characters to the readers throughout the book. Memories and experiences that made a character stronger, weaker or altered a personality.

The entire sequence of events takes place in my home-state in India – Karnataka. The mysterious, dark, brooding, yet enthralling lush forests of Kukke Subramanya, Sakleshpura, Bisle – the abode of the majestic King Cobra – I could not think of a better place for the story! Again, the challenge was – will it be a simple case of possession, a haunting? Or something more? I wanted to steer clear of the hackneyed ‘soul of suicide/murder victims coming back to nail the perpetrator’. I wanted this entity to be ancient. To have a specific purpose. To have a very, very strong character, with remarkable mental prowess. I wanted to develop this entity so that the reader loves her, sympathises with her, sheds a tear for her, above all, fears her. Thus, it felt only right that this entity belonged to the glorious Vijayanagara era – the most important time period in the history of Karnataka – marked by remarkable rulers and a golden period for music, literature and the arts. An era that sadly spiralled towards a most gruesome end in the hands of the Deccan Sultanate. And so, the story spans across two eras – 1550 – 1565 CE and present day (2005).

Given the fact that I am a debutant; and that I chose a genre which has not been a part of mainstream fiction in India, I did not even bother going to traditional publishers. After some research, I decided to go ahead and self-publish through Print on Demand. My publishers are CinnamonTeal, based out of Goa. They are book-loving blokes like me, and I’ve had a remarkable experience with them. They are not all ‘corporaty’ – just a homely bunch of geeks (I mean this in the most loveable way). They are flexible, approachable and always open to ideas. Above all, they are a very honest team. I got the same service as I would have if I’d been ‘selected’ by a traditional publisher. The only difference was that I was paying for the services.

As my book goes up on sale, I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. I am not nervous about the number of copies I sell. This was a hobby, an experiment – so it’s okay if just one copy is sold. I am more nervous about that single book-loving reader who finds the story disappointing. And so, my fingers are crossed, and I am waiting with bated breath for the first review to reach me!

So I hope this tickles you enough to buy the book! Since this is print-on-demand, the book is available only at this online bookstore –

http://www.dogearsetc.com/mainpage.jsp?type=2&id=36715

by Claire Odogbo, Author of “Learning to Learn”

I recently had a conversation with a senior colleague at work. She told me that she didn’t consider herself to be intelligent. I was shocked because I KNEW she was intelligent – I mean, that is how she got to rise in such a highly competitive environment like the firm in which I work.

In any case, I realized that she, like most people, rate their level of intelligence based on comparison with other people’s levels of expressed intelligence in popular areas such as academics, how quick you think on your feet or in verbal jabs, or whether you are always the one who comes up with the ideas that in quote ‘save the day’. Some of us are very ordinary in all the areas I mentioned. We have never done better than average in school, people may have finished laughing before we get the joke, and we never have any grand ideas, so in conclusion, we are not very clever. We believe so and perhaps others think so about us. But I will tell you something that might just make you metamorphose from the proverbial caterpillar into the beautiful winged butterfly.

According to a researcher and writer, Howard Gardner, there are 9 types of intelligences namely:

1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”)

People who are ‘nature smart’ have the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations). Taken in today’s consumer society, this is usually mobilized in the discrimination among cars, brands of clothing, shoes, accessories and the like.

2. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”)

Musically smart people typically have the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone. This intelligence enables people to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners.

3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (“Number/Reasoning Smart”)

Number/reasoning smart people are usually the number crunchers. Those who tell you they love mathematics, theories and hypothesis. They typically perceive relationships and connections, use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns.

4. Existential Intelligence

People who are ‘existential smart’ have the sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.

5. Interpersonal Intelligence (“People Smart”)

Interpersonal intelligent people typically interact effectively with others. It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives.

6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”)

Body smart people usually have the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills. This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union. Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.

7. Linguistic Intelligence (“Word Smart”)

Word smart have the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings. Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers. Young adults with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.

8. Intra-personal Intelligence (“Self Smart”)

Self smart people typically understand themselves and their thoughts and feelings, and use such knowledge in planning and directing their life. Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the human condition. It is evident in psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers. Self smart people may appear shy, but they are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.

9. Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”)

Picture smarts usually think in three dimensions. Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination. Picture smart people usually see pictures in everything.

So which one(s) are you? You may not be word smart, logical smart, or people smart. But nobody sees how well you dance in your room, or how good you are on the tennis court, or how you can make creative music, or yet still, have an ear for the intricacies of good music which no one else hears. You are quite clever indeed; just find your niche and maximize your potentials.

About Claire Odogbo.
Claire is a freelance consultant in learning and creativity. She organizes seminars, workshops, classes and webinars on creativity and maximizing your potentials.
She is the author of the book ‘Learning to learn’. Available on her website www.lifetrackinternational.com, and on amazon.com.

So you recently wrote a novel which was accepted by a publisher? Great!

Now, you probably think that your work is over? Well, unless you are Salman Rushdie or J.K. Rowling, the answer is a big NO. As a matter of fact, even the most famous authors don’t stop at just getting the book out in the market. The importance of marketing in today’s book business cannot be discounted at any cost. Good marketing can help increase sales and make future book sales easier for you.

If you are a first time writer or a relatively unknown author, then marketing is all the more important. There is a concept of market pull and push. In case of J.K. Rowling, the market pulls in the book while in the case of a first time writer; it is market push which is required. Pushing in a book into the market resulting in sales is not that easy for a first time writer. In this age where hundreds of new books get released every week, you need to market it effectively so that the reader deems it fit to be bought.

Even before I start discussing ways of marketing your book, you need to answer one question. Do you have confidence in your book? If the answer is yes, then read on. If you say no, then no one can help you. Book marketing starts with believing in your baby. Sales will follow.

One of the main reasons for a book’s failure is lack of marketing. If no one hears about your book, then what’s the point in writing? After all, you wrote because you wanted your story to be heard, right?

Your book may have been published by a traditional publisher, self-published or through Print on Demand (POD) but no one will know about it unless you as the author are ready to take the next step; that of marketing and promotion. Unless you can afford to hire your own publicist or PR company, the onus of marketing the book is entirely your own. Contrary to the opinion of professional PR firms, there are many low cost ways to promote yourself and your book. Marketing is all the more important if:

1. You are a first time writer
2. The book is self-published
3. The book has been published through POD
4. All the above

In case your book has been published by a traditional publisher, you’ll find that they do a lot of marketing for you, but that is not enough. You will still need to contribute in the marketing exercise if you wish to see your book sell and make it to any of the best seller charts. So here are a few ways you can market your book.

Get Reviewed

This is the most effective way of getting people to talk about your book. Getting reviews for your book is easier that most forms of marketing but it is the credibility of the reviewers that matter. Aim first to get them reviewed by the best reviewers. This can be very difficult unless you have common contacts. Good reviewers are wary of taking on first time writers and this is because of the deluge of books that the market has been flooded with. And a major portion of these books are by first time writers. Since the quality of most of the books in terms of content is questionable, the good reviewers stay away from them.

The next step should be to target publications that have readers whose interests make them a likely target audience. Book reviews by actual readers of the book also matter. So, if you know someone who bought your book, then get in touch with them and ask for feedback. Tell them to blog about it or put their reviews on the online bookstore’s site. This usually works since prospective readers/customers are limited in their ability to search reviews from varied sources themselves.

Get into that bookstore

If your book has been published by a traditional publisher, then getting your book to the bookstore is not your headache but if it has been self-published or through POD, then it is the author’s responsibility of exploring that option. Nowadays, POD service providers provide distribution services as well for bulk orders.

Authors should build relationships with bookstore owners. Get in touch with them; bring up the topic of getting them to stock your book. If it needs, tell the owners/managers that you will do a book reading or book signing session. You will have more influence and success in independent bookstores, since chain stores work with wholesalers and distributors.

Get back in touch

So what if the last college you attended was 10 years back, you are still an alumnus. Your alma mater still needs you and so do you. You have written a book and you are proud of the fact so why not let your college know about it, not with the intention of selling the books but to get the word around. The current students of your college could well be your future buyers.

This applies to all your previous companies as well. Unless you fought before you left the company, they too would be proud of your achievements. Let them know about your book.

Personal Promotion and Social Networking

Internet marketing has changed dramatically in the last 3-4 years, with many new applications and tools. Create a personal website which needn’t be fancy–just enough to present information about your book and create a buzz. In addition to describing the book, you can post reviews and offer a free chapter to readers. This will create that interest that you are looking for. The eyeballs to sales conversion rate increases dramatically if the prospective readers/buyers can find all the required information about you and your book all at the same place.

Social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter Myspace etc can be excellent marketing tools for your book promotion. Book marketing through social networking sites take time and effort, so you can’t give up after only a few days.

As a first time author, your main objective is to hammer your name and the name of your book into the public consciousness. Use all your creativity in such a way that not only does it increases sale for your current book but will also improve your chances of successful marketing next time.

There are many other ways of marketing your book. An author just needs to use his/her imagination to tap into some unexplored marketing goldmine. Always remember, there is nothing called overnight success. It might take you years to achieve that overnight success. At the end of the day, you will become very tired but very enlightened. Believe me; it is very satisfying to see all your hard work pay off.

Pijush Gupta is the author of “Have a Pleasant Journey” published by CinnamonTeal. He blogs at www.pigtale.co.in

VIKRAM KARVE born in Baramati Pune and educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi and The Lawrence School Lovedale Ooty, is an electronics and communications engineer by profession, a human resource and training manager by occupation, a teacher by vocation, a creative writer by inclination and a foodie by passion.

An avid blogger, he has written a large number of fiction short stories, professional, technical and management articles, self help and philosophical musings and creative non-fiction pieces in magazines and journals for many years before the advent of blogging. Vikram lives in Pune with his family and pet Doberman girl Sherry, with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.
Do have a look at Vikram Karve’s creative writing blog at: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com and his Professional Profile at: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve

1. How did the idea for the book come about?

I love good food. I love walking. So I love going on long walks exploring, searching for authentic food wherever I go. I got the idea for writing about food while “food-walking” on the streets of Mumbai a few years ago.

2. When do you think you really became passionate about food? Or better yet, when do you think you realized it?
I knew I was passionate about food when I realized that most of the time I was thinking about good food – this happened when I was in college.

3. Tell us why readers will enjoy ‘ Appetite for a Stroll‘?
Appetite for a Stroll is a unique book of foodie adventures breathtaking in its simplicity which surely has something for you – you’ll discover authentic eateries you’ve never been to before, it’s got recipes you’ve never read before, tips on the art of eating, a delicious journey which you can easily identify with, especially if you are a foodie or a wanderlust person.

4. What’s your favorite recipe from the book?
“ ¾, 1, 1 ½ ” – MY TIME TESTED BAKE A CAKE FORMULA

5. Do you cook yourself?
Yes, I love cooking as much as I love eating.

6. What was the first dish that you were really proud of?
The first dish I was proud of was CHICKEN DO PIAZA which I improvised during an impromptu dinner for friends who suddenly landed up with a broiler chicken and asked me to cook it for them.

7. What sets you apart from other food writers?
I am a genuine simple earthy trencherman, an ardent foodie, who honestly believes in the maxim “There is no love greater than the love of food”.

8. Could you share a favorite recipe?

Of course I’d love to share my favorite recipe… It’s called EGGS VODKA and a KISS…a story and a recipe…do read it in Appetite for a Stroll on page 117.

9. Do you have any future writing plans?
Yes. I plan to become a full time writer soon. I am planning a novel (on which I am already working) and book for children and dog lovers. Maybe I will write a book on “Teaching Stories” and Wisdom and Philosophy through Humor. I also want to publish an anthology featuring a collection of my short stories written by me over the past 20 years in various magazines and in my creative writing blog and another anthology of my philosophical musings and self help articles. I will continue to write short stories, philosophical musings, food and travel writing and self help articles and continue to blog actively.

10. How was it working with CinnamonTeal Publishing?
Appetite for a Stroll is a well designed and attractively packaged book which makes an easy read and has been liked by readers. The quality of publishing is really good. I wish the book had been advertised, publicized, and marketed well and displayed in prominent bookstores and bookstalls at airports and railway stations and was easily available to readers. Appetite for a Stroll is only available online. Most readers prefer to browse and buy books in bookstores or bookstalls rather than online.

(Readers may note that CinnamonTeal has since begun offering marketing packages, for more details contact shulen @ dogearsetc.com)

My romance with crime fiction started way back during my childhood. Thanks to Enid Blyton. Holidays, especially summer holidays meant trekking to the nearest library. The library close to my home in Malleswaram, Bengalooru, was actually a hole in the wall. It was a 10 feet by 15 feet window-less shop. Books were piled and strewn around in an organized way. The man who ran the shop had a constant sleepy expression. There was no way one could stroll around the shop and pick up a book they wanted. We had to stand near the entrance of the shop and tell him the book title. And he would find the book within a jiffy. How he did it …I have no clue. And so, it would be some Famous Five or Secret Seven for me, a James Hadley Chase for my Dad, a Sharat Chandra for my Grandmom, a Jane Austen for my mom and a Tintin for my sister. The books would be retrieved from dark, secret corners, dusted against his trousers and handed over. As far as I remember, there was no return date stamped. My dad would give ten rupees once in a month or once in two months, depending on the number of visits.

From Famous Five, my friends and I slowly graduated to Agatha Christie. Then came the wave of American teen detective fiction – Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys. By then, someone had stealthily smuggled their dad’s copy of Forsyth’s Day of The Jackal. The book made rounds – and there were hushed reviews. Why were we wasting time reading ‘crap’ like Nancy Drew? More dads had their book shelves raided. There was someone called Robert Ludlum. Someone called Sidney Sheldon. Someone called Robin Cook. They all wrote ‘mind-blowing’ thrillers.

Decades later, as life has pecked away at much of our creativity thanks to mind-numbing corporate culture, my friends and I somehow managed to retain this single-most passion for crime thrillers. (The latest doing the rounds is of course Stieg Larsson.)

But time and again, I have been puzzled to find that for a country that laps up crime fiction, we don’t have a single internationally successfully author in the crime genre. Another strange fact, crime fiction is very much alive and kicking in regional languages. It is only now that English translations of these are furiously underway (ref: http://www.mid-day.com/specials/2010/may/020510-crime-fiction-agatha-christie-novels-tv-shows.htm). In fact, the leader in crime genre in Asia is Japan apparently! I found this interesting insight from an article in the Guardian. The only Indian author who got a mention is Vikram Chandra for Sacred Games. Check out http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2007/aug/27/top10s.asian.crime

I can only guess the reasons behind this fact –
1) Thanks to the Booker success (Arundhati Roy, Kiran Desai, Aravind Adiga), more and more authors like to follow their footsteps and write similar literature.

2) Thanks to the success of Chetan Bhagat (and I am talking about Five Point Someone), we have a sudden flurry of activity from the ‘intellectual’ class. Management grads, investment bankers, IT consultants are all pounding away on the keyboard writing slim volumes on relationships in modern India.

3) Perhaps the lack of a sophisticated and glamorous law enforcement infrastructure – like the FBI and Scotland Yard in India is another factor. In most of the international crime thrillers the crime detection is as interesting as the crime itself. Authors like Patricia Cornwell have literally built up the CSI legend in USA with her detailed forensic analysis interwoven in her stories. Not that is impossible in an Indian setting. But it would require a detailed, ground-up research into the working of our police force. Going by the books that are getting published as we speak, it looks like no author has the time, or the inclination to put in such effort.

4) Perhaps there are good manuscripts, but they are rejected – the publishers rather put money in a proven genre than try out a new one
All said and done, the Indian publishing scene shows a lot of promise – at least on the author’s front. We have a whole generation of well-travelled, well-read authors, who are unafraid to pen their thoughts. On the other hand, I don’t see the publishing end keeping up with this talent pool. There is no innovation, no creativity to encourage new genres or market good authors internationally. I guess that’s the reason why more and more Indian authors who write on offbeat subjects go through the self-publishing route, or seek out agents abroad.

If you have written a crime thriller, I would really love to hear about your experience with agents/publishers in India!