New Delhi : The last decade has seen authors change their approach to book launches completely. Book launches are now designed as interactive experiences; with quizzes, skits, authors doing joint readings and of course even the occasional Pottermania.
Gaur Gopal Das, one of India's favorite monks with over 1.3 million followers on YouTube launched his book 'Life's Amazing Secrets' to a packed house on 8th October, 2018 at Crossword Bookstores.
A brilliant speaker, his connect and chemistry with the audience was palpable, as he focused on 'interaction' and dialogue alone; never reading from or trying to selling his book. He also preceded his book launch with short, simple 'how to' videos on his YouTube channel, taking active interest in truly helping people balance their lives.
Barely a week earlier, quizmaster Siddhartha Basu's book, 'A Quizzical History of the Makers and Making of Modern India', was launched through a live quiz at the Oberoi Mall atrium. There were four teams of two children each, from neighboring schools and the audience was wonderfully entertained with some good old fact-checking.
Back in 2017, Amish Tripathi went the whole 9 yards with the launch of Sita: Warrior of Mithila, by creating a carnival like atmosphere, with dancers and drums. Amish himself played the drums, and avid fans broke pre-order records.
"Crossword Bookstores offers unique experiences as compared to what the online world offers to book-buyers. We have evolved into a centre for communities to connect with the literary world. We have pioneered the entire experience of interactive sessions with authors, bringing readers closer to them than ever before. We have been making books come alive at our stores," said head of Crossword Bookstores, Maulik Desai.
In 2017, Crossword Bookstores had created a magical experience for children during the launch of Harry Potter's book, "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child." There was a Hogwarts Castle selfie-wall, Harry Potter Quiz Contest, Costume Party, tattoo party and custom-made food. Ditto for Julia Donaldson, who brought her mascot Gruffalo- to India. The author was seen dancing and performing with the little kids, to the tune of her famous song, 'A Squash and a Squeeze.'
Oxford scholar Ashish Jaiswal intends to take a different route. His book 'fluid', to be launched worldwide on 15th October, will be launched via a 'fluid talk', a path-breaking conversation platform - like the TED talks.
"Fluid Talks will aim to shatter several myths associated with routine learning. We want to inspire young minds to adopt fluid thinking cutting across disciplines and come closer to achieving world-class innovations, groundbreaking solutions and game-changing ideas," said Ashish Jaiswal.
Books have always been potent weapons in the cultural battlefield for prestige and distinction, and authors today understand that readers want to come closer to them. However, the secret that most publishers and bookstores know is that a favorable or innovative interaction with an author; makes the reader 60% more likely to actually buy their book.
Environments like Crossword Bookstores may just provide the perfect platform or the same.