“Book Bloggers are readers with a marketing bent of mind”

says Khyati Gautam, a book blogger, who has reviewed 500 books in the last 5 years, in conversation with All About Book Publishing.

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Khyati Gautam’s blog Bookish Fame is quite popular for homest book reviews. Her fan following includes Facebook – 860, Instagram – 19,700+, Twitter – 1300 and Blog – 2080 subscribers.

The journey…

“It was in late 2016 when I met my friend, Ankit Chouhan, who introduced me to the world of book reviewing. The concept piqued my interest and in January 2017, I had my first book to review in hand. After that, there’s been no looking back. Book Blogging came as an opportunity to both devour words and spill them on my paper. It helped me bring together my love for reading and writing. Moreover, the process has helped me in evolving as an individual,” she says.

“In my 5-year stint at book blogging, I have grown to appreciate different kinds of writing. Be it reading contemporary Indian literature or the global one, each piece of literature stimulates me differently. Each of us has a story to tell. I aim to help the best ones reach the masses. Let’s read and grow,” she adds.

Books featured….

“In the past 5 years, more than 500 books have made it to my blog. Some of them are – Sita’s Kitchen, Inner Trek, Hallowed Ties, The Man who Learnt to Fly but Could Not Land, etc,” tells Khyati.

On digital world…

“I feel the increasing use of mobiles has its own set of pros and cons. On one hand, people tend to read more on various websites, access ebooks, and spend time listening to audiobooks.On the other hand, the numerous apps do end up reducing the attention span of people and hence, result in less reading. But still there are those who wholeheartedly love books and enjoy reading as and when they can,” tells Khyati.

On print books vs. ebooks…

“There is no competition between print books and ebooks. There is an audience for both formats. Some people, including me, find pleasure in holding a physical copy and reading it. While others turn to ebooks for ease of access, affordability, and personal comfort. In fact, people are increasingly becoming interested in consuming audiobooks now. One format cannot be compared to the other,” she says.

On favourite books…

“If I have to recommend one book to people, it’s Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom. I am eternally grateful to the universe for bringing me this book for this has changed something in me,” she says.
“Some of my other favourites are – Latitudes of Longing, Ghachar Ghochar, Sapiens, The Monsters Still Lurk, To Die in Benares, The Yellow Wallpaper, The Purgatory of Half Forgotten Riddles, Snakes in the Meadows,” she adds.

On book blogging…

“Book Bloggers are readers with a marketing bent of mind. They not just read a book because it’s their hobby but also devise strategies to promote and market it on digital platforms. They could talk about lesser-known or new titles and bring visibility to them through book reviews, promotional social media posts, videos, podcasts, author interviews and more. In times, when people rarely look for reviews in traditional media, bloggers are utilising social media to influence people into reading books. Bloggers are content creators and ace marketers of their domain,” tells Khyati.

“Book Blogging in India is still new but already on a flourishing route. Some of my absolute favourites are – Vidhya Thakkar, Akanksha Jain, Bookgeeks, Booxoul, Vivek Tejuja,” she shares.

Your USP

“In my years of experience, I can certainly vouch for the honesty in my reviews. I say the right things without sounding harsh. I believe a review is helpful only if it can help others in improving their work. The quality of my work speaks for itself,” she says.

On reading for pleasure…

“I guess reading is beneficial when done with a calm mind. Put your electronics devices away when reading, find a quiet place, and immerse yourself in the process. If reading feels like a task, don’t do it. Take a break and indulge in other activities. Come back to books when you are ready. Trust me, reading a book with clear intent is very rewarding,” tells Khyati.

Best moments of being a blogger…

“I remember a few authors asking me if I look forward to writing a book. They even said that they’d love to read one. I guess those have been the best moments. The multiple features on the web for being a fairly good book reviewer has motivated me a lot. Even now, as I am doing this interview; I know how happy and content I feel,” concludes Khyati.

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