CHENNAI: Author of over 70 books in both Tamil and English, N Chokkan, is part of the six-member jury panel for Kindle’s writing contest. He talks about the contest, the self-publishing industry, writing for screen and lots more.
Speaking to DT Next about being one of the jury members for a contest by Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) he says, “I’m really excited to be a part of the judging panel among other eminent personalities like- Cable Sankar, Sudeep Nagarkar, Sudha Nair, Satya Vyas, and Vijay Kakwani. The KDP Pen to Publish contest invites budding and established authors to self-publish their original work with KDP and gives them a chance to win cash prizes.”
He says a panel will judge the entries across genres in English, Hindi and Tamil languages. This year top 10 entries in each language will be awarded cash prizes leading to a total of 30 winners. The winning entry will receive a cash prize of Rs 1 lakh, the first runners-up will be awarded Rs 50,000 and the second runners-up will win a cash prize of Rs 30,000. The other seven participants from the top 10 will be granted an amount of Rs 10,000 each.
Talking about how self-publishing platforms have become popular among budding authors, he says, “Earlier on, writers would consider themselves successful authors after publishing hard copies of their work, a tangible product purchased at stores and displayed by avid fans in cupboards and shelves as a memorable keepsake. Recently, self-publishing services have made it relatively easier for budding authors to establish themselves.
“The publishing landscape has now become more accessible for budding authors. Self-publishing platforms provide them with an easy, quick, transparent, and investment-free way to reach millions of readers instantly.”
He also adds that despite being a booming industry in India, self-publishing is still a relatively new concept.
Expressing his view on how adapting Tamil novels to screen is motivating youngsters to write more in regional languages, he says, “Stories are the main ingredient for a successful movie, and Tamil authors have always done well in the film industry. Movies need unique stories, characters and scenes from regional language authors.
“However, authors should treat the possibility of seeing their work on the big screen only as a secondary motivation to write. Else, they might be disappointed because a good story getting picked up by a movie director depends on many factors. If it happens, great. Else, keep producing great content and the world will notice.”
Offering words of encouragement to budding writers he says, “Observe a lot. Read a lot. Think a lot. These three things are the raw materials that will polish your writing. Write for the sake of writing. If you enjoy it, that is enough motivation to get you going. All other external benefits such as money, fame, awards etc., are cool, but shouldn’t be the primary reason for your writing.”