Ajitabha Bose is an author, filmmaker, designer and an entrepreneur who introduced the first pocket story book in India — the book is literally the size of a pocket! We asked him to tell us how he came up with this concept to write In Love with Shah Rukh Khan:
The idea of a pocket book came to me last year, when I was traveling back to my hometown. I was reading a novel and the girl sitting next to me was staring at the book. All of a sudden, she said, “How do you read such fat books! These fat books are the reason I don’t like reading.” As an author, I was a bit unhappy to hear that statement. I questioned her about it, and she told me that as a college student, she hardly had enough time for course books, let alone novels.
That was the day the idea of a pocket book came to me. I wanted to write a short story, about 6–7,000 words, in the form of a smaller book – as small as a pocket diary. Pocket books are perfect for today’s fast-paced life, where no one has time for anything, and especially for people who don’t have the time to read books or don’t enjoy reading. A pocket book can easily be completed in 30 minutes, and can also help instill a reading habit.
I spoke to my publisher, and they loved the idea! After four books, I published my first pocket book in 2015, called The Pocket Love Story. The concept was an instant hit! Everyone loved the idea of a small, pocket-sized book. I was approached by various national record organizations; The Pocket Love Story became the smallest book ever published in India and I became a national record holder.
In March 2016, I published my second pocket book, In Love With Shah Rukh Khan. The book was a big hit and became one of Authors’ Ink Publications’ highest selling books. It qualified for the world record this time, and I became a world record holder. In Love With Shah Rukh Khan has already been reprinted four times, and has been praised by many celebrities, including Shah Rukh Khan himself!
It is always difficult to write a small book. You have to convey the same emotions as you would in a longer novel, but with limited words. As a result, you have to be very specific in your content. The biggest challenge I face while writing these books is editing the story. My word count usually reaches 10,000, which I have to then cut down to around 7,000 words. Editing consumes the maximum time. I prefer to write when I am travelling; ideas come easily to me then. I also choose to keep my writing simple so that everyone can read my stories. Be it a professor or a shopkeeper, everyone should be able to understand and appreciate my writing. It helps me connect with all kinds of people.
I hope to start a trend of pocket books in the literary world. People have already started adopting this concept, and there are now six other pocket books in the market by various authors. Pocket book stories may be small, but they will certainly leave an impression on readers!