It's not easy to scare someone away. But for young novelist Akhil Dharmajan, it is as simple as flying kites. Akhil’s two-year-old novel is still sending heart rates soaring and keeping readers up at night.
Akhil’s 'Ouija Board' doesn’t have any philosophical musings, but it does have some creeping sense of dread and horrifying imagery that can make anyone’s hair curl. So it was quite unsurprising when Akhil’s first book found a place in Amazon’s list of best-selling horror novels. Interestingly, Akhil’s is the only regional language novel that has made it to the elite list.
The novel, which first appeared on Akhil’s Facebook page, was launched as a book in a graveyard in Alappuzha two years ago. But when the publisher went back on his word, the 24-year-old writer did not know how to bring out his book. Later, he decided to publish and distribute the book all by himself. “It took almost six months and a countless number of visits to different government offices to get an ISBN number for the book,” says Akhil.
After registering his own publishing house, ‘Katha Publication’, Akhil came out with the first edition of his novel. The social media was used to its full potential to promote the book and many people came out in support of Akhil and his effort. The social media users also helped him find around 39 distributors for his work. The modus operandi for distribution was quite simple: each district had a center, from which copies were collected by the distributors. The distributors would then take it to the readers who ordered the book through Facebook or phone. The novel mode of distribution proved to be a huge success and both Akhil and his distributors benefitted from it.
While basking in the glory of the second-time success of his first novel, he got an unexpected call from noted filmmaker Jude Anthany Joseph, who expressed willingness to make a movie out of his book. Interestingly, Akhil had sent the story of ‘Ouija Board’ to Jude two years ago. Although he ignored it then, the director just couldn’t help but notice the novel’s second coming.
Recently, Jude obtained the rights to the novel from Akhil and 'Ouija Board' and it will soon be adapted into a movie.
Akhil is now busy with the publishing works of his second novel ‘Mercury Island’. Apparently, many publishers have already approached him for the rights to its English translation. But the self-made author has decided to do it himself.
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