Wednesday 5 March 2014

Interview with Priyanka Batra Harjai of the BookNewsIndia

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself, your blog/website, and your aspirations and your hobbies!!
Personally speaking, I am a newly blessed mum and a god-fearing person; while on a Professional front, I am a book blogger publishing a book and author promotion blog at . This is a blog dedicated especially to Indian authors and their works. I aspire to make my blog a one-stop destination for information about Indian authors, their news updates and their creations.
In addition to book blogging, I am a freelance content writer as well.

2. How you first got involved in with blogging/writing, are you an imaginative person?
I experienced blogging for the first time when I started working as an SEO with one of my past employers. Before that, I knew about blogging but never dealt with it. Therefore, to be particular, I can say that I was rather introduced and exposed to corporate blogging - today, one of my expertises.

3. What do you find most challenging about blogging/writing about your topic?
Sometimes, the contributors (publications and authors) exert to publish their contributions on as-is basis. I find it difficult because I could see the imperfection or as I say, I feel I could re-write it in some better version but they resist. I always highlight the problem areas to them mostly they agree to modify while some do not.

4. Tell me about some of the people you have met while working on your blog?
In relation to this blog, I have not met anybody in person as of now. I have started this blog only recently and cannot visit people or events, as my kid is too young to be left alone for long. In future, I look forward to participate in book launches, book signings and book reading events actively.
Passively, I met, chatted and exchanged emails with whole lot of people in relation to my blog.

5. How would (someone) describe your blogging/writing style?
Someone - you mean to say readers. Well, my readers would consider my blog posts to be descriptive having a critic angle. I would categorise my readers as book readers, authors, publishers, distributors, academicians and media person.
To be particular, the book readers will find my blog very informative as I have various sections interconnected with each other and hence, they need not visit different websites to vouch for information. The publishing fraternity will find my blog to be  transparent because I publish maximum amount of information without limiting them in word limits and I publish live links to connect the book lovers with their authors and publishing houses. In addition to these, Media person (online and offline as well) will consider my blog to be comprehensive resource for digging information.
Rest, you need to ask them, this is what I perceive.

6. What do you do when you are not working on your blog?
I am a family person. If not blogging, I am busy at home front.

7. Where do you see yourself blogging/writing wise in the next 6 months, and 5 years down the road?
I will continue blogging voraciously as the time permits. Initially, managing work-from-home profile was a little confusing for me but with time, now, I am able to manage the work and homely chores, smartly.
In future, I would like to become the voice of leading publishing houses and authors as well (aspiring and established both).

8. What networking do you do that you feel helps your blogging/writing business?
Frankly speaking, I am totally an internet addict person. I am available to my blog readers, authors, publishers online. My priority remains to reply their queries instantaneously or maximum within 24 hours. If an immediate action is not required then I provide them with the permissible time limit, within which I complete the task and keep them updated about every move.

9. How do you keep coming up with material/content for your blog? Many people struggle with coming up with different articles/posts and they only have one blog.
Yes, it is true. Even in my case, I also have one blog but content is not a problem for me at all. Based on my experience, I publish the posts in a timely manner that makes the availability of new content easier, for blog visitors. I continually brainstorm different avenues wherein I request contributions from publishers and authors hence, my hands are always full.
However, in near future, I will be posting informational and educational articles (apart from industry updates) that will be useful for publishers and authors for marketing and promotions purpose.

10. What’s your strategy with your blog in general?
My strategy is to position it in good light within the book publishing fraternity.

11. Any specific tips you have for newbie bloggers who want to make it in the blogosphere?
There are so many but I will constrict it to one (so that they may not bore, as they read this interview). Always have an ad-hoc plan for at-least 15 days before you take a leap and start publishing posts. Of course, you can have a room for little modifications in your plan that can be accommodated in strategy very well.

12. What would you prioritize? Content? SEO? Traffic? Readers?
In order of priority, I would go as:
Content>>SEO>>Readers>>Traffic. IMO readers = Traffic.

13. What’s the best thing a blogger can give to his readers?
Some informative content educating them with tips and actionable that would make their work easier and / or blog- reading experience interesting.

14. A lot of people are interested in blogging/writing for the money earning potential. What are some tips for people interesting in making money from blogging/writing? What are some realistic expectations in regards to what can be made?
Be patient. My experience has taught me that expectations vary depending on industry, mode of promotion chosen and strong strategy to transform visitors to customers.

15. What motivates you most in life?
My aspiration to earn recognition in my name motivates me.

16. What has been your strategy for creating visibility to yourself and your blog?
I am just simply reaching out to publishers, authors and book readers - online.

18. Everyone has a favorite/least favorite post. Name yours and why?
My book review of novella: 'Done with Men' by Shuchi Kalra is the chosen one. I restarted blogging when she contacted me. You can check it at:

19. Name some of the bloggers whom you look up to and why?
To be true, there is no one as of now. Following others confuses me. It becomes a rat race then and duplication of ideas of others creativity, it is something, which I do not advocate, at any cost.

20. What is the story behind the name of the blog?
Just a short phrase made up by using related keywords.

24. Five adjectives that describe you.
Frank, straight forward, God-fearing, observant, internet addict and happy-go-lucky kind of person

25. What book would you say has made the biggest impact good or bad on you?
It is from my latest possessions, I liked 'The Start Ups Diaries' the most. It is a collection of accounts of six start-ups of India, compiled by an author couple – Neeti Jain and Gagan Jain.

26. Do you get easily provoked by positive/negative comments??
Not always but yes, sometimes.

27. Do you plan to write a book, as every bloggers dream it is?
No, not in any case. I have had my share of experiences of book writing while managing a team of content writers with my past employer. It is altogether another game.

28. Are you a judgmental person, do you prefer to take sides instead of standing neutral?
Yes, I do not prefer hanging in middle rather make up my mind after an extensive retrospection, I take a stand and then stick to it.

29. Your collaboration with other bloggers, are you much into social networking, tell us everything about it?
No, I have not collaborated with any of the fellow bloggers. At present, I am taking my work my passion my style.

31. Your Views on Contests and increasing plagiarism?
Contests are an interesting feature to catapult the visitors to the blog but it cannot hold them for strong. Not only this, one prize is no guarantee for sticking them for long but as far as the idea of creating a buzz is concerned, a big yes.
My views about increased plagiarism are very much focused. I am into this industry since about more than 12 years, IMO, self-policing is the best method to curb the menace. As a content writer, if we are motivated, enough to write our opinions in our words then it will not end up into plagiarism. Moving further, we can always run a plag-check for our creations (or say submissions) that will help us in restructuring the content we are working on.
As a reader, we can always report or raise voice against the plagiarised content by highlighting its occurrence, as soon as we spot it. It is similar to shouting as we do, whenever we sense something wrong is about to happen.

 32. Words for me and my blogs Desire v/s Destiny and Blogger Interviews and my Website
You seem to be a hard-working and nice person. I have not met you personally but exchanging emails was enough to judge you as a person. Your availability to answer emails and tone of your replies was the best indicators. I am sure you would be nicer, if met in person.
I read your blog you have a flair of writing. However, you are covering myriad of topics thus, I am not sure what your focus area is? You have a good command over writing knowledge. Next, w.r.t. your website, it seems to be a comprehensive job website. Having too much information clubbed on homepage might derail the visitor. You can highlight the action-oriented landing web-pages and drive visitors to supporting pages.

33. On winning the Award/s, Are they really necessary.
In my opinions, awards are not necessary but as per industry norms they do provide a recognition. At least, it serves as a podium to attract the clients (or media) who consider it to be a yardstick of credibility and capability.Therefore, no harm in having one and no regret in having none

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