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I am a photojournalist from Delhi. I have been working as freelance documentary photographer for NGOs in the city. I would like to share the background of the origination of this book. I had got an assignment sometime back from a local news magazine to do a photo feature on slum near a railway track. The story was supposed to be published for that month. Apparently the hook of the story lied in the demolition of the slum. After the feature was done, the demolition got postponed for six months. Unfortunately the magazine didn’t publish it. I took it as my personal project and initiated the slum kids to portray what is slum for them. The book is photographed and written by the slum kids in the vernacular language which would ultimately have an english translation.
The primary objective of the book is not to earn sympathy for the kids from the slum, but In other words change the perspective of the urban population. This book is to demonstrate the difference between a stray dog and a domesticated one. The difference is that the stray dogs are more immune to the noise and the crowd around them. But on the contrary a domesticated one’s lack directions. The second point ; The book is comically represented so that it can draw more readers to it. Usually books of this nature are mostly sophisticated and well bounded as well as it will cost a rocket. The comical representation, will soothe the reader’s perspective towards what they thinks that “stinks and smells”.
I had even approached many NGOs who could sponsor the book for this cause, but some said we like the idea, would you like to do our project,
I had a publishing house interested in it. The Publisher went to the extent of saying that we can bring in a movement of sorts. But then in a few weeks time, I received a mail from the publisher himself telling that he had a discussion with some person at his office. The person also liked the new concept, but apparently he was quite confused of, who would be the buyer/reader. The publisher had asked me to comment on this. I told that there are vivid readers in this world, and there are categories to the books as well. There are photo novels, illustration books. And many of the photo novels are based on true stories (Social issues). By then he got pretty reluctant to this sensitive issue of slum as elections are approaching in Delhi. He started giving me vague suggestion, that I could get a celebrity to play a role in this book. He would then think of publishing it.
What I have learnt from this experience is the fact that Publisher not only look for the commercial feasibility, but they also look the experience of an author. If the book would have been suggested to them by Raghu rai or any one of that stature, they wouldn’t have asked him, these silly question. It is quite ridiculous for a publisher to ask the author how to sell the book.
What I request you all is to go through the link, and put me in touch with someone who would be interested. The proceeds of this book mainly be used for the education of the slum children.
The sample book link. http://www.shankarlaxman.carbonmade.com/