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Cover, audio book launches, digital sessions planned for World Book Day

New Delhi: From interactive sessions with authors to launches in digital and audio formats, and bookish games to cover unveiling, publishers are gearing up to celebrate World Book Day on Thursday amid lockdown. HarperCollins India will have an Instagram Live jam with its authors and the day-long activity will feature live sessions on various topics including food, music, travel, poetry, nostalgia for a city, love, relationships plus reading recommendations.

Penguin Random House India in February collaborated with Romedy Now for a unique crowdsourced anthology "You Are All I Need", edited by Ravinder Singh. In this campaign, Singh offered tips on writing through a television campaign on Romedy Now. This was supplemented by social media engagement on both Romedy and Penguin channels. Of the 1,500 plus story entries from different parts of the world, 35 were longlisted.

This was followed by a mentorship session, which resulted in the final 25 contestants whose stories will now be published as a compilation of stories "You Are All I Need". The cover of this anthology will be launched on Thursday and the book will be released later in the year. Penguin imprint Puffin will release Sudha Murty's new offering "How the Onion Got It's Layers" in e-book and audiobook formats.

The HarperCollins event will be led by a host of popular authors like Ravinder Singh, Nikita Singh, Rana Safvi, Boria Majumdar and Aanchal Malhotra among others. Shabnam Srivastava, deputy general manager (marketing) at HarperCollins India, said the idea behind this initiative is to have the authors and their books reach out to wider and newer audiences who are increasingly looking out for interesting and digitally accessible, mobile content.

"The sessions will not just have the authors talk on different relatable themes, drawn from their areas of expertise, but will also allow audiences to post questions and interact further with their favourite authors," she said.

With books being a major source of information, entertainment and comfort during the coronavirus pandemic-led lockdown, the plan this World Book Day is to add a chapter to #LockdownDiariesWithHarper and make it fun and possible for readers and book lovers to stay at home and stay connected to their favourite books and authors, she added. Hachette India said that to celebrate World Book and Copyright Day, its author Mitch Albom will do a free serialisation called "Human Touch" which is a story of hope in the time of the coronavirus.

In addition, it will also partner with bookstores like Kitab Khana and The Bookshop to host giveaways on social media like playing bookish games with readers online and talking with bloggers who will talk about their favourite books. Set in a small town in Michigan, the story of "Human Touch" follows the citizens of one street corner and their four homes, north, south, east and west. The characters include a doctor and his family, a pastor and his family, an old man and his wife who run the local cider mill, and a young Chinese couple with a Haitian housekeeper, whose eight-year-old son, Little Moses, becomes a focal point. "Human Touch" will be written one week at a time for approximately eight weeks and will appear on the website of Albom, who has authored books like "Tuesdays With Morrie" and "The Five People You Meet In Heaven".

Roli Books as part of its #RoliPulse initiative will hold a session on "Publishing: Pre and Post COVID-19" with Kapil Kapoor, Karthika V K, Sophy Thompson, Michel Moushabek and Amit Varma being the participants.

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