5 min bit with Khyati Gautam
Khyati Gautam is a book reviewer who is a known face in the bookstagramers community. She was recently featured in the BuzzFeed’s listicle that comprised of 34 booksragrammers. Having collaborated with brands like Scribd, Storytel Khyati has also interviewed by other Indian and International bloggers.
Her blog ‘Bookish Fame’ is a one stop destination for book reviews and recommendation and not to forget soul stirring poetry pieces.
Read what she had to say in this candid interview with Storiyaan.
Questions and answers
Let's start the interview by talking about how you got into book reviewing?
My friend introduced me to reviewing books back in 2017. I loved reading others’ reviews and knowing that I could write one myself too, made me happy. I learned about the process of reviewing by reaching out to reviewers on Facebook as well as authors. I read a lot, experimented with my blogs, and started growing. I worked aggressively on my blog, starting from scratch and designing it the way I wanted to.
In due course of time, I signed up on various platforms where we could cross-promote book reviews. In the year 2018, I set up my bookstagram account.I have reviewed books of indie authors residing in in India and abroad. I have also worked with notable with notable publishing houses to market their books strategically and effectively.
What is your approach to analyzing a book? Can you tell us the breakdown of your reviewing process?
A professional book reviewer should approach a book objectively. I might finish a book within a day or a month, depending on the book’s narrative. The entire process becomes slower if the writing and subject aren’t great. I try to read multiple books at a time to keep myself involved in reading. I take notes on a notepad or annotate a book.
As for the analysis, I look for a proper cover, title, and blurb since they form the first impression. After that, I analyze how the author introduces and builds up the plots and subplots, what is the central theme, how well-sketched characters are, and if they get enough room to contribute to the story, the flow of writing, effective plot treatment, and development of climax.
The style of my review starts with a summary of the book, followed by its positives. If I want to rant about something, I do mention it. I also include my thoughts on the theme and give critical feedback on what else could have been done in the book. Lastly, I try to be appreciative and critical of an author’s work without bashing them. The latter should never be done.
While going through your feed, we got to know that you review a lot of books in a month. How do you manage to turn in the reviews within the deadline?
I read around 10-18 books in a month. Reading a lot helps me read faster.
Most of them are short reads of 100-150 pages, which are relatively easy to finish quickly. I try to mix up my tentative TBR for a month with poetry, short stories, big books, short books, paperbacks, and e-books.
Apart from a book & a camera, what are the basic things a bookstagrammer ought to have to make the picture beautiful?
A bookstagrammer needs the will to create and improve upon it. Even with a basic phone camera, the pictures would be great. Just learn a bit of editing, and you are good to go. Apart from this, choose your style if you like minimalist pictures, great. If you want to maintain a theme with a lot of props, then so be it. I just love the process of creating. As a book blogger, a well-written caption should be more important than a fancy picture.
Which are the top three books you recently reviewed, and why?
Apart from being a reviewer, you are a writer too. When did you start writing?
I loved written words from a young age. It made me wonder if I could ever be able to write. I started writing poems and short stories at the age of 15. I believe my solitude and love for words made me scribble my heart on paper. I want to be an author someday. I have tried working on my book thrice and failed after a few pages every time. Maybe, I need more patience to write a book.
Where do you want to see your blog' Bookish Fame' in two years?
I never plan my journey, so I don’t really have any short-term goals. But in the long run, I’d want to make Bookish Fame a reliable brand for book reviews and promotion services.