eFiction India: Carrying a writer's voice to its Readers Across the Globe

Nikhil Sharda, Founder and CEO

Nikhil Sharda

Founder and CEO

Gone are the days when only a handful of people pursued their passion for writing. With numerous publishing platforms on the web today, writers are coming out of the shadow to showcase their work more openly than ever before. From using social media platforms like Facebook to blogging platforms like Blogger, people are writing. Picking on the growing number of writers, several websites have stepped ahead to cater to the budding writers to share their content with the world. However, despite the rise in number of online platforms for writers, whether they write fiction, poetry, scripts, nonfiction or all of the above, such platforms often fail to provide the recognition that an aspiring writer strives for. Bridging the gap between an enthusiastic writer and its target audience is 'eFiction India' - a professionally produced independent magazine devoted to exhibiting the work of writers with a connection to the Indian subcontinent.

While eFiction India was spearheaded by Nikhil Sharda, eFiction USA was conceived by Doug Lance and was first released in 2009. Speaking about the inception story of the firm, Nikhil says, “More than a decade ago, Doug Lance and I used to write for a website called writers cafe. org. While we both were completely new writers, we envisioned starting a fiction-based magazine where every genre would have its own magazine and every country would have a magazine in different languages. Doug proposed that I start eFiction magazine in India as well, but at that time, online magazines or even online reading was in its emerging state in India. Even the concept of people buying something online was quite new. So, I figured that it wouldn’t work out then. However, by the 2010, when Doug mentioned again about the magazine, we knew that this was the right time to pave our way amongst the Indian audiences. We recognized the active interest of Indian readers and with the arrival of Amazon in India and with people buying Nook and Kindle, there has been a rise in number of readers across all genres. That is when we cashed on the opportunity and launched eFiction India - a magazine conceived as a dialogue - a constant stream of thoughts exchanged between writers, editors and readers on a platform which carries the best of contemporary writing in India. Unfortunately eFiction US closed down due to a misunderstanding with Amazon but eFiction India is very much an active publishing house.”

Designed to Bridge the Gap between
Writers, Publishers and Readers Today, when writers comes up with poem, songs or stories, they often come across the dilemma of where to submit their content for publication, will the publishing house
inform them once the content has been used or published, even then you’d not know when was it published unless you call them up or go to their office and find it out yourself; also, if they don’t publish your article, most publishing houses fail to give the right reason for rejection. eFiction India is bridging this gap between publisher and writer by constantly staying in touch with all the editors via email or chat almost always.

Keeping up with the need for innovation, the eFiction team is also doing a very exciting thing converting the poems sent to them into full fledged songs

Devoted towards illustrating the hardwork and efforts of such aspiring writers, eFiction India strictly avoids the polished crowd, the clever set; the people with all the answers who know all about the world and how to change it dramatically by next weekend. “We are happy with the ordinary folk, preferably duds, unfit to survive in a perfect world of virtual reality, who are forced to believe, for lack of an option, in the hand me down dreams of the clever set. People like us. We welcome those who don’t quite make it to the end of level one in any computer game, those who are the first to be decimated by psychedelic monsters and can never aspire to even reach the beautiful princess in harem pants, let alone possess her. We, at eFiction India, are continued to be amazed at every fresh glance that comes our way because we are not in the business of collecting eyeballs, that’s the job of big magazines and bigger newspapers, with big marketing wisdom and big money. We, with none of the above, are happy with just the ordinary yet unique minds,” says Nikhil.

Currently headed by Nikhil Sharda; the man carries out all the operations right from selecting the content,to editing, proofreading and publishing. All the writers at eFiction are external contributors from varying backgrounds and some of these even have full time jobs, who pursue writing in their free time while others are full time freelance writers who joined as writers but soon became the content editors for the company.

Keeping up with the need for innovation, the eFiction team is also doing a very exciting thing converting the poems sent to them into full fledged songs. A one-of-a-kind initiative, eFiction has made these songs available on the YouTube Channel of the company. The firm also aspires to start a radio show where eFiction India will exhibit iTunes dedicated to literature. It will not be musical; instead the firm is putting forward a platform to talk about a literature. “You can call up and talk about literature or tell your story on the live radio. We want to see how it goes. It will be free initially or for a year may be, and then if it catches on we will put it along with the subscription for the magazine. When someone buys the magazine, he/she would get the subscription for the podcast along with it,” adds Nikhil. eFiction India is also making an audio version of its magazine for blind people, schools and institutions for the blind.
Although, eFiction magazine’s content is focused on the Indian subcontinent, it is not just India specific. The magazine addresses a com community which is more easily defined in terms of mindspace rather than in purely geographical terms. Aiming to offer a topnotch platform to its writers and readers, the firm is continuously striving to be the medium that carries a writer’s voice to its readers all around the world. “We are not a part of the leading pack. We are not even part of the race. We are at the root of all the noise at the top. The people who make it happen. Like a text is basis of all creativity – whether it’s a film script or the idea being drafted for the next tallest building. Only the finished product is made public, but lonely text that started it all is forgotten. We stand by that text and we are building a community that creates it,” utters Nikhil.

Charting the Path Ahead
Today,eFiction India is successfully filling a niche in the Indian media that has remained vacant for far too long, one for the intellectually curious and aesthetically refined readers, who are in constant search for a platform with exceptional qualities rather than just the proliferating quantity of publications. It is a new kind of magazine for a new kind of readers, one who are seeking both style and substance and are a little sensitive than the rest.

Set up with a vision to provide aspiring authors a chance to showcase their work to national and international audience, today, Nikhil’s venture has already crossed the 10,000 subscriber mark within a year of its inception. “When we first pitched for investment, we were told that it was suicidal to launch a magazine which dealt with issues, with literature, with nonpartisan politics. We were told that the young were not interested and the ‘mature’ are too tired. We were mocked but we always believed that there is nothing wrong with attempting the absurd. Today, eFiction India is a recognized name with voluntary curators from all across the world. We partner with those who have more to offer than money and virality and our relationships are based on trust and mutual benefit like any meaningful relationship. Success cannot be attributed to one person and eFiction India exists because of persistent effort of all our writers, editors, artists and all the associated people,” shares Nikhil.

Delineating on the future road¬map of the firm, Nikhil adds, “There’s an audience for everything and content is created based on this audience which is our target market. At eFiction, we have never planned our future. We consider that if we can create the content that we believe in, no matter the subject, it will find its audience.So,everyday, whether it is music, art or fiction, I, as the Editor try and look for things which appeal to me, things which are different and hold the true potential. The future is where there are no distinct roles, where editors become writers and writers becomes editors, where poets become lyricists and beyond. If the creator and the creation flow like water immersed in the cross roles and cross platform, nothing can hurt you.”