Hope you are having fun and making plans for your next trip! This particular Editorial was going to be about something else altogether. However, there have been several changes at the backend – some good, some that may prove to be good in the long run. So I thought that I would acquaint you with these in this editorial and push everything else to the next one.
But before that, here are the announcements I’m sure you have been looking forward to:
Featured Author for the Month of April 2012:
Some people have been a part of Ghumakkar for really long and because of the awards being introduced recently, we were never able to take out time to acknowledge their brilliance and inspiring style. So this time, we are again going back into the past to pick out the person who has the most number of stories to his credit and without whom, no exaggeration here, Ghumakkar wouldn’t exist today. The Featured Author for the Month of April 2012 is none other than the first citizen at Ghumakkar, Mr. Nandan Jha. There’s a lot he has contributed to the travelling community and I thought it was high time we recognize his efforts. And what’s more, this time we will witness another unique phenomena. In the Featured Author Interview, Nandan will be interviewing Nandan. Let’s see how he pulls that one off. :) Please do take time to congratulate him.
And now for the Featured Story of March 2012:
I am really sorry but there was a mistake in this month’s newsletter. Umm…not a mistake really but a bit of oversight as a result of the haste to announce the featured story of the month. However, with due apologies to Giriraj, whose story I annouced in the newsletter by mistake, I would like to announce the Featured Story of March 2012 once again. And it is “Going Crazy in Mukteshwar and Nainital” by none other than yours truly, Vibha Malhotra. Read and please do encourage me by leaving a comment or two.
Anyways, you all know that the team at Ghumakkar is pretty busy preparing and curating the stories on Ghumakkar. But we do make some mistakes. After all, we are all human. However, we had beeen brainstorming for a really long time to see how we can minimise the mistakes and we were pretty convinced that if one of the top publishing house in India was running this site, our work would be cut down to the minimum and then we can concentrate on other things. We identified the publishing house that we would like to associate with and then approached them. It was a tough job, but our brilliant marketing team finally convinced the publishing house that it was a win-win situation and even though the alliance isn’t finalized yet, we are feeling quite positive about it. There are some trade-offs involved since the publishers are taking over a big chunk of our work.
The publishing house has some really famous travel authors writing for them so they wanted somewhere prominent to feature the stories written by these authors. This means that the stories of these authors will now be published on the home page and we will need to move our stories elsewhere. After strong negotiations, we have convinced the publishers to let us have another page entirely for the content from Ghumakkar Authors. This new page will be displayed on clicking the “Content from Other Authors” link at the bottom of the home page. All our stories, including the Insights, Interview, and the Editorial, will be moved to this new page.
Also, in order to come to a common set of post publishing guidelines between Ghumakkar and the publishers, we are considering modifying the post submission guidelines a little. The minimum word limit may be raised to 5000 words. And it might be made mandatory for the stories to be accompanied vy only one photo but can contain up to 3 videos and each video may require the author to be featured prominently to ensure that the content is an original work of the author. A video reflects a truer picture of the place than a picture since a picture can be easily edited. The updated guidelines will be circulated soon after the things become clearer.
Also the authors’ page will need to be changed a little. If everything goes well with this alliance, the slot of the top 50 authors will be reserved for the authors of the publishers. Though this might sound like a big change but in reality it only means that the “Recent 5 Authors” section and the “Recent Active Authors” section will have to go. It will be replaced by a new section, which will most probably be called “Top 50 Authors” and will have all of the publishers’ authors. And we will have the rest of the page to ourself which we can use as we want.
The publisher has expressed extreme confidence in the quality of the stories by authors and have, therefore, assured us that even with the stories not being published on the Home Page, they are sure that our stories don’t loose out on audience. They insist that the stories by the authors at Ghumakkar will not need any special marketing because their quality speaks for them. Coming from such a publisher, this is indeed high praise.
Since all of this made sense to us, we are considering agreeing to it. If you have any concerns or suggestions, please leave a comment here as soon as possible because the agreement will be signed in a couple of days. Some last minute details are being worked out. Watch out for more announcements. There may be more editorials coming up soon. Till then take care and keep travelling.