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Sketching tales of persistence and passion of digital stars

Where do you find the motivation in the booming, yet cluttered world of digital content creators? This question has been finding resonance with most of human kind since the pandemic’s challenges took control of our lives. If you too are searching an answer to this, get your hands on the book, Booming Digital Stars, by authors Harsh Pamnani and Manish Pandey.

A succinct collection of journeys of 11 Indian content creators — who are the champions of a new, thriving industry — it has everything that one could read and believe that if these personalities can find a way, then others can strengthen their will, too! “All the creators covered in the book are persistent and passionate about their craft,” says Pamnani, and Pandey agrees, adding: “All the creators covered in the book are persistent and passionate about their craft.”

Cover of the book published as part of Pencil Select by Leadstart.

The book took “400 days” to take its present form. “The seeds of this idea were sown in 2018 during breakfast at Galleria in Gurugram. But the execution started in 2020,” informs Pandey, adding, “During the lockdown, we noticed that on one hand, traditional entertainment sources such as Bollywood and events were breaking under the strain of the Covid-19 pandemic. And on the other, new entertainment sources such as YouTube channels and video games were proliferating. While the pandemic may have been instrumental in driving traffic to the digital channels, we did not expect their popularity and importance to slow down after the pandemic when the world returns to normalcy. Indeed, the tide had shifted, and we saw room for exponential growth. So, without any further delay, we started our book.”

Harsh Pamnani is a brand expert by profession and storyteller by passion.
Harsh Pamnani is a brand expert by profession and storyteller by passion.

From Bhuvan Bam to Yashraj Mukhate and Prajakta Koli to Kabita Singh, the names in this book would be familiar to most of you who are active on various social media platforms. But, did you know that Bam used to sing at a restaurant in Delhi before becoming a digital star or, Koli started her journey as a radio intern? And all this while, holding them were many pillars of strength, who too find space in this book. “These people have seen the struggles of the covered creators from close, and have supported them in difficult days. So we wanted to bring out their contribution to the journeys,” adds Pandey. And Mumbai-based Pamnani reasons: “To create a great output, a creator has to collaborate with multiple team members such as editors, designers, social media specialists, etc. Artists create the best output when they enjoy their work. But to support themselves, they also need to earn. When they try to do both, one or the other aspect gets impacted. Collaboration between an artist and a talent management agency who represents the artist, can create enormous value.”

Manish Pandey, who is currently involved with Josh Talks, is a brand consultant who defines himself as social media evangelist.
Manish Pandey, who is currently involved with Josh Talks, is a brand consultant who defines himself as social media evangelist.

Illustrations, instead of profile shoots, of these creators keep the eyes engaged, as one turns the pages. “Usually, business books are black and white and filled with photos. I wanted my books to stand out in the crowded market of business books, so I used caricatures in Booming Brands (my previous book),” shares Pamnani. And Pandey adds: “So, based on prior experience, we decided to use caricatures instead of photos in this book.”

Wondering if it’s only the soaring popularity of these personalities that got them shortlisted in this non fiction work of writing? Explaining the parameters behind selecting the “11 players” of their dream team, Pamnani says, “We were focused on creating a mix of journeys in different creative spaces (dance, music, comedy, cooking, etc) so that our readers get a portfolio of learnings. So, we created the list of 30 to 40 leading creators from different fields. We are thankful to the ones who gave us their time and hope that others will give us their time for our future books.”

Author tweets @HennaRakheja

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