SUBJECT: 3.5/5 CONTENT: 3/5 WRITING STYLE: 3/5 OVERALL: 3/5
There is a significant increase in the amount of web content Indians have been consuming lately. All thanks to pocket-friendly data plans, the internet has reached every nook and corner of the Indian hinterland. The time is therefore ripe for online video platforms to churn out content catering to all kinds of consumer tastes and preferences.
In such a scenario, web series as a category and business offering has gained much popularity. I recently had the opportunity to read author Anuj Tikku’s latest book, Webbing the Web Series. A book that throws important light on the subject and proves to be an insightful read for anyone aspiring to be in this business.
What to expect?
Expect a book that talks about the web series business. Expect a beginner’s guide on the subject. Expect a book that also shares personal experiences in addition to imparting knowledge on the said subject.
Who can read?
Since the book is written in a simple language it can be easily picked up by a beginner level reader. It can also be picked by a non-reader.
What does the book contain?
The book, Webbing the Webseries Web has a lot of information on how to go about creating your web series. The knowledge it imparts is not just useful but also practical. Because Anuj speaks from his own experiences, he shares a list of Dos and Don’ts that any aspiring web series creator will find useful.
In addition to the writing and planning part, Anuj also shares tips and tricks on (1) how to find prospective buyers, (2) approach content streaming platforms, (3) plan your budget, (4) get your casting right and, (5) create the right look, vibe, and music and, (6) create both online and offline buzz for your web series.
How good is the author’s writing style?
The author writes with clarity and practicality. What he promises and what he delivers are not too far apart. But contrary to the byline that graces the title page, I wouldn’t describe the book as a ‘bible for making a web series’. It is at best a beginner’s guide to making web series in India.
It lacks a proper content plan and doesn’t offer detailed information on all topics. Instead, it is more of an experience-driven guide and should have been named on a similar note.
What did I like?
I like how Anuj narrates his experience of a barter system of promotion. In this book, we yet again get a little glimpse of the travel blogger Anuj. This is something that I usually enjoy – his experiences of traveling to different places and eating out in different cafes, eateries, and hotels.
That he offers some easily implementable suggestions for cost reduction and for cross-promotions is an added bonus. I love the various pictures that accompany his narratives.
What did I not like?
Editing is one crucial area where the book loses significant points. There is an abundance of editing and grammatical errors that makes the book an unnecessarily complicated read.
What could have been better?
A more detailed and better planned content replete with an exhaustive list of dos and don’ts would have been better. The book could have been planned in a chronological step by step way, that guides the readers in a more professional and time efficient manner.
The anecdotal part could have been introduced as a separate ‘personal experience’ or as an ‘interesting tidbits’ section in each chapter.
Is the book interesting to read?
The book is interesting to read. It talks about the author’s personal journey while looking for prospective buyers for his web series. He holds the reader captive while narrating his own struggles with approaching producers, Bollywood biggies, and video streaming platforms.
A big part of the book is anecdotal and traces the author’s journey as he tries to find a balance between his budget and his aspirations. He also ponders over the fundamental question of self-producing or selling rights to a third party. Some chapters feature chance encounters with popular Bollywood celebrities like Suniel Shetty, Mahesh Bhatt, Raj Shandilya, etc.
In the end
In the end, Webbing the Webseries Web is a book that touches upon crucial aspects of content planning and execution of a web series. It is a book that offers both practical tips and personal insights on the subject. But in a more informal and candid fashion.
Pick the book if
- You are looking for a beginner’s guide to creating a web series.
- You are looking for a book that talks about personal experiences on the same subject.
- You want a short and light read on the subject.
Skip the book if
- You don’t like books that aren’t professionally planned.
- You don’t enjoy books that lack proper editing.
- You are looking for a more detailed read on the subject.
- You are looking for a more technical or academic read.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Webbing the Webseries Web using the link below.