When Bishal Paul, a 19-year-old media student was challenged by friends to write a book after he deliberated with them about the Aarushi Talwar murder, he thought it was a good idea. "I was deeply moved by the case, and decided to express myself though my writing."
The result was 'Footprints of Life', a romantic thriller based loosely on the case, which Paul wrote after extensive research when he was in Class 11. "I filed several RTIs, watched many documentaries, went to Noida to find out more about the case, and when I had enough material for a novel,
I started writing the book, most of it right before my Class 12 boards."
General Press India, a New Delhi-based publishing house, picked up Paul's draft and will publish it in July.
Students are no longer just a market or target audience for books, but are now writing their own books and even getting them published. Aniruddha Mahale, now 24, started writing a fiction story called 'D' when he was in the third year of his architecture course. "In 2008, my friends loved one of my blog posts, and I was motivated to write more based on this concept."
He struck gold when his manuscript was accepted by Delhi-based Paperclip Publications, which published it in February 2013.
But the world of traditional publishing is still a hard one to break into, especially for young, untested writers. Many of them are now turning to newer forums to help them get in touch with publishers.
Litizen.com is one such example. Started in 2011 as a no-frills Wordpress blog, it went on to become a full-fledged website owing to its popularity, and has attracted around 350 authors who have put up close to 1,000 stories.
Their first book, 'Labyrinth', is a collection of the top 15 short stories from the website written by 10 different authors, two of who were college students at the time.
Apurva Chaturvedi, 30, the co-founder of the website, said, "Everyone has a story to tell, and the advent of technology has facilitated it further."