Print Edition: October 2, 2011

In your write mind
Writing may be one of the toughest mental exercises, publishing is a tad easier

Tll recently, the thought of putting up with the snobbery of a select few publishing houses that don't entertain most firsttime writers meant that if you had written a book, you just had to keep your fingers crossed and pray that the commissioning editor liked what he or she read. Today, the option of self publishing is available and that means you no longer need to solely depend on an agent or publishing house. In the age of online publishing portals, writers get the final word.

Here's a complete lowdown on how to get your own book published.

Converting ideas into words
It is important to have an inclination and skill for writing. A good idea may or may not be necessary translate into good writing. Write your idea down, discuss and rework it till you are convinced you have a compelling story to tell. When you begin writing, remember that over a period of time, you may want to change your idea completely, so write with a free mind.

Feedback is crucial
Once your book is ready, share its excerpts or the full text with others to get feedback. Hire a sound proof reader. This will help you shave off heavy sentences, improve grammar and improve the book.

The cover catches the eye
Despite the saying 'don't judge a book by its cover' many people do. The back cover should carry an attractive blurb that draws readers.

Pricing and printing
Depending on the number of copies you want published, the paper quality and number of pages, the cost of printing a single copy varies. Call for an early print so you can read the book before it hits book stores. This is when final corrections are made, so ensure that all copies of the book are not printed just yet.

Post publishing distribution
Once printed, decide on a sale price and distribute it to online bookstores and book shops as well. Discuss a commission with them and also look at sending your book to media houses for reviews. If your book is a success, you could approach an established publisher for a second print.

Benefits of self-publishing

No one tells you what you should or shouldn't write and instead of getting a fraction of the profits, you're entitled to all proceeds from the sales. Self publishing could earn you good money if your book is a success.


Celebrity physique trainer, Prashant Mistry, talks about push ups, the most commonly practiced yet misunderstood part of a workout. These tips will help you tone and strengthen muscles in the upper half of your body and keep you lean.


Take the traditional pushup position. Kneel and place your hands flat on the floor, slightly wider than shoulder width. Straighten your arms to lift your waist and move your feet back, placing your toes on the floor so that your legs straighten. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. It is important to maintain this posture throughout your workout.

From the traditional posture, lift your weight on your palms while keeping shoulders square. Begin with doing three sets of 20-30 repetitions.

Use a bench for working out your shoulder. The variation in this case is that your toes should be resting on a flat bench or chair. Perform three sets of 10-15 repetitions to start with.

One arm push ups are extremely effective for the back. Ensure that a fitness expert is supervising your exercises especially when working on a part as vital as the back. A variation of the diamond push up can be included in your regime over a period of time. This is done by taking up the traditional pushup position and joining your palms in a diamond shape while placing them on the floor, as opposed to keeping them at shoulder width.

A hop, step, jump guide to keep your gadgets clean

The longevity of your gadgets depends not just on tech updates but on how well you keep them. Here's a DIY guide to keeping your gadgets squeaky-clean.

To ward off the possibility of an electric shock, unplug power chords and cables leading to other devices.

The gadget world's biggest adversary, dust, settles on screens and enters gadgets through spaces around buttons and ventilation holes. Wipe off the accumulated dust by using a soft, damp cloth in a downward direction. For cleaning the interiors of a computer, use a vacuum cleaner at low intensity and blow out the dust. For tablets and touch screen phones, o change the scratch guards every two or three months.

Instruments of frequent use such as telephones, microphones and the mouse need to be cleaned and disinfected regularly. For these, use a cotton swab dipped in vinegar.

For removing fingerprints from DVDs and CDs, use a negligible amount of isopropyl alcohol on a muslin cloth and move it from the centre to the circumfrence of the disc.

Small screens of cell phones and MP3 players can be wiped with ammonia-free glass cleaners on a regular basis.

Trade ambassador of Bacardi India and star mixologist Arijit Bose spills the beans on bartending's best kept secret-the pre-mixed cocktail. What is it Premixing cocktails means keeping them ready prior to drinking. This enables you to control the quality of the drink, regardless of how crowded the bar is. It works best when you're hosting a large gathering and don't want to spend all evening behind the bar. So, three hours before the guests arrive, mix the ingredients in the usual proportions and refrigerate. Then, when the party is on, just pour the mixture in a glass and serve with ice.

Try this The uninitiated can begin by premixing the Cosmo. The standard recipe is 45ml of Grey Goose, 15ml of triple sec, 5ml of lime juice and 45ml of cranberry juice, which is shaken with ice and served. So, depending on the number of guests, just multiply and mix the ingredients in a big jar. It is best to assume and mix at least three drinks per head. Cover it and refrigerate. Once done, it's just a matter of pouring the 110ml of the pre-mix in a shaker with ice, giving it a quick shake and straining it into a chilled martini glass.

Farhat Jamshed crafts abstract wooden murals and has dabbled with different mediums. She demystifies this intruiging art form The equipment You can use drift wood, roots, bamboo, log sections and even ropes and clay. To put everything together, you need hammers, planers, chisels, and nails, saws of different sizes, a drill and varnish.

The process This form of art work is generally canvas based. You can use any sort of light plywood and after studying the pattern of the wood in the backdrop of your mural, you can decide whether to varnish it, paint it a solid colour or leave it plain. On the mural itself, you could use different types of wooden pieces. Use nails to hammer on pieces of thick root, bamboo stems, or sections of logs. Now, resize these pieces using a saw. Then use chisels and planers and carve out interesting shapes such as landscapes and objects.

Artist's take For an intriguing effect, leave your mural in its organic state or paint in earthen hues from the palette.

Cigar aficionado Manish Datt offers tips on smoking stogies. Cutting The cigar should be gently cut with a cigar cutter. Avoid using a penknife or a lance.

Lighting Light the foot of your cigar either quickly or gently. Don't touch the flame directly to the foot of the cigar. Instead, rotate it around the edge till it starts to burn. The foot of the cigar needs to be warm before you begin to puff it and should be relit if less than a quarter of it is a leaf.

Smoking It's best to puff easy and cherish every drag. Avoid taking more than one puff every minute. Cigars deserve a dignified death which means you shouldn't stub them like cigarettes. Don't get the end of the cigar wet by chewing on it.

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