March 06, 2014

KOBO BRINGS CRITICALLY-ACCLAIMED AUTHOR VIKRAM SETH'S A SUITABLE BOY EXCLUSIVELY TO READERS IN INDIA

Vikram Seth’s modern classic available to passionate Readers for the first time in eBook format exclusively with Kobo for a 30-day period

Toronto, March 6, 2014Kobo, a global leader in eReading, today announced it is bringing critically acclaimed author Vikram Seth’s A Suitable Boy to passionate Readers in India for the first time in eBook format. The English version of the bestselling novel, published through the Kobo Writing Life self-publishing platform, will be available exclusively in India for a 30-day period at Kobo.com.  

At nearly 600,000 words, A Suitable Boy is one of the longest English language books ever written in a single volume, and last year marked its 20th anniversary being published in the Indian sub-continent by Aleph Book Company. The classic tale is published in 20 languages globally and is considered a “must read” by many.

“We continually expand on our offering for the most passionate Readers, and partnering with Vikram to bring his iconic A Suitable Boy in digital format is a great way to get more people reading – whichever way they choose,” said Mark Lefebvre, Director of Self-Publishing & Author Relations, Kobo.

A Suitable Boy
Vikram Seth's novel is, at its core, a love story: Lata and her mother, Mrs. Rupa Mehra, are both trying to find – through love or through exacting maternal appraisal – a suitable boy for Lata to marry. Set in the early 1950s, in an India newly independent and struggling through a time of upheaval, A Suitable Boy takes us into the richly imagined world of four large extended families and spins a compulsively readable tale of their lives and loves. A sweeping panoramic portrait of a complex, multiethnic society in flux, A Suitable Boy remains the story of ordinary people caught up in a web of love and ambition, humor and sadness, prejudice and reconciliation, the most delicate social etiquette and the most appalling violence.

“I am delighted that Indian readers will at last be able to read what I like to think of as ‘the fat one’ without spraining their wrists – or developing unwanted muscles,” said award-winning author Vikram Seth. “There are plenty of partners I could have aligned with but Kobo’s enthusiasm, speed of response and flexibility won me over; and I am glad that together we have made A Suitable Boy a portable one.”

ABOUT VIKRAM SETH
Vikram Seth is an Indian poet, novelist, and travel writer who is known for his verse novel The Golden Gate (1986) and his epic novel A Suitable Boy (1993). He was raised and schooled in India and later graduated from Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He received a master’s degree in economics from Stanford University in 1978 and spent two years studying and researching at Nanking (China) University. He has received several awards including the Padma Shri, Pravasi Bharatiya Samman, WH Smith Literary Award and Crossword Book Award. In 1994, he won Commonwealth Writers Prize (Overall Winner, Best Book) for A Suitable  Boy. Although his first volume of poetry, Mappings, was published in 1980, he did not attract critical attention until the publication of his humorous travelogue From Heaven Lake (1983), the story of his journey hitchhiking from Nanking to New Delhi via Tibet. The poetic craft of The Humble Administrator’s Garden (1985) foreshadows the polish of The Golden Gate, a novel of the popular culture of California’s Silicon Valley, written entirely in metred, rhyming 14-line stanzas and based on Charles Johnston’s translation of Aleksandr Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin. In this work Seth successfully harnesses contemporary situations to a demanding 19th-century form; the young professional characters discuss nuclear weapons, Roman Catholic teachings on homosexuality, the pleasures and hazards of life, love and lust, and the perils of overwork. Seth continued to use controlled poetic form in his 1990 collection All You Who Sleep Tonight, and he also wrote the 10 stories of Beastly Tales from Here and There (1992) in tetrametre couplets. A collection entitled The Poems, 1981–1994 was published in 1995. He turned to prose, however, in his novel An Equal Music (which depicts the love story of a pianist and a violinist in a string quarter), in Two Lives (a double biography of his Indian great-uncle and German-Jewish great-aunt who met in Germany in the Hitler years), and – at greatest length of all – in A Suitable Boy, which depicts relations between four Indian families. The book’s compelling narrative and great length invited critical comparisons to Leo Tolstoy, Marcel Proust, James Joyce, Honoré de Balzac, and Charles Dickens. His new novel, A Suitable Girl, will be published in 2016.

SELF-PUBLISHING WITH KOBO WRITING LIFE
At no cost to the author, Kobo Writing Life titles are published easily, using intuitive self-service portal to set indie authors on the path to self-publishing success. No exclusivity is required and the submission process takes mere minutes, with books published within 24 to 72 hours.  The platform publishes content in the ePub format, and Kobo offers free conversion of Word, Rich Text Format, Open Office, and mobi files. The platform puts the power of all aspects of publishing – layout, production and marketing – into the hands of the author. Authors can publish in any language with instant access to millions of Readers in 190 countries, and Kobo authors enjoy higher royalties than with competitive platforms. Unlike other self-publishing tools, Kobo allows authors to set their book price to “FREE” at any time without restrictive exclusivity agreements or hidden transaction or processing download fees. Authors keep 70% for eBooks priced $2.99 and up (with no cap) and 45% for $2.98 and below, and have the flexibility to change pricing at any time to help promote and market their work. The Kobo Writing Life portal is available in English, French, Italian, Spanish, German, and Dutch. Authors can learn more and sign up at http://www.kobowritinglife.com

ABOUT KOBO INC.
Kobo Inc. is one of the world’s fastest-growing eReading services offering more than 4-million eBooks and magazines to millions of customers in 190 countries.  Believing that consumers should have the freedom to read any book on any device, Kobo provides consumers with a choice when reading. Kobo offers an eReader for everyone, with a wide variety of E Ink eReaders and Google-Certified Android tablets to suit any Reader’s style including the award-winning Kobo Touch™, Kobo Mini, Kobo Glo, Kobo Aura, Kobo Aura HD, Kobo Arc, Kobo Arc 7, Kobo Arc 7HD, and Kobo Arc 10HD. Along with the company’s free top-ranking eReading apps for Apple®, BlackBerry®, Android®, and Windows®, Kobo ensures the next great read is just a page-turn away. Headquartered in Toronto and owned by Tokyo-based Rakuten, Kobo eReaders can be found in major retail chains around the world. For more information, visit www.kobo.com.