Thursday, February 7, 2013



Every Naval Officer has a book hidden within him.

This is my book – a Novel.

Though apocryphal, this fiction story is based on my first hand experience about life in the Indian Navy.

I have not seen a similar novel written in India which is set on a warship depicting the excitement and trials and tribulations of naval life.

Most people think that the Navy is like any other “job”.

The Navy is not a Job.

The Navy is a Way of Life.

I want to give my readers an authentic taste of the naval life we experienced first-hand in the navy, which is quite different from the jingoistic mumbo jumbo in recruitment advertisements or the heroic hogwash exhibited in most action movies or the “Colonel Blimp” or “Captain Haddock” type caricatures shown in Bollywood films.
The protagonist of my novel is Sub-Lieutenant Nobody. 

Yes, his name is “Nobody”.

That is why the novel is called NOBODY’S NAVY

This story covers a one year period in the life of Sub-Lieutenant Nobody.

I intend to write a sequel, maybe a trilogy, or a series of follow-on novels, to cover the hilarious yet poignant adventures of this fictitious naval officer called “Nobody” as he plods his way through naval life and progresses through his naval career.

The theme of my novel is simple: “THE NAVY BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN YOU”.  

This part was true in my own life – The Navy did bring out the best in me.

More than two years ago, sometime in December 2010 / January 2011, I prepared a book proposal for my novel which I titled NOBODY’S NAVY

As per the guidelines given by various reputed publishers, the book proposal comprised a synopsis and three chapters of the novel.

I sent my book proposal to some reputed publishers, one after another.

I was disappointed with the response.

The responses I received from publishers were of four types:

1. Some did not bother to acknowledge receipt and I heard nothing from them (Maybe, they dump all “unsolicited” proposals into the slush pile or the waste paper basket)

2. Some sent my proposal back with regrets saying that they were already booked for the next 2 or 3 years with novels lined up for publishing and I should try after that.

3. Some asked me the business prospects of my novel – how was I going to market my book, how many copies would it sell, would I guarantee financial viability. (Well I do have Management Qualifications, in HR and not in Marketing. Besides, as a creative writer, I thought my job was to write an engrossing book with Page Turning Quality (PTQ) and the “business” aspects would be looked after by the publisher)

4. The remaining sent me financial details for self-publishing my novel.

In the present day scenario of book publishing in India, it seems that self-publishing my novel is the only option left for me if I wish to publish my novel as a printed book.

Though self publishing may satisfy my vanity, I know now difficult it will be to seamlessly make available the book to maximum readers since I neither have the skill nor the wherewithal to distribute and sell the book by getting it into the bookstores.

I browsed in bookstores in order to ascertain the “market” for novels.

It seems the only fiction books in vogue are “metro reads” (mushy romances) and contrived campus love stories.

I may be wrong, but to me it seems that present day readers don’t have the inclination nor the appetite to read an authentic “no-holds barred” novel on naval life.

I am not going to abort my novel because I have to tell my story.

I have two options before me:

1. Complete the novel (despite having no assurance of publication) and then spend my time peddling my “unsolicited” manuscript to reputed publishers.

This may turn out to be a very harrowing experience. It takes a lot of emotional and physical effort to complete a novel and, after putting in all that effort, I will find it quite humiliating to peddle my manuscript.

So in order to preserve my dignity and to ensure that my creative work sees the light of day, I may have no option but to self-publish my novel and undergo the frustration of my book not getting its due appreciation and success because of impediments in distribution and owing to sub-optimal marketing.

2. The second option is to upload my book proposal, the synopsis and a few chapters on my Blog for everyone to read.

I think the second option has three advantages.

1. Some readers may give me feedback and tell me if this is a good story which people want to read and how to make it more interesting.

2. Some of my benevolent readers may tell some literary friends of theirs about Nobody’s Navy or they may even refer me to a literary agent or an editor in a publishing house and maybe I would be able to strike a deal.

3. The best thing would be if some reputed publisher reads this and makes me an offer I cannot refuse.

Is anyone interested in publishing my novel NOBODY’S NAVY ?

The synopsis and six chapters of Nobody’s Navy are ready.

If you are game (or know publisher who is interested) do let me know. We can take it forward from here.

Meanwhile do stand by for a chapter or two from NOBODY’S NAVY, my novel about the adventures of Sub-Lieutenant Nobody, which I may be posting on my Blog for you to read.

Happy Friday and Wish You a Great Weekend.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Did you like this yarn?  
I am sure you will like the 27 short stories from my recently published anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL
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Foodie Book:  Appetite for a Stroll
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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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Anonymous said...

Check with Sharell of this blog,

She recently published a book

- Mahesh

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ Mahesh: Thanks for the link and tip. I saw the website and it is indeed encouraging. Maybe I too will have to develop my proposal on my blog in the same manner to get the story noticed.