“Three otherwise regular guys got bored with their regular day jobs, woke up one morning, and decided to change the way content is created and distributed.” That is the story about Notion Press. YourStory caught up with the three co-founders at the launch of their enterprise. Excerpts.
We started Notion Press because we found that there were not many publishing options. For authors from India, most of the options already available are either poor in quality or exorbitantly priced. So we thought it could be a great idea to build a platform that centred on books. We first started out by running a short story contest to increase awareness about the product and we found that many new writers come on to the platform; many readers were also thankful that they had a platform like this. This encouraged us to create a full-fledged platform for creating books in India. Today, we have 200 published authors. An author can publish his/her book completely free! We believe that if publishing is democratised in India, we will discover many new authors. What is at the core of being a successful author today is about building a good platform for oneself and getting the basics right. Interestingly, we find traditional publishers coming to us and saying, ‘Can you help us in distributing our books because you seem to be doing the better job at it?’ This is a big change in the industry, with self-publishing coexisting with traditional publishing. Self-publishing will create new authors, who can later be chosen by traditional publishers, based on the right numbers.
The problem with Indian authors is that they are not very technologically skilled. So, we came up with a platform where it is as easy as copy-paste, where people can come and copy-paste their entire content from Word document. We also developed the cover design application, where you can just select the background, type in your book title, author name and so on, and make a cover.
Usually, the traditional publishers have a very fixed budget, take a long time to publish books, are very choosy, and go by a specific publishing programme. In contrast, when authors self-publish their books, they can create their own platform through social media, and reach the audience. The fiction genre is early to adopt self-publishing. Academic people are also interested in self-publishing, especially of PhD thesis and research work, which are generally not taken up by traditional publishers because of the niche market.