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Lockdown, self-publishing platform get writers off the block

NARAYANAN V Chennai | Updated on June 23, 2021

Over 32,000 writers have published their books and ₹50 crore worth of books have been sold till date

The Covid-19 pandemic has upended the lives and livelihood of people in myriad ways. But for many professionals and aspiring writers, the pandemic and the consequent lockdown has also turned out to be a good break from the hustle-bustle of daily routine to focus and re-discover their passion for writing.

Take the case of Notion Press for instance. When the Chennai-based publisher launched a do-it-yourself (DIY) self-publishing platform in April 2019, it would have least expected that the demand would hit the roof within a year.

From over 15,000 titles under distribution in the pre-Covid times, the number of titles published under the platform more than doubled to nearly 33,000 unique titles as on date.

“The first lockdown took us from 400 books a month to a run-rate of 1,200 books and the second lockdown took us to 2,200 unique titles per month which means publishing a new author every 25 minutes,” said Naveen Valsakumar, CEO and Co-founder, Notion Press.

Growing confidence

According to Notion Press, over 32,000 writers have published their books and ₹50 crore worth of books have been sold till date. Its authors range from 7 to 94 years of age cutting across various walks of life from students to educators, entrepreneurs to bureaucrats, home makers to professionals.

Valsakumar attributes growing digital adoption and confidence among Indians, huge time saved due to remote working and growing power among the creator (writer) community are some of the reasons for emergence of new writers and the surging demand for self-publishing avenues.

Notion Press’ DIY platform provides a seamless interface that enables writers to design their own book and set it for global distribution. Writers who have fully completed and edited manuscripts can get their books published in a matter of minutes completely free of cost. The company works on a co-monetisation model where the author earns 70 per cent and Notion Press gets 30 per cent cut on every book sold.

“There are hundreds of writers who have made over ₹10-lakh and there are some writers who made more than ₹25-lakh across different categories,” Valsakumar said, adding, “We have hundreds of Chartered Accountants (CAs) writing fictional stories and influencers and creators from other platforms coming in as writers. So, the entry of 'cross-over creators' is another big trend that we are observing.”

Notion Press also sees a huge opportunity to consolidate the highly unorganised vernacular publishing space.

“We have just entered Hindi and Tamil. We have built the platform for nine other Indian languages, and we will be cracking one market at a time,” Valsakumar said.

Published on June 23, 2021

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