And don’t want to be one either?
This is how a lengthy conversation explaining what Pothi.com is ends with many people.
Yes – one problem of our business is that it takes lot of time to explain to people that we do not fit into any pre-defined category from traditional publishing. Most importantly, Pothi.com is not a publisher!
What does this mean?
- Books published through Pothi.com are published by their authors or other people/organizations behind them – not by Pothi.com.
- Pothi.com does not do any ‘selection’ of the content except to ensure that it is technically fir for printing and that it is not against the law or our terms and conditions.
- The entire responsibility of content, its accuracy and quality, its preparation lies with the author/publisher, not with Pothi.com. Same is the case with Book Design, Marketing, Promotion and Sales.
What does Pothi.com do then?
Pothi.com provides tools and services to help you through all these steps of publishing. Meaning
- There are detailed information and guidelines on preparing your book
- There are tools for formatting and cover design (e.g. blog to book tool, cover design wizard)
- There are reasonably priced services for editing, designing etc. if you need help in preparing the book
- There is an e-commerce store where you can list your book for free and sell it without bothering about logistic hassles of printing, maintaining inventory and shipping them
What’s the future direction Pothi.com will take in that case?
- Create More technological tools to make the publishing process easier and financial burden minimal
- Figure out some innovative ways to help authors widen the reach of their books
- Develop Technological Solutions for filtering out good content from bad
Ouch! So, you will never, never be a publisher?
Pothi.com – the platform will remain Pothi.com the platform. It will not become a publisher. We may or may not have a parallel business as a publisher, but that would be under a separate imprint most likely. We haven’t decided anything on that front yet.
That’s sad! Pothi.com can’t help me become the next Chetan Bhagat.
In all likelihood you are right. Exceptions can occur, but Print on Demand based self publishing model is not optimized for creating best-sellers. It works better for books with niche audience or publications for small, targeted audiences. It is also good for casual publishing.
One of the most common questions we get asked.
First let me clarify all that it does not mean or refer to.
‘Pothi’ has nothing to do with the name of the famous silk shop in Chennai called ‘Pothys’.
During the book festival we learned that ‘Pothi’ is a caste/surname in Kerala. Our use of Pothi has nothing to do with that either. We are not a Pothi matrimony site, rest assured.
And it also does not mean grand-daughter in hindi. That one is ‘Poti’ (पोती) and not ‘Pothi’ (पोथी).
Pothi means ‘a book’ in Hindi. It has come from the Sanskrit word ‘Pustak’ distorted through Apbhransh and other languages that developed in North India. ‘Pothi’ or some variation of it means ‘a book’ in many other North Indian languages too including Punjabi and Bengali.
The word is not used in day to day spoken Hindi though. It is an obscure word now and is sometimes used to refer to old manuscripts or scriptures. Sikhs use this word to refer to their religious book. If you have studied Hindi at some point of time in your life and still can not place the word, the following couplet from Kabir may come in handy
पोथी पढ़-पढ़ जग मुआ, पण्डित भया ना कोय,
ढाई आखर प्रेम का, पढ़े सो पण्डित होय।
Approximate Translation: Nobody becomes a learned person by reading lots of books. Those who just read the two and a half letters of love become the learned ones.
Although this couplet discounts the usefulness of books (and we don’t like that 🙂 ), but the reason I mention it here is that the word used for book in it is ‘Pothi’.
So next time you hear Pothi, think books – printed one at a time on demand just like the handwritten manuscripts of yore.
From today, our special collection ‘Best of Pothi.com’ is available on the shelf (of our stall at Bangalore Book Festival 🙂 ). It showcases chapters from some selected books at Pothi.com. These come from diverse genres like fiction, memoirs, self-help, children’s writing etc.
The book also includes the first self publishing guide specific to India. Although a lot of information about self publishing is available on Internet, an author looking at Indian market is under-served. The Indian scene is quite different in terms of how players of publishing industry work as well as how readers choose and buy the books. This guide will prepare self publishing authors to work in Indian conditions. We will start posting some excerpt from the guide here soon.
Meanwhile, check out the collection at Pothi.com’s stall (#288) in Bangalore Book Festival 2009.
We had a tarot card reading session by Anupa Patri, author of Yoganidra, this tuesday.
It is fun for some people and a tool for unveiling the future or learning more about the past for some. Either way, the participants were queuing up for the reading.
Tarot cards originated as a game, but have gained popularity as a prediction tool for many. For fun or for the belief, if you are interested, Anupa will be around over this weekend too. So, if you are interested in a reading, drop down on the stall.
His book Yoganidra is also available at a special discounted price of Rs. 220 at the stall (#288). His website is http://yoganidra.in
Here are a list of other interesting Bangalore based participants we are looking forward to seeing at Bangalore Book Festival 2009
- Pratham Books: Pratham Books is a not-for-profit trust that seeks to publish high-quality books for children at a affordable cost in multiple Indian languages. They are doing a wonderful job in publishing for children across English and many Indian Languages. You can follow them at twitter for their continuous updates.
- Flipkart: Easily the most loved online book store in India. Theirs is probably the first representation of an online book store in Book Festivals. It is definitely so in Bangalore Book Festival.
- Books for Change: Books for Change is a publishing and distribution initiative set up to support the communication needs of civil society organizations and development sector in India. Located at Richmond Road in Bangalore, they have an impressive collection of books on social and developmental issues.
And of course, us 😉 at Stall No. 288.
Following books will be available at our stall in Bangalore Book Festival (Stall No. 288).
As you probably know from our tweets and facebook update and website, we are putting up a stall representing self published and independent authors at Bangalore Book Festival. We will be at
Stall No. 288, Bangalore Book Festival 2009
Gayathri Vihar, Palace Grounds, Bangalore
Apart from the books, there are several events we are conducting that you might be interested in
In the auditorium area/stage
- Nov 10th: 4pm to 5pm: Story and Play reading for children by Yadugiri VT and Revathi S Kumaran
- Nov 14th: 2pm to 3pm: Book reading for children by Mahesh R. and Revathi S Kumaran
In our stall
- Nov 6th: 2pm to 4pm: Book Signing by Rajendra Nargundkar
- Nov 8th: 4pm to 6pm: Tarot Card Reading by Anupa Patri
- Nov 9th: 5pm to 6pm: Book Signing by AK Chowdhury
- Nov 10th: 5pm to 6pm: Book Signing by AK Chowdhury
And for all of those, who wanted to meet us in person, stall no. 288 is the place.
Festival is going on from 6th Nov. 2009 to 15th Nov. 2009. That includes two weekends!
@ Pothi.com. Visit us there.