How Notion Press published more than 1000 first-time writers in 1 month
It has been a phenomenal start to the year for us at Notion Press. We published an astounding 1018 books in the month of January and are on track to beat that number in February. To put that into perspective – That is one book published every 35 mins! So how exactly did an eight-year-old publishing startup, with a team of just under 200 manage this feat?
In order to understand this better we first need to unpack some data about publishing in India.
It is estimated that around 30,000 writers in India seek help on the internet to get their book published every month. Given the sheer size of India’s book market, one would assume that it is only natural that there is such a huge interest in publishing books. In fact, a research report released by Nielson values India’s book market to be a staggering USD 7 billion in 2020.
While the math might be simple, the reality of the matter is that even with such a booming market only a fraction of these writers actually end up going the distance and getting their book published.
When we ran a survey with our author community to find out why, we identified the three biggest problems authors were facing when it came to getting their book published.
- Access to quality publishing – Let’s face it, Not all writers hail from the metro cities with the easiest access to the best kind of opportunities and quality publishing that their book deserves. There just aren’t enough quality publishing options for most authors in many parts of the country.
- Cost – There are significant costs involved in the creation, design, distribution, and marketing of books and a lot of first-time writers who are looking to test out the waters with their first book drop out at this stage due to the investment involved.
- Effort – Certain authors who try to do the whole process on their own, quickly realize that they have to learn and master professional skills like design, formatting, and marketing to give their book a fair chance to succeed in the market.
Changing the landscape of publishing in the country
At the end of the survey, we realized two things:
- India has one of the biggest markets in the world for publishing, with thousands of writers trying to find ways to publish their writing every month
- These writers have not been able to realize their dream of publishing a book because of obvious issues that no one has attempted to solve.
What if we attempted to fix the system? Would we be able to truly democratize the publishing industry in India and provide a platform for every Indian writer to take their ideas to a global audience? Well, that is exactly what we set out to do a few years ago and our publishing stats from last month couldn’t leave us any more delighted!
Launching Xpress Publishing
The idea behind launching the Xpress Publishing Platform was to break the barrier to publishing for every single writer in the country while maintaining the highest standards and quality of publishing. With the platform, we managed to provide a seamless interface that enabled writers to design their book and set it up for global distribution in as little as 30 minutes. The best part? We made the platform completely free to use! Eliminating one of the biggest barriers to publishing. This meant that if you had a fully completed & edited manuscript in hand you can go from being a first-time writer to a published author in just a matter of minutes.
Publishing in major Indian Languages
Despite the early success of the Xpress Publishing Platform, one thing that was obvious to us was that if we truly wanted to democratize the publishing industry we had to make our platform accessible to writers in whichever language they are comfortable in and not just in English. We built capabilities in the platform to handle as many as 8 of the most prominently used Indian languages including Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam. This was a first of its kind innovation in vernacular publishing in India and opened the doors for thousands of Indian language writers to get their book published.
Freedom to Publish
Perhaps the biggest thing that helped us achieve this feat was putting the power of publishing back in the hands of the authors. Writers in India today regardless of where they are, what language they have written in or how much they can invest in the publishing of their book, have the complete freedom to choose exactly how they want to publish their book and what level of support they require from us.
With plenty of additional features including automated book marketing tools and professional services already underworks, our numbers from January 2020 are just the beginning of the story. There is still plenty of road left in this journey. We hope you’ll join us.