A vision to help others,get rid of the problems,one has seen or faced has led to the formation of many successful start-ups today. Chetan Soni,Founder of Half Baked Beans,recognized the same problem; amateur writers/aspiring authors faced when it came to publishing their works and came up with a publishing startup to help them all get published without all those tiresome troubles the publishing process consisted of.When asked,what made him start the Half Baked Beans, he quoted, ‚ÄúThe Indian publishing industry has always been very much disorganized with big multi national publishing houses or family-owned typical distribution houses.We wanted to be somewhere in between as Indie publishers catering to the need of writers as even before we started all we heard was how writers are never happy with publishers.The idea was to create a platform for amateur writers where they can get published without much hassle and we are still working towards that.‚Äù
‚ÄúPublishing industry is a huge market in India with academic publishing having the largest share.But there is a lack of startup publishing houses in this country.Most of them are family owned like Rupa,Om books etc. Since we are dealing with Fiction genre we occupy a very small share currently but we feel,looking at the response generated on our social media handles that we are doing something right‚Äù ,he further added about the Indian Publishing market and his company.
Living his enthusiasm for the literature and startups,Chetan through his Half Baked Beans,has till now published more than 30 books,one of which was India‚Äôs first double-header book.He also came up with literary workshops with experts as mentors to help all the budding writers shine brighter.His company also came up with writing internship programs and is looking forward to numerous more workshops and intern programs in the near future.
Like every great journey comes with some hardships, he also faced a lot of hurdles like financial instability,government‚Äôs registration policies,people trying to put him down,reaching out to writers,audience and a lot more.As he said that the journey has had more downs than ups.He also stated, ‚ÄúFinancially we have still not broken even and that is because of the nature of the industry. At the end of the day you can‚Äôt keep everybody happy but when an author acknowledges our efforts it makes us really happy.‚Äù
You can connect with Half Baked Beans on Social Media-
‚ÄúThe government needs to lessen the formalities required to register a company and other documents related things.There should be some programs for nurturing startups.As for audience, people should read more and spend more on reading and do not wait for free books.Reading is the only area where people are miser in spending and this should be changed and there is a lot more to storytelling than movies.‚Äù he further suggested
He also shared how the things like being financially unstable,too much pressure and workload at times,cutting social life and other fun-do activities had at times brought him a second thought of quitting.And how his fire for creating things helped him overcome the same.With the same fire of creating things,he came up with two more successful startups,¬†Green Rock¬†(an e-Commerce store for fan art merchandise) and¬†Big Bang Trip¬†(curated trips with people of different backgrounds on a particular theme).
Half Baked Beans, unlike other famous publishing houses works real hard for every book publication and its promotion.‚ÄúFacebook has proved to be their main source for the promotions on the social media platform‚Äù, states Chetan. The Authors leave no stone unturned to make their book launches big too.They (Authors) have invited some big names to the launch events of books,to gather a better audience.
When you focus on your business on a mission of not just making money,prosperity will follow you. It was the sheer hard work and dedication over his venture that got Chetan‚Äôs work being recognized by some daily newspapers including start up success stories.
Chetan‚Äôs charisma and dreams are quite evident,how much of a fighter and a winner as a human and entrepreneur he is.He has set an example for how your situations never dictate you; it‚Äôs you who sets the definition of yourself. About the future of publishing industry and his companies he mentions, ‚ÄúThe publishing industry will become a service industry in future catering to needs of writers. Therefore we are moving towards that by starting book marketing services and helping writer reach wider audience.‚Äù
And now it‚Äôs time for us to stand like him in the cult of people, who became the change,they wanted to see.