Design, edit, publish, print your first book for free

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Fancy an online platform that lets you design, edit, publish, promote, print and sell your first book in over 100 countries worldwide, all free of cost?

This is exactly what online self-publishing startup Notion Press has to offer, in what it calls a 'Do-It-Yourself' avatar.

For aspiring authors on the threshold of a breakout career, stonewalled by every publisher, this might sound incredible. More so, when the offer extends to seven Indian languages, Kannada included.

Self-publishing might have gotten big with the online overdrive. But the big moves were always made by English writers. Getting into the vernacular space in a big way, Notion Press expanded the ecosystem to include Kannada, Hindi, Marathi, Konkani, Gujarati, Bengali and Malayalam.

So, how does the 'free' platform work? "The writers only need to copy and paste the content after choosing the template of their choice. The templates are also editable. It all depends on how design-savvy they are," explains Naveen Valsakumar, co-founder, Notion Press.

Once the content is submitted, it goes through a 24-hour review process where resource persons do a thorough check. "We check, for instance, if the content has any plagiarism issue. Once the content is finally approved, the book directly goes to our online store,  besides Amazon, Flipkart and other major e-commerce sites." 

But the printing process will be on demand. Says Valsakumar, "If a customer orders the book from anywhere, we get it printed and shipped in two days. This ensures zero inventory and zero wasteage." The final shape could be in either paperback or e-book form.

The writer pays nothing before the actual sales, but gets a 70% share of the revenue from every book sold through the platform. "Every month, the royalty is credited to the author's bank account. The book is promoted through multiple tools, including discount offers, social media and more."

The printed book has retained its hold in the country despite the promise of the e-book. But for thousands of writers, the traditional publishing route always posed a tough challenge. Once the manuscripts are submitted, it could take over six months for acceptance. The delays have meant most publishing houses do not print more than 100 titles a year.

By completely disrupting this system through speed, reach and accessibility, the self-publishing industry has made a huge impact among new authors of all age groups. About 25% of the books published by Notion Press are first-time writers in the 7 to 97 years age group.

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