Meet the SHEROES - Jaya Jha
"Listen to everyone, but do what you believe in"
Have you ever wanted to write a story or make your own book of poems for that matter? Have you spent long hours drafting your thoughts because this outlet, this creative expression made you experience a sense of pride in its own way? And then, after doing all this, have you closed your book because you didn't really know how to go about publishing it or sharing it with the world?
Today we share the interesting story of Pothi.com, a venture that aims to allow those who want to write just to express themselves a platform to publish their works. Pothi.com does not serve as a traditional self-publishing house. Rather, it offers multiple solutions that fill the widening gap in the sector of Publishing.
Jaya Jha, the co-founder of Pothi.com speaks to us about her thoughts and her idea behind Pothi.com.
How did the idea / inspiration of Pothi.com come about?
The idea didn't originally come up as a business idea, rather as a personal need. I wanted to publish a poetry book of my own. It wasn't supposed to be a best-seller or a money earner, rather an act of expression. I realized, then, that publishing was not easy even when the purpose was not commercial. That's when I thought why not start something to address the problem. My partner also came onboard and within a year we started the company.
How is Pothi.com different from other self-publishing houses?
We really do take the "self" part of self-publishing seriously. We position ourselves as a platform, which individuals and organizations can use to publish books and do it in a way that they want. Most of the processes are automated, so we have kept the platform open to all. We do not interfere with content at all (unless there are potential legal issues) and we let everyone experiment. We do not force them to take expensive packages. They spend what they want on their book and they decide what it should be like in the end. We are there to provide whatever support they need, and not to interfere or dictate.
This platform approach has ensured that instead of competing head on with the traditional publishing, we fill a gap in the market. It also has led to the kind of usages that an editorially focused company would never be able to serve.
What according to you does it take to successfully publish a novel and become an established writer?
Apart from writing well, it is the marketing that counts. Whether you are traditionally published, or self-published, an author trying to break through in today's market is supposed to do her own marketing. If someone were to ask me, I think they should start building their online presence and start endearing themselves to their potential readers even before a single word of a book is written. Many authors may scowl at the idea or marketing, but this is the reality. "My job is to write, and not to market" is a luxury most new (and even established) authors cannot afford, not if they want to be read widely.
What are the short to long term goals (in terms of new product or service offerings) at Pothi.com?
Our aim is to become a platform that everybody should seriously consider when deciding to publish. We see ourselves as the builder of technology platforms, and not the content curators. So, we will do whatever it takes to make publishing accessible. The latest offering from us is our new product InstaScribe, which lets authors and publishers easily create e-books for different platforms like Kindle, Kobo, Nook, iBooks etc.
What words of inspiration do you live by that can help our other Sheroes out there?
There is a saying in Hindi "Suno sabki, karo apne man ki". Literally translated it means "listen to everyone, but do what you believe in". Practically it asks you to always lend an ear to people, who are trying to be your well-wishers. But what to do with all the advice and expectations is up to you. Everyone is responsible for their happiness, and you for your own. Don't care about people who decide to be unhappy about what makes you happy!