Gone are the days, when newbie writers would have to etch out lengthy drafts, manuscripts and send them to publishing houses. Then, the cumbersome process of waiting would begin as the editors would sift through numerous drafts and reply to a few while others would be stranded. In today's fastidious age and digital era, numerous publishing houses have sprung up and are targetting the mass audience and catering to a whole sub-section of readers besides the usual literary conoisseurs.
One such publishing house is First Step Publishing which has been marching forward with some great titles and allowing first time authors to find a paltform and publish their content in a market-space which focuses on the branding a certain 'author' rather than scouring talent.
Established in 2011, it has been reported to be one of the fast growing publishing firms based in Mumbai. The firm has the tagline 'Paying Ways For New Writers' which is meant to reflect the motive with which it was founded.
dna caught up with the founder of First Step publishing Mr. Rohit Shetty to gain insights into the publishing industry and its functioning:
How has the journey been so far for First Step publishing?
Rohit Shetty: First Step Publishing was started in 2011 with a motto and a tag line of 'Paving Ways For New Writers'. And thus began the journey to find new talent, rather the hidden talent in literary world. We wanted to give a platform to young budding writers and poets of India in a way similar to that of established writers.
We began with the hunt for poets as poetry in India is not read to the extent as that of fiction novels, as we aspired to create a market for Indian poetry. More than 50% of our titles published by far are that of poetry and we had launched First Step Publishing with a record of five Poetry Titles in a time where Publishers don’t wish to publish poetry stating that it doesn’t have a market in India.
By far we are having 15 Published and one upcoming title with 60 Authors and Poets respectively. Authors and Poets not only from India but also from countries like UK, South Africa, Singapore. We can now proudly say that its not us but our work has spoken for us, with many accolades and titles attached with First Step Publishing.
What are the future projects?
Rohit Shetty: Recently we have launched four titles, “i”, An Anthology of 15 Short Stories based on the topic “i” which happens to be the shortest title of any book of a single letter. Also we have come up with two poetry collections titled, “The Purple Moon” by “Neelam Saxena Chandra”, and “Postcards From Memory” by “Samir Satam”, and one Fiction novel, “An Average Guy” by “Kshitiz Sudhakar”.
Currently we are working on a mythological book, “Yama, At the End Of Time” by “Elancharan Gunasekaran” who is based in Singapore.
Do you think that digital revolution and advent of e-books is creating a hurdle for paperback publishers?
Rohit Shetty: Digital Revolution has its two sides as well, one being the ease for aspiring writers to be published and being tagged as an ‘Author’ and other being the ease for upcoming Publishers to increase the number of books in their catalogue. In a way digital revolution and advent of e-books goes hand in hand with paperback version. Many writers wish that their books should be distributed globally, in such a case an e-book fits the bill. With the Global distribution of Google’s Playstore and Amazon’s Kindle versions of e-books the digital revolution has its own advantage but it also has its flip side as mentioned.
Tell us more about your recent project I-An anthology?
Rohit Shetty: We intended to come up with an anthology of short stories and were stuck up with concept or theme to be more precise. The topic “i” was just an outcome of a brainstorming session in office. So we started an online campaign on facebook and invited writers for their contribution. We were overwhelmed by the response we received. But we had to select handpicked stories and we narrowed down to 15 stories.
Being a single letter makes it the shortest title for a book ever published.
The coverpage of the book has the alphabet “i” written in 10 different languages, five Indian and five foreign languages.
Contributing Writers for “i” are from 3 countries including India, UK and South Africa making it our first global venture with beautiful short stories based on the theme “i”
Can you tell us some highlights and achievements of First Step publishing?
Rohit Shetty: First Step Publishing has fifteen published books by far, majority of which has an accolade or an award attached with it. Name it from the India Book Of Records for the most published poet to the best-selling titles on major online stores like amazon, homeshop18, infibeam, indiaplaza.
How many authors have published their work through First Step publishing?
Rohit Shetty: First Step Publishing has 15 published titled and one upcoming book with a total of 60 Writers and Poets including all the anthologies combined together.
What keeps you going in such a competitive market?
Rohit Shetty: Our Company’s tagline which happens to be our business motto, “Paving Ways For New Writers”, to which we have been working on with utmost sincerity.