Started by an ex-googler, Pothi is a print-on-demand startup that enables authors to publish their own books.
Here is how pothi works:
- Author submits the book in word format
- AUthor can create a cover or chose from Pothi’s template
- Author can specify the book price.
- Pothi will calculate the price (Price = Production Cost + 2* Author’s Margin)
- Books are printed on-demand and author’s margin is transferred as the sales happen.
Print-on-demand/self publishing is quite a new concept in India and though it breaks the traditional hard-nose publisher barrier, there are a couple of challenges associated with it:
- Marketing – Author has to market the book himself. Sites like blurb give away widgets that authors can embed on their site. But in the Indian context, marketing is a big challenge and not sure how many of serious authors can successfully do that.
- Distribution – Readers need to order books from the online store – so essentially, Pothi needs to create an online brand store or tie-up with online retailers, for e.g. amazon, or local stores like sapna book house – which means apart from the operational part, they also need to take care of the marketing cost.
I do believe that partnering with a content player will ease out the distribution challenge – just that there aren’t too many original content sites in India.
Actually, much of Pothi’s success also depends on how Pothi positions itself – an integration with blogger/wordpress will give them access to bloggers (the initial adopters, in my opinion) who might want to publish their blogs as books (or atleast market pothi thru’ widgets) – but is that the market they want to address?
Or more serious authors? (we will ask them in the subsequent posts!).
Pothi has already released first set of books – check them out here.
Give Pothi a spin and do share your comments.