We, as a part of this Fraternity, are at the crossroads of an unprecedented ordeal.
In the past fews years, we have had to grapple with floods, cyclones, demonetization and GST, among other challenges. Before we could even latch on to any kind of support, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought us closer than ever to the brink of collapse.
The pandemic has made certain irreversible changes in the lives of people throughout the world, and we are no exception. Given the gravity of the situation, we will have to let go of certain conventions and adapt to the new normal.
A business entity must inevitably equip itself in accordance to changing times, and ease of operation becomes paramount. For an industry that has survived two World Wars, countless calamities and economic crises, the kind of changes that have taken place in the last few months have been radical. While it is too early to predict where these changes will lead us, it is quite clear that even the remotest possibility of revamping the book fairs have been ruled out.
It is almost certain that we all anticipate a huge slump in our sales trajectories. Something quite radical has to be done if we are to keep ourselves afloat.
This is what has brought us together to devise an alternate business model that would set the ball rolling slowly but steadily. Considering the dent that the lockdowns have left in our supply chain management, going online is the most feasible way to function right now.
Those publishers with an adequate website capable of processing payments would have already realized the potential. Some are even adept at using social media to sell their products, without a website. But the majority of us publishers rely too heavily on e-commerce players like Amazon and Flipkart, who have frozen their inventory except for the essentials, to sell their books.
Instead of finding a quick fix for our problems, the publishing industry needs to build something concrete using our collective customer bases. Riding this wave by embracing technology will make us more resilient as a community.
One cannot deny the fact that the effort and cost that goes into building a robust marketplace, capable of accommodating a lot of publishers, is immense. But as a token of gratitude for our chosen trade, we decided to stick together until this idea takes shape and SMEs do the needful in driving it to fruition. Everyone belonging to the publishing ecosystem stands to benefit from this – readers, publishers and sellers.
To start with, this site will provide a one-stop solution for publishers by giving a virtual storefront (website) that emulates the feel of a book fair, through site navigation and activities. Though the ultimate objective is to build a nationwide selling network, we are also conscious of realizing it without losing out on the individuality of every publisher - irrespective of size, language, or any other parameter.
There will be a set of customizations that could be done by each publisher in their storefront: putting up banners, altering the display (for now 2d) like in a physical book fair and others. The site will have inbuilt functionalities that give space for reviews and literary activities with the social media plug-ins. Based on sustainable support from you, we can extend the base to a fully virtual (3d) – user experience.
We wouldn’t be surprised if this turns out to become our primary source of income in the coming years!
The subscription plans are worked out in such a way that, irrespective of the slab chosen, the amount that each publisher shells out for a single title annually is more or less uniform. The net amount for every slab is nominal, especially when compared to building a website with payment gateway integration from the scratch. Moreover, the built-in functionalities of the marketplace will be so sophisticated that there can be no comparison to an independent site.
Subscriptions will be processed on a first come first serve basis. To avail the early bird advantage, make sure your applications reach us before the cutoff date. Discounts in rates slabs won’t be available after the cutoff date.
We will keep you posted on the subsequent steps in our follow up emails. Please read them carefully and make sure that all your clarifications are raised and that suggestions are put forth. We will collate them, track them, and respond to them collectively by creating an FAQ section.
We are also building a unique app-based content management system so that people who don’t have soft copies of the books, wrapper images, or catalog in Excel can key in everything from their mobile.
For any further assistance, please do reach out to us.
No posts found