Naveen Valsakumar, Co-Founder of NotionPress ep25

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Naveen Valsakumar is a former technologist who co-founded Notionpress with his friends in 2012 with a INR 3,000 investment ($50). In four years, the company has grown to INR 6 Crores (nearly US 1 million) in sales, and is one of the self-publishing companies in India.

Naveen and I talk about his professional career before founding Notionpress, the story behind his company, growth plans, and services offered. We talk about the Notion Press Accelerator Program, which provides INR 100,000 (nearly 1,400 Dollars) to authors who have been able to sell 30 books with atleast 30 positive reviews.

A not to miss part of this discussion is where Naveen provides some facts and figures about the book publishing market in India, based on the FICCI+Nielsen report released in November 2015. India is the second largest english language book publishing market in the world, at US 4 billion dollars, it is a large though unorganized industry.

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Discussion With Naveen of Notionpress

  • Naveen and his friend but they were not happy with the publishing ecosystem in India when they were looking to get their book published.
  • When Naveen and his co-founders started Notionpress, they held a short story contest to gauge interest among users. They built a mailing list based onthis contest.
  • Notionpress today is 4 year old company. In its first year of operations, they published 3 books in 3 months. In 2015, they published 120 books per month. Revenues in first year were INR 4 million (USD 60,000) and they are on target to hit USD 1 million.
  • Notionpress focuses on book sales per author as a metric for their business.
  • The company is a full service publishing provider, including marketing,market alignment, editing, and guided publishing.
  • The challenge with this approach is that this is not a scalable model.
  • Naveen and his co-founders have started Notionpress Academy with the aim of educating authors about the self publishing process. The books, reference material will be at no cost.
  • Notionpress accelerator is a program under which authors will get 100,ooo Rupees (nearly USD 1,4000) for marketing of the book. Authors need to have sold 300 books with atleast 30 positive reviews to qualify for this program.
  • Litagram is another initiative of Notionpress that is a short story publishing platform similar to Tablo or Pronoun.

Statistics provided by Naveen on book publishing industry in India:

  • Book publishing in India is a USD 4 billion industry. Education accounts for 70% of the market, trade publications are 7% of the sales (i.e. at USD 300 million).
  • India has about 19,000 bookstores..
  • 68% of buyers buy new books and read atleast 1 book per year..
  • India is the 6th largest publishing market globally and the 2nd largest market for English language books.

Links and References

Update:

Notionpress has started a new initiative called Sansrack, which is an on-demand distribution company that enables publishers to bring their entire catalogue to life. The goal is to eliminate the word ‘Out-of-Print’ from the publishing world and to make all the books available to all the people at all times. SansRack also works with several international publishers to bring their titles to India at a price point that is sensible to the Indian market by producing it locally as opposed to importing them.