Engineering dropout founds Kashmir’s first self-publishing house

Greater Kashmir

Engineering dropout founds Kashmir’s first self-publishing house

Asma Hafiz

Srinagar,

Jul 9 2018

Faheem Bhat, a 19-year-old engineering dropout who was in news for getting his first book published, has come up with a promising venture. After facing a lot of hurdles while getting his book published, he took it upon himself to make sure that other budding writers from Kashmir do not go through the same. This thought paved the way for his publishing house by the name Lieper Publications, which was successfully launched in June of this year.

“After my book got published, many young authors approached me to understand how the publishing criterion works and how the whole process unfolds. For many young authors, it is not possible to just go out of state and get in touch with publishing houses. So, due to the lack of any self-publishing units in Valley, it struck me to set up one. It took several months of research to come up with this venture. I went outside and visited a lot of publishing houses just to understand how all the procedures commenced there,” says Faheem.

Faheem dropped out of an engineering college to devote his time to his novel, ‘Wandering for Love’, which initially gained disapproval from his parents. He somehow managed to convince them and the success of his book shut all the doors of criticism. While discussing the process of establishment, one question repeatedly haunted him. Would this work in Kashmir?

“I was completely oblivious to the whole process that goes behind setting up a company. What made it even more difficult was that I was not from commerce background so I lacked the basic knowledge. Even small things like getting the company registered seemed like a mountain to climb. You need to consider a lot of things before you actually start to fathom the possibility of turning your dream in to reality,” says Faheem.

After setting up the office in Srinagar cities Rainawari area, another obstacle presented itself in the guise of reaching out to people.

“I thought of collaborating with global selling units like Amazon, Flipkart but convincing them to work with the company proved to be herculean task. Numerous rejections followed in a row due to the volatile situation in Kashmir. I finally managed to get in touch with a few groups who were willing to collaborate and sell the published books outside Kashmir,” he says.

Quite surprisingly, the first client of Lieper Publications turned out to be a 13-year old kid who according to Faheem has “done amazingly well for a boy of his age”. Evident from this, Faheem is all set to promote the literature of Kashmir irrespective of the age bar.

When asked about the how the procedure of publishing works, he says:

“Well, the system is not very generic and it depends on individual basis. An author comes up to us with the manuscript or connects through mail. We take a certain amount of time to decide if we would want to publish him or not. After getting an approval, he or she is assigned a designated project manager who would help the author on his or her decided package and how to frame the work. The author works with us and decides on how the book shall be like and then we make the book ready to be distributed through online stores,” he says.

The finances were managed with the aid of his parents who placed their trust in his idea and fully supported his dream. Lieper Publications offers its services at a very low price range.

“I wish to make recognition of talent easy by helping aspiring authors getting their work published without investing a huge amount. We also make post-publishing arrangements like book launch, cover launch and other things. The idea is not to take a lot of projects but to focus on quality writers. It is so blissful to think you can help a person in achieving their goals,” he says.

Box: For many young authors, it is not possible to just go out of state and get in touch with publishing houses. So, due to the lack of any self-publishing units in Valley, it struck me to set up one. It took several months of research to come up with this venture. I went outside and visited a lot of publishing houses just to understand how all the procedures commenced there

Faheem Bhat, 19, author and founder of self-publishing house Lieper Publications