Blue Rose – Author-turned-publisher

Working with and for authors

Khushboo Kaushik, chief executive officer, BlueRose Publishers

Syed Arshad, a first-time author, faced several challenges when it came to publishing his book through traditional publishing platforms. Through his experiences, he discovered the problems many first-time authors face with their manuscript that never gets through the literary gatekeepers of traditional publishing.

Looking for a solution and to help other struggling writers, Arshad started Blue Rose Publishers, a self-publishing platform, in 2012. In the initial days, Blue Rose took book requests through a Facebook page from a small room of Arshad’s house. With time, the publishing house grew in terms of employees and space and now has offices in Rajiv Chowk (earlier Connaught Place) and Daryaganj in Delhi. Blue Rose publishes approximately 200-250 books a month and has diversified its business with its literary and life magazine, LitGleam, and WordsBrew, an event for authors and readers.

Speaking on the firm’s self-publishing model, Khushboo Kaushik, chief executive officer, Blue Rose Publishers said, “Being a self-publishing platform, we can’t rely on content. Even a good author is bound to make mistakes. And sometimes, it is difficult to convince first-time authors to get their book edited by our editorial team. And the number of books we publish each month is high; it is impossible to edit each book. The quality of a self-published book is certainly not promising, but at the same time, it gives a chance to first-time authors to publish their book in a hassle-free manner.

“We have several book publishing packages that differ in services and price. We edit the books according to the services chosen by authors. We don’t publish without the consent of the author. They look at the changes made by us and if they agree with them, we go ahead. Many upcoming authors don’t receive a response from traditional publishers and are mostly rejected, even if they do. Self-publishing is good for authors who want to keep the essence of their content intact, which may not be understood by an editor. Additionally, if a book does well and is picked up by a traditional publisher, our authors are free to get it published by them as well. The book is the author’s property.”

Blue Rose is attempting to build a traditional publishing brand – Hesten. Under Hesten, the publisher will undertake editing, designing, and marketing of books. However, only the books that do well in the self-publishing model will be chosen to be published under Hesten.

“The books that show the potential to do well in the market will be picked for Hesten. Rashmi Trivedi is the author to be published by Hesten,” Kaushik added.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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