BlueRose Publishers Private Limited offers end-to-end publishing services to writers. Right from cover design to book launch and distribution, they stand shoulder to shoulder with their authors and provide them expert services all the way. It was launched on 18th August, 2015 as proprietorship and later registered as a private limited company on 16th April, 2018.
About the founders.
Ans: Syed Arshad is the founder of the company. He is an aircraft maintenance engineer by qualification and a writer and entrepreneur by profession. After completing his engineering in 2010, he started working with IBM and later joined Encore capital group as an account manager. He always wanted to be a writer and he published his book, If It’s Not Love, a romantic fiction, in 2012. We are publishing an interview with him:
Q.: What is the problem you are trying to solve? Please share with us any insights that led you to believe that this is a big enough problem?
Ans: Being a self-published author myself, I understood the pain and struggle a writer has to go through to get a book published. There are so many publication restrictions when it comes to choosing writing as a career. I gathered my knowledge and started BlueRose with the vision to provide end-to-end services to writers, making the process smooth for them. We have created a platform wherein writers can get their work published at an ease, in any genre and language, provided with the best assistance and services.
Q.: List all the names of the core Team Members, along with their Designated Roles – How you see them evolving over time. What would be each of their Skill Sets? – Elaborate also if any of the team members has a specific domain expertise.
Ans: Syed Arshad, Founder & Director, manages the sales and marketing and explores better opportunities for widening the company’s reach. Khushboo Kaushik, the CEO, takes care of the expansion and finds new ways to accelerate the company growth. Asad Hassan, the managing director, heads the operations and explores systems to ease the process, both for the clients and the managers handling their projects.
Q.: How did you get your first customer? Explain how you went about the Product-Market Fit Process.
Ans: Our first customer was Rajat, who found us on Facebook and contacted us for the redesign and publication of his already printed book, Understanding the Vedic Wisdom. Our country is a land of legends and stories and a huge number of people have a certain degree of inclination towards literature in their own peculiar ways and most of them pen down their stories hoping to see it in black and white. We realized that the regular traditional means of publication is not for everyone and is extremely exhausting and time-consuming. We did the research and started the venture with a slight twist in the process and welcomed authors to contribute in the initial investment to ease and fasten up the whole publishing procedure. This new system created a buzz in the market and all those who had been waiting for years got their chance.
Q.: What is your USP?
Ans: Our USP is the world class service and dedicated and honest support that we present. We believe everyone has a story that deserves to be read. We provide these stories a chance to reach millions of readers who are ready to appreciate the work of writers. Where most self-publishing companies fail to provide two major services—editing and physical distribution—we make it a point to provide these two services apart from all other basic services to all those who are willing to opt for the same. Our author-centric culture garners the immense love and support we get from our authors and helps us stand out amongst the crowd.
Q.: What were your assumptions when you entered the market, learning that you have? Who in your mind is your ideal customer? Do you have at least one of them signed up?
Ans: Being an avid reader and a published writer myself, I know the market and have a comprehensive understanding of the industry. During the initial days, we spent ample time trying to understand the exact requirements of the clients we were dealing with, and over time we found newer and better ways to fulfill the requests and offer an unmatched array of services. An ideal customer, which in our case is a writer, is a person who has a strong command over the language, has a unique style of presenting the story, and is active when it comes to promoting the product. Yes, we have a lot of “ideal” writers – Rashmi Trivedi, Devika Das, Kundan Kumar, Nupur Sandhu, Gaurav Mittal, Kanika to name a few. All these writers are doing fairly well on popular sites like Amazon and have topped the bestselling charts.
Q.: What has been your biggest failure as an entrepreneur and what did you learn from it??
Ans: Most companies fail when they start living the dream a little too early and start investing in unnecessary stuff. We made the same mistake during the early days and had a lot of unwanted expenses. After the 2017-2018 finance audit, we realized our mistake and have stopped investing on things that didn’t matter much. A good company becomes a great company because of the employees and the culture they create with positivity and ceaseless efforts. I, as an entrepreneur, feel that I am extremely lucky to have a great team that is not only professional but also dedicated to the company’s success.
Q.: How are you pricing the services? What is the logic behind it? What is the model you are following – Free / Freemium / Premium etc.? Explain your thought process.
Ans: We have an author-oriented approach, and therefore, pricing the services depends on the author’s requirements and budget. The packages that we offer are: Basic, Essential, Popular, Premium, and Premium Plus. An author who requires rich market support chooses the Premium/ Premium Plus Package compared to an author who doesn’t require much marketing and opts for Basic or Essential Package. We have built the pricing in a fashion that it can easily be customized depending upon the author’s choice and requirements.
Q.: Please tell us about the investors (if any).
Ans: We have been bootstrapping till now and are managing all our expenses from the company cash coming in through the door. This is a slow process, and now that we are ready to take the company to the next level, we don’t mind giving away a portion of the company for a faster expansion.
In fact, we are in touch with a lot of investment companies which have shown interest in our model, and we are in constant communication with them to make it happen.
Q.: Is there any interesting success story of your startup? If yes, please write about it.
Ans: Everyday is a new success and every author who signs up with us, is a new feather in the hat. Some of our authors are getting massive love and attention from readers all across the world, and that speaks of our success. Well, to tell an interesting story, recently, a poem written by one of our bestselling writers, Rashmi Trivedi, went viral under late Mr. Ram Jethmalani’s name, but the fact finders from India Today, Quint and The Week did stories to reveal the truth and got the author the credit she deserved.
Q.: Since inception, give us a sense of the value of business done by your venture? Please explain in detail. (e.g., What is the current turnover? From Launching till date total no. of visitors on website/persons registered/enquiries and enrollment etc.)
Ans: From three authors a year to fifteen hundred authors a year, from a turnover of a few hundred to about half a million dollars, it’s been a spectacular journey—a journey full of lessons, hardships, struggle, joy and moments that now define our lives. We have over 50,000 writers registered with us and the current rank of our official website as per Alexa is 48,377 which is far better than most publishing houses in India.
Q.: What is the big picture of your startup? Is this Product/service leading to something bigger? If so, how?
Ans: The larger goal of our startup is to make the ghost of rejection go away and make publishing a piece of cake for every writer, so they get the chance they deserve. We plan on starting a hi-tech DIY-cum-Social Media Platform for writers all across the world. We also have plans to launch our book lounge chain in all major cities in India and abroad and make reading and writing an awesome experience for all.
Q.: Who do You Perceive as Your Competition? How do you differentiate yourself with them?
Ans: Notion Press is doing really good and we are constantly competing with them in a healthy way to acquire more authors. We understand that an individual writer may not be able to pay a hefty amount to start the process; we offer complete solutions with installment plans and reasonable costing as compared to most self-publishing companies.
Q.: What would be your goal to accomplish in the next six months? Any other information you would like to share?
Ans: In the next six months, we plan on improvising the publishing technology to ease the process. We also have our children book imprint, WizBubbles, ready to launch its first set of children books for the upcoming session.
Q.: What message do you want to convey to fellow entrepreneurs?
Ans: The only message I want to give to my fellow entrepreneurs is, don’t ever give up on your dreams. Things will be rough and the road will be bumpy but you hold on to the vision and things will definitely fall into place.
Thanks Syed. Best wishes.