Jaya Jha is the co-founder at InstaScribePothi.com. It is a platform which allows writers to instantly publish their work. Jaya Jha started her journey when she herself wanted to write a book and publish it. When she researched, she found that there was no easy way to do it in India. That is when it hit her that this was an extraordinary idea where she could start her very own platform which will allow other writers to write and publish their books at ease and with comfort.
When asked about her company during an interview with The Views Paper Net she said, I started working full-time on Pothi.com since March 2008. The idea had first come to us (me and my partner Abhaya) around April 2007. It was the time when I was looking to publish a book of my own Hindi poetry. I quickly figured that traditional publishing would demand too much effort and my aim was only to publish for people around me. So, I started looking for self-publishing options and I did not come across any in India. At that point in time, we thought it would be a good idea to start it on our own. We always wanted to start up on our own anyway. And this looked like the right idea!’
However, no journey is free from struggles. When asked about her struggles during the same interview she remarked, ‘Figuring out operations of producing the book was the biggest challenge in the beginning. Firstly, we had no idea about the industry. Secondly, the concept of Print on Demand that we were trying to bring in was new to the industry itself. So, existing vendors were not of much help. We started off by doing everything ourselves. Neither of us is from a publishing background. But both of us are Computer Science graduates and the idea was to bring technology into publishing. So, relying on our capabilities in that field, we decided to take the plunge. Plus, we had always been very interested in reading and writing. So, we were happy and keen to learn things.’
She had a lot of ups and downs during her journey with this platform. When asked about this during her interview with Writing Tips Oasis she said, ‘Pothi.com is an open publishing platform, which can be used by individuals and organizations to publish their own books at little to no cost. The idea here has not been to displace traditional publishing, rather provide an alternative to people for whom traditional publishing does not work. And we have been successful in doing that.
Our biggest learning from Pothi.com has been that persistence matters in the Indian market. And despite being considered a slow-moving, old-fashioned business, publishing actually provides a lot of opportunity for innovation. These include technical as well as content related.’
‘InstaScribe has a focused mandate of helping people create professional e-books. It can be used by authors, publishers as well as service providers. It is an online app, in which you can import your content, directly edit and format it, auto-create TOC, easily fill up metadata and upload a cover, and then export to various formats in one-click.
There are two common ways of creating e-books currently. One is an automated conversion from an existing format such as Word or InDesign. The other is creating e-books from scratch dealing with HTML, CSS, and XML.
The first option is not perfect, and can never be perfect. The converted document will always have unintended elements of formatting.
The second one is too technical and there is no reason why authors or publishers should have to deal with HTML, CSS or XML.
InstaScribe provides a WYSIWIG editor and intuitive ways of directly editing the e-book, hence having control over the format and semantics, without having to worry about the technical details.
Once you have the e-book file, you can take it to any publishing platform including Kindle, Kobo, Nook, iBookstore etc.’
When this idea struck her, she chose to go for it. her drive to bring something to the country for the writers made it possible for all the writers to easily get their work published and also earn through the same medium. As inspiring as her story is, when an opportunity was thrown at Jaya, she did not let it go but worked hard enough to make it what it is today.