The journey- How it all started off
Half Baked Beans is a 3-year-old publishing house that was primarily founded to help the aspiring writers who had no one to count on their raw manuscript. And, in these 3 years of its inception, they have reached pan India and made their mark as a publishing house steadily rising up to be India’s most promising publishing house.
In a competitive industry where publishers do not even take a minute to reject the manuscript, this one publishing house held on to its patience and ideology- to help the writers, no matter what. What is astounding is that being a startup, it started from scratch and has reached to a place where writers and authors look up to it as an inspiration. But as they say, all good things begin on a rough note. Hurdles came their way but they managed to sail through because of their perseverance and an undying love for books that resonated with a lot of budding writers.
Founded in the year 2014, the main drive behind it was to encourage the aspiring writers to get their works published. The publishing industry is a very competitive industry and it is no cake walk for the young aspirants to get their manuscripts out from the hard drive and get them published.
It is the appropriate stop for wannabe authors. At HBB, they publish everything! From 60-minute metro books to full-fledged novels, they have all to their credit. In its three years of inception, the publishing house boasts of 50 titles in its kitty, comprising of 4 Anthologies and 3 Poetry collections. The recently released Photo Poetry Book, “Gradients” by Swatii Chandak holds the world record of being the longest interconnected story.
In fact, they have two double header titles to their credit which is not a common trend in the publishing industry. “Love, again” by Sumeetha Manikandan and Shruti Patole Clarence and “Frozen Summer- Columbina” by Geeta Madhuri and Cynthia Vincent Daniel are examples of creative liberty.
Recently they launched 3 poetry books and celebrated December as their poetry month. When publishers are wary of publishing poetry books; they took up the challenge and fulfilled the dreams of upcoming poets who find it difficult to get their poems out in the print.
This in itself is a proof of the miscellany that the publication offers when it comes to catering to a mass market of readers. The diversity in genres that this publishing house has chosen is noticeable. Contemporary romance, suspense, humour, sarcasm, Sci-Fi, Sports drama and thriller, they have served all in the platter of literary delight.
Chetan Soni, the brain behind HBB says, “The reason we wanted to launch this publication was to promote young talent and aspiring writers, hence there was no way that we could have stayed in our comfort zone. As a publishing house, it is our duty to help the writers reach out to a vast and diversified segment of readers. Unless one takes risk, he cannot claim to be innovative”
Chetan Soni, a Social Media enthusiast and an Engineer-MBA turned Entrepreneur, dons’ different hats, but all with the same enthusiasm. Half baked beans is his brainchild and reflect his verve for life. He asserts his motto behind its inception, “When we started off, we wanted to offer the best of books and at the same time to give an ideal platform to all the promising writers. We are new in this industry, so can take challenges right now. Any startup thrives on the risk-taking attitude of the founder and his willingness to patiently test the ideas.”
In the 3 year journey, the publishing house has grown to make a mark among the literary jewels. A multitude of collaborations with like-minded people and the social media influencers like Kaffeinated Konversations, Read on, Rekhta, Your Quote, and AIESEC shows their willingness to explore the infinite opportunities that limited literary community has to offer.
One look at their Social media handles and you shall know the reason for their popularity. Innovative posts, Cool content and their tiny tales (which have recently crossed the coveted 500 mark) are eye catchers. A dedicated fan following of 1.3 lac on its FB page, 13.5k followers on Instagram, and a growing twitterati base with 2k followers, the HBB community is growing and branching at a rapid pace.
Their Social Media presence is quite impressive and their team constantly works towards building an HBB community where they can integrate social media influencers and creative people together.
A glimpse of its website will reflect the ideology behind its conception. When not many publishing houses give a chance to the young writers, this publishing house runs a blog and promotes the works of young bloggers and writers through its social media handles. With a total of some 450 plus blogs till date, the publishing house continues to be home to some prolific bloggers.
The Creative angle
In the last 3 years, the publishing house boasts of creative workshops for the budding writers and various online activities. Their indulgence in creative activities to promote young talent and grind their writing skills has been very encouraging. One such workshop was held in the year 2015 in Mumbai, known as “Creatrix”, to sharpen the writing skills and to educate the young writers about the intricacies of book publishing.
At Creatrix, the focus was on to educate and inspire the young writers so that they carve their own niche and achieve their goals. It also saw motivational lectures to encourage them and bridge the gap between the writers and authors. Some of the outstanding talent which got noticed during the event had the opportunity to work with the organizers in future projects too.
In the year 2016, another workshop, “Writing tips for beginners” was conducted by the publishing house and headed by Author Arun Prabhu. The writing workshop was successful with respect to the participation shown by the budding writers and knowledge taken back home.
Talking about future plans, the founder says, “The strategy is to build a brand name and then take a major plunge as regards to creative workshops and literary activities. Workshops are essential to hone the skills of the budding writers. We plan to host a number of workshops across India this year. We are working towards it. Recently, a session on “Writing effective blurb, Synopsis, and an Authors profile” was conducted by the publishing house.”
“We want to come up with more creative workshops to promote young talent and to revive the concept of ‘mentor-mentee’ which is important to bring the writing community together.”
“We plan to come up with more Anthologies to promote the new talent. The publishing industry is very volatile and therefore, we want to foray strategically. Another focus will be on to launch audio books along with the EBooks, which is not much explored by our counterparts. We also wish to bring in more diversity in the genres so that a wide readers base is targeted”, Chetan Soni says.
They have an innovative approach and that is reflected in their concept of Book marketing for the authors. This is a rather less explored domain and they plan to offer comprehensive Marketing packages to help the authors market their book strategically.
The site can be visited at http://www.halfbakedbeans.in/
Love to HBB Followers!