Srinagar: In a first, two young Kashmiris have launched a self-publishing private company to facilitate established as well as aspiring writers to publish their work in exchange of nominal charges.
Saima Mirza and Faheem Bhat started Lieper Publications (Pvt.) Ltd, a self publishing house, with a tag line: “we turn writers into author”.
In this regard, a formal launch function was held at a local restaurant on 31 May in Srinagar which was attended to by noted columnists, writers, journalists, poets, academicians, aspiring writers and students of literature etc.
Aijaz ul Haque, veteran columnist at Greater Kashmir, congratulated the duo for coming up with a novel idea.
“What Saima and Faheem have come up with is a moment of pride for all of us,” Haque said while suggesting to the duo that “in all things be professional”.
Senior journalist Gowhar Geelani said that the newly-launched self publishing house could prove helpful in “diversifying the art of storytelling in Kashmir”.
“In Kashmir we have a narrative vacuum which can be filled by such innovative initiatives,” Geelani said adding that “Lieper Publications have a big responsibility now to hire professional editors and make sure that there is no compromise on the quality of work while opening new windows of opportunities for up-and-coming writers.”
In her welcome address, Saima Mirza, an alumnus of Mallinson and DPS, said that “We did an analysis of the existing publishing houses in India and abroad which took us around six months to understand the complete process that goes behind a book being finally published.”
Saima said that her company chose “Amazon, Flipkart, Shop Clues and all other global selling units as distributors.”
She acknowledged that “getting them to work with us in Srinagar was another difficult task due to the ever unstable conditions we face here. It took a lot of effort in convincing them to collaborate with us.”
With background in Architecture, Saima nurtures a strong passion for literature and arts.
Faheem Bhat shared his experience of getting his first book published, which he said eventually sowed the idea of launching a self publishing company in Srinagar itself.
Vijay Dhar of Delhi Public School in his brief address during the inaugural function said that “the focus of the new self publishing house should remain Kashmir-centric.”
Dhar assured his full moral support to the new company.
Besides facilitating book publishing, the new company promises to arrange events like coffee with the author, designing the cover, publicity and marketing of the book through various mediums, organising creative writing workshops and book review functions etc under the Lieper banner.