If you thought publishing your work is an uphill task, Valmeeki is at your help. The start-up project of four youngsters, www.valmeeki.com, caters exclusively for first-time writers and self-published authors. Anything can be published online in a digital book format, that too free of cost, within hours at a royalty of 50-60 percent for the books sold online.
At the outset, the focus is on Malayalam and English, especially the jovial and raw writings of the rural folks. Writings can be uploaded either in MS Word or PageMaker for text and in jpeg for illustration content and those who lack typing skills can send in their manuscripts as well.
Valmeeki encourages books with 20-70 pages to be ready for sale online after the necessary editing in 72 hours. The pages are restricted as large volumes will not be popular with mobile phone readers. In the case of large books, the offer is to publish it in instalments, said Kuruvilla Chacko, the team leader.
All files will be converted to Valmeeki’s patent-pending reader format which compresses the books to as low as 50-100kb (enabling easy download and e-reading) before being published.
The e-books published can be bought through Internet banking or the balance amount available on their mobile phones and writers can track the progress of the sales of their uploaded books through unique author dashboard, says Kuruvilla.
The published books are made available online as well as on smart phone/tablet-based applications from where readers can download, read and save the purchased e-books.
The payment can be made online through Fortumo, a secured payment gateway or mobile balance transfers. Presently, 28 books including the first writing attempts of the famed cartoonist Toms, ‘Swargam Naanikkumbol’ and ‘Ente Thoolika Chalikkumbol’ are available on the site.
The project by Kuruvilla Chacko and three IT students from CUSAT Vishnu Unnithan, Vishnu GP and Suhair Zain gained shape under the mentorship of KC Chandrasekharan Nair, assistant principal consultant and Sajith Kumar E V, project manager, KITCO.
“Valmeeki is one of the first projects being realized through the ‘My Enterprise’ project by KITCO for the start-ups,” said Cyriac Davies, managing director, KITCO. “Eight projects similar to this are being hatched in the incubator of KITCO. Our aim is to hold the hands of the new entrepreneurs and initiate them into the market,” he added.
KITCO holds a minor stake of 10% while Yakub Purayil, a businessman from Kozhikode, has made 25% investment and the four youth together has a stake of 65%, which targets to publish 500 books in 45 days and 1500 books within the next 9 months.