Rashmi Bansal is synonymous with inspiration. Her books tells the real stories of people who chase their dreams and catch them too. Her stories of entrepreneurs winning against all odds have inspired many new enterprises. We wouldn’t be wrong if we say that almost every new age entrepreneur has taken a leaf out of her books. The author of books such as ‘Stay Hungy Stay Foolish,’ and ‘Connect the Dots,’ has something new in store.
This time Rashmi Bansal is not only motivating, but helping people realise their dreams of becoming published authors. Her latest venture, Bloody Good Book has recently published India’s first crowd-curated book, Brutal.
Rashmi Bansal tells Woodpie more about Bloody Good Book, and how you can also get your book published through her in this interview:
1. You have turned publisher with your latest venture Bloody Good Book (BGB). What made you start it?
I have been fortunate in my writing career and had easily found a publisher for myself. But I often get emails from aspiring authors who find it difficult to find publishers, so I thought I should start a platform that is geared towards helping new writers. Niyati Patel is my partner in this venture.
2. How does Bloody Good Book work?
We share the first 3 chapters of an author’s manuscript on the Bloody Good Book website. Members of the site can read and rate these manuscripts. We have an algorithm which generates the top 10 books of the month. From these top-rated books our editorial board selects 1 manuscript a month to publish. Currently there are 120 manuscripts and more than 7700 members on the Bloody Good Book website.
Though we publish a handful of books all authors benefit from feedback and peer review. Many have gone on to find other publishers.
3. BGB publishes e-books and prints some books in association with Westland. Do you think physical books will survive the battle with e-books in future?
I think there is a place for both print and ebooks. Ebooks are less than 2% of the total book market today whereas in the US 25% of all books sold are in electronic format. So the demand for ebooks will grow tremendously in India. But print books will also have a market. TV did not kill the movies – any format must be innovative and hold reader interest.
4. What do you think about the future of the Indian Publishing Industry?
The future is bright but publishers need to be more responsive and grow the market. We need to work with schools and colleges to inculcate the reading habit from a young age. This is not the job of one publisher but the industry as a whole. I also feel that publishers should treat authors better by signing contracts which are fair and not binding for lifetime. In future, many authors may decide to go the self-published route as publishers are not doing justice to their titles. They should have the option to take back the rights to their books.
5. What do you like being the most, writer or entrepreneur? Why?
Writing is my first love, my passion, my joy. Entrepreneurship is also exciting but for me it’s always been a means to an end. Having my own company gives me freedom and power to be who I want to be.
6. While in college, you were one of the 12 young journalists selected for The Independent’s Journalist Trainee program. However you decided to pursue a MBA from the IIM, Ahmedabad. How different do you think your life would be if you had chosen journalism over a MBA?
Had I not done MBA I would have gone to Columbia School of Journalism. Life would have been equally interesting and focussed on writing!
7. What challenges did you face when you chose to become a writer?
As a freelance writer in college I had to face numerous rejections before I finally got my article published in the Times of India middle column. But I treasure that experience because it made me more determined and committed to my writing. I always tell aspiring authors that talent and persistence go hand in hand. Don’t give up easily and don’t write just to get published. Keep writing for yourself, for the joy of expressing yourself.
8. Do you agree that many entrepreneurship dreams die young? What do you think is the cause?
Many dreams die young because we are weak in our commitment to that dream. If you have strength of mind and clarity of purpose things fall into place.
9. Is there any person who has inspired you the most, during the course of your research for your books? If yes, could you please tell us about this person?
Every person I have met for my books is an exceptional human being. But the one person who has inspired me the most is Sunil Handa (from Stay Hungry Stay Foolish). He was also my teacher at IIM Ahmedabad.
10. Rashmi Bansal’ s advice aspiring writers:
Write from the heart and do not copy any other author’s style of ideas. If you are true to yourself you will connect with the reader
11. Rashmi Bansal’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs:
Start small but think big. You are never tool old or too young – the time to begin working on your idea is now.
12. What book are your working on? When can we expect it?
I am working on a book about Akshaypatra, which provides midday meals to 1.4 million children across India. It is a fascinating story of social enterprise where spiritualism and capitalism work hand in hand. The book will be released in mid-2016.
13. Which book has influenced your life the most? How?
Bhagavad Gita. It encompasses the entire truth of life.
14. Please recommend three books to your readers.
1. You Can Heal Your Life – Louise Hay
2. The Good Earth – Pearl S Buck
3. Losing my Virginity – Richard Branson
15. Please try Woodpie.com, and let us know what you think of it.
Sure – will do! (I have seen the site and think it’s a great idea. Have not had a chance to use it and give detailed feedback).