Half Baked Beans – 3 Years of baking literary dreams!
In an industry where publishers are swift to reject manuscripts, this one holds on to its patience and ideology- to help budding writers in whom the establishment’s own perseverance and undying love for books resonate. Here is everything you need to know about the Delhi based publishing house, Half Baked Beans.
Half Baked Beans was established in 2014 with the primary focus to help aspiring writers achieve the dream of publishing their work. In the last 3 years, they have received nation-wide recognition, steadily rising up to be India’s most promising publishing house.
(Some of the titles from the litany of works HBB has published)
At HBB, they publish everything! From 60-minute metro books to full-fledged novels, they cover it all, and currently boast 50 titles, comprising 4 Anthologies and 3 Poetry collections. They recently released a Poetry Book, “Gradients” by Swatii Chandak, which holds the world record of being the longest interconnected story.
Add to this two double header titles to their credit which is not a common trend. “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.
In a time when publishers are wary of putting out poetry books, they launched 3 of such, even celebrating December as their poetry month. Their dedication to provide variety while catering to a mass market of readers is evident and encompasses genres such as contemporary romance, suspense, humour, sarcasm, sci-fi, sports drama, and thriller.
(Chetan Soni, Founder of Half Baked Beans)
Chetan Soni (Social Media enthusiast and an Engineer-MBA turned Entrepreneur) is the brain behind HBB, and this venture reflects his verve for life. He explains, “When we started off, we wanted to offer the best of books and at the same time give an ideal platform to promising writers. It is our duty to help them reach out to a vast and diversified segment of readers. Unless one takes risk, he cannot claim to be innovative” He also adds, “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.”
“When we started off, we wanted to offer the best of books and at the same time give an ideal platform to promising writers… We are new in this industry, so can take challenges right now.”
– Chetan Soni (Founder, Half Baked Beans)
HBB has made a mark among literary jewels, and 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
Innovative posts, cool content and their “Baked Musings” (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 at a rapid pace.
A glimpse of its website will reflect the ideology behind its conception. HBB runs a blog and promotes the works of young bloggers through its social media handles. With a total of some 450 plus blogs till date, it continues to be home to some prolific bloggers.
The Creative angle
Not only does this publication house issue works of writers, it also nurtures the creativity of those with a knack for writing by conducting workshops and various online activities. They organised “Creatrix” (one such workshop) in 2015 in Mumbai that also educated young writers about the intricacies of book publishing; to encourage them further, its programme even included motivational lectures. Some of the outstanding talent had the opportunity to work with the organisers in future projects too.
Last year another workshop, “Writing tips for beginners” , was conducted and headed by Author Arun Prabhu successfully.
(Creatrix in Mumbai)
Talking about future plans, the founder says, “The strategy is to build a brand name and then take a major plunge into creative workshops and literary activities across India this year. Workshops are essential to hone the skills of budding writers, and to revive the concept of ‘mentor-mentee’ important to bring the writing community together.” Recently, a session on writing effective blurb, synopsis, and author’s profile was conducted.
“We plan to come up with more anthologies to promote new talent. Another focus will be on launching audio books alongwith e-books, 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.”
“Another focus will be on launching audio books alongwith e-books, which is not much explored by our counterparts.”
– Chetan Soni (Founder, Half Baked Beans)
Always innovative in their approach, HBB plans to offer comprehensive Marketing packages to help the authors market their book strategically.
The market is aflood with gadgets that promise to revolutionise the way the world reads, but time and again literature printed on paper has proved its resilience and invincible lure. Half Baked Beans has struck a balance between the two mediums, keeping alive the culture of reading either way, while also manifesting the talents of those who will ultimately expand the literary elements to be read.
Contributed by Zenia Khurshid