Do you have a way with words? Do you constantly find yourself making up stories and situations that you wish that people could read about?
Its tough being a writer these days, especially when you want many people to read your works but you get no response from publishers.
But now it seems that Dastaan has something for Pakistani writers, an online service that lets them publish their works online. That and the chance to get read by a thriving community of online readers.
Founded by Syed Ommer Amer, with help from Hafsa Idrees and Tahniat Saba, Dastaan came into being given his own love for the written word. Omar found out the hard way how publishing houses in the country treated new and young writers. Rejected by a publishing house in Pakistan, he sat out to help himself and other writers who could’ve ended up in the same situation as his.
One year in, Dastaan has rolled out a comprehensive all-in-one publishing portal with MeraQissa.com. A service that aims to solve the problems faced by a new generation of writers who want to start their literary careers.
What is MeraQissa and How Does It Help Writers?
Many writers will tell you that writing the story is half of the battle, with publishers becoming more of an obstacle than the antagonist in their books. Getting a book published in modern times is as hard as David taking down Goliath or Harry taking down Voldemort.
MeraQissa is the answer to that conundrum. Apart from it giving Pakistani writers the means to pursue their literary pursuits, it also allows them to earn revenue online.
At MeraQissa, writers can get registered and submit their works for editing and publishing. The service offers three plans for writers, based on their needs and requirements:
This is a plan for writers who want to get their work published online. The basic plan is free and also provides weekly reports to authors. Dastaan provides an online reading tool with limited features or works published under basic plan.
This one gives readers daily reports as opposed to weekly ones. Writers can also sell their services as well as get advertising credit. There’s a Pro online reader included with the Pro Plan as well, which we can surmise offers more features like annotation and note-taking for the ebooks.
This plan gives you all the features of the Pro Plan, with the addition of a monthly swag box. Not a bad deal if you like goodies with your subscription.
Getting your work online at MeraQissa is free. But these three tiers also give more options for writers who want to see how well their published work is doing along with some nifty features and credit. The platform showcases your works on a store front, letting interested buyers check out your book and pay for it.
The Dastaan team recently concluded their writing competition on the theme ‘The Stories Untold.’ The three winning entries are available for download at MeraQissa.com, with more in the pipeline.
With self-publishing platforms like Dastaan, the question inevitably turns to one of quality control. Will Dastaan revive the literary scene of Pakistan with high-quality editing and good pieces? Or will it publish work after work, after checking it with basic proof-reading? This is a question that only time will tell as Dastaan and MeraQissa grow in the months ahead. Even Amazon’s CreateSpace platform is plagued by numerous low quality works.
It will be interesting to see how the Pakistani answer to CreateSpace does for the cause of literature and publishing here. At the moment, we’re cautiously optimistic, given that now a more painless option exists for debutante authors.