Faheem Bhat is an author, founder & CEO of Kashmir’s first and fast-growing self-publishing house, Lieper Publications. His debut novel, Wandering For Love, was released in 2017 and was an instant bestseller on Amazon India.
Faheem spoke with Team Storiyaan about his journey from an engineering dropout, to a novelist and now, a publisher.
Questions and answers
What is the meaning of Leiper? How do you feel about the progress of Leiper publications so far?
The word “Leiper” means “Basket,” but to me, it is more of an emotion than a mere name. I have come a long way from the struggles of being a newbie author, from dropping out of engineering to getting my debut novel published. Again a spiral of conflicts to get some recognition for my book and at the end of it all I lived to see it to be a bestseller of 2017. Setting up my dream company ‘Leiper Publication’ in the following year, I learned a lot, and I feel incredibly fortunate to be the Founder of this Publication.
What were some of the difficulties that you had to face during the initial days of developing the publishing house?
The decision to start a publishing house in Kashmir seemed like an enormous challenge, and the prospects were gloomy. The market is a virgin, yet working in a place like Kashmir is full of obstacles. There were a host of issues ranging from lack of proper infrastructure like quality printing press to lack of decent readership, but we were prepared for the challenge, and thus Leiper Publication was born.
What, according to you, is the importance of books in shaping young minds?
Everything changes when we read. The more we read, the more enlightened we become. Knowledge is expanded; the mind is empowered and broadens our perception of things. It opens our minds to new possibilities, ideas, and vivid imaginations. It makes us better empathizers and helps us see the world through others’ eyes.
While publishing with you, how much control does the writer have?
I credit my mother, who has been my constant motivation to keep up a routine and take care of my skin. I’d generally ask my readers to keep it basic. Find out what your skin type is. Mine is a combination of oily and dry and depends on the weather, mostly. If you love coffee, hydrate yourself with a lot of water at the same time.
I sweat a lot while working out, and I feel my skin benefits from it. Try to eat well and moisturize. Whether it’s chilly or warm, sunscreen is a must. Don’t forget to remove your makeup before hitting the bed. Make sure your skin is clean. And, of course, makeup exists for a reason. At times when I have a shoot planned for the next day, I get a pimple. So thank God for Makeup!
How would you explain the process of publishing a book to a newbie?
We are a Self Publishing house where all the control is in the writer’s hands. Until the author doesn’t approve, nothing happens. The writer is the CEO of the book.
Once talking about your plan, you said you are finding the key to something big, and unless you didn’t get it, you would like to keep all to yourself. What did you mean by that statement? Did you find out the key yet?
Well, I must say you have done your research pretty neatly. So yes, I am very near to it. I can’t disclose my upcoming project (although I can name it. ‘Leiper Books’ I am working hard on getting its existence).
With reading becoming a dying practice as we go forward, how do you plan on keeping a business stay afloat in the bleak future of reading?
The brick and mortar model of readership is slowly fading into oblivion. It needs a click and mortar push, Leiper Books would do precisely that.