One of the key roles of Daastan, apart from Publishing, is marketing, advertising ,distribution and promoting Literary activities in Pakistan. Bleed, Breath, Sing is a book from a young author. We at Daastan believe in empowering young authors. Through a smooth transparent system, we establish a direct link between authors and buyers with the help of Literati Choice consequently, benefitting the writers.
On 21st Februrary 2020, Daastan arranged a book launch for Ms Komal Salman’s latest Book “Bleed, Breathe, Sing”. The event was held at National Incubation Center, Islamabad. To our surprise, more than a 100 people turned up to support and congratulate the young author on achieving this milestone. Students, teachers, social activists, researchers and even families were eager to be a part of such Literary activities, who joined us to celebrate local talent and the future leadership of Pakistan.
‘Bleed, Breath, Sing’ – At the Book Launch
The event started off with an energetic and optimistic discussion on Pakistani Society and the importance of such Literary activities in our community. Our panel included Ms Anum, the design lead at Daastan, Ms. KomalSalman, author at Qissa, Mr. Ayub a social activist and Mr Ommer Amer the founder of Daastan. These panelists discussed ways of bringing social change in light of their own unique experiences. The significance of social change in our community and its impact was their key focus.
Activities at the Book Launch
The best part about Literary activities is the audience. When literary enthusiasts meet, creativity, talent and art is bound to emerge. Our guests were no less artistic themselves. Performances and recitals by local artists were also arranged. Through these activities, we realize that it is not the lack of talent or hard-work but a lack of avenues and platforms that hinder our youth to excel in their respective fields. At Daastan, we do our best to ensure that our local artists are provided with every opportunity.
The book launch concluded with a one-on-one meetup with the author Ms. Komal Salman, herself. She gave out signed copies to our guests as a token of appreciation.
To sum up, we are proud to have helped our talented writer Ms. Komal Salman in achieving her dream. We hope to keep connecting these emerging authors to readers and buyers in an attempt to upgrade the literary industry of Pakistan. If yousupport our vision and wish to be a part of our literary activities, join us by signing up at Daastan to build our community!
It is the hardest thing to say because the things that we hold dear to us means the world to us. However, in order to move and survive we have to take some tough decisions. Even though we don’t like them. It is just like a doctor operating a patient to save it’s life.
At Daastan, we are facing somewhat a similar situation. Standing at the crossroads, we have to choose. Five years was such a blissful journey where we worked with our brilliant A-team and authors all across the world. We co-created solutions, put out fires and worked tirelessly for one cause i.e. enable authors to publish their books free of cost.
Reasons for good bye
We hired the best of the best, the rarest of talents in terms of design and content to ensure that authors can learn and make the most out of this opportunity. We spent all our savings to facilitate authors and team. You won’t believe it but Daastan almost generated and injected 100,000 USD in the local economy, in past five years of its operations.
We know that you are wondering that why a good bye. Is Daastan closing its operations? Before we answer that, we want to highlight one more thing that we marketed our authors and team not on local level but also on international forums and exhibitions on our cost because we believed that as a platform, it is our duty to do that. It would help people in excelling in their careers.
However, what hurt us was that much of the people took us for granted, abused the services, lied and fought with us. Our team spent countless hours facilitating them day and night. We issued refunds, regardless of the fact that whose mistake it was. We wanted to help.
In fact, we still do and forever will.
Life After Good byes
In light of these challenges, we have now decided to say good bye to the ones who do not consider Daastan as their future, be it authors or team. It is okay because everyone has right to choose for themselves and we respect that. We live, breathe and walk literature in our everyday’s life. We will be spending our energies, time and resources on those who share the same vision and passion.
Internally, we have restructured and formalized the work processes. We have said good byes to some of the most fantastic team members because the visions weren’t aligning further. Though they left but we will forever be good friends and partner-in-literary-crimes. We will still be meeting over a cup of tea and sharing the laughs. Life moves on!
We are no longer a startup, rather evolved into a for-profit social enterprise. We know most of the people would argue that making money and doing social work can not go hand-in-hand. We are here to prove that it can. We will make enough money so we can invest back in the community and improve lives. The old mindset needs to go. Youth is coming to take charge. New rules are being forged. Publishing in Pakistan will never be the same again!
Future of readers?
The readers can still read the published content, order books and leave reviews on our publishing platform, Qissa. The platform was and forever will be free for readers.
Future of authors?
Daastan will no longer provide services free of cost. We are introducing an annual membership where we will work with people who are passionate and crazy enough to invest on their selves.
It is such a wrong tradition that publishers would just print the titles and hand them over to authors. Same is the case online where tech portals, newspapers and magazines would take free content, make money through it and author suffers. We are saying good bye to this tradition and challenging ourselves to market authors who join our membership program.
What makes our platform unique is that author can see the performance of their content. Ask yourself that would you prefer to dump your books in a bookstore who take insane margins, provides no guarantee and gives no proper report of sales or would you prefer an online portal where you can see the readership, monitor your sales and draw your earnings whenever you want?
We believe in transparency and accountability and we use technology to improve efficiency, kill useless paperwork and unwanted bureaucracy. Good bye to old traditions. The future of publishing is Daastan! The opportunity is knocking at your door, will you avail it?
P.S. We are not closing the company. Just re-formed the team and upgraded the way we work i.e. introduced annual memberships.
If there is one thing that Daastan’s founder, Mr. Syed Ommer Amer, has always been proud of, it ishis exceptional team. Singular in passion, and absolutely awe inspiring, his team has been exceptional when it comes to helping Daastan achieve its goals. Mr. Ommer attributes Daastan’s continuous success to his brilliant team, that never fails to amaze him and has never let him down.
Meet Our Team
Ms. Mahnoor Naseer:
The first core member we will celebrate here is Mahnoor Naseer. Mahnoor’s journey with Daastan began when she applied to be a part of the debut batch of the Literary Fellowship. Throughout the fellowship, she showed more great potential. Upon graduating she launched a global digital platform for artists to share their work, called “The Ancient Souls”. Mahnoor helped Daastan set up our operations across the border in India, and eventually rose to the level of Editor in Chief with her constant struggles to aid Daastan. An electrical engineer by profession, she has never let her degree limit her to one field of expertise and has self-taught herself to be a storyteller, a poet, and a transcriptionist. Recently, she has had the honor of being selected as a Citizen Historian for the 1947 Partition Archive, which is a non-governmental and non-political organization working on the preservation and archival of the stories of people who were displaced in the 1947 partition.
Ms. Momina Latif:
The second member to be brought to the spotlight is Momina Latif, the design lead at Daastan. Momina is also Co-founder Jadugar and co., a company which provides corporate design solutions to products and brands. She is the brains and creative head behind most of the book covers published through Qissa. Moreover, she has provided Daastan with some sensational social media designs over the years. Momina has been selected as a mentee for the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, a program held in London which gives professional training to help develop women’s small, and medium enterprises into growing sustainable empires. She will be receiving training from the world’s best entrepreneurs in the world, who will teach her how to unlock her hidden potential and scale to newer heights.
Ms. Sidra Amin:
The last, but essentially the most important one, is Sidra Amin. To sum her up in just a few lines would not be possible, but to name a few of her accomplishments – she is the Co-Founder Daastan, the person who has put piece upon piece together to bring the company where it stands now. Ms. Sidra Amin is also Co-Founder Words and Metaphors, KPK’s first spoken word platform, as well as Co-Founder Peshawar Book Club, which holds monthly meetings and discusses each book chosen in depth. Sidra is a mechatronics engineer by profession, and an expert at surprising everyone with all that she can achieve. She has lately been interviewed by Dergi, a lifestyle magazine which has a reach of more than 5000 across social media. In the interview, she talks about her inspirations, and how to create the magic that we see sparking off of her. She has also been invited asa speaker of the WomenWill panel at BizFest Peshawar.
We are proud of these immensely talented women who have worked hard to establish Daastan. It is this combined effort that has given Daastan its wings. The secret to our success is definetely our team to whom all the credit goes! We also thank you for your constant support and welcome you to join us in our cause of putting a book in each hand!