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.
It was William Shakespeare who said that, “Some are born great, while others achieve greatness”. For the young girl Lareb Soomro, we at Daastan believe it might be both. Being able to bring our author’s writings to print, shaping her dream to reality, is one of the most fulfilling feelings we have ever witnessed as a company. From our Founder to our Editors and Designers, we all hold our breath and stare in awe as each piece finds its way to the racks of Qissa. Every once in a while, however, there comes along an author whose success seems so grand that our feeling of awe becomes tenfold.
Lareb’s story of success didn’t start when she published her book, in fact they began the day she came into this world. She was born in the small town Larkana, which is filled to the brim with history of resilience and courage. She became another one who would contribute to the legacy. Lareb was born with a genetic defect that required her to go into surgery in the tender age of 3 months. After she grew up, in her early teens she faced and survived a road accident that left scars on her face. She was haunted by criticism and taunts, which followed her all the way to her passion of writing. Despite being continually discouraged, she stood strong in the face of everything, and finallypublished her book through Daastan.
Rising to Stardom:
The book made her a celebrity. She was interviewed by 14 news outlets for her story, and even offered the role of a news anchor at Larkano News HD. She believes in facing her demons face first, and encourages all her readers to find solutions for their problems instead of giving up.
Want to be Daastan’s next success story? Sign up, make a profile on Qissa and upload your work right away to get the process started!
We were joined by an internationally acclaimed scholar and content creator in May 2018, on Qissa. We have gotten the opportunity to cater to hundreds of intellectuals from all across Pakistan over the years, due to Qissa . A year into operations, we even started welcoming artists from abroad. It is always a moment of pride for us when well-known artists trust us with their life’s work by giving us the opportunity to supply them any services they might need.
“Inspired Discourses”– Words of An Artist
Such was the case ofMr. Aadil Farook, a non-commercial music artist celebrated worldwide for his work. The book titled “Inspired Discourses”, is an exceptional piece of writing that discusses the traditions and heritage of Islamic intellectuality. Mr. Aadil Farook’s writing brought forward the abundance of rich Islamic knowledge, in all schools of thoughts including but not limited to legality, theology, philosophy, as well as mysticism. His literary achievements are not limited to this book, rather he is also author of two other books of Islamic poetry. All of his books have received excellent reviews from all around the world.
The Author’s Journey:
His artistic abilities are not limited to writing. In fact, he is also known for 6 of his songs and 1 instrumental composition which have been aired on top FM stations across Pakistan. Mr. Aadil owns a website on his own name that he runs himself, and is eventually nominated for the British Muslim Awards, a highly prestigious award that honored the successes of Muslims residing in Britain. His list of achievements also include translations of two books authored by a mystic and Sufi, from Urdu to English making it widely available. Due to his exceptional accomplishments, he has been likened to Allama Muhammad Iqbal.
Daastan is proud to introduce this book in Pakistan. We are honored to play our part in spreading the love of literature. It has always been our aim to support and empower writers. Join us today and become a part of our struggle.
Just a few days after Daastan’s self-publishing portal Qissa went live, Tooba Arshad, whose debut novel ‘Unveiling the Unknown’ would be published through us, messaged our team on the page and requested that we help us realize her dream of being an author of a book published both digitally and in print. A little while later, she would become the beneficiary of Daastan’s first ever crowdfunding campaign. Her novel of 600 pages required a minimum of PKR 30,000 to go into print, which neither her nor Daastan had the resources to fund. Daastan’s Founder Ommer being a dreamer and whose book was also rejected due to technicalities, decided to take on this mission and help her gather enough capital so as to bring her dream to life, and that is how Daastan’s first ever crowdfunding campaign was launched. The campaign was a success, and at the end of one month of struggle and efficient marketing strategies, the author finally had the amount she needed which was collected through more than 30 pre-orders of her upcoming book.
The author, Tooba Arshad:
Tooba Arshad, is an undergrad in BioMedical Engineering at NED, a part time teacher having taught at many private educational institutes, and an excellent public speaker. Her artistical talents are not limited to writing only, as she also has experience in directing many theatrical plays in both English and Urdu over the course of her years of schooling. Her debut novel, ‘Unveiling of the Unknown’, is a masterfully written mystery thriller which pulls the reader in with its imagery and keeps them glued until the last page of the book is flipped. Order her book now to support the author and experience the thrilling journey by yourself.
After the printing of her book was complete, Tooba became the first ever author to have her book launched through Daastan. The book launch ceremony took place at Nest I/O and was inaugurated by Jehan Ara, President of P@SHA and Founder of Nest I/O. Tooba has had much to say about Daastan, some of her words are quoted below:
“I would like to sincerely thank team Daastan, because if it weren’t for them, I would still be like those hundreds of rejected, discouraged, and unpublished authors who never got the chance to start their professional career. What they are doing here, is basically shaping a better future for the society, and I urge them to continue doing so!”
If you are an author who is looking to get published, reach out to us at Daastan, or upload your manuscript to Qissa by signing up, to let the magic begin.
Young Women Writer’s Forum (YWWF), a branch of Women Writer’s Forum (WWF) was founded in 2008. Their mission is to teach the female youth more about the literature, communication and help them explore the power of perspective so they could think more critically.
Writer’s As Leaders Capacity Building Workshop
Young Women Writers’ Forum arranged a one day capacity building workshop on October 16, 2015 by the name “Writers as leaders”, where many young girls who participated were trained by Ms. Salma Masood, who is an cofounder PWWF, Educationalist; Edu. And HR Consultant, Lead Trainer British Council, UNDP, FEFA.
The workshop kicked off with an introduction of YWWF by Sidra Amin and was proceeded by Founder of YWWF, Ms. Bushra Iqbal Malik. Then Ms. Masood taught the writers about leaders, writers and then about how a writer can become a SMART leader. Different group activities were also held which engaged all of the participants.
Ms. Busra Iqbal Malik, Founder YWWF
Dr. Meher Taj Roghani, advisor to Chief Minister, KP, was invited as the Chief Guest who was inspired by the young girls and their endeavors and encouraged them to work for the society. Other esteemed guests included the senior members of PWWF including President Ms. Samina Qadir, Vice President Ms. Salma Qasir, Gen. Secretary Ms. Farah along with Ms. Zoobie and faculty members of Islamia College and University, Peshawar.
After the workshop, a certificate ceremony took place where Ms. Taj handed over certificates to all the participants of the workshop as well as the organizers which included Ms. Marina Mahsud-President YWWF, Ms. Duaa Mujeeb-Overseer YWWF, Ms Sidra Amin-Press Secretary YWWF, Ms. Neelum Afridi-Stage Secretary YWWF, Ms. Namra Rauf,-Finance Secretary YWWF, Ms. Mahnoor Hayat-IT Manager and Ms. Hira Nazir-Head of representatives.
The ceremony ended with President Ms. Marina Mahsud’s vote of thanks and group photo of all the participants with the esteemed guests.