30 November 2015

Kitaab starts first crowdfunding campaign

Source: Kitaab website.

Kitaab, which means “book” in many Asian languages, is moving to the next phase of its evolution with crowdfunding on Indiegogo. The literary project was founded in 2005 to empower and connect Asian writers with readers globally. Since then, it "has filled a major void in the online literary scene in Asia by creating a link-based information storehouse where the most important stories on Asian writers and writing were curated", says Zafar Anjum, its founder and a well-known author.

"Over the years, Kitaab has evolved into a much larger project that encompasses publishing and e-commerce to serve the same community of writers, readers, publishers and agents worldwide. Run by 15 voluntary editors who sit in different parts of the world, Kitaab provides a global writing and publishing platform to emerging and seasoned writers in Asia and abroad," he said. 

Kitaab began publishing in 2013, presenting original/translated contemporary literature in English and Asian languages. It is also getting recognised in the region, most recently as the media partner of the Hyderabad Literary Festival in India. 

"Two of Kitaab's titles were launched at this year's Singapore Literary Festival. Kitaab will publish three books by (Singapore) Cultural Medallion winner Isa Kamari in 2016, including the Malay writer's first novel written in English. Kitaab has also bought the Hindi/Urdu translation rights of Isa Kamari's pathbreaking Malay novel, Intercession," Anjum said. "We will be acquiring more Asian titles for translation." 

Anjum hopes that the crowdfunding campaign will raise up to US$10,000 to help Kitaab to curate better content and provide an improved user experience. "Those who will support Kitaab in this first-ever fundraising campaign will be rewarded with various perks, ranging from thank you notes from editors to signed copies of books to specially designed tote bags and even mentions on the Kitaab website as a patron," he said. 

So far, nearly more than 1,300 people have supported Kitaab’s appeal on Facebook, Anjum said. "We seek your help and cooperation to make our maiden fundraising - our first in ten years - a success," he said. 


Read the WorkSmart Asia blog post on Anjum's book Startup Capitals