“we live by the choices we make.”– Chetan Soni
SS: The name “Half Baked Beans” is different. But why half baked? Why you came up with this name?
CS: This name was conceptualized when I was having a discussion with a friend. At that time there was no story behind it but then we realized we are all half baked in this world especially writers. They need a mentor , guide to hone their skills and project their work in a better way. That is where Half Baked Beans comes into the picture.
SS: Why publishing? What attracted you to this industry?
CS: I have always been fascinated with telling stories in any form. Somehow we felt that good stories were not coming out in the market due to various reasons. With a publishing house we have the liberty to get different kind of stories out. Probably the love for books and the written word got me attracted towards it.
SS: Does the demands of publishing world energize or exhaust you?
CS: Well it is exhausting and tiring sometimes. More than physical it is mentally tiring as lot of new writers are not aware how publishing industry works.That increases our workload but the power, responsibility , ability to get good stories energizes you.
SS: What’s the best part of the industry? What’s worst?
CS: Every industry or profession has their pros and cons.Therefore there is no one best and worst thing about it .One has to choose what’s best for them and work accordingly.
SS: Did your foray into publishing change your views about authors and books?
CS: It certainly did. Sometimes once you get into that business mode it becomes difficult to keep emotions and financials aside. The respect for authors and books is still there though. We realized that there are a huge number of writers in India and equally large number of publishing houses but there is space for more .It was easier to understand their problems after a point of time .
SS: According to you, should a publisher be a marketing maverick or a coach to the authors?
CS: Traditionally a publisher should be a coach to authors but with changing times they have to learn every nuances of marketing. For example we should know about digital marketing, branding and offline marketing because with so much competition and less reader space marketing activities do stand out.
SS: Chetan, you don many hats and have variegated experiences in education, adventure, travel, entrepreneurship, publishing etc. Which of all these you love the most and why?
CS: Well I am still not doing the thing I love the most but out of these I enjoy education and teaching the most . There is so much potential in our education sector, both professionally and personally as a student spends more time with a teacher than friends or parents. So a teacher/coach has extra responsibility to mold a child’s career .
An engineer-MBA by education and an experimental foodie, a reluctant traveler who likes to call himself “The Storyteller.” A part-time writer , entrepreneur and publisher Chetan hangs out with Charlie in his free time.