Swimming against the tide: Adeeb Online – Blogs


I have been an e-devotee for years. What is an e-devotee? This means that I like to read my books and magazines electronically. “Sacrilege!” I hear you say. Please put the pitchfork down and listen to me. While holding a book in your hand, opening it for the first time, and reading it with a cup of coffee by your side is a sensory experience that cannot be surpassed, e-books do have their benefits. First of all, you can read them on any screen available to you. You can instantly search for the meaning of words you don’t understand. You can change the font size to your preference. Finally, this incomparable smell of a paper book is actually the death cry of several trees forced to give their lives to generate enough paper for a book.

You are spoiled for choice if you want to read international books and magazines electronically. Apps like Kindle, Kobo, Zinio and others offer convenient portals to satisfy your reading urges. However, no such platform existed for books in Urdu – until Adeeb Online, “the first true digital library in Urdu available on iOS, Android and the web platform.” It changed my world.

Here is an app that is brilliantly designed and hosts an eclectic and growing selection of Urdu literature suitable for all age groups. Best of all, the subscription price to access hundreds of books is less than what it would cost you to buy five paper books! (Rs 700 / month, Rs 2,000 / six months and Rs 2,500 / 12 months). Having said that, making us pay for something like a book, especially in an anti-reading society like ours, is a challenge, and that was the first question I asked Syed Fasihuddin Ahmed, the founder of this initiative. .

“Remember that Pakistan may be a hub for Urdu connoisseurs, but Urdu enthusiasts are spread across the globe. They are found in Europe, North America and Australia and the subscription model works very well in those markets. There is also low purchasing power and reluctance to use credit cards in Pakistan. We plan to increase awareness of the platform first among the overseas target market – they have higher purchasing power and are familiar with e-book platforms and model of subscription. It will also benefit them as they do not have easy access to books published in the subcontinent. We are also working to increase payment options.

The platform is relatively unknown, especially compared to similar products. How does Adeeb Online plan to resolve this issue? Ahmed has big plans.

“We are looking forward to the next book exhibition in Karachi – based on our last experience there, we anticipate a great response. We launched a social media ad and it’s been very busy – we’re inundated with requests from editors and writers to host them on this platform.

Refreshingly, he’s in no rush. He wants to build the platform organically and sustainably: “Compared to other platforms, we are infants. But I have a feeling that we are going to grow very quickly.

Book launches, especially those related to television and other media, as well as periodicals, are big business. Does Adeeb Online plan to exploit these options? It turns out that not everyone has the opportunity.

“In the beginning, we had a lot of meetings with the editors and the response was good. But unfortunately, even our local editors do not fully support our vision; they are concerned that it will affect the business of their conventional books. They are also reluctant to trust us in terms of the security of their intellectual property rights. However, some publishers have welcomed this opportunity. We were lucky with Ahmed Safi, the son of the legendary Ibne Safi. He felt that our product was perfect for showing his father’s works to a new audience ”.

“All we have to do is get a few hundred thousand people to use the app, and then I think we’ll become a necessity for writers and editors. ”

Paper books present many environmental and logistical challenges. Why don’t our publishers accept this and realize that the switch to electronics could boost their business? Ahmed thinks it is far better to read books in electronic format: “We believe that a digital format offers superior protection against piracy, contrary to popular perception.

How does Adeeb Online plan to meet the ultimate challenge: the lack of reading habit in our society? He says this is one of the fundamental reasons for this initiative. “We are looking at a potential device or other delivery platforms [akin to Amazon Kindle]; we believe this will become a viable solution once we increase the number of books available on our platform. We will also be able to reach a younger audience through digital broadcasting. We plan to work with channels to present programming that introduces Urdu literature to new audiences.

What support does Adeeb Online need from us? To download the app and give your opinion on the Play Store or App Store.

“There are free books available for your enjoyment. Our subscription fees are very reasonable for the local market; all we need are a few thousand subscribers to complete our projects.

We all lament that Urdu does not prosper; let’s do our part and support this supreme effort. To download the application, click on here.

Talha bin Hamid is an accountant by day and a die-hard pop culture watcher, avid reader, gamer, and versatile nerd by night. [email protected]

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