The writing bug caught Harsh Snehanshu when he was studying engineering at IIT Delhi. A freelance writer with publications such as The Caravan Magazine, Tehelka, and The Hindu, Harsh is a bestselling author who has written over a hundred short stories in the last nearly 13 years of his existence.
During his interactions with publishing houses when he was penning his novels, Harsh realised that independent writers often found the process of pitching to or being picked up by a Penguin or a HarperCollins quite daunting and difficult to understand. Additionally, there was a lack of a one-stop platform that allowed writers to create and share their musings with other like-minded people. Social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter could not cut it as dedicated creative writing communities because they lacked a linear focus.
Moreover, from his personal experiences, Harsh found that even though there were blogging platforms that allowed people to publish whatever they wanted, they were mostly not smartphone-friendly, and that was a hindrance because the world, then, was at the precipice of smartphones taking over daily functions from the laptop.
“Content platforms were not mobile-friendly, and as a writer, I found it quite cumbersome to open my laptop every time I wanted to post,” Harsh tells YourStory in an interview.
Looking to solve those problems and more, he set up YourQuote — a creative writing social media platform — that helps connect writers and readers with similar interests. Harsh co-founded the Bengaluru-based startup along with CTO Ashish Singh in 2016.
The platform — available as an app and a read-only website — solves various publishing processes, right from designing the layout of the text using emotive backgrounds to compiling, organising, printing, and distributing the final product — a coffee table book.
Additionally, it allows writers to build their own following, engage with their community in the comments section of every post they publish, get feedback on their writing, and if all goes according to Harsh’s plan, even be able to monetise their content soon.
YourQuote identifies itself as a short fiction and poetry writing app, but the form is not set in stone. In the backend, the app curates personalised reading experiences for users based on their search preferences and populates their feeds with varied but similarly-themed content.
The app, available on Android and iOS, supports 13 Indic languages and does not require extensive sign-up details.
How it works
Once users sign up on the app, they can start posting text using the free creator tools available to them, which mainly include emotive backgrounds and fonts. Topics can be added via hashtags.
Every post on the platform automatically carries the YourQuote watermark on the bottom, which Harsh says has helped the community grow and add more users.
“My thought process when starting the company was: why are only famous people’s quotes featured on Google?” Harsh says, adding that YourQuote is optimised in such a way that it has top hits on the search engine for several keywords — mostly regional (for example, Raksha Bandhan quotes), than generic (for example, love and relationship quotes).