I heard Kinige first on quora.com where some few Telugu Literature enthusiasts where discussing the best site to access Telugu books. Although, there are many Telugu sites, what makes Kinige unique is the use of English language along with Telugu to search for authors or books.
I stumbled upon its founder, Kiran, on Twitter and I was keen to understand more about kingie. So, this is a result of find on quora and Twitter and a quick interview via email:
Me: Why did you think of Kinige?
Kiran: There is no definite answer. One thing leads to another and to another I guess. I am basically a bookworm. May be I fall under the proper definition of book worm. Until mid-teens I tried to read everything I came across including parchments on path way. Even my academic results for that year depend upon how many non-academic books are available to me. For example during an important exam season my new roommate’s history books fascinated me and I started reading them day and night leaving my maths science books aside, leading to a less than expected scores. Even now my teachers couldn’t figure out the reason for this sudden down trend in my marks.
In my first-decade’s journey through the tech world, some things happened—I accidentally became first Telugu blogger and then an active member of a group of Telugu Unicode (blog, wiki, website and other) evangelists. Technically, with zero or little work everything that is available to English language is also available to Telugu language, yet Telugu society is not adopting Telugu on computers and IT. Of course the lack of computer possession is one heavily quoted reason but even those Telugu folks who have all modern gadgets are simply treating them as English-only machines. Those who badly want Telugu in computers are not aware of the ease of doing things. During these years I was in constant touch with Telugu bloggers, writers, and technologists.
At some point of time I tried to become a writer and publish two of my books—one poetry collection and another novel. Of course after reading all these great books on Kinige now, I will never try to publish them in the original, except for personal historical importance. But then this made me realize how hard it is for a book to reach its intended readers. These problems are spread across on both offline and online worlds. Online world is what I am familiar with and it is here that I could propose a solution to writers, publishers and readers. And thus Kinige is born to make a better online platform for Telugu readers, writers and publishers, with a scope to include other Indian languages. Kinige is here to make Telugu books available, affordable and meaningful to Telugu readers and writers. All the Kinige services to writers are free and they receive royalties on every paid eBook download.
Kiran: Setting up the website is not much of a work, it’s just the beginning. For the past three and half years, we are adding new features every week. Kinige is continuously evolving to serve better its community.
Me: Do you place self published books as well?
Kiran: Yes. Writers can visit Kinige.com and click on ePublish your book link on top right side.
Me: Compared to other regional languages, where does Telugu literature stand?
Kiran: I am the wrong person to ask this question. I know only Telugu literature and English literature. But based on what I hear from folks, and what I read— every Indian language literature is unique. They deserve a better place in world literary arena.
Me: Do you see a large number of people connecting to Telugu books?
Kiran: Yep. There are millions of Telugu people who read at least one book per month—A hard copy or an eBook or a free PDF available online.
Me: What are the different ways you market Kinige?
Kiran: We do everything with our available resources, but in the end it is the books which will find its readers and it is readers who will find the books they love!
Me: What are the challenges you face in maintaining a site only for Telugu Literature?
Kiran: There are many challenges, but every challenge is fun as we love our job to the core of our heart.
Me: Please add about your academic background?
Kiran: M.Tech from Hyderabad Central University. More is available at my home page: http://chavakiran.com
Me: Your future plans for Kinige?
Kiran: Continue to have fun. Make more books available to more and more of readers.