I have been following the journey of Adil Dad for years and I had the opportunity to meet him and find out who Adil Dad is and what being Director of Leaf Publishing House means. I can safely say that I left the interview a different person, to the one who walked through the doors of Townhouse Coffee.
Adil Dad is a Prestonian who embraces the minimalist lifestyle- but that is just a drop in the ocean. He spends at least an hour a day writing 500 words for his novel, yet to be released and runs his own Publishing company. Whilst we talked before the interview, it seemed everyone who walked in to the coffee shop or even passed it, knew him. Whether it was through a handshake, smile or a nod in his direction.
To my surprise, he told me he was quiet growing up, some even thought he was mute. He started to open up during the first year of University as he explored different creative avenues including fashion blogging, photography and filming. He found art to be a great way to express himself that would not hurt others. He saw talking as obstructive and intrusive. With art, people could choose to either see the painting, or read the book or watch the film. They have a choice and he believes writing is his voice and way of expressing himself.
He suggests the best time to write is early morning and has often wrote poetry at 1am. His passion for words and realisation for how powerful they are started with the love for Rumi. Adil blogs about anything that he needs to let out of his mind. However, he will only share a post once he knows people will gain value from reading his work. He doesn’t believe in wasting anyone’s time and will even go as far as making sure his captions are relevant.
He said that he judged his work in a different light when he started focusing on what a certain group of people would think. It killed his work. “Whatever people feel they should write, whatever they see they should paint- without having people’s expectations in mind. “
His love for words go beyond writing and believes that reading half an hour every day can change your life, no matter what you read. He didn’t think that was true until he tried it. He said it made him more empathetic, sympathetic and at ease. He stated, it was needed especially at this time when there is a high level of anxiety because of the way the world works.
“Everything is in a rush and books help calm you down.”
What is the next step? This is the question that I was so glad I asked
‘No, no, no, no I try and keep away from steps, you start to get anxious if you think about that”.
However, just because he doesn’t think far ahead doesn’t mean that he isn’t not ambitious, it means that he doesn’t want to unsettle himself. It sounds really cliché but there is no other way of putting it- he really does live in the moment. The reason why he is so certain that Leaf Publishing House will grow is because he is consistent with the work he does. “Work on your craft and perfecting that instead of having a need for more work.” He mentioned he thought about starting a podcast but then thought he should carry on being consistent and becoming better at writing.
Based on our talk, I gathered the first two keys to success, Authenticity and consistency. The third? “Kill Success.” Throwing away the bar that everyone strives for. To stop having ‘goals’ or a line that you’re trying to cross. Success means reaching an end goal, but that is not how it’s supposed to be. He said that he is inspired by Rumi but doesn’t want to become the next Rumi. “His work is his work, and my work is mine. Everyone should still aim for a high level, but you need to achieve that every day.”
What was refreshing about him is that he doesn’t have a ten or five-year plan. He is content with where he is and continues to be consistent with the work he produces.
“I’ll be writing until the day I die, death is my finish line.’
Leaf Publishing House
Adil decided to set up Leaf Publishing house to combine his love of words and the creative process, with the passion of helping others. After releasing his first two books, Rise and Pick Me Up, he continued receiving over a hundred messages every week asking how he managed to publish his own books. Adil had the knowledge and the will to help others publish their work, but he wanted to do it through the proper channels. Which is why Leaf Publishing house was set up.
He has a team of 4 including book editor and a graphic designer. They work with over 40,000 partners worldwide including Amazon and Waterstones. He aims to ensure that books can be available all over the world from Indonesia to the United States.
Leaf Publishing House has access to printers globally. Each time a book is ordered it will be printed on demand and sent to the reader from fulfilment centres around the world.
“They do the thing they love, the words, and we take care of the rest.’
Applications to submit your work opens in the beginning of every month and on average they receive around 10-15 manuscripts every month which are submitted by the authors through the Leaf Publishing House Website. Adil mainly looks through the poetry books and has a fellow editor who reads through novels and fiction. There have even been times where he has been sent unfinished work. Most of the time they will not consider unfinished work unless it has potential, then they will put in on hold.
The thing they look for? Authenticity.
After reading the manuscript a follow up call and a mini interview is conducted to see if the author believes in their own work. The relationship between Leaf Publishing House and the Author does not stop once the book is published. It is long term and the author is expected to have book readings and book viewings too.
There is a lot of communication involved with the author through the design process. Decisions are made about how the interior and cover of the book should look. It is a collaborative process with both sides offering suggestions and improvements. It is deciding on the cover design where the most phone calls are made. People really do judge the book by the cover which is why Leaf Publishing House look for a unique, authentic and original design for their covers. It is the first thing people see so it must be impressive.
The authors pay a one off fee, however the authors keep all the profit made from book sales. Adil felt that once the book has been published there is nothing more that Adil and his team do, so it would be unjust for them to keep a percentage of the royalties. The profit made is sent directly to the authors. Some companies take royalties after the authors have died but taking profit from the book sales is not in the business model of Leaf Publishing House.
The fee amount is not connected to how long the book is, but the time that’s needed to be put in to the book so it’s ready for printing. Sometimes shorter books need to have more design work put in to it. The sale price of the book is discussed between the Author and Leaf publishing House. If the price is too steep, then they will intervene to make the price more reasonable.
Interning in London helped him learn to do things more efficiently but still put in 100% effort in every piece of detail. He believes in Single Tasking, doing one thing at a time. Another vital tip behind his success is time management and waking up early. With his own work and publishing books through Leaf Publishing House, he said that quality comes first and there is no deadline. This is so each book can be a work of quality and something the author can be proud of. Some publishing houses push out 25 books a month and think of profit margins, but Leaf Publishing House is far from this. They pride themselves on attention to detail.
Adil is happy with where Leaf Publishing House is and are looking into releasing Audio Books in the future. He is proud of the fact that his publishing company is less corporate, and more people focused. Once he knows that the authors are happy it is a fulfilling feeling for him. He finishes work and goes home feeling satisfied. He helped turn every author’s dream into a reality by publishing their work.
His personal books
You will be excited to know that he will be publishing two novels and a poetry book this year.
The first novel is about romance, but plot twist, it will be executed in a way that has NEVER been done before. As much as I probed him for more information, this was as much as I could get – and I was left wandering about possible ways he will be releasing this book.
The second novel which will be released is about the coming of age, a story about friendship. He takes inspiration from his personal life – could this be a hint?
The third book ‘Reign’ will be another poetry book, but something a little different to Rise and Pick Me Up. This will be more personal and will include journal entries and poems about a young Muslims experience of living in a western society.
He hopes to broaden someone’s perspective by even an inch, this is more than enough for him.
So, what can I tell you, from the hour or two I spent with Adil Dad? He is a passionate, hardworking and remarkable guy and I would need to spend another day or two picking his brain for me to even know him an ounce more. He exceeded all my expectation and is humble in every word he writes and in all the work he does. I am excited for his future work and I am looking forward to seeing Leaf Publishing House grow- maybe his team of 4 may become a team of 40?