The Inevitable Journey of Ghazanfar Iqbal: Expatriate, Entrepreneur, and Author

by Harry Wallett

Many writers make use of the “Hero’s Journey” narrative structure when developing their stories, but how many authors can claim the same transformative process for themselves?

Author Ghazanfar Iqbal embarked on his own hero’s journey when he left the familiar world of Pakistan to embrace the call to adventure and become an entrepreneur abroad. After confronting the unknown as a fledgling “expatpreneur,” he has returned transformed with his own elixir to share with the world: his inaugural book, Bytes Beyond Borders: The Odyssey of a Pakistani Expatpreneur.

Bytes Beyond Borders explores Ghaz’s personal and professional journey, from his rocky childhood in Pakistan, through all the trials, tasks, and mentors that led to him becoming the Head of Business Development Startups for Pakistan, Malaysia, and Singapore at Amazon Web Services (AWS). Ghaz invites readers to journey with him, sharing wisdom gleaned from his experiences and encouraging others to embrace their paths, no matter how unconventional.

Taking the next steps to become an author in some ways seemed inevitable: a story that yearned to be shared with the world. Ghaz had been considering writing a book to share his insights on success for many years, though he wasn’t sure how to go about it. He needed the right partner to make it happen.

Enter Cascadia.

Ghaz’s story was a deeply personal one, raw and unfiltered, and it needed to be developed in a similarly personal manner. A standard publication experience wouldn’t do it justice. Cascadia was there to support Ghaz to tell his story in his own way.

Cascadia: Why did you choose Cascadia to help with the self-publication of your book?

I didn’t initially choose Cascadia; rather, they approached me, recognizing the potential in my story. From our first conversation, I was impressed by their tailored approach to each author’s unique needs and requirements. Cascadia’s extensive network and their proactive search for compelling new stories were also major draws for me. Additionally, their responsiveness to my queries greatly enhanced my confidence, solidifying my decision that they were the ideal partner for publishing my book. Their excellent communication reassured me that I had made the right choice.

Ghazanfar Iqbal

As the author, Ghaz was the driving force and final say behind the development and publication of Bytes Beyond Borders: from writing, editing, production, and finally to post-launch marketing. Combining the professional expertise of Cascadia’s team with Ghaz’s passion and unique perspectives led to a bestseller-worthy book that retains all of its author’s individuality.

Seamless Integration of Author Input and Professional Guidance

As an example, take a look at the evolution of the cover of Bytes Beyond Borders, from the author’s initial idea to a concept that focused more on the topics of his story, rather than his image. And finally to integrating elements recommended after collaborating between the author, the cover designer, and the book’s marketer.

The cover design process was very detail-oriented, and sharing as much information as possible made it easier to achieve the desired outcome. I began by providing a mind map of my vision for the design, and from there, we developed several iterations, each improving upon the last. I really appreciate the designer’s patience and understanding, which helped us come very close to my initial vision. Overall, I was very pleased with the process

Bytes Beyond Borders has just launched an Amazon and with retailers worldwide, and already it is making an impact:

Even after launch, Cascadia continues to offer support through ongoing marketing and publication assistance. 

We’ve built a strong bond, and our mutual understanding makes it a natural choice to continue our collaboration.

Connect with Ghaz

Ghazanfar Iqbal is the Head of Business Development Startups for Pakistan, Malaysia, and Singapore at Amazon Web Services (AWS). Drawing on his extensive expertise and background, including founding a venture-backed startup and contributing to the success of the MENA region’s first unicorn, Ghaz actively engages with founders, venture capitalists, incubators, accelerators, and government programs. Join his 20,000 followers on LinkedIn, and learn more about him through your own copy of Bytes Beyond Borders: The Odyssey of a Pakistani Expatpreneur.

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