Monthly Archives: October 2013

Rainforest Action Network


This is a very interesting article on how publishing companies are contributing to the deforestation of rainforests in Indonesia. Some companies have responded to the research by becoming, “early adopters in what has become a growing industry trend to source paper that is not linked to deforestation, social conflict or excessive greenhouse gas emissions.” It’s encouraging to see that publishing companies are getting on board with the environment sustainability plans that governments are instigating.

Deforestation is an issue that more people are coming to care about as media attention is drawing out more of the facts. “Indonesia’s rainforests, home to unique species like the orangutan and the Sumatran tiger, are under severe threat from paper companies that rely on clearing rainforests and peatlands for fiber plantations, which supply cheap pulp to their paper mills in China and Indonesia. This controversial paper is then used by Asian printers to manufacture kids’ and other books for U.S. and international markets.” People who care about orangutans and tigers are making a fuss about the issue and causing public organisations, which include publishers, to re-think the sources of their products. Organisations that value Corporate Social Responsibility and want to present a positive image to their consumers are cooperating with environmental changes to their practices.

Overall, this article is well-presented and certainly interesting to those who are following the trend of buying “environmentally responsible” products.


Publishing Perspectives: Indonesia as Frankfurt Book Fair Guest of Honour


This article is a very positive and encouraging article to read. Indonesia is going to be the guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2015, which means the country has significantly caught the attention of the publishing world. The organisers of the Book Fair see that Indonesia has huge potential, especially in the education sector. “Since 2003 the Indonesian government has spent 20% of its national budget on education, also investing in digital textbooks. In 2011 this amounted to a sum of 21.5 billion Euros. The Indonesian economy presented a growth rate of 6.5% in 2012.” These are encouraging statistics that signify positive progress in the Indonesian publishing industry.

According to this article, “There are about 1,000 active publishing houses in Indonesia and more than 260 of their publications have been translated into the English language altogether.” That’s quite interesting as it means the rest of the world is learning more about Indonesia through the wonderful tradition of reading books.

Indonesia is an interesting country. It is home to the biggest Muslim community worldwide, while other religions and faiths live side by side, including Christians, Hindus, Buddhist and followers of nature religions. “It is host to more than 300 ethnic groups and at least as many languages.” With so many ethnic groups contained in their country, it’s no wonder the rest of the world is intrigued by this democratic nation and are taking steps to learn more.

Pub Match: Indonesia Publishers


This is a great site to help you find a publishing company in Indonesia in which to publish your book. There are seven results available which you can click on to find out more about the company and access some contact details to assist you in connecting with the publishing company.

PubMatch have seen that, “Indonesia Book publishers are one of the most queried groups of members in the PubMatch community. Authors seek Indonesia publishers for their titles, agents seek Indonesia publishers on behalf of their authors and other publishers search PubMatch for Indonesia publishers that could be a good fit for rights deals. PubMatch users can search the community for Indonesia publishers based on their location, subject they publish, key word, book fair their attending and more.” It’s a very helpful service, though it’s obvious that it isn’t a very thorough representation of how many publishing companies are actually operating in Indonesia, as other research has told that the Indonesia Publishers Association has 800 members.

Accessing this site would be a good place for an aspiring publisher to start their research into what publishing companies are operating in countries all over the world. It may spike their interest in countries that they had not thought of before, maybe considering writing different material that would appeal to a different culture than their own.

Beyond Hall 8: Indonesia may not be on your Map


This article suggests that there really is hope for the publishing industry in Indonesia. It says that Indonesia is a market to watch, and, “…the low standard of living for most Indonesians makes books a luxury item, but its middle class is growing.” This is signifying a potentially growing market for books. The annual Jakarta Book Fair is popular with locals and well-attended. The Indonesian Publishers Association is working hard to create opportunities for people to have access to books that they would like to read. And Indonesian publishers are certainly buying and distributing books in the hopes that people will invest in them, despite the number of physical bookstores being small.

There are challenges to publishing in Indonesia. Among the affordability and cultural issues, doing business in Indonesia can be a problem. “Graft and corruption is not unknown, particularly in the customs and excise department, making the simple activities of import/export something of a trial. The legal system can be unpredictable too, making things such as enforcement of copyright somewhat chancey.” We have all heard of the dodgy things that go on when tourists go through customs, drugs turning up and bribes happening. But a change in government has made a positive difference. “The Government of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has announced a zero tolerance approach to corruption, and thousands of public officials have found themselves prosecuted by the Anti-Corruption Commission (the KPK) in recent years.” It sounds like Indonesia is being cleaned up and opportunities are being made more easily available to successfully publish books in Indonesia.

Overall, Indonesia is becoming an interesting country for the publishing industry. The future holds hope of seeing incredible growth in the rate of books being sold and read by all kinds of classes.


The Jakarta Globe


This article is interesting as it basically says that Indonesia people don’t really read books. There are a few reasons for this, including; for the majority of the working class reading books is a luxury, the oral tradition of telling stories outweighs reading stories, and students are not encouraged to read books for themselves.

In regards to books being a luxury, “It’s no wonder that books are still a luxury product for many people. They struggle to feed their families, much less enjoy books.” Ironically, good books can help people on a path to a better life, yet someone needs to provide books for them. It’s really up to the government of Indonesia to tackle this issue, perhaps it’s even a great opportunity for human rights organisations and charities to step in and make a difference. Actually, some organisations are, through child sponsorship and the like.

Indonesia culture has different values to the Western countries. “Indonesian culture values strong personal relationships with masters of tradition just as much, if not more, than the skills themselves. Without the former, the latter would be pointless. Stories weren’t written for individuals to read alone, but to be discussed, “felt” (“dirasakan”) and “lived out” (“dihayati”) within a community.” It sounds a bit like how the bible was passed on to the next generation before someone started writing it down.  Also, “…the Indonesian education system is designed to make students dependent on the teacher, and hardly encourages a joy of reading.” It’s an interesting environment for publishers to navigate, they have to try and provoke people to read books in a culture that doesn’t encourage solitary activities such as reading.

Yet, there is some positive information. “Still, data from the Indonesian Publisher’s Association’s (Ikapi) shows that there is a demand for Indonesian books, especially children’s and religious titles.” So perhaps there is hope for the future of publishing in Indonesia, especially if some strong programs are instigated to encourage reading.

The Hindu: The Blip in the Publishing Boom


This article is interesting as it says that the publishing industry in India has slumped, which contradicts what I’ve read elsewhere. Apparently, “a churning is underway, driven by top level mergers and de-mergers among publishers and a phase of ‘consolidation’; the economics and editorial challenges of mid-list fiction and non-fiction; the closure and reorientation of book stores by big retail chains; and changes in the nature of book-shopping because of the advent of online platforms like Flipkart and now, Amazon, in India.” It’s interesting that book publishing has seen a shift in balance towards the business side, where foreign publishers report directly to the CEO and headquarters and not the editor. This is creating constant tension between editors and sales and marketing teams, making it an uneasy world.

The writer then suggests that, “despite the temporary slump, if it can be called that, things look more positive when viewed from the prism of a longer time-frame. The growth in the private publishing industry is an undeniable fact, even though there is no empirical study to ascertain its exact worth, scale and fortunes.” The publishing industry is India is growing, even though it has experienced a small slump. Publishing houses are taking on a greater number of books and the rate of literacy is growing, meaning more people are looking for books to read. Writers are earning larger royalties and more writers are coming onto the scene.

The future looks good for Indian book publishing, despite the negative aspect that this article starts out with. There will always be those who see the negative side of things, but at least this article balances itself out by bringing the positive in the end.

Buchmesse: Book Market in India


There are some very interesting statistics recorded in this article. “Given that almost half of India’s population is under the age of 25, it’s no wonder large part of the book trade is dominated by academic and children’s books which account for 40% and 30% of the market respectively. The remaining 30% constitutes trade publishing.” It’s also interesting that, “In terms of print languages, 20% of sales volume comes from English language books which also makes India the third largest market for English books consumption after the US and UK markets. The largest sales volumes among Indian languages are that of Hindi books which constitute 25% of the market while the rest of the market is divided between other Indian language books.” There’s certainly a definite book publishing market in India, and it is growing well.

India is considered by the Western world to be more of a third-world country with most of the population fitting into a low income demographic. This explains why eBooks are not as popular in India as they are in the rest of the world. “Currently the market for eBooks in India is miniscule. A big reason for this is that currently e-readers are still very expensive for most consumers in India which impacts eBook adoption rates. On the positive side publishers feel the digital market will grow substantially in India in the next few years and Indian publishers have already started converting their current lists and back lists into eBook formats.” Perhaps as eBooks become more and more popular in the rest of the world the price will drop and become more affordable to Indians. I imagine dodgy knock-offs will emerge and be sold for relatively low prices, so Indian publishers are just getting themselves prepared for the emergence of these.

Overall, this article is quite informative and presents useful statistics and information that an aspiring publisher can use to help them successfully operate in the India publishing market.