Category Archives: India

The Hindu: The Blip in the Publishing Boom

thehindu

http://www.thehindu.com/books/the-blip-in-the-publishing-boom/article4868747.ece

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

buchmesse

http://www.buchmesse.de/bilder/buchmesse/book_market_india__2012.pdf

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.

Mid-day: Indian Publishing

mid-day

http://www.mid-day.com/lifestyle/2013/may/050513-indian-publishing-industry-books-for-young-adults-new-authors-duckbill-penguin.htm

This is a fascinating article about how some publishing houses in India are creating a specific branch dedicated to Young Adult fiction. Penguin has created Ink, Rupa has Red Turtle, Scholastic has Nova, and a new independent publishing house called Duckbill Publishing has come onto the scene. It’s exciting to read about the Indian authors who are writing books that are real and tell about what’s going on in India. While YA fiction wasn’t absent in Indian publishing, creating the separate branch has allowed for better marketing and promotion of these books.

Indian publishers are looking for books that appeal to Indian children and young adults through characters who they can identify with, and cultural settings that are familiar. “Ameya Nagarajan, editor of Inked, says the YA space in India was largely imported, and that’s where Penguin saw the opportunity to explore the segment. “Artemis Fowl and Harry Potter are great reads, but children today also want to read something home-grown, something that is as diverse and versatile as them. For instance, there is a transition a child makes from being an 11-year-old to a young adult, and looks for a love story. We need that love story to operate in his/her newly-formed world.””

An interesting statement is, “There is also an understanding among publishers that fun books needs to be published for fun’s sake, and that morals and preachy endings are best left to lurk in dark corners inaccessible to their unsuspecting young readers.” It’s interesting because most books, dare I say all books, have a point that they make. The protagonist goes on some kind of journey to reach some kind of goal, overcoming obstacles and making some kind of moral choice that changes their life forever. Or perhaps that’s just how it seems to me. It would be interesting to read these books that supposedly are just “fun” and “for fun’s sake.”

Overall, this article is a pleasure to read and nicely broken up by pictures of Indian children reading books.

Publishing Perspectives: Publishing in India Today

pubperspectivesindia

http://publishingperspectives.com/2011/07/publishing-in-india-today-19000-publishers-90000-titles/

This article is about the rise in book publishing in India, and how the industry has had to form a “team mentality” of sorts in order to get books to all interested parties. Large publishing houses such as Penguin India have chosen to “co-publish” with some smaller independent publishing companies in order to get valuable material out into the public. It’s interesting because, “Though some might say this eventually means the slow death or “selling out” of independent publishers, it would seem that this could also lead to symbiotic relationships that could work in the favor of the reader, who get access to all sorts of books and writers who are able to reach a wider readership base.”

In India, most publishers are literally born into the industry, yet most editors are there by choice. There isn’t a large amount of money in publishing, but those who stay are there because they truly love the publishing industry. “Being an editor in India is hugely satisfying, though not monetarily,” Mukherjee says, “because of the growing market and because there is scope for taking publishing decisions which can spark off trends. In India, some editors are adventurous, and the industry gives them the scope for that.” This opportunity to commission offbeat books that can set trends in new writing makes the field particularly interesting.” An editor in India must be quite a passionate soul who truly loves the written word, or perhaps they simply appreciate their opportunity to have a fairly good job that is interesting and allowing them to grow and “fend for themselves.”

India is certainly an interesting country to watch in regards to the growth of book publishing. As they pull themselves together and find successful ways to market to all those interested, they will surely grow and expand into international markets. Great content is sure to come out from India in the future.

Publishers Weekly: Children’s Book Publishing in Asia

pwarticle

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/childrens/childrens-book-news/article/10035-children-s-book-publishing-in-asia.html

This article is a very interesting read. It contains great information about what kinds of books sell well in China, Japan, India, Korea and Taiwan. It turns out kid’s books are very marketable, particularly picture books. Through the use of sections for each publishing company located in each location, the reader can skim through and just read the about the country they are interested in.

It’s interesting to see that Chinese publishers are more interested in promoting local authors than international imports. The article says, “No foreign illustrated books, except some Korean ones, have made the bestseller list.” This would make it challenging for an Australian publisher to promote their Australian writers’ work in China. But it wouldn’t be impossible, as the article also notes, “The juvenile market remains the realm of local publishers, whereas the YA market is split between originals and imports.” An Australian publisher who is determined to break into the Chinese publishing market could try to get through in the Young Adult market.

The section on India is interesting, as it details some books written in India that “introduce young readers to the world of the less fortunate.”  They are breaking through boundaries and daring to differ from the stories usually told in picture books, by telling the stories of children from deprived backgrounds.  India is certainly a country worth watching in regards to published books that challenge us all to think beyond ourselves.

The article comes to the conclusion that Asia’s children’s book segment is growing and prospering, with more originals coming out of Asia, while big-name translations are still “…an indispensable part of a publisher’s program.” The article is an interesting look at what’s happening in Asia and certainly prompts some thought about how to break into this market.