Books & Pub­lish­ing

India Business Journal - - READERS' LOUNGE -

Books on In­dia's pub­lish­ing in­dus­try are few and far be­tween. This is ironic for an in­dus­try con­sid­ered both vi­brant and with growth po­ten­tial in a coun­try that sees its fu­ture as a knowl­edge econ­omy. This book is a one-of-a-kind en­deav­our to bridge the gap.

In this book, a mul­ti­tude of in­sid­ers - all from within In­dia's en­dur­ing pub­lish­ing es­tab­lish­ments, emerg­ing niches and the sur­round­ing ecosys­tem - share views, trends and sto­ries on In­dian pub­lish­ing. It cov­ers, in in­ter­views and short es­says, key themes and is­sues fac­ing In­dia's vi­brant book busi­ness across var­i­ous gen­res and lan­guages: from children's pub­lish­ing to aca­demic books; nov­els to en­cy­clopae­dias and il­lus­trated books; key In­dian lan­guages as well as lit­er­a­tures in trans­la­tion.

Lo­cal and re­gional pub­lish­ers, in­de­pen­dents, multi­na­tional com­pa­nies and fam­ily-run con­cerns all sit within its cov­ers, along­side bur­geon­ing self-pub­lish­ing and app­based pub­lish­ing in­no­va­tors. In the process, there is some navel-gaz­ing as well as blue-sky think­ing by over 65 con­trib­u­tors. The book cap­tures a mul­ti­plic­ity of views and al­lows both the over­laps and con­tra­dic­tions to stay, based as they are on the ex­pe­ri­ences of peo­ple who are in­sid­ers in this in­dus­try, by ei­ther pro­fes­sion or birth or both.

Ni­tasha Devasar, who has edited this thought-pro­vok­ing book, notes that tech­nol­ogy has trans­formed and con­tin­ues to trans­form aca­demic pub­lish­ing by putting users at the fore­front of the process and pro­vid­ing scope for con­tin­ual value ad­di­tion. First, it was book pro­duc­tion that be­came faster, flex­i­ble and even­tu­ally cheaper. Then, it was de­liv­ery with the ad­vent of on­line stores.

The book is lu­cid and in­for­ma­tive, with em­pha­sis on in­di­vid­ual and or­gan­i­sa­tional jour­neys and views and does not aim to be com­pre­hen­sive. It of­fers, for the first time, a frame for In­dia's pub­lish­ing busi­ness that can be used to lis­ten and be heard in an in­creas­ingly-volatile and chang­ing ex­ter­nal en­vi­ron­ment. Au­thors, ed­i­tors and pub­lish­ers will find in it much to know, de­bate and share. It has to be read by all those who read, write and pub­lish.

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