Sterling Publishers
Vol. 2 No. 5 April 2008
Contents
ONE TO ONE - Interview with Ms. Nuzhat Hassan
NEWS ITEMS
Tata McGraw-Hill joint venture to end
HarperCollins ready to launch in Hindi too
Government gives nod for publishing scientific mags
India tops daily newspaper circulation in the world
Future Group set to mass market the writtern word
Tata Group partners with First Book
UP government imposes tax on workbooks
Asia-pacific festival of writing
Kolkata Boi Mela
Kannada Sahitya Awards
New India Foundation Fellowships and book award
Qurratulain gets a Museum
NEWS FROM SOUTH ASIA
Lahore International Book Fair
South Asia—Bubbling with opportunities
NEWS ABOUT PUBLISHING PROFESSIONAL
Subroto Mazumdar
Vivek Govil
Sunil Gangopadhyay
IBP
  • A six-day intensive programme for emerging and intermediate editors to be taught by some of India’s top luminaries in the publishign industry.
  • Get hands-on experience from some of the top editors of India.
  • Sharpen your editorial skills in one of the lowest studentto- faculty ratio course.

Dear Publishing Professionals,

The 18th New Delhi World Book Fair came and went. The fair was a success as there were more trade visitors than the last fair. The participants also increased though marginally. I feel NBT should look into the following points for better future fairs.

  • The allotment of stalls should not be done on a lottery basis. No book fair of such a size and magnitude anywhere in the world follows such a system.
  • Enough conveyance should be made available within the fair grounds, so as not to cause inconvenience to the public.
  • Efforts should be made to get more international participation.
  • The Guest of Honour country should be decided much in advance to get full advantage. However, this time Russian presence made a difference.
  • The Rights hall should be organised to give a boost to the sale of subsidiary rights.

This month, I interviewed Nuzhat Hassan, Director of National Book Trust to get her views on NBT and her future plans for the New Delhi World Book Fair.

The World Book and Copyright Day will be on 23 April 2008. Hopefully publishers, booksellers, libraries, etc., will notice and do something special to enhance reading habits among the people.

Our Finance Minister has reduced the excise duty on paper, paper board, and articles manufactured out of nonconventional raw materials from 12% to 8% and has reduced excise duty on clearances up to 3500 MT from 8% to nil, but this move has not made any impact on reducing the retail price of paper.

The International Conference on Book Industry is being organised to coincide with the KL International Book Fair in Kuala Lumpur from 4 to 5 April 2008. They have invited me as a speaker from India to speak on The Significance of Co-editions and Subsidiary Rights for the Publishing Industry – Challenges and Opportunities.


The road to the ‘best’ is always under construction; we just need to keep trying to build that sincerely and with a sense of vision – Nuzhat Hassan

Congratulations for organising the 18th New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF) professionally and successfully.

Thanks a lot. It was possible only because of the co-operation from the publishers and the participants.

Q. There was a plan to make it a yearly event. Any development?
A.
The plan is very much there and we are working on its modalities.

Q. It is said that international trade buyers visited the book fair in large numbers this time. Do you have any plan to give a boost to this aspect by keeping exclusive trade hours in future?
A.
Not only trade hours, there is a suggestion to have one or two days exclusively for trade visitors and we are looking at these options. Moreover, in order to attract the serious trade visitors to the NDWBF, we have already started many trade-oriented events. For example, this year we had an International Conference titled Professional Publishing in India in collaboration with Frankfurt Book Fair, which was organised on the eve of the Book Fair attended by publishers from India and abroad. Also, our initiative to have an International Rights Exhibition of the Works on and by Mahatma Gandhi drew very good response. I think, such trade-oriented events are a good way of attracting trade visitors to the Fair.

Q. Culturally, Russian participation boosted the image. Do you have any information regarding the trade agreements that they signed during their visit?
A.
As you know, Guest of Honour was a new experience for all of us and this did create a lot of excitement and awareness about the contemporary Russian literature among the Indian readers and publishers. We do hope that with this year being ‘Year of Russia in India’, there will be more concrete understanding between the publishers of both the countries, especially when the year 2009 will be celebrated in Russia as the ‘Year of India’. As far as trade agreements are concerned, generally such information is not shared by the trade with NBT.

Q. Do you believe the best is yet to come in organising the NDWBF and, if so, in which respect?
A.
The road to the best is always under construction; we just need to keep trying to build that sincerely and with a sense of vision.

Q. You organise Children’s Book Fair occasionally. Any plans to institutionalise the same in the year when we do not have the World Book Fair?
A.
The concept of Children and Youth Book Fair is a bit different. We have been rotating this in various Indian cities as far as possible.

Q. How many titles did NBT publish in 2007 and in how many languages?
A.
The concrete figure of 2007-08 will come to us in April 2008, but in 2006-07, we published more than 80 original titles and nearly 125 titles in translation in all major Indian languages. If we include the reprints, the figure will cross 900. NBT has been able to bring out books in almost 30 languages, including many minor languages. Further, we have added some new series like Popular Social Science, Indian Diaspora Studies, Afro-Asian Countries Series, etc., under which we are bringing out books to address emerging areas of academic discussion for the general reader.

Q. Tell us something about NBT Book Club and the number of subscribers you have?
A.
Under our Book Club scheme we make lifelong members on the payment of Rs. 50 only. The members get 20% discount on the purchase of NBT books throughout the country. We have more than 40,000 subscribers. The subscribers also receive NBT Newsletters, free of cost.

Q. How many mobile vans do you have and where all do they operate? Do they carry books of private publishers also?
A.
We have 10 vans which go out all across the country down to the panchayat level. Till now, we have covered all districts of India. We had experimented with the concept of carrying books of private publishers also but that was not very successful.

Q. What will be the major thrust areas of NBT in the coming years?
A.
During Golden Jubilee celebrations of NBT in 2007, we had announced many programmes. One of the main thrust areas will be the readership development among the youth of the country for which we are working on a major project, the details of which will be announced in due course. Also, we are emphasising on the publication of original works in Indian languages. Further, our effort to be a facilitator for Indian publishers in terms of enhancement of trade will remain our major priority area.

Q. Are you continuing your hobby of writing short stories now?
A.
I am actively thinking of new ideas which I hope to write very soon.

Q. How would you describe a good book?
A.
A good book is one which holds the interest of the reader and communicates effectively the ideas of the author.

Q. Are you missing your IPS days or enjoying the present assignment?
A.
I am not missing my IPS days but surely enjoying my present assignment as an author and an administrator. I know I have to go back to policing and I am sure this experience will add a deeper dimension to my work.


Tata McGraw-Hill joint venture to end
Though the Tatas have gradually, over the last couple of years, been pulling out most of their investments in the media and publishing businesses, their relationship with McGraw-Hill Education (India) has stood for 38 years. But this episode now is nearing a close.

Tata McGraw-Hill has been publishing, reprinting and marketing McGraw-Hill books for more than three decades in India. Unlike its other ventures, where the Tata Group of companies holds an equity stake, the joint venture with McGraw Hill is promoted and owned by two Tata Trusts—the Sir Dorab Trust and the Sir Ratan Tata Trust.

Source: Times of India

HarperCollins ready to launch in Hindi too
HarperCollins India, a joint venture between HarperCollins Publishers and the India Today Group will soon launch its Hindi publishing programme in May this year. Harper Hindi, as the imprint is called, will publish Hindi translations of international bestsellers and also original works in Hindi. The first books in this imprint will be translations of Paulo Coelho’s The Witch of Portobello and C. S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia. The first Hindi writer being published by HarperCollins is Ms Geetanjali Sree.

Government gives nod for publishing scientific mags
Several Indian companies engaged in publishing scientific, technical and specialty magazines, periodicals and journals have been allowed to bring in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) up to the maximum limit of 100% of their paid up equity capital. Permission has been given for publication of 107 magazines and journals in the specialty, scientific or technical sector by Indian companies having FDI. In addition, permissions have been granted for publication of 172 magazines/journals as Indian editions of various foreign magazines, journals in the scientific, specialty or technical sector. “As such there are no factors preventing foreign media from entering India,” said P. R. Dasmunsi, Minister of Information & Broadcasting and Parliamentary Affairs.

India tops daily newspaper circulation in the world
In a recent review by the World Association of Newspapers, the three countries that lead in daily newspaper circulation are India, China and Japan followed by the United States of America and Germany. In India, the vernacular press leads with Hindi followed by Bengali, Malayalam, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada. English newspapers and journals come a poor second.
Source: The Telegraph, Kolkata
Future Group set to mass market the writtern word
Future Group’s newest Rs 3,000-crore brand Depot, is all set not only to publish unsolicited manuscripts but even lend to the author a retail platform at all Big Bazaar outlets, provided the author undertakes to underwrite his/her book project. Depot is not just the first in this business, it also offers authors the opportunity to retail with them at standalone 11 Depot stores and all the Big Bazaar outlets. The company was earlier printing and distributing only private label children books, cookery books, multimedia products, stationary, etc., under an exclusive arrangement with the copyright holders. Launched in December 2005, the early response to this business prompted the company to get into self-publishing.

Tata Group partners with First Book
Tata Group, under the banner of Tata Interactive Systems, recently went into partnership with First Book, a non-profit organisation in the U.S., to distribute 65,000 new books to children from low-income families across the U.S. Along with the students, Tata Company representatives participated in reading circles to celebrate First Book’s mission to provide new books to disadvantaged children all over the country. Kyle Zimmer, President of First Books thanked Tata Group for its generous support. “We are proud to be doing our part to ensure that the youth of America are getting the knowledge they need, to succeed in the world of tomorrow,” said Surya Kant, president of TCS NA.

UP government imposes tax on workbooks
In the new academic session, beginning April, parents of kids studying in schools all over Uttar Pradesh will have to shell out extra money towards their children’s workbooks, graph books, and laboratory books due to the Value Added Tax (VAT) of 4% being imposed on them.

With the education system becoming increasingly interactive and workbooks being an indispensable part of the curriculum, the state government’s decision to tax them has invited widespread criticism from parents. Also, the tax imposition reflects poorly on India’s agreement to a UNESCO resolution that the country would work to make education affordable and cheaper. “Workbooks are a subsidiary of the main text books and therefore cannot be taxed,” said a city-based bookseller.

Asia-pacific festival of writing
Asia-Pacific Writing Partnership (APWP) along with Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi will be collaborating in organising the first ever Asia-Pacific Festival of Writing in New Delhi and the hill-station town of Shimla in October this year. The Festival called Writing the Future will include creative writing workshops, translation workshops, conference on new writing from Asia and the Pacific region and many more events.

Kolkata Boi Mela
Finally, the Kolkata Boi Mela was organised by the Government of West Bengal and not by the Publishers and Booksellers Guild. The event was a low-key affair and the crowds remained thin. Nearly half the stalls were not fully constructed and scores of visitors returned disappointed. It was far from an ideal beginning and could turn out to be the most poorly-attended book fair ever..

Kannada Sahitya Awards
Kannada Sahitya Samvardhaka Trust has invited books for Kavyananda award. Critique on vachanas will be considered. The book should be in Kannada language and should have been published in 2007. The award carries a prize of Rs 20,000 and a memento. Entries should be sent to Kannada Sahitya Samvardhaka Trust, Sri Giri, 4/5 A, Ali Asker Road, Bangalore – 560052 before 31 July 2008.


New India Foundation Fellowships and book award

The Foundation invites applications for the fourth round of the New India Fellowships. Open only to Indian nationals, these fellowships will be awarded for a period of one year and will carry a stipend of Rs 50,000 a month. The jury includes Andre Beteille, Vijay Kelkar, Nandan Nilekani, Ramachandra Guha and Niraja Gopal Jayal. Applicants are invited to submit their CV, book proposal and a writing sample of at least 5,000 words (published or unpublished) to New India Foundation before 31 May 2008. For details visit www.newindiafoundation.org.

Qurratulain gets a Museum
Qurratulain Hyder, the Jnanpith Award Winner who passed raway ecently, has got a museum to herself in the Jamia University. Displayed along with her books and diaries are her crockery, cutlery, jewellery and clothes. Well done Jamia!.


Lahore International Book Fair
The Lahore International Book Fair was a low-key affair. It was due to a number of regions the major ones being the ongoing political disturbance in the country, there was not much time gap after the Karachi Book Fair, and to some extent the New Delhi World Book Fair too cast a lingering shadow on it. Not many Indian participants attended the same. Hope the organisers will take care of this in the future.

South Asia—Bubbling with opportunities
South Asia has a market potential for good business and is a fertile ground for developing a market for books, (general, textbooks) as it is culturally akin to India, though one has to be extra careful while doing business on credit with them. Some Indian publishers visit these countries on a regular basis. Hope publishers are listening.


Subroto Mozumdar, CEO of Pearson Education, India, who started the company out of his own study, has now moved to a larger stage. He has been appointed as President, higher and professional education at Pearson Education, UK.

Mazumdar, 44, has taken over from Christine Ozden, who had been heading the education business for the last two years. Subroto is the second Indian publishing professional who has stepped into the international publishing arena; he was preceded by David Davidar who joined Penguin to take over as Managing Director of Penguin, Canada. Bravo folks!

Vivek Govil, from Oberois has taken over as Managing Director, Pearson Education, India from 24 March 2008.

Sunil Gangopadhyay, noted Bengali poet and novelist was elected president of the Sahitya Akademi in a closely contested election held recently. Gopi Chand Narang, the former Akademi president, was initially in the fray for a second term but later withdrew his candidature and supported Gangopadhyay for the post, who later admitted that it was a keenly fought election. “I could have lost also. But it does not matter, as it is not a life and death issue,” said Gangopadhyay. He also said that his priorities will be to focus on oral and tribal languages through publications, seminars and other organisational efforts in his 5-year tenure. With his experience and foresight the Akademi seems to have got the right person. His drive to promote tribal languages shows his respect towards this unexplored region in literature.

For earlier issues of Publishing Today please visit www.ibpindia.org.


This e-journal is brought to you by INSTITUTE OF BOOK PUBLISHING www.ibpindia.org
Please re-distribute freely to your industry friends and send your comments and suggestions.

For previous issues of Publishing Today, Please visit www.ibpindia.org

Our www.ibpindia.org newsletter policies:

1. The www.ibpindia.org newsletter is provided free of charge, and you are under no obligation to buy anything.

2a. To unsubscribe by email, please click here This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it and send the email.

2b. ^unsubscribe message^
2c. Or to unsubscribe through our online form, please click here