Sterling Publishers
Vol. 3 No. 1 December 2008
ONE TO ONE - Rajiv Beri, MD, in conversation with Mr S. K. Ghai about Macmillan and its presence in India for 116 years.

BOOK REVIEW - Book Publishing: Principles & Practices by Dina N Malhotra

World’s largest bookstore
IPA gets new President
Seventh IPA Copyright Symposium in Abu Dhabi
Literary Agents as Godfathers?
Scotland theme country at Kolkata Book Fair
Kingfisher-Disney Publishing tie up
DC Books starts English Newsletter
Ratna Sagar signs for Collins Dictionary
PG Certificate Course in Editing and Publishing 2009

  • 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 student to-faculty ratio course.
Dear Publishing Professionals,

The recent financial crisis in the world market has affected businesses around the globe. But even in this crucial time Indian publishers and printers can take this as an opportunity to secure global orders by offering competitive prices. Every cloud has a silver lining!

Training is an important aspect for the development of any industry and the Indian publishing industry is also doing its bit in this regard. Indian publishing, in a collective effort to meet its requirement for trained professionals, spearheaded special training programmes in various aspects of publishing. It is their aim that in the coming years the industry emerges as a coordinated and a planned professional industry.

In November 2008 the Institute of Book Publishing organized their 21st annual 10-day Condensed Course for Publishing Professionals in New Delhi. Comprising lectures, group discussions, workshops, hands-on exercises and special lectures delivered by experts in management, finance and legal matters, the course was designed to give the trainees a well-rounded exposure in all aspects of book publishing. The course faculty was drawn from a panel of highly qualified and professionally experienced personalities from the publishing world — Mr Narender Kumar, Prof. N. N. Sarkar, Mr Mike Bryan, Dr Malini Sood, Mr Vikas Gupta, Mr Pramod Kapoor to name a few.

National Book Trust of India too, as a part of its programme to support upcoming publishing professionals and train new entrants, organized a Training Course in Book Publishing from 10-23 September 2008 in collaboration with Literacy House, Andhra Mahila Sabha. Some of the faculty members from major publishing houses included Shri G. S. Jolly, Ms. Malabika Guha Mustafi, Shri Subir Roy, Shri Kalyan Banerjee, and Shri Sukumar Das. The Chief Guest, Shri Mandali Buddha Prasad, Minister of AP Government in his address, requested NBT to organize more such programmes in the different districts of Andhra Pradesh so that the youth in other districts were also at par with the youth of Hyderabad.

Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Prakashak Sangh in collaboration with the Copyright Council of FIP at Pune organized a 1-day workshop of Copyright, Author - Publisher agreement and How to handle Piracy on 21st November. Some of the topics in the discussion included, Role of FIP/other associations in implementing copyright law and fight against piracy; Copyright/piracy issues related to Regional Publishing; and Aspects of author-publisher agreement related to copyright law. The speakers included, among others, Adv. Naik, Adv. Kalyani Pathak, Mr S. K. Ghai, and Mr Vinod Satav (ACP, Pune Police). The workshop was attended by 70 Marathi publishers.

The Federation of Publishers and Booksellers Association in India also organized a half-day Seminar on 22 November on Publishing and Marketing to coincide with the Bangalore Book Festival. The theme of the Seminar was Publishing Industry in India. The topics of the Seminar were: Publishing in India (by Mr S. C. Sethi); Marketing of Educational Books (by Mr Rajiv Beri); Sales and Promotion of General Trade and Children Books (by Mr S. K. Ghai) and International Marketing of Books (by Mr Sukumar Das).

These small steps do contribute in bringing awareness and widen the vision and scope that exists in the industry. I hope these positive developments will continue purposefully with vigor and determination. I appeal to all the book fair organizers in the country to organize such short-term courses during book fairs and festivals.

This month during my trip to Bangalore I interviewed Mr Rajiv Beri, MD, Macmillan, India, a dear friend and colleague in the industry. Macmillan is a pioneer in providing BPO services in India and has been winning the highest export awards from the last couple of years.

Our vision statement is to contribute towards the upliftment of education in India and to provide highest quality educational materials –Rajiv Beri, MD, Macmillan India Ltd

In conversation with Mr S. K. Ghai about Macmillan and its presence in India for 116 years.

Q. Share with us your journey as MD of Macmillan India. Did you achieve desirable results on account of the changes/initiatives taken by you?
It has been a very exciting journey. When I took over as Managing Director in 1995, the company sales were only around Rs 18 crores and now we expect around Rs 260 crores in 2008. The staff was around 800 and now we have 3500 employees. We have been one of the two publicly listed and traded publishing companies and leading a listed company has its own challenges and excitement. We are the only publishing company to be selected as a Business Superbrand, by the Superbrand Council of India. We now publish 300 titles annually and with the Frank Bros acquisition (the first of its kind in India) we now have a substantial market share in the Indian market. We also were pioneers in on-line learning and launched two educational portals in 2000.

Q. Macmillan has been the pioneer in providing BPO services in India. How has this helped you in receiving the Highest Export Award in the Books and Publications Panel?
We have been winning the top Capexil award in our category for over 20 years. The majority of our exports are in the BPO sector and we are exporting digital files. In fact, we are the pioneers in providing BPO services since 1973 and initially were working only for Macmillan International. Word about our quality spread and at present we are providing only 25 percent services to our parent group and 75 percent to other international publishers worldwide.

Q. You have been in publishing since 1976. What prompted you to choose publishing as a career?
I appeared for the IAS exams in 1976 and was waiting for the results when I was approached if I was interested in a job in Tata Mc-Graw Hill (TMH). Without pondering too much over it, I appeared for the interview and was selected. In the meantime my IAS results were declared and I had cleared the exam. Though my parents were of the opinion that I should join the IAS, I personally felt that publishing was a more challenging field. I also felt that India was a highly potential market. I joined TMH and worked there for 11 years. Following various promotions I was working as the Publishing Manager when I left to join Macmillan. I enjoyed my tenure in TMH and had the privilege to work with the best people of the publishing industry. In 1987 I moved on to become the Publishing Director of Macmillan and became a part of the board of directors.

Q. What is the market share of Macmillan in educational books up to the school level?
We publish educational books from classes K-12 and enjoy 17 percent of the market share in the private CBSE/ICSE school market and 22 percent of the English language teaching market in India.

Q. How did the acquisition of Frank Brothers help Macmillan in increasing its market share in the educational books segment?
Frank Brothers at the time of acquisition enjoyed a major market share of top-selling science and mathematics books and also had leading texts for classes 9 to 12. We were relatively weak in these areas and thus the acquisition was a perfect fit and has now placed us in an overall strong position.

Q. Are you providing educational publishing on the web as are some other publishers?
As I had mentioned we were pioneers in on-line publishing. Our portal, provides web based Management Development Programs to corporates, and we have tie-ups with IIM Kolkata, MDI Gurgaon, IIT Delhi and IIFT Delhi.

Q. Recently there was a merger and demerger in MIL. How has this merger contributed to the company’s growth?
In 2005-06 we had acquired two typesetting companies, Charon Tec and ICC. Now we have merged these companies in Macmillan India. Also to give even greater focus to our publishing business, we have demerged it into a separate entity, Macmillan Publishers India Ltd (MPIL). Macmillan Group’s aim is to buy off outside shareholding in the publishing entity so as to make it a 100 percent subsidiary of the UK group.

Q. Share with us some of the memorable turning points in Macmillan India’s 116 years of existence.
Macmillan made its entry into India in 1892 mainly with the purpose of importing books from UK and publishing Indian authors. We owned the copyright to the complete works of Rabindranath Tagore till it came into the public domain. Macmillan published all literary figures from Tennyson to Yeats. We have been publishing Nesfield Grammar for the last 50 years. We acquired Charon Tec — a book typesetting company in Chennai in 2005, ICC — a US-owned book setting company in Delhi in 2006, and Frank Bros in December 2006. We set up a new company named MPS Technologies which develops electronic publishing software tools and also provides a digital content platform called BookStore. We have been rated as a Superbrand, we have created substantial wealth for our shareholders, have rewarded them with high dividends, and have created valuable assets in the country.

Q. Is Macmillan International a part of a larger group or is it run independently?
Earlier Macmillan was owned and run independently by the Macmillan family who finally sold it around 10 years back to Holtzbrinck, Germany — a large publisher of newspapers in Germany, and one of the biggest publishers in every area of publishing, be it STM, fiction or digital, academic and educational.

Q. What are your views on electronic publishing? How is it catching up in India?
E-publishing will develop as a support to mainstream publishing and this is already happening. When broadband connectivity becomes universally available and cheaper, e-publishing will get a boost in India; who knows it may grow by leaps and bounds just like the communication industry which has grown in the recent years.

Q. You publish educational books, self-help books, reference books, academic books and journals. Have you introduced any variations in their presentation to avoid piracy and how are you managing this nuisance?
We cannot do very much. We can only take steps to curtail piracy by bringing out new editions at regular intervals and conducting raids as a deterrent. It cannot be avoided totally.

Q. What do you think has been the impact of globalization on the Indian publishing industry?
The major impact of globalization has been on digital publishing and web-based learning. Once internet bandwidth becomes much cheaper there will be a revolution in digital publishing. Its affordability will enable all to avail the benefits of distance and digital learning including the common man.

Q. Which will be the focus areas of Macmillan in the next five years?
Our thrust will be in digital publishing, presenting more innovative school books, becoming the number one publisher for management books and to try and contribute in improving the study materials available at the state level.

Q. How has Macmillan been affected by the recent financial meltdown?
I don’t see much impact on our domestic publishing business.

Q. Have you published/commissioned the history of Macmillan since its inception in India?
Not yet but have plans to do so.

Q. Share with us how Macmillan India is meeting its Corporate Social Responsibility.
We entered into an agreement with UNICEF in 2003 for a period of five years to develop and print a series of MEENA books. The focus of this was to empower the girl child in rural India. We published and distributed these books (in ten Indian languages) to all the anganwadis throughout the country. More than 50 lakh copies were published on a no-profit basis.

Q. As the managing director what role do you play in the organization?
Of a visionary, leader, motivator, growth catalyst, and one who charts the direction and path of the company, and evolves a culture in which the employees thrive.

Q. Do you get time to read?
Not really. I travel for almost 10–15 days a month and all my reading happens on flights.

Q. How would you describe a good book?
A good book is one which meets its purpose, makes the reader feel it is worth the money spent on it and leaves a lasting impression on the reader’s mind..

Book Publishing: Principles & Practices by Dina N Malhotra
Size: 5.5" x 8.5" • 200 pages • Hardbound • Clarion Books, New Delhi • Rs 295

This book comes at the most opportune time — a time when the Indian publishing industry is on an upward swing and also when there is a dearth of books on the working and insight of the publishing industry by any Indian author. And who better than to have the doyen of Indian publishing, Dina N. Malhotra to write the book. He believes that the aim of book publishing is dissemination of knowledge and this book is a part of that dissemination.

The purpose of this book is not to load the reader with cumbersome textual facts and figures. It is written in an easy style, more on the lines of a ready reckoner than an encyclopedia. It attempts at describing and handling real life situations in practical ways but at the same time keeping in mind the principles.

An excellent source of information and an apt reference resource, this book is a must read for those who desire to become publishing professionals as well as for those who are already in it.

World’s largest bookstore
Now that an agreement has been reached between Google and American authors and publishers regarding the settlement of lawsuits over Google’s Book Search Program, readers around the globe can look forward to the largest bookshop in the world.

“Almost overnight, not only has the largest publishing deal been struck, but the largest bookshop in the world has been built, even if it is not quite open for business yet,” wrote Neill Denny, editor of the Bookseller, a trade publication based in London, on his blog.

A group of European national libraries and archives is also planning to openEuropeana, an online database of two million books and other cultural and historical items, including films, paintings, newspapers and sound recordings. Sales of so-called e-books also increased. Wholesale sale of e-books were up 55 percent from a year earlier. The world of books is surely going the digital way.

IPA gets new President
Mr Herman P. Sprujit, Vice President of IPA till now, has been elected as the President of the IPA for a period of four years. His term commences from 1 st January 2009. Mr Sprujit also celebrates his 60th birthday next year. He is a well known personality in the international publishing scene and is connected with E. J. Brill, Holland.

Seventh IPA Copyright Symposium in Abu Dhabi
The 7 th IPA Copyright Symposium will be held in Abu Dhabi from 28 February to 1 March 2010. The organizing committee of the symposium met during the Frankfurt Book Fair with the idea to meet those who would make the event happen. For further details, please contact Antje Sorensen at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Literary Agents as Godfathers?
The trend of literary agents began with Arundhati Roy, when she won the Booker Prize. David Godwin, awed by Roy’s manuscript, signed her up and got her a million-dollar advance. And thus was born the literary agent as godfather. Literary agents are slowly becoming a norm with major publishers and writers are increasingly looking for one who could change their fate. Agents in Delhi get 15-20 per cent of the book deal between the author and the publisher. Foreign agents are also in the game. They take 10 per cent of the deal and add extra for editing. An initial critique of the manuscript alone costs about $100.

Scotland theme country at Kolkata Book Fair
Scotland, the land of bagpipers will be the theme country at the 34 th Kolkata Book Fair in end-January 2009. A delegation of six Scottish publishers will visit the fair followed by a visit to Delhi. The fair will also see a diverse range of Scottish writers, authors, storytellers, poets, musicians, academicians, government officials, literary festival organizers and museum officials. A few Scottish films may also be screened at the Nandan Film Complex. The Scottish pavilion too is expected to pull huge crowds due to it being a magnificent piece of architecture.

Kingfisher-Disney Publishing tie up
Kingfisher Airlines has tied up with Disney Publishing, a global publisher of children’s magazines and books, to provide specially-designed, in-flight entertainment to children. Disney Kids, a comprehensive children’s magazine would be made available to Kingfisher Airlines’ young guests through Disney’s kids programme, Little Wings.

DC Books starts English Newsletter
DC Books, Kottayam has started a monthly newsletter in English, DCB News and the first issue was launched last month. The publication covered literary activities in Kerala along with news about Indian publishing. Not only was it an attractive newsletter but was also well-brought out and surely worthy of appreciation. We wish them success.

Ratna Sagar signs for Collins Dictionary
Educational publishers, Ratna Sagar entered into a partnership in education with HarperCollins for the launch of Collins dictionaries. The business alliance was celebrated on 26 November at New Delhi which had speakers discussing the Role of Dictionaries in Education (Mr Rod Pryde, Director, British Council) and Contribution of Collins to Education worldwide (Mr David Swarbrick, MD, International Business Development).

PG Certificate Course in Editing and Publishing 2009
The PG Certificate Course in Editing and Publishing 2009 will be held from 29 December to 7 April at SCTR, Jadavpur University. The course also includes the Avarna fellowship program for which it has received quite a good number of applicants. The screening test is on 22 December in Kolkata. The course has been divided into three modules namely: Module A: Editing with Hard Copy; Module B: Working with Soft Copy; Pagemaker and Design; Module C: Printing, Publishing and Selling. For further details visit

Zubaan books has shifted to a new address:
ZUBAAN, 128 B, Shahpur Jat, First Floor, New Delhi – 110 049.
Zubaan books’ new telephone numbers are: 011-26494617 and 011-26494618
Their email and website addresses will remain the same.
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it / This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it Website:


Some of the responses we received from the participants of the 21 st Condensed Course for Publishing Professionals:

  • I joined this course to get an in-depth knowledge about various fundamentals involved as I wish to make my foothold in the publishing industry. Your seasoned approach towards the subject: The Role of the Book Production Department in a Publishing House and Papers for Book Production really made us brainstorm productively. Additional information on Casting Off and Costing was really helpful in understanding the entire process undertaken by the Production Department.
  • This is an excellent course for aspiring publishing professionals, so it should be advertised as such to encourage aspirants to apply. Also include more role-playing during the sessions.
  • It was a good forum for an overview of a lot of aspects of the publishing business. It would have helped if more handouts/copies of presentations were made available. More interactive sessions/ demonstrations/activities would have helped in absorbing concepts that otherwise remain theoretical.
  • This course will help me immensely. We should have alumni meets. Please include in the course a 1 week internship in different publishing houses. Also please make available different subscriptions for magazines and journals regarding publishing.
  • The course delivered more than it had promised. Maybe more visits to publishing houses can be arranged besides a visit to the press.

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