| Vol. 2 No. 6 May 2008
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Dear Publishing Professionals,
The World Book and Copyright Day
on 23 April unfortunately went unnoticed, failing to make any impact
on the Indian readers, authors,
librarians, publishers and booksellers. However, the Federation of
Indian Publishers (FIP) and
Indian Reprographic Rights Organisation (IRRO) in their characteristic
style, jointly celebrated by organizing
a panel discussion and a video presentation of copyright and its
various aspects. They also donated books to 25
students belonging to the weaker sections of the
society. Publishers and Booksellers Guild, Kolkata celebrated by
organising a week-long book fair to encourage the small and medium
publishers by giving them equal
opportunity to share space with the larger publishers. Also some authors
were interviewed by newspaper
journalists. But despite all the above efforts, the celebrations were
far from spirited. They were a
remote relative to the way the World Book Day is celebrated in
Spain. People here celebrate by gifting
books to their loved ones accompanied by flowers.
The spirit of the celebrations brings the city to a
virtual standstill and the festivities continue till
midnight. Let us also strive towards such a future
in which our love for books abounds with joy
and celebration. With talks going on for having our own
Book Day instead of 23rd April, we
are surely heading in the right direction. Though it does not really
matter when it is celebrated;
what matters is how it is done and what impact it leaves behind. This
may need ample planning in advance
the good news is that the reading habit is catching on, and cashing in
on this ever increasing book craze are
the bookstores. From malls to corner bookstores at gas stations,
book retail as part of the lifestyle basket is
constantly gaining ground. Almost all established names
in the business have readied their expansion road maps.
Odyssey, a Chennai-based company is starting
their mega bookstores and the first one is coming up in Connaught
Place, New Delhi having a floor area
of 28,000 square feet.
April also witnessed the London Book Fair,
held from 14 to 16 April—short and sweet. A total of 27 Indian
participants consisting of publishers
and print suppliers exhibited apart from many trade visitors from India
who visited the mega event. This
year they increased the total space area of the fair, with the fair
being organised at a single
level as opposed to the multilevel arrangements made in the previous
years. This was made possible by
adding Earls Court Two to the existing area. A lot of new features too
were added to this year’s fair. Three new
seminar streams – Digitization, Children’s Books and
Publishing, and TV and Film were added to the already
existing seminars on international publishing,
market focus, and book selling and librarian focus sessions. This
year the Arab world was the market
focus country and evidently most of the trade people (publishers,
booksellers) were from the Arab
world and were also seen at the negotiating tables of the exhibitors.
This month I interviewed Sh. Jitendar P Vij–CEO, Jaypee Brothers, the leading medical publisher in Asia.
“No competition in the field of medical publishing,”
says J. P. Vij.
You are one of the leading medical publishers in Asia. Tell us about
all started way back in 1950 when my father, Late Sh Sohan Lal Vij,
started Vij and Rama
Publishing House in Ludhiana where he began publishing technical
books. He went through a
lot of ups and downs during his lifetime. In 1957 he
published a large number of Engineering
textbooks and unfortunately the syllabus
changed as a consequence of which he had to wind
up his business and join
Atmaram & Sons as production manager in Delhi. In 1969, my
father (founder) and I (co-founder) decided
to try our luck a second time and we
re-established our publishing business. Thus was born Jaypee
Brothers. But as fate would
have it, in 1972 my father passed away from a heart attack at a young
age of 48. I was
only 16 years old then and was working and pursuing my graduation
from Delhi University. But I did not give up and my hard work and
patience paid off. We now have 10
offices in India and this year started an office in St.
Louis, USA. Our US office looks after the promotion
and acquisition of manuscripts. Q. What made you opt for medical publishing?
1969, when we started Jaypee Brothers, there was no competition in the
field of medical publishing
and also there was a huge demand for books on hygiene, public
health, and other allied subjects. This is
what prompted us to take up medical publishing
and so far we have been very comfortable in pursuing
this specialty and can boast of around
250 titles in a sub-specialty area like ophthalmology alone. Q. What areas of operations do you look after?
basically take care of the US and UK markets to interact with top
international publishers for joint
ventures and other future plans. Back home I am the
planner of the organization. Q. Which is a winner—publishing, importing or distribution of medical books?
course publishing; however, we do import a large quantity on an
exclusive basis from McGraw Hill
(USA), Hodder Arnold (UK) and FA Davis (USA). Q. How many new titles do you publish in a year and what was you major title in 2007?
publish around 300 titles in a year. Some of the titles are selling
large quantities of up to 50,000
copies. There are a large number of titles which are really
selling excellently in this part of the world. Q. Which was your first medical book published?
published A Guide to Pathology in 1969. The book was written by a
student and for students, and
the book is still going strong and the author revises it as
the need arises. Q. Does your list focus on text books for medical students or on reference books for doctors?
We have a wonderful mix of text and reference. We have recently
launched a video atlas
containing DVDs related to various medical specialties.
Q. Do the publishers you import from help in marketing your books in their countries?
certainly. McGraw Hill, Lippincott Williams and Welkins, Hodder and
Anshan distribute our titles
on a selective basis in their countries. We also distribute
some titles of Lippincot Williams and Welkins,
Springer, Taylor & Francis on a
nonexclusive basis in India. Q. Have you developed any e-medical books? Tell us about your experience.
are in the process of developing e-books in India. Our many books carry
CDs/DVDs, and some
books which are on-line are updated quarterly. Whatever books McGraw
Hill distributes in the US are
also converted shortly into e-books by them. Q. You also publish medical journals. Tell us something about these.
this time we have only three journals but we plan to increase to six in
the coming year. Our journal,
Ultrasound in Obstetrics and Gynecology has editors from
Croatia and the US. Q. Do you have doctors on your editorial board? Do they help you in selecting titles?
we have three doctors on our role. They help us with the editorial and
also in sorting out the queries
of our editors. Q. Do you prefer selling rights or are you in favor of marketing your own editions internationally?
an English edition has to be sold, we prefer to sell our edition;
otherwise, we are aggressive
in selling translation rights in languages like Spanish,
Chinese, Portuguese, Turkish, Arabic, Polish etc.,
and have signed many agreements. Q. Do you pay an advance against royalty to the authors or is it a one-time payment?
do not prefer to pay advance royalty to the authors and neither are we
interested in a one-time
payment. We work purely on royalty percentage with the authors. Q. What is the percentage of domestic sales to exports? Which are your major export markets?
major market is the domestic market and we have 80% sales in India and
our exports are 20% of
the total sales. However, the US and UK, Malaysia, South-East Asia
are our major export markets. Q. What special efforts do you do in marketing?
organize international sales conferences in India every year where
publishers from UK, US, Germany
and other places participate and share their new programs
for the year with our sales team. Q. Any plans to go public?
A. Yes, maybe in a couple of years as the situation demands. Q. Any new developments at Jaypee?
we opened our new office at the publishers’ hub at Ansari Road, which
is equipped with all
the latest technology. We have also started a company, AJR Medi
Solutions—Publish Effortlessly by
Outsourcing. The plan here is to take from the small
publisher his burden and supply him with edited and
printed books directly to his warehouse,
as we, the bigger players have a better and suitable infrastructure
to do this. The process
includes, editing, pre-press, post-press, processing, data
digitalization etc. Q. In this age of acquisitions and mergers how is medical publishing fairing?
have already initiated the process of acquiring small medical
publishers in India and have recently
added to our list, Arora Medical Publications,
Lucknow. They have around 46 titles which are selling quite
well in the market. Q. What price did you pay for this acquisition?
A. I would not like to divulge into the details at this moment. Q. Do you face any competition in medical publishing in India?
much. Most of the old publishers have now stopped publishing. They were
previously based in
Kolkata and Mumbai. We are now basically facing competition from the
foreign publishers as they are
reprinting their books at a low price in the Indian market.
But this competition is very minor and does not
affect our list. Q. How would you describe a good book?
a difficult one. I think the book which sells well and gives a real
sense of satisfaction to the author,
editor, and publisher that their efforts have borne
fruit is in my opinion a good book. Q. Do you find time to read and if so what is your preference?
me share my ‘browsing fascination’ with you. I browse through each and
every book of mine. I am
always excited when a new book comes and cannot sleep till I have
browsed through each page of the
Do your family members help you with your business? Also let us know
about your family life and how
do you enjoy your leisure time?
wife, Raman Vij, is the director of the company and she looks after
what the ladies like best –
finance. She is a real motivation in my life. My son is doing
graduation in publishing from Oxford Brooks
in UK and will be joining me, shortly. I intend
to send him for post graduation in publishing at the Imperial
College, London in September
2008. He has already worked with Elsevier and Hodder Arnold for 6
months in UK. Q. How was the idea to organize a cricket match during the World Book Fair conceived?
was in UK with Philip Walter, Managing Director of Hodder Arnold and
was discussing about our
business plans when every 5 minutes he would go and check the score
of an ongoing cricket match. He
obviously was an avid cricket follower. I am also very fond
of cricket and so we planned to organise a
cricket match between Indian and foreign
publishers at the time of the World Book Fair. That is how this
cricket match idea was
conceived and now it seems to be a regular feature at every New Delhi
World Book Fair.
Green Publishing the TERI way
an attempt to recognize the importance of sustainable development for a
in the future, TERI organized the first-of-its-kind event called
Pathways to Green
Publishing: A Stakeholders’ Dialogue on Ecological and
Sustainable Publishing Practices, on 5
April 2008 in New Delhi.
“The time has come to introspect on what to do in the publishing
industry as cleaner
and greener practices come up,” said Delhi’s chief minister Mrs Shiela
Dikshit in her
inaugural address. She urged the publishers and printing industry
to look at ways and means
to reduce pollution and to look into new technology
to reduce the dependence on polluting
know-how. Also speaking on the occasion,
the Union Minister of state for environment, Mr
Namo Narain Meena said that in spite of the stringent
government norms for the paper and
pulp industry, the publishing industry requires to take a look at new
solutions to check pollution.
Some of the distinguished panel
members included, Harsh Pati Singhania (J. K. Paper), R. Srinivasan
(ITC), H. K. Dua (The
Tribune), Sanjay Banerjee (Elsevier), Nuzhat Hassan (National Book
Trust), Sumeet Anand
(Argowiggins–Dalum), Ajay Shukla (McGraw Hill Education, India),
Ravindra Kumar (The Statesman),
Sanat Hazra (New York Daily News) and J. K. Dadoo
(Department of Environment, Government of Delhi).
together of shareholders from different sections of the paper, printing
and publishing industry;
government; corporate organisations, academia; and media on a
common ground, to express their
ecological imperatives of sustainable publishing and
printing practices was commendable on the part of
The day-long event aimed at
finding some innovative solutions to the environmental hazards that are
printing and publishing in India. With the burgeoning industrial
activities in the fields of paper,
publishing and printing, environmental degradation has
become the most critical area of concern and
legislation. This event attempted to raise
issues of immense concern related to the impacts of existing
practices in paper, publishing
and printing industries on some of the natural resources such as water
and forests, and
provided an interactive platform for the Indian entrepreneurs in these
industries for discussing
these key issues.
Recognizing the extent of environmental
damage by the abovementioned industries the following alternatives
were suggested by the
participants to avert this trend:
To reduce silver-containing wastes, it was decided to switch over to
films that do not contain silver.
Another commercially-viable alternative was the option
of recovering silver from the waste water.
The use of environment-friendly inks, for instance soy-based inks
replacing oil-based inks or the use of
water-based inks, in printing was considered.
Also an improvement in the quality of inks would help
curtail solvent emissions.
Keeping in sync with the saying, ‘a sound mind develops in a sound
body,’ the importance of providing
a healthy environment to the workers in the printing
industry was given attention, as they are the direct
victims of toxicity.
The various benefits of recycled products, especially recycled paper
were also outlined. Recycled
paper reduces dependence on landfills, increases the
recovery of office paper, and reduces air and
water pollution; hence, is attained the
goal of waste reduction. Also the availability of tax incentives
in recycling facilities
would be a positive step towards green publishing.
Another environment-friendly path is electronic publishing. A proximate
linkage and a cooperative
venture between the IT and the publishing industry could
serve as an important move in the direction
of green publishing.
the event was successful in synergizing the efforts towards sustainable
publishing practices and
sensitizing the Indian publishing sector on various
environmental implications of publishing and printing..
join hands with TERI in this initiative towards pathways to green
publishing and strengthen their
belief of: ‘Be the change you want to see in the world.’
| Delhi’s First Book Mall in Ansari Road The
Capital is all set to get its first book mall, a one-roof solution for
reading enthusiasts and those in the
book business. And what better location than Ansari
Road, Delhi’s publishing hub. The 12-storey, fourtower
mall will come up on a 10,000
square-meter plot, with two towers dedicated to publishing activities
and a common bookstore
and the other two towers will have institutions of art, culture,
education and urban
administration. The towers would also have museums and guesthouses.
This concept will not only provide Delhi with a common bookstore with
subjectwise cataloging but will also
benefit the publishers, as it would lead to healthy
competition among them. Good going Delhi! Chandamama turns 60 years young One
of India’s oldest children’s magazines, Chandamama, a Geodesic group
company, recently turned
sixty. It commemorated its 60 years by releasing an anniversary
book — a 196 pages collector’s edition
containing stories from the different genres that the
magazine has published over the last 60 decades. The
anniversary book was unveiled by
superstar Amitabh Bachchan in Mumbai, a self-confessed fan of the
once-fading title is all set to reinvent itself with an upgraded Web
presence featuring interactive games
and puzzles, downloadable wallpapers for cellphones and
programmes on World Space Radio. To toast
it, a 96-page comic book will hit the stands
every four months starting April this year. HarperCollins India and Mapin Publishing join hands for illustrated folk tales HarperCollins
India and Mapin Publishing have joined hands to bring out richly
illustrated folk tales to
reintroduce the past to children in the form of bedtime stories.
In a bid to produce books that bring the rich
art and culture of India to young readers, the
new volumes cover a diverse range from traditional folk
stories to books like The
Kidnapping of Amir Hamza that retells a tale from the Hamzanama. This
children to the creation of Mughal painting and also initiates them to
ways of seeing Mughal
art. Another book is the series is In the Indian Night Sky by Sapre,
which retells Indian folk tales.
All books are priced between Rs 295 and Rs 395.
| Stanza Publications releases 4 volumes of short stories by women How
different are the experiences of women living within different national
boundaries — Iran, India,
Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Afsaneh: Short Stories by Iranian
Women, a powerful collection of tales by Iranian women focuses on the
theme of women leading
estranged and desperate lives in a patriarchal and oppressive society.
Richly evocative, this
collection of stories conjures up the microcosm of daily life and the
seasons in Iran.
Kahani: Short Stories by Pakistani Women, is
an anthology in which each story reads like a veritable
feast. There are a range of styles in the
book from the prose poems to the seemingly moral ‘Grandma’s
Tale’. The fact that the stories cover a
stretch in time — 50 years — makes them richer.
Stories by Indian Women, contains a glorious variety of voices, some
gravelly with ancient and
well-worn pain, others speaking of more contemporary ironies. The
collection has a composite range
of themes and genres. An anthology like this proves that our hoary
storytelling tradition will not suffer
short-circuiting in a hurry.
Galpa: Short Stories by
Iranian Women, is a collection of short stories spanning a 100 years of
writing by women in a
country that has been through many political and cultural upheavals.
Upliftingly feminine, Galpa
is, ultimately about women who break the shackles of conventional roles
to liberate not just themselves
but the reader as well.
| Amit Chaudhuri to judge Man Booker Writer,
academic and musician Amit Chaudhuri has been chosen as judge for the
2009 Man Booker
International Prize worth £60,000. The other members of the jury include
writer Jane Smiley and writer,
film script writer and essayist Andrey Kurkov. While the Man Booker
Prize for Fiction is given to a winning
novel that has to be written by a Commonwealth citizen, the
Man Booker International Prize is much more
global in character — any author from any part of the
world whose work has been published in English
qualifies — and the prize is given for a whole body
of work rather than a single book.
The judges will draw up a
shortlist of 15 authors they consider deserving and will have to meet
and fight it out to decide
which of their candidates finally emerges triumphant. The winner will be
announced in the early
summer of 2009. If the winning work is a translation, the winner can
choose for the translator to be
given a separate prize of £15,000. This is an important aspect for
many regional authors in India, who
feel marginalized because their work is not available in
translation. “I am glad that Booker is doing
something serious,” said Chaudhuri.
PreMedia buys GGS Book PreMedia
Global, a Chennai-based knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) company has
added GGS Information
Services Inc (US) to its series of overseas acquisitions. This is its
fourth acquisition in the last 18
This acquisition positions the company as a major
player in the education publishing services industry.
PreMedia has a revenue of Rs 150 crore and
employs around 1,000 people both in the US and India.
Both PreMedia and GGS Book will continue to
operate independently for the near future. However,
PreMedia will have the rights to continue using
the GGS name and logo for an extended period of time.
The company plans to enter new market segments
such as magazines, yellow pages and corporate
Tata Trent buys Landmark
Trent bought Landmark when Landmark Book Store promoter, Hemu Ramiah
decided to exit the
business. The seeds of the imminent sale were sown in May 2006 when
Trent bought 76% stake in the
company while allowing Hemu Ramiah to continue to run the business and
remain as its chief executive
Activair is bought
industry freight management specialist, Activair has been bought by an
logistics company, Barthco International. The new owner is a
Philadelphia-based logistics firm dealing
with customs brokerage and supply chain management.
Amsterdam declared World Book Capital
April 23, World Book and Copyright Day, Amsterdam was officially
crowned as the World Book
Capital 2008. In May this year, coinciding with the Amsterdam
International Literary Festival (May 18),
the world’s largest book market (with over 1,000 stalls)
will meander its way through the streets of the city.
Change in postal address
postal address of Gyan Books has changed to the following: M/s. Gyan
Books Pvt. Ltd., Gyan Kunj,
23 Main Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi – 110002; Phone: 011-23261060,
23282060; Fax: 23285914;
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