Sterling Publishers
Vol. 3 No. 6 May 2009



Contents
EDITORIAL
ON THE HORNS OF DILEMMA
NEWS ITEMS
19th New Delhi World Book Fair 2010
Publishers are in race to publish Gandhi’s literary works
Guha Chronicles Mahatma Gandhi
Harvard Business Publishing establishes its foot in India
Book Mall in Kolkata moves ahead
India, a hot destination for global publishers
Jacket is a Lifejacket for a title?
ISTD Book Awards 2008-09
Tessloff Sterling Joint Venture
DSBPA Library cum Information centre
FIP organizes National Conventions of Indian Publishers
Showroom of Foreign Language books!
Collins means Business!
Online Bookstores from India
Three Generations in Bookselling
INDIAN BOOK INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS
Vijaywada Book Festival Society
The Bangalore Booksellers and Publishers Association
Federation of Indian Publishers
The Federation of Publishers & Booksellers Associations in India






Dear Publishing Professionals,


The efforts of Capexil, Sahitya Akademi,Federation of Indian Publishers, British Council and many others culminated in the Market Focus India at London Book Fair 2009.

Professor Amartya Sen inaugurated the LBF over Chairperson’s breakfast on 20th April and said that English had become the language of currency in many areas of life—from Internet to job hunting. He further stressed on the civilizing effect of books and examined the possible relationship between a love of books and low crime rates. He emphasised the importance of a reader and Kolkata Book Fair.

More than ninety exhibitors—publishers/publishing service providers and exporters participated in the Three-day event, the shortest book fair in the world. There I saw the coming of publishing professionals rushing to meet the deadlines and meeting one another by watch, doing concrete business — buying and selling books, selecting and finalizing titles for subsidiary rights and authors supporting their books and making speeches at seminars.


Everybody was actively engaged in one or more of these activities. This effort brought into limelight the world of Indian publishing to international publishing and exposed the large Indian market to the world. In an age of globalization, this way, everybody seems to have met their goals/targets.

I feel it has opened up the minds of Indian publishers who visited the fair for the first time to the vast international world of publishing and how to meet the challenges it has put forward.

This is the third European effort to expose the Indian publishing industry to the world and vice versa. The first being 2006 Frankfurt Book Fair; second, the 2007 Paris Book Fair and now India will be a guest of honour country at the Moscow International Book fair in September 2009 and Turin Book Fair in Italy in May 2010. The other International Book Fairs are vying with each other to put the Indian market in their program.

In the course of the month the Director General Safeguards (DGS) issued a notification on 20th April initiating safeguard investigation concerning imports of coated, uncoated paper and board into India. This was in response to the application made by three giant paper manufacturers: ITC, JK and Ballarpur paper mills, suggesting that a custom duty should be imposed on the import of paper as the imports have increased and they are dumping the goods into India at low rates due to recession in the international market and provided figures in support of this.

DGS issued another notification on 24th April recommending that there is an urgent need to impose the duty otherwise the Indian industry will be injured. All of this happened when a large number of publishers and publishing service providers-(printers) were away to London Book Fair to solicit orders by committing that they can provide and deliver the jobs at competitive rates.

Immediately on arrival, various organizations took up the case with the DGS, Secretary Revenue, Finance and Commerce, highlighting that the above decision was wrong. It would only safeguard the monopolistic position of the paper industry in India and harm the interest of the publishing community and educational sectors. Educational books would become expensive, and, it would also make publishing and publishing service providers non-competitive in the international market at a time when India’s exports are already decreasing due to the recession in the international market.

The Board on Safeguard led by Commerce secretary Mr G K Pillai, Ministry of Commerce (GOI) listened to the pleas of the affected parties and declared on 12th May that the Government has decided not to impose safeguard duty as of now.

He further declared that the DGS will look at the submissions made by all parties including industry over the next two months before making a recommendation to the board.

Let us hope this will end the matter here otherwise we have to get ready for the onslaught, and, protests by students, authors, publishers and printers.

 








Eric Schmidt, the Chairman and CEO of the $22 billion Internet firm Google had once said that his company’s aim is to index all the information available to mankind in a manner that is easy to search and use. Once this idea stretched to books; publishers and authors were up in arms because they thought that this might harm their copyright as well as the length of their pockets. Google however assured them that they would only provide consumers with a preview of the books (copyrighted only!), more like a sneakpeek (20 %) that will tell them whether or not they wish to purchase the book. The firm reiterated that the idea was not only to make money, but to capture all knowledge under one roof.

There are equally strong arguments for and against this move by Google. One of the foremost arguments in favour of the step would be that it will be easier to find rare and out of print books. These books may still be copyrighted but be out of print, especially foreign language books that are difficult to find otherwise.

Readers will be able to buy complete books directly from Google. Thus a large number of rare books will become accessible from any computer, anywhere in the world, and will also be searchable. So authors who otherwise had no way of garnering money for their old books, would now receive money depending on the number of paid downloads.


However, critics are apprehensive that Google might gain an unfair edge over their competition and acquire the exclusive licence to profit from innumerable books. Hypothetically, it could also raise prices once there is no competition to keep it in check. Also since Google is primarily a search engine, scanning and indexing a large share of the world’s books will make it a monopolistic giant in the search engine market, which it already is.

Authors also fear as to how Google will handle their book, and if they will not lose control over it. Also there are no provisions as to what will happen once an author is no more and no one has legal rights to a book. Can Google then hike its prices independently?

Google books project head Adam Smith wrote in the company blog: “The settlement won’t just expand access to out of print books, either. Because authors and publishers will have the ability to let users preview and purchase their in-print books through Google Book Search, readers will have even more options for accessing in-print books than they have today.” The settlement he is talking about was signed by Google with the Authors Guild and the Association of American Publishers last year.

The debate is on. The US Justice Department has gotten into the act and is probing Google to find out if its Books Search service will breach anti-trust laws and whether it will end up monopolising the books as well as the search engine business.

As globalisation has made the world a smaller place, and more and more marketplaces and stores branch out into e-stores and online marketplaces, the Google issue gives us food for thought. Where are we headed on the Internet? How much of our lives can we spend surfing the information highway? Who will profit and who will lose? Which way will it butter our bread, change the whole book experience? Will it be page after page of impersonal pdfs or the yellow, crinkly dog eared pages? As Prince Hamlet says: To be or Not to be, that is the question…

 








19th New Delhi World Book Fair 2010
National Book Trust will organize a Theme Pavillion “Reading Our Common Wealth: An International Rights Exhibition of the Books on Sports in India” during the Fair.

The Exhibition will be aimed at a) showcasing and documenting publications on sports in India by bringing out an Annotated Rights Catalogue and b) bringing into focus the Commonwealth Games being hosted in October 2010 from the perspective of the publishing industry.

The Publishers who wish for their books to be included in the catalogue and exhibition need to get in touch with NBT directly. Website:www.nbtindia.org.in


Publishers are in race to publish Gandhi’s literary works
The copyright held by the Navjivan Trust on Mahatma Gandhi’s literary works expired on 1st January, 2009, bringing them in the public domain. Now publishers no longer need to take permission or pay royalty to the Trust for publishing Gandhi’s works. A number of publishers have since come up with plans to publish various selections of his works.

Indiana Publishing House, Diamond Pocket Books have already published Gandhi’s My Experiments with Truth, a 560 page book with many new photographs of Bapu. They are working on Thoughts of Gandhi and other books.

Jaico’s Bhagwad Gita by Mahatma Gandhi, is slated for release in May-June this year. They claim to have reformatted the book to have made it more appealing to readers. Another book in the pipeline from the same publishers is Quotes by Mahatma Gandhi.

Undaunted, the Trust, with over 300 titles in various languages will be going in for reprints and keep these in print. They believe that they would continue to cater to those who cannot afford high priced books.


Guha Chronicles Mahatma Gandhi
In a deal that created a history of its own, Penguin signed on Ramchandra Guha for an incredible Rs 1 crore deal. The stupendous sum was offered as an advance to him for seven books to be published over the next six years, including a two volume biography of Mahatma Gandhi. In a tug of war between Harper Collins, Random House India and Penguin India; Penguin won because of the experience and resources that it commands.

The Gandhi books are touted to be the ones for which the hefty sum was paid. The first Gandhi book will be released in 2012 and the second in 2015.

Harvard Business Publishing establishes its foot in India
Harvard Business Publishing (HBP), the publishing arm of Harvard University, has set up a wholly owned subsidiary in India. This is the organisation’s first subsidiary outside United States. HBP intends to “Indianise” its content by working with local management professors and corporate executives. Their books will be priced at almost one-third of that overseas and ideas from India will be incorporated in the international editions. Reflecting a change in international attitude, David A Wan, Chief Executive HBP, said, “India has come far from being just a cost effective labour market to one with innovative ideas on leadership and management.”

Book Mall in Kolkata moves ahead
The renowned College Street market of Kolkata, the world’s largest second hand book market, is all set to be converted to a three storey mall called Varna Parichay. It will be spread across 8,50,000 sq ft and built by promoter Bengal Shelter Housing Development Company. The project is planned to be completed in three years, with a budget of Rs 250 crores. Facilities provided here will include, a publisher’s arena, assembly of bookshops, an eclectic collection of rare books, a book auction centre, a book hospital for restoration and digitization of old, rare volumes; a gallery for book lovers; an artist’s gallery, music shop, conference hall, multiplex and cafeteria.

Worldwide, there are only two such malls dedicated to books, one in the United States and another in China. Some space is still available, decide before it is sold out!


India, a hot destination for global publishers
India is being recognized as the global hotspot for overseas publishers hit hard by recession. Consumers in overseas markets are spending progressively lesser on books due to the economic downturn. Though Britain and the United States continue to be the two largest markets for English books, the growth tends to nil at present. India, with an estimated population of 350 million people who read English, form the third largest market of English books. The Indian book market has been growing at the rate of 10% a year for the past several years. A growing tribe of international publishers are now avidly eyeing a slice of the alluring pie, India. Indian publishers should watch their interest and become active as it will be hard to compete with international publishers later on.

Jacket is a Lifejacket for a title?
In a world bent on catering to consumerist trends, books have not been left behind. As the saying goes, “What looks well, sells well.” As a consumer walks into a bookshop lined with shiny spines and covers of all description, the well designed cover becomes the lifejacket that assures a book’s purchase and prevents it from gathering dust in a bookshop. Publishers invest a lot of effort in designing covers/jackets. Covers are arguably the first point of interface with a prospective buyer and have become crucial marketing tools in a competitive world. They act as triggers in engaging the buyer’s interest and are an immensely important marketing tool today.

ISTD Book Awards 2008-09
The Indian Society for Training and Development (ISTD) has invited quality books from Indian publishers on management principles and practices including industry experiences, particularly in relation to HRD/ Training and Development for “Book Awards” instituted since 1997-98. It would not only help the publicization and sales of books entered but also increase the visibility of the publisher entering them. There is no form or fee in order to contend for the award. Eight copies of each book entered are to be sent to ISTD. While one copy each will be retained by the members of the Panel of Judges, one will find its place in the ISTD library. The books for consideration of awards are to reach ISTD by 15 June, 2009. For more information look upwww.istdtrg.org

Tessloff Sterling Joint Venture
Two leading children’s book publishers Sterling Publishers, India and Tessloff Verlag, Germany, came together in a first of its kind joint venture in April 2009. Tessloff Verlag of Germany has been developing books for children and adolescents in cooperation with scientists, pedagogues and specialist writers for the last 50 years. Sterling Publishers has a 45 year old legacy in publishing and is one of the leading children’s literature publishers in India, South East Asia, Middle East and Africa. It has been awarded the Best Exporters of Books Award by CAPEXIL Export Promotion Council, The Government of India, for the last 3 years. The products resulting from this joint venture will provide a varied platform drawing from the uniqueness of each culture and wide experience and resources of the companies involved. The company will produce the books in English in India and market these around the globe.

DSBPA Library cum Information centre
The Delhi State Booksellers’ and Publishers Association is opening a library cum Information Centre and has sent request letters to some leading publishing houses to send relevant books/materials for the same. For more details log on to www.dsbpa.in

FIP organizes National Conventions of Indian Publishers
The 11th National Convention was organized by the Federation of Indian Publishers at Agartala on 6-7 March 2009. The convention was organized by publishers from Tripura, Manipur, Kolkata, Manipur and Meghalaya. There was keen participation in all topics of discussion.

The 12th National Convention was held at Chandigarh on 13th-14th March 2009.The convention was well attended by Federation members and local booksellers, publishers and authors.

The 13th National Convention was held at Imphal on 6th-7th May 2009, in association with the Writers’ Forum, Imphal. The theme of this convention was ‘Challenges in Publishing in the North East’. Well Done!


Showroom of Foreign Language books!
Saraswati House Private Limited is opening a Showroom ‘Langers’, specially for foreign language books like those in French, German, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Russian etc. It will be an exclusive showroom and the first of its kind in India. Langers will be located at 7/25, Ansari Road, Daryaganj, New Delhi-110002

Collins means Business!
Harper-Collins India launches its new Business Imprint “Collins Business” with its first title Making Breakthrough Innovation Happen-11 Indians who Pulled Off the Impossible. Collins Business wants to publish business books in India using local expertise and case studies and bring in the best of international publishing relevant to India in this field.

Online Bookstores from India
A1 Books India’s E-bookstore is an online marketplace where one can buy as well as sell books, ebooks, graphic books, CD-Roms, DVDs and magazines. This is an effort at forging mutually beneficial relationships with small and mid-end publishers and sellers who do not yet have an online presence. It offers a large collection of books from the United States, United Kingdom and India. Already over 600 booksellers, publishers, and distributors from India have partnered with the company. Other leading online bookstores from India include; www.easternbookcorporation.com; www.teksonsbooks.com; www.buyselloldbooks.com; www.aggarwaloverseas.com; www.indiamike.com; www.expressindia.com; www.gobookshopping.com; www.booksatbahri.com; www.antya.com.

Three Generations in Bookselling
Many dream of building an empire in a lifetime and leaving it as a legacy to the following generations; Tekchand Arora achieved it. Starting from a small shop in Kauhat, Pakistan in 1935, moving to a footpath stall on Baba Kharak Singh Marg post-partition, to arriving at Connaught Place as Variety Book Depot. Tekchand Arora, his five children, their spouses and children put together, own 55 bookstores in 19 cities. First and foremost is Variety Book Depot (Om Arora) in New Delhi, followed by 8 Teksons’ outlets (Subash Arora) in NCR, 40 Book Cafes in 18 cities (Om Arora and Sandeep Dutt), four English Book Depots in Dehradun, (Sandeep Dutt ) two Bookwise outlets (Om Arora and Aarti Walia), one each in New Delhi and Jaipur. Stepping out of one of their many bookshops one recalls Hayakawa’s words, ‘In a very real sense, people who read good literature have lived more than people who cannot or will not read’.








Vijaywada Book Festival Society,
(R) (1990) President: D. Ashok Kumar, Secretary: I. Raha Kumar, Number of Members: 63 How often do you meet? As and when required Activities: Primary: conducting annual book fair; Secondary: running a research and reference library constructed with donations on the land given by the Municipal Corporation. No newsletter/brochure etc. Office address: Anjanar Buildings, Gopal Reddy Road, Vijaywada-520002, Email: bookfestvj@sancharnet.in This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Phone: 2570843


The Bangalore Booksellers and Publishers Association
(1988) President: Balram Sadhwani, Secretary: Devaru Bhat, Number of Members: 110 How often do you meet?Monthly Executive Committee meetings, and once in 3 to 6 months meeting with all members. Activities: Primary: a) to promote and protect the interests of members vis-a-vis, authors, booksellers, book wholesellers and publishers; b) to conduct Bangalore Book Festival each year and also cooperate and support associations in other towns; c) to create, foster and develop the spirit of mutual help, fellowship and best of understanding among members; d) to improve the knowledge of members by organizing seminars on marketing, book publishing, book promotion and self-improvement. Secondary: a) to plan assistance program on education and medical emergencies for members; b) to make representation to the State and Central government agencies for bulk buying in the state; c) to represent book industry problems to the state government. Brief History: The Association was founded in January 1988 by M/s Gangaram Book Bureau, Higginbothams, UBS Publishers Distributors Pvt Ltd. and M/s Satish agencies. It has been conducting the Bangalore Book Festival for the past eight years. The Association took initiative to deal with sales tax imposed on books by Government of Karnataka and the government backtracked and removed the taxes. Office address: The Bangalore Booksellers & Publishers Association (Regd.), C/O. B.I. Publications Pvt. Ltd., 147, Infantry Road, Bangalore-560001, Email: bbspa_assn@yahoo.co.in This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,
Phone: 080-22205696, 22204652


Federation of Indian Publishers,
(1970) Name of President: Shri R.C. Govil, Name of Secretary: Dr. Ashok Gupta, Name of Executive Director: Shri P.K. Arora, Number of Members: 131 direct members, 64 affiliated members, 18 Associate members, and about 2000 indirect members through affiliated associations. How often do you meet? Once a month or earlier, whenever necessary. Activities: Since its inception in the early 1970s, the Federation of Indian Publishers, has distinguished itself in encouraging the rapid upgrading of book production in the country by involving publishers in seminars, workshops and training courses at national and international levels. The federation organizes National conventions of Indian Publishers with a view of bringing together publishers of Indian languages on one platform and has so far organized 13 national conventions in different cities of India. The Federation gives awards for Excellence in Book Production every year which is applicable to all publishers both in the private and public sector. The federation has also instituted the distinguished Publishers Award and Distinguished Women Publishers Award which are most coveted awards for publishers. The federation also gives Freedom to Publish Award to a publisher who shows courage to publish controversial books without fear of the wrath of the fundamentalists or any action by the state. The Federation has also instituted the Young Publishers Award, the Award for Distinguished Editors and Designers and the Award for Distinguished Translators. The monthly FIP newsletter updates its members on the various activities in the field of publishing. Brief History: The Federation is a representative body of publishers in English, Hindi and other regional languages with its membership from all over India, representing 80% of the Industry. The main objective of the Federation is to promote professional standards among members and provide a forum for publishers to discuss their problems at national and international levels. It is affiliated to the International Publishers Association as the only representative body of Indian publishers. It also functions as the Regional Office for South Asia for the International Publishers Association. The Federation hosted the 24th International Publisher’s Association Congress held at New Delhi in January 1992 which was acclaimed to be the best Congres held in the 35 years preceding it. The federation is a founder member of the Asia Pacific Publishers association with its headquarters in Seoul and India fills one of its vice presidential positions. Office address: Federation of Indian Publishers, 18/1C, Instituional Area, Near JNU, Aruna Asaf Ali Marg, New Delhi-110067, Email : fip1@satyam.net.in This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ,
Fip1@sify.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Phone : 011-26852263/26964847/26966931 Fax: 26864054

The Federation of Publishers & Booksellers Associations in India
(1955) President: Shri S.C. Sethi, Secretary: Shri J.L.Kumar, Executive Secretary: Shri Narendra Pahuja, Number of Members: 500, How often do you meet? Once a year in AGM. Newsletter: Quarterly, English. Activities: Primary: The activities and areas of operations of the Federation extend all over the country. It has an indirect membership of around 4000 establishments spread all over the country, and works in close cooperation with 123 State Associations of Publishers and Booksellers affiliated to it. Secondary: The Federation as an apex body recognizes its role in ensuring the development of publishing in English, Hindi and all other Indian languages. It provides a forum for various segments of the book industry in the country to discuss their problems at national and international levels and looks after the interests of its members by taking active part in all meetings with the Government and concerned professional bodies. Brief History: At the time India attained Independence, the publishing and bookselling industry was confronted by a number of complex problems, peculiar to any developing industry. Shri Sital H. Primlani and other like-minded individuals felt that the industry needed an all India platform which will take concerted action to deal with the problems faced by it. This led to a publishers and booksellers conference held in Delhi in January 1953, and the setting up of the Federation. The Federation was first registered as a Society under The Companies Act, 1955 and was later registered as a Societies Act in 1969-70. Membership of the Federation is open to publishers, wholesalers, booksellers, distributors, companies and corporations whose business activities are concerned with production and promotion of books. The Federation also readily accepts as associate members, persons or firms both national and international, whom the Executive Committee of the Federation finds capable of furthering its aims and objectives. Throughout the years, the Federation has attained a truly representative character to speak on behalf of the Indian Book Industry. Office address: Federation of Publishers & Booksellers Association in India, 84, Second Floor, Daryaganj, Opp. Cambridge Primjary School, New Delhi-110002, Email: fpbaindia@yahoo.com This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Phone: 011-23272845 Fax: 23271228 Website: www.fpbaindia.org

 

 





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