– a bouquet of best in the literary world
The countdown for New Delhi World Book Fair has begun. With renewed energy and zest to perform, the organisers are diligently working to make it the best in the literary world. Here, Dr MA Sikandar, director, NBT, India, shares the major attractions and initiatives for the show, in exclusive interview with ABP editors SK Khurana and Varsha Verma. The New Delhi World Book Fair 2015, is scheduled to be held from February 14-22, 2015 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. The fair is ably organised by National Book Trust, India with India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) as co-organiser.

“As a newer initiative, we have invited various schools and NGOs to perform in children pavilion and we are hopeful that 10-20 schools would come up for such programmes. We have also requested local embassies and cultural centres to invite their authors and illustrators to the New Delhi World Book Fair 2015 and have a few reading sessions by foreign authors,” told Dr MA Sikandar, director, National Book Trust (NBT), India.

Book fair: stable despite being an annual fair

“When NDWBF was made an annual fair in 2013 from bi-annual frequency, it was felt that the participation would decrease. But, it is a matter of pride to share that in spite of making it an annual event, we have maintained the stability. As many as 1,050-1,100 exhibitors are expected at this year show,” shared Dr Sikandar.

Attractions at NDWBF ’15

“The Guest of Honour Country concept has been well appreciated. This time, we have Guest of Honour Country as Singapore and Focus Country as South Korea. The Singapore Pavilion will be showcasing its literary and cultural heritage at their pavilion. A delegation of 43+ persons including eminent publishers, authors, government officials led by a minister of the Republic of Singapore would be attending the event. The focus country South Korea will showcase its books and contemporary writings and children’s literature and a delegation of 11 members led by the chairperson of the Korean Publishers Association will attend the fair,” told Sikandar. Literary and cultural events and activities for school children are planned throughout the fair through Korean Cultural Centre, New Delhi.

“We have also roped in China as a Guest of Honour country for 2016 event. As such, the Chinese delegation is also coming to have a closer look at this year's event and then plan for 2016 in a big way,” he shared. “We are now looking for Guest Country for 2017, preferably from Africa as we have already covered Asian and European countries.”

“The business to business events – New Delhi Rights Table and CEOSpeak have also become an integral part of the event,” Sikandar added. The CEOSpeak – a forum for publishing in collaboration with FICCI for bringing together the CEOs of 100+ Indian and foreign publishers for networking and exchange of ideas will be held on February 15. This time, the New Delhi Rights Table for exchange of copyrights among Indian and foreign publishers will be held on February 16-17, 2015.

The Authors Corner have been also very popular at the NDWBF, which provides a platform for authors and publishers to organise events like book launches, discussions, meet-the-author programmes with a view to create more face-to-face interaction for the visitors to the fair.

Other initiatives

Dr MA Sikandar, director, NBT, IndiaAnother value addition to the show is cultural shows organised with the help of Sangeet Natak Akademi and other cultural bodies to showcase the Indian culture. “Again, we have signed an MOU with Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) to promote the fair and also make tickets available at select metro stations well in advance,” shared Dr Sikandar. “We are also collaborating with CBSE, KVS, Directorate of Education to mobilise school children for group visits.”

India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) has provided Hansdhwani Theatre for inaugural function of the fair. The fair will be inaugurated by Smriti Irani, minister of HRD, Govt of India.

On asking about the stall rentals at the fair, Dr Sikandar replied, “The stalls are offered as subsidised rates as we receive grants by the Ministry of HRD, hence, despite increase in hall rates, we have not increased the stand rentals.”

What’s new?

As an added feature, Dr Sikandar informed that they have requested ITPO to give awards for the best stalls. “There will be 12 awards in four different categories – English, Foreign Language, Hindi & Regional Languages and Children Publishing,” he shared.

Also, NBT, India has designed an app for NDWBF for iPhones and Android platforms. “It is a pathfinder app for visitors to the show. Besides, we are also active on social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Besides, World Book Fair live radio would also be a part of the show,” told Dr Sikandar.

In continuation with Government of India’s Swacchh Bharat campaign, the focus at the show will be to maintain overall cleanliness at the show.

Next dates…

“Keeping in mind that many senior school children are unable to attend the book fair in the month of February due to CBSE exams and that the south Asian countries like South Korea and China have their new year in February, we have rescheduled the next three book fairs –January 9-17, 2016, January 14-22, 2017; and January 13-21, 2018. In case of problems like extreme cold weather, we may revert to old dates,” told Dr Sikandar.

Theme: Suryodaya The theme of the fair is Suryodaya where North East writers and writings would be showcased. Also, a film with rich content from Northeast would be screened everyday.

Singapore as the Guest of Honour country at the NDWBF 2015

To celebrate the 50 years of close and cordial bilateral diplomatic relations between India and Singapore, Singapore is the Guest of Honour Country at the NDWBF 15. Supported by the National Arts Council (NAC) and the Media Development Board this endeavour intends to raise the profile of Singapore in India, and to give recognition to the authors, illustrators, publishers and other key players involved in Singapore’s publishing industry. There will be two delegations: one of publishers and other of authors, illustrators and other members of the book community.

Leading the delegation of authors and publishers is Claire Chiang, NAC board member and chairperson of National Book Development Council of Singapore (NBDCS). A total of 50 administers of literary arts, authors, graphic novelist, publishers, illustrators, librarians and booksellers are representing Singapore at the NDWBF. The Delegation is supported by the National Arts Council and the Media Development Authority (MDA). Kathy Lai, CEO, National Arts Council will also be attending the Fair while Peter Schoppert, president, Singapore Publishers Association will be one of the key speakers at the CEOSpeak Forum for publishers which is organised as part of the Fair.

The Fair provides a great opportunity for Singapore publishers and authors to reach out to the Indian market and to test its potential, thereby positioning Singapore as a hub for Asian content. Delegates to the Fair will participate in forums, panel discussions, school visits, bookstore events and official functions organised by the National Book Trust (NBT), India and the High Commission of India in Singapore.

NBDCS that is leading the delegation will also manage the Singapore Pavilion at the Fair.

Singapore’s presence at the NDWBF signifies the first concerted attempt by the Singapore literary artists and publishers to make their presence felt in the region. This paves the way for publishers and writers to actively participate in other regional fairs, particularly in the Malaysia and Philippines Book Fairs, where there is a large English speaking population and a thriving English Language publishing industry.

–R Ramachandran, executive director, NBDCS

Chairman speaks…

A Sethumadhavan, chairman, NBT, IndiaNew Delhi World Book Fair is a celebration of books. When we decided to make this event an annual fair, it was a challenging task for both exhibitors and NBT, India. But, today, we feel that this decision should have been taken long back as two years is a long time for publishers, authors and agents as things change very fast,” shared A Sethumadhavan, chairman, National Book Trust (NBT), India.

Sethumadhavan further added that the three initiatives taken by NBT, India – Authors' Corner, Rights Table and CEOSpeak have been well received and he feels that within five years, Rights Table activity will become very important event for the industry. He hopes to target more international publishers, authors and illustrators in future editions of book fair.

Acknowledging the spirit of NBT, India team, he shared, “The NBT, India team members are emotionally attached to the book fair and it is really touching to see the glow on their faces at the show.”

Exhibition & Cultural Programmes of the Focus Country South Korea @ NDWBF ’15

Korean Publishers Association is organizing special exhibition programmes to promote a better awareness of the Korean publishing industry and to introduce Korean culture to Indian visitors and international publishers. With the cooperation of Korean Cultural Centre in India and Literature Translation Institute of Korea to celebrate being selected as the Focus Country in the book fair.

Books from Korea: With the main focus on children's book and manhwa (comics), Korean Publishers Association selected around 200 books published in Korea. Written and published in English, the books are divided into six different categories to help visitors peruse them according to their interests and enjoy reading about the past, present and future of Korean culture. These will include books on History & Art, Korean Language, Literature, and How-to & General Books.

Korean Authors Zone: In this zone, ten well-known Korean novelists will be introduced with photos and their most famous novels. Visitors can take their time to read the novels or about the novelists. These will include Kim Young-ha, Shin Kyung-sook, Eun Heekyung, Yi Mun-yol, Lee Seung-U, Jo Kyung-ran, Jo Jung-Rae, Han Kang, Hwang Sok-yong and Hwang Sun-mi.

Bologna Lagazzi Award Illustration: Korean children's books are loved all over the world for their heartwarming stories and the experimental and novel illustration works. Twelve books which received Bologna Lagazzi Awards for their illustrations will be introduced in the exhibition.

Korean Cultural Centre in India Zone: Korean Cultural Centre in India will show to the general public a video that will introduce Korea and Korean culture. In addition, an artist in Korean calligraphy has been invited to perform a Hangul calligraphy event which will include writing the names of visitors in the Korean alphabet.

“Considering the relevance of book fairs to the social cause of promotion of reading habits and aiding literacy to the masses by making available a large number of books on a wide variety of subjects, ITPO is promoting New Delhi World Book Fair (organised by NBT, India) to make it success as an international annual event. Today Indian publishing stands poised at a significant crossroad towards the path of growth. NDWBF offers the participants a unique opportunity of doing business with this growing book industry. Besides the many literary and publishing conferences and programmes to be organised during the Fair, it also opens up a gateway to the publishing and intellectual world of South Asia. The Fair attracts participation from major publishing houses of the globe,” shares Meenakshi Singh, OSD, India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO).
Globalocal 2015: a bouquet of workshops, networking and matchmaking

Once again, this February, New Delhi’s the place to be engaged in focused interactions, targeted conversations, topical workshops, experts’ discussions and more given GLOBALOCAL is back with a concentrated mix of business outreach avenues right before the New Delhi World Book Fair from February 12-13, 2015. Attendees can meet global publishing professionals and also mark their presence via active participation (trend focused workshops, matchmakings, presentations and experience zones).

There will be a CEOs Power Panel: The Upward Curve in Publishing. The panel will comprise Himanshu Gupta, joint managing director, S.Chand Group; Vivek R, head of business development, Flipkart; Emma House, director of publisher relations, The Publishers Association; Manuel Carcassonne, managing director, Les Editions Stock; Karthika VK, publisher & chief editor, HarperCollins India. The panel will be chaired by- Smita Jha, leader-entertainment & media practice, PwC India.

There will be a workshop on ‘Rights & Licences in the Age of Transmedia’ by Renate Reichstein, rights director, Verlagsgruppe Oetinger; and Manasi Subramaniam, commissioning editor & rights manager, HarperCollins India. The keynote presentation on first day will be given by Irina Prokhorova, editor in chief, New Literary Observer Publishing House and later by Sameer Shariff, founder & CEO, Impelsys.

Another workshop on ‘Rethinking Strategy & Monetization’ will be given by R Sriram, co-founder, Next Practice Retail and Martin Hielscher, programme director-fiction, CH Beck Verlag (TBC).

The second day will witness ‘Academic Publishing Power Panel: Higher Education in the New Age,’ which will have speakers like Ranjan Kaul, managing director, Oxford University Press India; Ramesh Gaur, university librarian, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU); Vivek Mehra, managing director & CEO, Sage Publications; Michael Healy, executive director-international relations, Copyright Clearance Center; Nitasha Devasar, managing director, Taylor & Francis. The panel will be chaired by Sesh Seshadri, owner, Overleaf.

A workshop on ‘Marketing for the Future’ will be headed by Ananth Padmanabhan, general manager-sales, Penguin India and Sebastian Posth, managing director (SPIEGEL Group), Publishing Data Networks GmbH. The Keynote Presentation on second day will be given by Peter Schoppert, managing director, National University Singapore Press Pte Ltd and Amit Rotbard, Babel Publishing House.

There will also be a workshop on Re-energizing the Brick & Mortar Bookshop by Ajay Mago, publisher, Om Books and Anuj Bahri, CEO, Redink.



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