Industry Activity

-International Publishing Summer School, Oxford, England, July 7-18, 2014

The Oxford International Centre for Publishing Studies (OICPS) at Oxford Brookes University, is one of the leading centres for publishing education in the world. In July 2014, they are set to run their second international Publishing Summer School, a two-week course bringing together publishers from around the world to develop new skills as international publishers and to discuss issues of importance to the industry. With a focus on new technologies, delegates will learn from highly experienced tutors from OICPS, as well as hear from top industry speakers, visit industry players at the cutting edge of digital developments, and improve their knowledge across a range of publishing areas – editorial, production, sales and marketing.

Who should attend...

The programme is designed for people with experience from trade, academic, educational and professional backgrounds, who are keen to develop their strategic and decision-making skills. The course provides the opportunity for delegates to try out a range of new skills in breakout groups and in workshop situations, all in a friendly and supportive environment.

The 2013 edition...

The industry speakers in 2013 came from Bloomsbury, Google, Random House, the Informa Group, Osprey, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, Oneworld Publications, and many more, giving delegates the opportunity to learn from leading players how they have created, developed and sold products and services to a range of markets around the world.

A delegate from Ratna Sagar Ltd said about the 2013 course: ‘It was obvious that a lot of thinking and planning had into the course. Every day was stimulating and gave me a lot of food for thought’. Other delegates came from Australia, Hong Kong, Ghana, Nigeria, Germany, Portugal, China and Japan and the feedback from all delegates has been universally positive.

For more info, log on to:

The two-day PubliCon 2013, organised from September 10-11, 2013 by FICCI on the theme ‘Export Markets’ focused on export markets for books and content, with the spotlight on Africa and South Asia. It also focused on the potential for export of books and educational content from India to other emerging economies. The facts…

Dr Arbind Prasad, director general, FICCI, said, “We have a vibrant ecosystem of publishing. As per industry estimates, the publishing industry stands at around Rs 12,000 crore. We publish in more than 20 languages and produce over 1,00,000 titles per year. We rank third in English language publishing, after the US and UK.”

Sumeet Gupta, Urvashi Butalia, Ira Joshi, Arbind Prasad, MA Sikandar and Himanshu Gupta

“Amidst innovative models to expand to new markets, Africa can offer Indian publishers a brilliant opportunity to further increase its export potential particularly in the areas of school publishing and STM (Scientific, Technical & Medicinal) content. This year, we intend to focus on this promising market,” he added The scope…

“The National Book Trust (NBT) is actively engaged with the publishing industry to reach unexplored markets such as Africa and South Asia. It is looking for long term investment opportunities in the publishing sector under India-Africa Forum,” stated MA Sikandar, director, NBT, Ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, at ‘PubliCon 2013.’ He also called for leveraging India’s strength in publishing academic books in English and said NBT’s key mandate is to promote Indian publishing industry both in the country and overseas.

While, Ira Joshi, additional director general, Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, said that trade in cultural goods occupies a significant place in an economy and India is emerging as a professional destination for publishing work. With the advent of new technology, e-publishing and e-marketing are rapidly gaining a foothold in this sector. “We need to leverage this new technology to our advantage as e-publishing is an important source of revenue,” she added.

African perspective…

Ramesh K MittalTokunbo Falohun, minister, Nigeria High Commission, said that Africa offers Indian publishing an excellent opportunity to export school and advair diskus without prescription higher academic content to the African continent. India publishes books of international standard, and is comparatively cheaper than their Western counterparts. This offers a good option to scale export of books to African countries. He said that the Africa book market is mainly centered on educational publishing. This is mainly due to demand in Africa for educational books. Compared to the developed world, the African publishing industry is too dependent on textbook publishing and procurement by the state, the World Bank and donor agencies.

“The publishing sector in Nigeria appears to be quite vibrant and active. Nevertheless, there are several challenges. Even though there are copyright laws and an official Nigerian Copyright Commission, the Nigerian Publishers’ Association (NPA) has established an Anti-Piracy Committee to deal with the problem of piracy in the country,” stated Falohun.

Publishing industry veterans add…

While, Rohit Kumar, managing director - South Asia, Reed Elsevier India Pvt Ltd, said, India has excellent relationship with Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, South Africa and many other countries. “We have the experience as a country to produce low cost, affordable content that is relevant to local markets hence this is a natural extension of our historical collaborations. African nations and India would benefit from leveraging India as a publishing hub for all publishing services,” he said.

Urvashi Butalia, chairperson, FICCI Publishing Committee and director, Zubaan, said a large Indian diaspora is based out of African countries and now African authors are well-known in India. Hence, Africa is a lucrative market for Indian publishing industry. African markets have been traditionally dominated by the US and the UK but India and only here Africa are both emerging economies and have similar issues which will help them better understand each other and develop an egalitarian relationship.

Besides, Himanshu Gupta, co-chair, FICCI Publishing Committee and joint managing director, S. Chand Group, said that India produces publishing materials at one-tenth of the cost incurred by the US and the UK publishing sector. Africa and South Asia are markets where Indian publishers have shown great interest for export of educational content. India publishing has a lot to offer in terms of new ideas and innovative concepts.

Interesting sessions

Piracy has been a burning issue for publishers around the world. The latest industry estimate indicates that the total global value of counterfeit and piracy could reach a staggering USD 1.7 trillion by 2015. Piracy and counterfeit in books are not far behind. Piracy is an important issue for publishers from India, particularly because Indian publishers are seeking new business opportunities in emerging markets of Africa and South Asia. However, the quantum of exports is severely hampered by rampant piracy and counterfeit, particularly in South Asia. Pirate publishers from India and neighboring countries supply counterfeit versions of exported books to these markets. One of the sessions - ‘Piracy, Counterfeit and Its Impact on Book Exports’- explored new models and best practices to tackle this issue. Golam Mustafa, managing director of Parama Publishers outlined the piracy conditions in Bangladesh. The session was chaired by GR Raghavender, registrar of copyrights and director, Department of Higher Education, Ministry of HRD. One session was devoted to ‘Monetizing Content Through Exports to Emerging Markets’.

It was expressed that content development is one area where India is emerging as an important destination, not only in terms of production but also of consumption. However, India has to develop novel business models for optimizing books and content exports. We need to assess the evolutionary effects of new consumption trends in emerging markets, and adopt innovative business models. Particularly important are the consumption requirements of the new middle class. The session delved into new ways of monetizing content to enhance revenue streams, through exports of books and content specially from India.

STM books are in great demand in emerging economies. This has especially steeped up with the coming of numerous scientific and technical universities across Africa and South Asia. The Government of India is keen to invest in higher education with the coming up of new IITs, and premier healthcare institutions. These have not only brought to the fore good faculty, but have also increased the level of education, research and scholarship. The country's present technical expertise and the resources to create state-of-the-art educational content have made India a potential exporter of hi-quality educational books.

Another area which came under focus was school publishing an area which has not seen a slowdown in the past few decades. Currently India publishes not only for consumption within the country, but has also ventured into markets in West Asia, South Asia and East Asia. Amidst innovative models to expand to new markets, Africa can offer Indian publishers a brilliant opportunity to further increase its export potential particularly in the areas of school publishing. The session - K-12 content: potential markets in Africa - looked into the export potential of school books in African and other policy related issue that can provide fillip to such exports. The panelist inclueded Manish Gupta, SK Ghai and Geeta Dharamrajan.

The printed word may be fading away elsewhere in the world, but in emerging markets like Africa and Asia, readers of printed content are ensuring that publishing continues to grow despite international slowdown. Consumption of books and content is becoming global. On one hand Indian fiction writers are felicitated abroad, on the other hand writers from Africa and South Asia are getting popularity in India. Consumption patterns of readers in emerging markets and barriers to export in trade books from India, from both legal and cultural perspective, were also discusseed.

–GS Jolly

Indian-African fact check...

  • The Indian government in a joint initiative with the African Union, has launched the Pan-African e-network project.
  • It will support tele-education, telemedicine, e-commerce, e-governance, infotainment, resource-mapping and meteorological.
  • This project provides seamless and integrated satellite, fibre optics and wireless network, to be provided by India
  • Will connect 53 learning centres, 53 remote hospitals, 5 regional universities, and 5 regional hospitals spread all over Africa.
  • From India 7 leading universities and 12 super specialty hospitals will provide the expert domain services through tele-education and telemedicine respectively


NBT organises training programme at SilcharNational Book Trust India (NBT), an autonomous body under the ministry of Human Resource Development, Government of India, actively works towards promoting book consciousness and bringing professionalism in the field of book publishing. One of the many programmes regularly promoted by NBT is the training course in book publishing conducted in different parts of the country.

Starting from 1996, NBT has been organising such training courses of a fortnight and monthly duration in different parts of the country. Latest in the series was at Silchar (Assam) from February 24 to March 9, 2011. The programme was organised in association with Assam University, Silchar.

The training course was inaugurated by the vice chancellor of Assam University. Experts from various fields and specialist in Bangla and Assamese language were called to address the participants. Areas like history of publishing in India, editorial functions, production jobs and areas of sales and marketing were covered in the programme. The participants were awarded certificates at the completion of the course.

A three day orientation programme for the Equipment Operators of the Printing Unit of New Delhi office was organized at Kasauli, Himachal Pradesh, under the auspices of World Health Organization. The workshop was coordinated by GS Jolly, deputy editor of All About Book Publishing.

Kalyan Bannerjee, publication officer, NCERT, New Delhi, made a presentation on ‘The role of production, book design concepts and use of new technologies in the areas of print production.’ And in his second presentation, he demonstrated the ‘Use of computer software related to publishing industry.’ The participants were given hands on training to work with these softwares and told about the possibilities which can be achieved with the help of these software.

BD Mendiratta, HOD, Pusa Polytechnic, New Delhi, discussed the ‘Paper, its sizes, qualities, suitability to printing and other substrates used for printing.’ He also made a presentation on ‘binding styles, quality control, finishing techniques and faults of binding.’ The session was very interactive and was well appreciated by the participants.

Nitin Mandge, manger training, Thomson Press, Faridabad, dealt with ‘Various printing processes, digital printing vs. offset printing.’ He also made a demonstrative presentation on ‘Digital printing, what it is, what it does, and its future in present day scenario.’ This cleared many doubts about the digital printing and its applications.

While, JM Mago and RS Pahwa of WHO gave a very useful presentation on GSM with special emphasis on procurement of printing services, which was highly appreciated by the participants. It was recommended that the Unit staff should be more exposed to paper and printing by visiting exhibitions and trade shows like Printpack India and other exhibitions organized by the printing and paper industry.

Asia’s leading literature event – DSC Jaipur Literature Festival – was all that it promised ...readings, talks, literary lunches, debates, performance, children’s workshops and interactive activities held in the beautiful heritage property, Diggi Palace in central Jaipur, Rajasthan.

The DSC Jaipur Literature Festival is considered as Asia’s leading literature event, celebrating national and international writers and encompasses a range of activities including film, music and theatre. This year, the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival 2011 (January 21–25, 2011) drew to a close after a fascinating five days of readings, discussion, laughter and contemplation, enjoying the beautiful gardens of the Diggi Palace, host to the festival. Thousands of literature lovers and authors came together on a common platform to listen to leading various panel discussions, authors debate and reading sessions.

The inauguration…

Inaugration of Jaipur Literature Festival 2011, Timothy Reomer, US Ambassador to India; Ashok Gehlot, chief minister of Rajasthan and guest of honor Dr Karan Singh.The inaugural day of the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival 2011 showcased strength and diversity of literature and saw leading national and international literary figures including Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk address sessions along with a host of other literary luminaries. The festival was inaugurated by the chief minister of Rajasthan, Ashok Gehlot; the guest of honour Dr Karan Singh; the ambassador of The United States to India, Timothy Roemer and renowned scholar Sheldon Pollock.

Addressing the inaugural session, Dr Karan Singh emphasized the need for the preservation of India’s unique literary heritage and creative writing. Keynote speaker Sheldon Pollock expressed concern over the future of classical Indian languages and literature. He said, “Without the critical care of cultivating Indian classical literature of the past, literature before 1800 may disappear within two generations. Becoming involved is the key to saving it.

Festival co-director, William Dalrymple said, “The DSC Jaipur Literature Festival speaks about the current anxieties of the place of literature in the face of growing interests of the youth in social networking, gaming, and other technologies." He called the festival a gathering place and place intellectual ‘nuclear fusion’ of the greatest minds in Indian literature.

While, festival co-director, Namita Gokhale said, “This year, the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival promises more joy and literary stimulation than ever before. In 2011, we have continued to showcase the strength and diversity of writing in Indian languages and include sessions in Hindi, Urdu, Sanskrit, Tamil, Bangla, Assamiya, Oriya, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kashmiri, Punjabi, Nepali, Bhojpuri and Rajasthani.”

Sanjoy Roy, managing director, Teamwork Productions, thanked Faith Singh and John Singh of the Jaipur Virasat Foundation for their vision of heritage conservation across Jaipur and Rajasthan and for initiating the Jaipur Literature Festival.

Few interesting activities
on day 2…

In a fascinating discussion on Bhojpuri cinema, sponsored by Kingfisher airlines and held amidst the colourful and cozy ambience of Baithak, writers Amitava Kumar, Sharmila Kantha and Avijit Ghosh shared their ideas and views on the resurgence of Bhojpuri cinema and literature on the cinematic and literary canvas of the country.

While, Nilanjana Roy, a well known journalist and literary critic, introduced award-winning writer Jim Crace, author of eleven books. Storytelling, to Crace is the “one of the jewels in the crown of the human species. No other creature does it.”

There was an interesting discussion on the importance of books in this highly digitalized world where the common perception is that printed books are losing in popularity. The discussion kicked off with the Booker Prize winning author Kiran Desai describing her memories of growing up with a living library in her house and the loss of it to Gargi college after her father’s death. She also believes that the Indian market has been very attractive to international publishers as there is huge scope of extended sales. The only anxiety that a writer face these days according to her is “some publishers send their authors for media training.”

Another interesting session was titled ‘Aisi Hindi Kaisi Hindi?’ S Nirupam sat in a discussion with Mrinal Pandey, Sudhish Pachauri, Prasoon Joshi and Ravish Kumar. The speakers agreed upon the fact that Hindi is not an ‘endangered’ language because of its evolving and assimilative nature, its wide base of followers and the rich cultural background.

The third session on ‘Gaata Rahe Mera Dil: The Songs that Moved Us,’ saw a phenomenal turn out. Gulzar saab talked about the history of songs in Indian cinema. Prasoon Joshi added that India had a song for every occasion and since songs ‘suspend logic’ and strongly evoke emotions, they have been an integral part of Indian culture for the ‘collective consumption of emotions’. Javed Akhtar also drew upon the history of songs in drama forms like Jatra, Nautanki and older Sanskrit plays.

Other interesting activities
on day 3…

An interesting activity was Barkha Dutt in conversation with Ahmad Rashid, Atiq Rahimi, Jayant Prasad, Jon Lee Anderson and Rory Stewart-supported by the Scottish Government & Edinburgh International Book Festival. The talk started off with a brief etymology behind ‘Afpak’, its coining, its origins and implications of the policy prescriptions. The initial part of the discussion explored the reasons for why different nations felt the need for their presence in Afghanisthan.

In a fascinating discussion on women and their tryst with the autumn of their life, writer and director of DSC Jaipur Literature Festival 2011, Namita Gokhale was present to discuss about the delayed sequel to her first book Paro: Dreams of Passion, written way back in 1984. Author Bulbul Sharma was also present to discuss and read out sections from her recently published books Eating Women Telling Tales and Now that I am Fifty.

Marina Lewycka, British writer of Ukranian origin, and Swedish writer Zac O Yeah read extracts from their books in a fantastic session, introduced by author and academic Malashri Lal.

While, famous lyricist and adman Prasoon Joshi entered the colourful canopy of Kingfisher Airlines Baithak, saying Jai Maya Ki. Deepa Agarwal, speaker and translator of Chandrakanta soon assuaged audiences’ curiosity as she introduced the wonder tale, reading from Prasoon Joshi’s introduction to her translation. One of the first bestsellers in Hindi, Babu Devki Nandan Khatri’s Chandrakanta (1888-92) became a rage in the late nineteenth century India. Joshi told how the novel was hugely influenced from the traditional narrative structure of oral tales in India and the dastangoi tradition that came from Persia. A gripping fantasy as it was, Chandrakanta became hugely popular among its audiences, so much so that people learnt Hindi in order to read it.

There was an interesting discussion on ‘blogs’, a very contemporary and interesting phenomenon. Avinash made a very valid point that this space has removed the distance between the writer and the reader. People can instantly get feedback on their works and opinions. Ravish added that a lot of people from different regional backgrounds, languages and dialects have come on the same plane to discuss issues which has really benefited local dialects and languages. Manisha agreed that the blog has provided a new kind of confidence to people, especially women who did not have many avenues to express themselves.

One of India’s most popular and enduring storytellers, Ruskin Bond, spoke in a conversation with Ravi Singh and read from his works. Impressed with literature festivals such as this one in Jaipur, Bond said that there were no book fairs and promoting and publishing books in India was difficult for the authors. The title of the talk, ‘Boys will be Boys’, was a reference to eternal youth associated with him.

More interesting activities
on Day 4…

The Mughal Tent at Diggi Palace was the venue for the much anticipated conversation with Alex von Tunzelmann, the author of Indian Summer, and renowned columnist and television anchor Karan Thapar. Describing the book as a magnificent book and fascinating page turner, Thapar drew the audience’s attention to the book cover which has a photograph of Nehru, Louis Mountbatten and Edwina Mountbatten.

While, Roberto Calasso’s conversation with Devdutt Pattanaik in the Mughal tent was a conversation that was unlike the usual run-of-the-mill sessions that one has been attending. It was esoteric—transcending the material conditions almost to speak of essentials of Indian Philosophy—of aham and atman (which he translates as I and the self).

At a session called Mumbai Narrative, Madhu Trehan discussed the works of Gyan Prakash and Sonia Faleiro with the authors. While Sonia’s book is ‘microscopic’, presenting the lives of ‘Bar Dancers’ in Mumbai, Gyan’s book is a more expansive presentation of the city in all its grandeur and ugliness as he writes about media, architecture, popular music, films, writers and so on.

The fascinating session on ‘Pulp’ was chaired by Faiza S Khan, Pritham Chakravarty and Namita Gokhale. They talked about the interface between art, personality and translation, when popular art becomes a sort of serious institution in another medium.

Final interesting activities
on day 5…

Moshin Hamid discussed his novel ‘The Reluctant Fundamentalist’ with Shoma Chaudhury. Chaudhury commenced the session by commenting on the style of Hamid’s books, stating that although they are slim, there is a lot of implication in his words, a lot is said. The pair then goes on to discuss the nature of the novel.

The session on ‘China Dialogue’ was titled after the Non Profit Organisation begun by Isabel Hilton, a Scottish journalist based in London to serve as a forum for dialogue between China and the rest of the world. The talk was moderated by Steven McCarty, the editor of the Asian Literary Review and the purpose of the session was to approach China in all its complexity as it was rendered in fiction and in journalism as well.

In the session, ‘Translating the Classics’, Githa Hariharan aptly introduced the session by making the audience aware of the nuances that translation as a process entails. Quoting Sujit Mukherjee, Hariharan says how “translation is a gift of love” which you give because you want the person to read something you have read and loved. Hariharan starts by saying how the act of translation and translator is a celebration of an act and actor—which is in many ways is a creative act. Arunava Sinha who has translated many Bengali works into English—eminent among them being the works of Rabindranath Tagore and Bankim Chandra Chatterjee.

This panel of writers gathered on the last day of the DSC Jaipur Literature Festival 2011 beneath the Mughal tent to discuss the New Non-Fiction in both India and the wider literary world. Sonia Faleiro briefly introduced this heavy-hitting panel of best-selling authors, and award winning journalists. Among them were Ahdaf Soueif, Bashrat Peer, David Finkel, Martin Amis and Waheed Miraz. And what is the relationship between fiction and non-fiction? According to the panelists there are many. Faleiro started by saying that writers of noted non-fiction use the art of storytelling, without compromising facts with high quality prose and making stories almost cinematic. Martin Amis, a writer in the 80s fiction movement said the autobiographical novel is an evolutionary development within the form of non-fiction and non-fiction has a huge advantage over fiction, as history speeds up.

Book launch at the festival…

Nandita Puri’s latest novel Two Worlds was launched at the festival. The novel follows the story of two characters and is set in Imperial Calcutta, Bombay and finds its denouement in Wales. The book was ceremoniously unwrapped by William Dalrymple. Renowned Indian actor Om Puri read excerpts from the novel.