Publishing News [National]

Bonnier Zaffre has signed a new distribution agreement with Bloomsbury to cover sales of its titles in India and related countries. The deal, which has already come into force, initially covers Bonnier Zaffre's adult imprints Zaffre and Twenty7 and its children's imprint Hot Key Books, with Piccadilly Press added later this year. Bloomsbury India will be responsible for sales, marketing, publicity and distribution in the territory. Rajiv Beri, MD at Bloomsbury India said, "The Bonnier Publishing lists fit in very well with Bloomsbury India's publishing programme as well as strengths. We look forward to working with Bonnier Zaffre in realising the potential of their books in India."

On the sidelines of Delhi Book Fair 2016, the Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP) is organising the 34th Awards for Excellence in Book Production to recognise the best of books published during 2015-16. The federation invites publishers from all over the country to take part in the competition that will be executed in the Conference Room of Hall 8 at 2 pm on September 2. The main objective of the awards event is to motivate publishers to improve the quality of book production, not only in paper, printing and binding but also in other parameters including designing, typography, layout, readability and general feel of the books.

Earlier, Awards for Excellence in Book Production were restricted to the members of Publishers Association. After opening its door to all, publishers from any part of the country can participate in the competition. Public sector book publishers, universities, state book bureaus and others are now eligible to complete for the prestigious awards.

The Indian publishing industry mourns the loss of eminent litterateur Mahasweta Devi (1926-2016), who has more than a hundred novels and 20 short-stories to her credit. Some of her most famous works include 'Master Saab' (The School Teacher), 'Hazar Churasir Maan' (The Mother of 1084), 'Aranyer Audhikar' (The Right to the Forest), and 'Chotti Munda Aar Taar Teer' (Chotti Munda and his Arrow). She was also the winner of various prestigious awards. May her soul rest in peace!

At Delhi Book Fair in New Delhi, Unicorn Books will hold a demonstration of their new portal – – for the publishers. As per Karan Gupta, director, Unicorn Books, “It is a complete system with DRM. We are inviting publishers to submit their ebooks. We only accept epub format with Unicode fonts. We will also accept books in Indian languages. Urdu books can also be read on the system. Enhanced ebooks with audio, video and animation can also be uploaded on the same. This portal will work as an aggregator as well as retailer for ebooks. We will not sell any physical books through this portal.”

This portal will have a priority app for schools where school children can access supplement reading at cheaper rates. The app is currently available for Android phones while the iOS app is under preparation. “It can be used on laptops and desktops as well. For payments, we have tied up with CCAvenue,” said Karan.

So, what makes it different from other ecommerce sites? “In our system, publisher can sell the books themselves. They have a control over pricing and they can service their customers themselves. Our portal also offers an option to give time bound expiry for a book (for sending out review copies),” shared Karan.

The Project Report, Public Library Services in the NCT of Delhi, Present Status and Development Plan: 2010-2020 has been published by the Raja Rammohun Roy Library Foundation. The project has been prepared as an assignment under the Tagore National Fellowship by Prof. P. B. Mangla, the first ever Fellowship initiative in the field of Public Library Services, by the Ministry of Culture, Government of India.

The survey report emphasizes that in order to meet the needs of the users effectively, it is necessary that each unit of a public library should be a viable unit. This may not be otherwise possible, howsoever generously supported financially it may be, and therefore, there is need for developing it as part of a larger system. The need for developing the public library service as part of a larger system has been always advocated, both at the national and international levels, by organizations such as UNESCO, IFLA, American Library Association, The Library Association (London) and Indian Library Association.

The Report starts with the conceptual frame work which describes a public library as a community center which is expected to function with a free and unbiased outlook and this aspect has been well recognized the world over, both in developed and developing countries. The report presents an overall scenario in the country. All states should pass the Public Library Law and those which have passed the Law should implement. It further analyses the salient features of Public Library Laws already passed in 18 States in the country and reveals that all of them have given due recognition to the essential features of public library. This two volumes report (V1- Project Report V2- Survey Report), will certainly influence our national policy makers for enacting necessary Public Library Legislation for developing a proper public library system for the citizens of NCT of Delhi.

-G S Jolly