Publishing News [National]

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

Sahitya Akademi recently organised a Literary Forum, an evening of readings with Neelam Chandra (English), Mohan Chutani (Hindi), Geetashri (Hindi) and Manas Ranjan Mahapatra(Odia).

A four-week Training Course in Book Publishing was organized by the National Book Trust, India at its premises from July 12 to August 8, 2016.

Inaugurating the training course, Baldeo Bhai Sharma, chairman, NBT said, “NBT has been organizing such programmes for last twenty years for the skill-development. A team of experts from the field of publishing share their experience with the participants and help them develop their skills.”

Dr Rita Chowdhury, director, NBT welcomed the guests and participants. Dr Rita, herself an author of great merit and Sahitya Akademi awardee, spoke of her experiences interacting with publishers as an author. She said, “If publishers do not work professionally, then the authors cannot reach their lifeline, i.e. readers. We have to reach the world around, crossing all the boundaries to assert our identity, capacity and enhance our capability.” Talking about the avenues that publishing industry in India provides, Sridhar Balan, consultant, Ratna Sagar said that India is the third largest publisher of books in English in the world. Today, the industry is professionally well equipped and use cutting edge technology for publishing the books. He also said that the industry requires skilled professionals and this course would help participants to start their career in publishing.

The training course in book publishing has been designed keeping in view the needs of the industry in Indian context. Members of faculty drawn from leading publishing houses, institutions and universities provide an insight into various aspects of book publishing including editing, publishing, marketing, warehousing, promotion, digital printing etc. The Trust facilitates the training for participants as interns at various publishing houses.

-G S Jolly (With inputs from NBT, India)

The Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP) has unanimously elected new office bearers for the year 2016-2017. NK Mehra is the new president while Dinesh Goyal, Debajyoti Datta, NE Manohar and Shantilal L Furia are the vice presidents for North, East, South, and West, respectively. Naveen Gupta is the honorary general secretary, Monica Malhotra Kandhari is the honorary joint secretary while Dr. Ashok Gupta is the honorary treasurer.

NK Mehra is a seasoned publishing professional, who established the Narosa Group of Companies to publish and distribute scientific, technical and medical books with his wife Rosemarie Mehra as a co-director. He has been a member of the executive committee of the Federation of Publishers and Booksellers in India and its president for two terms. He is also a member of the Publishers and Booksellers Guild Kolkata.

Naveen Gupta is the managing partner of Arya Publishing Company, a group which has been in the publishing industry for the last seventy five years now. In the year 2000, seeing his contribution to publishing, he was conferred with the Young Publishers Award by The Federation of Indian Publishers.

Monica Malhotra Kandhariis the sr. director of MBD Group. She started working at the young age of 16 and today she manages the entire gamut of businesses of MBD Group of companies (publishing, printing, e-learning, skill development, teacher training and project construction and design).