Publishing

Established by Dinesh Furia in 1976, Nirali Prakashan, Pune, is one of India’s oldest source of authoritative academic content having more than 4,000 titles published till date. It is the most trusted contributor of syllabusoriented customised content for several schools, colleges and cialis cheap canadian pharmacy universities in India. The company started with publishing and distribution of notes written by professors and other academicians.

Nirali Prakashan specialises in quality textbooks from standard II to Postgraduate levels, which cover varied subjects like Pharmacy, Engineering, Management, Arts, Commerce, Science and Competitive Exams. These books are written as per the syllabus of Goa, Gujarat, Delhi, UP, JNTU, & Anna Universities on All India Basis and Savitribai Phule University (Pune), Mumbai, Shivaji, North Maharashatra & Marathwada Universities, in Maharashtra by eminent and experienced authors. Most of the books are also prescribed as basic texts by several universities and thus, are widely used by the student community. More than as textbooks, these books are also used as reference books by academicians and www.nightengalepress.com researchers, because of the quality of contents.

Nirali Prakashan has achieved excellence in designing and publishing textbooks also commonly defined as manuals of instruction or standard books in various branches of study which are produced according to the demand of educational institutions. To make their books readily available to a large section of student community, all over India they have developed a wide network of dealers & distributors. Their books are available through online bookstores like pragationline.com, Amazon, Flipkart and Book Ganga, etc. Besides, they also export their books through various exporters.

As the world is moving towards digital revolution, Nirali has also joined the bandwagon by digitalisation of bestselling titles and are ready with 184 e-books as of now. Together with their new associates Pearsons Indian Education, Innovation, and Book Ganga, Nirali is going to launch them at national level.

As a step further, they also offer Nirali app: Nirali All-In–One Perpetrator (NAP), which is mobile application programme in which one can create an account and log on to website. The competitive exam question papers are provided on site where student can write the exams and see for them the results, which help students to asses themselves.

More recently, they have also forayed into publishing books for children, cookery and big range of dictionaries and general books. With various awards in its account, this successful publication is enjoying its moulting of 40 years.



Book printers are an integral part of publishing and help the publishers spread the printed word. Nutech Print Services is catering to many publishers, offering them solutions for all their printing needs. Here, Ravi Shroff, MD, Nutech Print Services, shares the ins and outs of the book printing business. We have a capacity to produce 20,000- 30,000 books on an average every day, shares Ravi Shroff, managing director, Nutech Print Services. In order to cater to more blackand- white publishing jobs, the company has recently taken over Baba Barkha Nath Printers, with Timmy Kuthiala, former managing director at Baba Barkha Nath Printers, joining as the vice-president of operations at Nutech Print Services. “At Nutech, 70-80 percent output is 4-colour while Baba Barkha Nath catered to the black-andwhite segment and they had a set of very good clients in the book publishing segment. As such, it was a total synergistic acquisition. We took many months to work out the deal,” told Ravi.

As a matter of fact, the equipment at Baba Barkha Nath was not a part of the deal. “Some of the employees at Baba Barkha Nath are being absorbed in Nutech,” added Ravi. Baba Barkha Nath Printers is a 37-yearold company, which initially started with a phototypesetting machine. They have been one of the leading book printers in India.

The print jobs…

With a four decade legacy, Nutech Print Services offers pre-press, press and finishing facilities to the publishing industry and commercial jobs to corporates. With the help of their 300-plus workforce across their plant in Ballabgarh (Delhi- NCR) and sales & admin office in New Delhi, they can produce any trim size, be it monochrome or high-end colour printing. Their mix of work runs from basic one-colour paperback to high-end 4-colour coffee table/ children's books, school text books, dictionaries, colouring books, travel guides, calendars, bible printing on 28 gsm paper and much more with finishing facilities including soft- and hardcover binding. Their press installation include 8-colour press, four 4-colour presses, and four single colour machines to meet all kinds of production requirements.

On asking about the publishing vs. commercial business, Ravi replied that 80 percent of their job is for book publishing while 20 percent is for other commercial jobs like marketing collaterals. The ratio of domestic vs export business is 40:60 for them. “We are aiming at an equal balance. Exports jobs are very demanding as expectations remain very high,” shared Ravi.

Popular sizes of books…

There are three popular sizes of books – A4, B-format and crown size. “The majority publishing work is in A4 and B-format. Most of the textbook publishers are now going for standardisation towards A4 format, which also gets them better pricing,” shared Ravi.

Consumables used…

Nutech uses bot h indigenous as well as imported paper, of which 70 percent consumption is of indigenous paper. They use Bible, uncoated, coated paper, high bulk paper, etc. “It is more comfortable to work with foreign paper mills as most of them have a three months validity for their paper prices, which is not seen in India, but the long delivery times makes it difficult to use more Foreign paper” told Ravi.

Another important consumable is ink/varnishes and Ravi always uses quality inks from world leaders Toyo and Sakata.

Trends in print runs…

With the print runs decreasing in the publishing segment, what is the trend Ravi sees? “The print runs for fiction is coming down as publishers want to print less, test market it and then place the second run. They do not wish to stock excess printed copies and pulp unsold copies in the end,” told Ravi.

“Similarly, the print runs of dictionaries and reference books has come down drastically. This is because such information is easily available online,” he added. But, there is a silver lining. “The print runs in education segment (K-12 segment) is going high, increasing at a rate of 10- 12 percent every year,” he told. Reprints are more in education segment. “Computer books are frequently updated and have a low shelf life while medical books have an average shelf life of 4-5 years,” he added. With publishing houses going for digital printing, is Nutech also looking at this aspect? “Not at the moment… we feel there is already excess capacity in Digital and the cost being offered by printers is not viable. Also there are many small vendors who are efficiently giving economical solutions to the publishers. So right now, we wish to focus on our core business,” answered Ravi as a matter of fact.

On challenges…

“The cost of labour is growing high, and efficiencies are not improving as they should. Besides, there is stiff competition in this field,” told Ravi. But, he believes that their strengths have helped them face all odds. “We are a solution provider and not just a printer. Our customers are loyal repeat customers as we try to give them a full solution on time. We are a professionally-run company and we have very good quality of manpower across all levels - Which I believe can be a great differentiator,” shared Ravi.

On competition with Chinese printing…

Though printing industry seems to be facing sti f f competition from Chinese printing industry, Ravi has a different opinion. “China is a container pusher. Not every publisher wants container jobs. Few publishers are looking for small to medium runs - Here, India’s role comes into play. Besides, Indians have an obvious advantage in being fully conversant in English language. One should know ones advantage and try to focus on it,” told Ravi.

Future plans…

“India is a huge geographical region and feel many times opportunity exists for print runs to be split, basis delivery requirements. "We wish to have our presence in down south and are open to have an understanding with a Printer in south - so work can be shared and produced in south,” concluded Ravi.

Ravi Shroff and Timmy KuthialaIn order to cater to more black-and-white publishing jobs, the company has recently taken over Baba Barkha Nath Printers, with Timmy Kuthiala, former managing director at Baba Barkha Nath Printers, joining as the vice-president of operations at Nutech Print Services. “At Nutech, 70-80 percent output is 4-colour while Baba Barkha Nath catered to the black-and-white segment and they had a set of very good clients in the book publishing segment. As such, it was a total synergistic acquisition. We took almost 1.5 years to work out the deal,” told Ravi.



Saurabh Gupta,Laxmi Publications is a privately held publishing company headquartered in New Delhi, India. Since its inception in 1974, it has grown tremendously as one of the leading publishers of engineering, computer, college, school (CBSE boar d ) and children books in India and abroad. It has various subsidiaries and imprints through which it caters to different niches of educational and professional book markets. Current years have brought tremendous growth and opportunities for Laxmi Publications. Saurabh Gupta, managing director, has taken aggressive steps to increase the brand awareness and diversify the portfolio of the company to take the business further.

Saurabh strongly believes that technology will decide the future of publishing houses; he is currently working on a unified content management system so that they have a uniform system where content can be plugged into and delivered to multiple systems. Secondly, he has almost converted forty to fifty percent of their catalogue into digital e-book format. The books of Laxmi Publications are already on sale with multiple vendors across the globe. The company has launched a website called digitests.com for online assessment. It is also at the stage of launching its online digital library called digitotheque.com. All the books would be converted into the e-book format and delivered through the company’s websites also. Their titles are also sold via Flipkart.

During the year 2013 Laxmi Publications had acquired Macmillan Unit which Saurabh terms as a happily arranged marriage for Laxmi Publications. They have also entered into a strategic tie-up with McGraw-Hill Education to co-publish, market and sell their school textbooks. It has invested into Liqvid, a leader in digital English language training, and has also obtained ISO 9001:2008 registrations. The growth of the company can be seen with number of titles it holds now as 350 as against just 300, a decade ago with more than 500 employees of which 40 as an editorial team.

Talking about the challenges in publishing today with an elongated payment cycle and lack of skilled editors, Saurabh believes it is increasingly becoming difficult for a publisher to survive without a good amount of seed capital. There will only be a few big players who would be able to sustain the test of time. In the coming years, we will see more mergers and acquisitions in the industry. “We have already built a strong network of distributors and our acquisitions have enhanced our reach in the market. The current haywire, skewed model of publishing operations in India is simply non-sustainable. Thus, we are working towards critical organisational reforms which will transform Laxmi Publications into a globally recognised and respected publishing house. We are heading towards becoming an educational and a digital publisher as well. This would open more streams of revenues and would bring stability through diversity,” he concludes.



-Prashant Pinge self-publishes a book after establishing himself as an author through traditional route.

Prashant Pinge is an acclaimed author of children’s fiction from Mumbai. He has been writing for over a decade, with five books and two short stories to his credit. His books have been nominated for the Crossword Book Awards, with Raja & the Giant Donut being shortlisted in the Children’s Writing category in 2011. More recently, he selfpublished his book Sceadu.

Here, he shares more about his experience of self-publishing.

Varsha (ABP): Why did you go for self-publishing?

Prashant PingePrashant: I have taken the traditional publishing route for all my previous books. So the decision to self-publish my YA fantasy, Sceadu, was not an easy one. The biggest deterrent was my complete lack of knowledge of the publishing industry.

However, there were a few reasons that attracted me to venture down this road. Firstly, the self-publishing industry has grown by leaps and bounds in the past five years, especially with the availability of several online platforms that have dramatically increased reach.

Secondly, there are a lot of online resources available today that provide information about the self-publishing process. Thirdly, self-publishing would provide me with complete creative control, something that was really tempting given my background as a marketing professional. Lastly, I have always loved to experiment and knew that regardless of the outcome, the experience would be a reward in itself.

Varsha: How has been your experience?

Prashant: The experience has been a very interesting one so far. The preparation phase started almost five months prior to the actual date of release since I had to manage every aspect of this process with very limited resources at my disposal.

It involved a lot of multitasking to ensure that everything came together properly at the time of the launch. Of primary importance was to get the book, including cover design, ready well in time and in all the popular e-book formats. It required spending long hours learning from the numerous resources available online.

Then there was the aspect of pre-launch publicity which was a key factor in creating buzz around the book. The book launch went as planned, but the marketing continued even after that. In general, the actual ‘publishing’ has been a relatively straightforward process. It has been the marketing which has consumed a lot of time, so much so that it hasn’t allowed me to pursue much writing during this period. Also, while sales have been growing steadily, I do feel somewhere that a physical distribution channel, even in this digital age, would have made things easier. All in all though, my journey in self-publishing has been a tremendous learning experience.

While we do see online marketplaces slowly propagating to the smaller cities and towns, I feel that a physical network still offers a significant advantage in this industry.

Varsha: Do you think it would be better if you went through a publisher route? Why/Why not?

Prashant: I think this question is best answered at an individual level. Both routes offer various advantages and disadvantages. In the traditional route, the publisher has a lot of resources in place, especially with regards to editing, distribution and publicity. There is also the aspect of credibility associated with a publisher.

However, this route can often take long, even up to two years at times, and is often not even available to many authors. The greatest advantage of self-publishing is that it offers authors a chance to see their work made available to the world. There are many good authors out there who remain unpublished and selfpublishing is a boon for them.

This also happens to be the biggest disadvantage as anyone who fancies themselves to be an author now has an easy outlet to publish. This has, to a large extent, damaged the credibility of this channel, popular as it may be. Self-publishing, however, is very simple, cheap and quick, and also provides authors with a better earning model than traditional publishing, assuming similar sales of course.

Varsha: How are you marketing your book?

Prashant: The toughest aspect of publishing, be it the traditional route or the selfpublished one, is marketing. It is no secret that the number of books that are published every year is staggering. It therefore becomes essential to ensure that your book stands out amongst the competition.

And this is an extremely difficult task to achieve unless you already have substantial recognition in the market. Even traditional publishers have very low marketing budgets although they can provide an advantage through their established publicity channels. Besides, the market is so dynamic, with so many books released every day that it is very easy to get lost in all the information. In my case, I started early, about five months prior to the launch to ensure that a steady buzz developed until it culminated in a publicity blitz by the time the book was ready for release. I got an attractive cover made, developed an animated trailer video, had my website redesigned, sent out my book for reviews, wrote blogs, contacted the media, participated in book tours, chalked out a social media plan and the list goes on. There are, in fact, a lot of resources available online for book marketing. Everything depends on how much time and money you are willing to spend.

Varsha: Where all is your book available?

Prashant: Sceadu is available as an e-book on all the major online bookstores around the world such as Amazon, & Noble, iBooks Store, Kobo, Ciando and Flipkart. It is also available for download in various formats on Gumroad, an exclusive online platform for selling digital content. I am currently exploring the possibility of making it available as a paperback.

Varsha: What about your next book?

Prashant: My next work, a children’s book, is being traditionally published later this year. I am currently working on a romantic comedy, which I also plan to release through a publisher. While my experience with self-publishing has been fantastic, especially as a marketing professional, it is a lengthy process which hasn’t allowed me to devote much time to writing. The other aspect which I especially underestimated was the importance of a physical distribution network, especially in India. For instance, the publisher I usually work with has a network spread across more than 120 cities in India. While we do see online marketplaces slowly propagating to the smaller cities and towns, I feel that a physical network still offers a significant advantage in this industry.



The self-publishing route has helped many novice authors get established in the publishing space. As more and more authors are taking this route, Varsha Verma of ABP finds out how the selfpublishing companies actually work. Self-publishing: Self-publishing had always been there... In 1931, author of The joy of Cooking got 3,000 copies of her cook book published by an author. It became a bestseller after it was acquired by Bobbs- Merill Company. More recently, the popular trilogy Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James was also a self-published book initially and so was Amish Tripathi’s The Immortals of Meluha. These are just a few which made history, there are many more.

Once called vanity publishing, self-publishing has come a long way...it is an easier and quicker way for authors to reach out to their readers. Few of the well-known selfpublishing companies helping authors include Notionpress. com, Cinnaon Teal, Pothi. com, BecomeShaspeare.com, AuthorsUpfront, Zorba Books etc.

“Self Publishing is here to stay and is growing in exciting ways, as is clear from the catalogue of the self publishing platform - AuthorsUpFront - I co-founded in 2014. Authors are in a position to take controls back in their hands thanks to technology. Of course editorial inputs cannot be done away with,” says Arpita Das of AuthorsUpFront.

What they offer?

Malini Nair, head of publishing services, BecomeShakespeare.com, shares, “BecomeShakespeare. com, a brand of Wordit CDE Pvt Ltd, currently provides editorial, design, self-publishing, book marketing and distribution services for English fiction and non-fiction. We provide best in class services in each of the above categories and wish to help writers improve their craft.” While, Naveen Valasakumar, CEO, of notion.com shares, "We offer free to use publication tools. The content can be typed in, proof read with our assistance, layout of text/ cover design can be done using our templates.

Automation is the key of Notion Press. We have developed a user interface which automates the processes mentioned above, get peer reviews and plan the book's distribution globally. The three stages of content creating, reviews, printing /publishing are done with our assistance. Through our analytics, we can tell the author where one's book is doing well - e-Pub, PDF or retails online. One of our clients, an IT consultant, and author of a book on "How a CEO needs a CIO', commented that using Notion site was easier and simpler than buying a movie ticket.”

“We offer an end product, which is comparable to any international book. We have primacy to author’s inputs during the publishing process and provide clarity regarding each stage of publishing. Authors can get professional inputs and guidance from experts. What’s more? We offer wide distribution both within India and worldwide with a focus on online. And an author can publish his book within 30 days!” shares Shalini.

Why self publishing?

On asking about why they ventured into self-publishing, Malini shares, “We were looking at the self-publishing space for a while and found large gaps in the services available for authors. This is when we began with creating a self-publishing programme as close as possible to a traditional publishing setup, but designed for authors aspiring to look at publishing as a source of revenue.”

While, Shalini Gupta, founder director Zorba Books shares, “As with any new venture so with Zorba Books the path was neither straight nor easy. We wound our way through a maze of traditional publishing, book exhibitions, library setups and corporate requirements to finally finding our niche with self-publishing. We realised that new talented writers had no option but to go to traditional publishers. However, hundreds of them were not getting published because they could not draw the attention of the traditional publishers or the traditional format did not suit them. Since no publisher took on the author’s work for publishing, the individual would have to file away the manuscript and forget about his/her dream of being published. So we decided to provide an alternative to talented writers in the form of self-publishing and drive the growth of self-publishing in India through Zorba Books. The fact that we did not have a hard core background in publishing made it possible for us to break the conventional mould and bring in fresh thinking in the form of the new option of self-publishing and in the way we operate - honest, open and offering great service. The journey is not over and we continue to expand into new realms and push the selfpublishing boundaries.”

Challenges...

But self-publishing comes with its own set of challenges. “Unlike the western markets where self-publishing is widely accepted, authors in India are just about getting acquainted to it. Hence, a lot of time and energy gets spent in explaining authors the features and benefits of this model of publishing versus the traditional model of publishing,” shares Malini.

Similar views were shared by Shalini, who says, “Awareness regarding the option of selfpublishing is low amongst prospective authors. They need not be at the mercy of traditional publishers but can fast-forward their writing career through self-publishing. Besides, most authors do not realise the importance of marketing in selling. Every new author needs to market his book aggressively and over a long period for the sales to show any result. Marketing is an intensive, time consuming exercise and needs to be carried out consistently over a period of time.”

Marketing efforts…

And these self-publishing companies are not leaving any stone unturned to make sure that the books are available at major outlets and online bookstores. “At BecomeShakespeare.com, we provide distribution services to leading brick and mortar bookstores, chain stores, airport retailers, etc. apart from online retailers like Flipkart and Amazon. The format is simple: we take the risk and rent space out at these bookstores, while creating a ‘SIS’ (Shop-in-Shop) model, which enables us to distribute this shelf space among our books. Similarly, we also provide all the best practices the traditional publishing firms have, i.e. good editing, proofing, cover designs, pagination, printing in bulk, aggressive pricing, media mentions, book events, book reviews and author interviews, to name a few,” Malini.

Similarly, Naveen mentions that they had tied up with 500 dealers for book distribution. "Cost of publishing a book comes down to one third the cost of self publishing with Notion. A self publisher would at least spend Rs 55,000 excluding the Reprinting cost of book. As an author one will have to invest in his book and we will co-invest with him. This will ensure that he is committed to the project and plays along with us for marketing and publicity related work," shares Naveen.

While, Shalini adds, “Marketing is a maze of activities and baffling for a first time author. We have a three pronged strategy to help the author with marketing. First, we help the author de-clutter the marketing maze and arrive at marketing solutions that are most suited to his/her needs.

While doing so we keep in mind the author’s background, the book genre and the budget, based on which a marketing plan is drawn up. Second, we aid the marketing effort by offering various marketing aids such as developing a website, preparing a book trailer, etc. Last as with all publishing, it is the author’s responsibility to implement the plan, though we are always ready to guide and help.”

“Self-publishing is a nascent industry in India with limited awareness amongst the public. But this is gradually growing and would empower wouldbe authors to get their work published and make their voices heard. As literacy increases and disposable incomes rise, India will follow the same rapid growth trajectory that the Western world has followed,” concludes Shalini.

Best Indie books declared!

Independent Book Publishing Professionals Group has named the best indie books of 2015. The books are winners of the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, the largest not-forprofit book awards programme for independent publishers and selfpublished authors. The winners and finalists were honored in New York during BookExpo America (May 27-29 2015).

The awards are judged by leaders of the indie book publishing industry, including many coming from long-standing careers with major publishing houses, to identify books that deserve to reach a wide audience. The term 'indie' traditionally refers to independent art – music, film, literature or anything that fits under the broad banner of culture – created outside of the mainstream and without corporate financing.

Independent book publishing companies are independent of the major conglomerates that dominate the book publishing industry. Indies include small presses, larger independent publishers, university presses, e-book publishers, and self-published authors. The top prize winning books in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards are: Top Non-Fiction Books: First Place Winner ($1,500 Prize) - Thrown, by Kerry Howley (Sarabande Books); Second Place Winner ($750 Prize) - The Sky and Earth Touched Me, by Joseph Bharat Cornell (Crystal Clarity Publishers); Third Place Winner ($500 Prize) - The Wild Horse Dilemma, by Bonnie U. Gruenberg (Quagga Press); and Honorable Mention ($250 Prize) - The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four, by Kenneth Womack (Greenwood Press).

Top Fiction Books: First Place Winner ($1,500 Prize) - Topeka, ma 'shuge, by Raymond Hutson (Gilliss Books); Second Place Winner ($750 Prize) - The Magdalene Mystery, by Christine Sunderland (OakTara Publishing); and Third Place Winner ($500 Prize) - River Talk, CB Anderson (C&R Press). In addition to the grand prize winners, top indie books were named as winners and finalists in 70 publishing categories ranging from Action/Adventure to Young Adult.

Entries are now being accepted for the 2016 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. The awards are open to fiction and nonfiction books released in 2014, 2015, or 2016 from independent authors and publishers worldwide.

New online bookstore for self-published works

Bocabel (www.bocabel.com) is the world’s first independent, all-inclusive online bookstore dedicated to self-published books. Self-published books, i.e. privately funded publications, represent the majority of books published annually around the world. There are many reasons why authors choose to self-publish their works, including a desire to maintain full authorial control over content; a preference to retain the lion’s share of sales revenue; or a wish to release an experimental or specialised work which, though worthy of publication, might not have ‘commercial’ appeal. Furthermore, as more and more mainstream publishing houses opt to ignore the work of previously unpublished authors, self-publishing is fast becoming the ‘norm’ rather than the exception as far as emerging writers are concerned.

Famous self-published authors include Walt Whitman, John Grisham, Michael J Sullivan and David Chilton.

The traditional difficulty with self-publishing has always been distribution – how do selfpublished authors sell their books? Bocabel solves this problem by allowing customers to purchase self-published works via a secure and easy-to-use online bookstore.

The brainchild of Australian publishing pro fes s iona ls John Power and Sam Constantopoulos, Bocabel is designed to connect authors and readers in a secure and user-friendly environment. Importantly, Bocabel introduces a fresh inventory of self-published books to mainstream markets – many books listed on Bocabel will not be available anywhere else.



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