The end of China’s one-child policy is expected to drive children’s book sales, says Jason Yuan.

On October 29, the Chinese government announced the end of its long-standing onechild policy. Every couple is now allowed to have two children. The one-child policy was put in effect more than 35 years ago, to control the fast-growing Chinese population. However, an aging population, shrinking workforce, and slowing economy led the government to reconsider its position.

The government announced a modification of the one-child policy in 2013, a change that allowed parents who were themselves both only children to have two children. But according to authorities, only about one million couples of the 11 million eligible applied to have a second child. Many parents blamed the complicated process and the associated red tape for the low response rate; now that it’s been simplified, birth rates are expected to increase dramatically.

Children’s books going strong

Experts anticipate that the number of new births per year will increase by between three million and eight million after the new policy takes effect, from its current annual level of 16 million. According to an often-cited figure, the average Chinese family spends $800–$3,000 per year on their children. Spending on children’s education is the second-largest financial outlay for parents, and it includes books—indicating a promising future for children’s books in the country.

Another encouraging sign for the future of children’s books is the large portion of young people who read. According to the 2015 Twelfth Annual Nationwide Reading Survey from the Chinese Academy of Press and Publication (CAPP), 89 percent of parents with children under eight years old read to their kids daily (23.6 minutes per day, on average); 59 percent of children under eight years old read books; 95 percent of children between the ages 9 and 13 read; and 88 percent of young adults between the ages 14 and 17 read. Retail revenue numbers reflect the high reading rate for children.

Dangdang, one of the largest online book retailers in China, sold 110 million copies of children’s books in 2014, worth around $2.3 billion CNY ($370 million). On November 11, 2014 (known as Singles Day, the Chinese version of Black Friday), Dangdang sold almost 56 million CNY ($9 million) worth of children’s books. Imported children’s books are also on the rise; according to Amazon, imported sales at increased dramatically in 2013, increasing 45 times over 2012.

Changes to meet rising interest

The size of China’s children’s book market has been growing, and with the new baby policy, sales of children’s books are expected to jump. To meet the higher demand, Chinese publishers are buying more rights for children’s books from around the world, and international collaborations are also becoming more common in China.

Chinese trade book fairs are also rising in importance. “Our fair has made a few changes to better adapt to the growing market and help our exhibitors to grow their business,” says Lin Liying, director of the Beijing International Book Fair. In 2015, BIBF set up a dedicated 1,56,000 sq ft Children’s Hall to help children’s publishers exhibit more effectively. The new changes were well received by the exhibitors. During the fair, more than 1,000 rights agreements were signed. Lin adds, “We also organised our first picture book exhibition, with over 10,000 titles in 13 languages. The new generation of parents is well educated. It is common for parents to buy and read imported books. The exhibition attracted over 40,000 visitors during our fair. We hope the exhibition will further promote the imported children’s book market in China. We are working on more events and strategies to ass ist both Chinese and 2 day cialis delivery international children’s publishers to prepare and thrive for the new baby boom.”

The article was sponsored and written by China National Publications Import & Export (Group) Corp. For more information about BIBF, contact Jason Yuan at: yuanjiayang@

shares Kapish Mehra, MD, Rupa Publications, in conversation with Smita Dwivedi.

Rupa Publications, one of the premier publishing houses of India, recently completed its 80 years of being in good books of bibliophile. The journey began eighty years ago, when an enterprising young man, D Mehra, managed to impress an English bookseller by his salesmanship and became his representative. Since then, there has been no looking back.

Today Rupa needs no introduction, and to start with, we asked how it feels to be in a business for so long and Kapish Mehra, MD, Rupa Publications, added, “It’s been a special journey so far, being in a business for such a long time. We are happy that we are still able to follow the dream of our founder to reach out to every reader without any strings attached. While we have come a long way, that enterprising spirit has remained a constant, and the company has creatively and strategically expanded the scope of publishing in India to emerge as India’s largest independent publishing house, registering robust year-on-year top line growth over the years, at a level unparalleled in the publishing industry.”

A house of bestsellers!

Rupa has a long list of celebrated authors, who all are more than happy to be part of this banner. It is no wonder it's the House of Bestsellers. On asking about the secret of such a wonderful author-publisher association, Kapish smiled and said that our authors would be better person to reply this, and with a pride of having long list of bestselling authors, he added, “Author-publishers association is always mutual. I think our belief in Indian authors has made us so special. We have ‘welcome to the family’ attitude and i recommend cheapest levitra our mission is always to take our author/book to next level.”

The list of authors includes Natwar Singh, Bimal Jalan, APJ Abdul Kalam Ronnie Screwvala’s Wytze Keuning, Acharya Kripalani, LK Advani, JRD Tata, Maharani Gayatri Devi and Mark Tully to name a few. It continues to publish some of the country’s biggest writers most notably Chetan Bhagat, the No. 1 bestselling novelist in India. His latest novel, Half Girlfriend and his just released work of non-fiction, Making India Awesome have had the largest ever print run, where English language trade publishing in India is concerned. As Chetan says, “I am what I am because of Rupa Publications. They were the first people to have believed in me and, after more than a decade, remain my publisher. Together we have a mission to make India read, and we are still as enthusiastic about it as ever.”

Another notable bestselling author has been Varun Agarwal with his How I Braved Anu Aunty And Co-founded a Million Dollar Company. Other popular writers on Rupa’s list include Samrat Upadhyay, Nitasha Kaul (who was shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize for her debut novel Residue), Siddhartha Gigoo (nominated for the 2015 Commonwealth Short Story Prize), Gulzar, Ruskin Bond, Kavita Kané, Damodar Mauzo, Anuja Chandramouli and Madhuri Banerjee.

Branching out!

In 2012, the company launched Red Turtle, the premier children’s imprint which has brought out beautifully illustrated and designed books and in 2015, Rupa Publications celebrated India’s business and entrepreneurial spirit by launching its business imprint, Maven. Constantly pushing the boundaries of possibilities to leverage the best for its books and its authors, Rupa Publications has reddened the rules of publishing by understanding and seizing the opportunity of the middle of the pyramid of the 400 million inhabiting ‘middle’ India.

On asking about company’s future plans he added, “Rupa has been pioneering in its attempt to reach this untapped audience— by packaging good content with affordable pricing and extended distribution—and this is evident not only in its core frontlist but also in terms of sales of regional language rights. Our reputation has enhanced by launching initiatives at regular intervals like pitching paperbacks to live up to its motto of providing affordable books that is the reason we foray in cities like Bilaspur, Gorakhpur, Jodhpur, Jabalpur, Indore, Karnal, Patiala among others to tap the English knowing people, has paid dividends with sales growing rapidly.”

Rupa has done fairly well in overseas market as well. Now company aims to increase the footfall and go beyond mere presence overseas by targeting delivery of books within 24 hours. And, never sitting on its laurels, Rupa Publications is now focusing on how it can leverage the digital space, and is readying to exploit the opportunities arising from the digitisation of content made possible by the advances in hard technology over the last ten years.

On a concluding note!

Kapish expressed his delight at crossing the 80-year milestone, and said “Breaking new ground has been our constant focus, and we will continue to do so in the days, months and years to come so as to contribute to the growth of the industry and provide an enhanced reading experience for all.

I think the ultimate maxim across the 80 years of our existence –– successful existence –– has been the belief to serve the readers by providing them quality books at affordable prices. The last 10 years were driven by technology. The next 10 will be driven by content. Publishing remains just one spoke of the wheel.”

Says Mohan Ramaswamy, managing director, India, LexisNexis Legal & Professional, in conversation with Varsha Verma. LexisNexis India was recently in news for acquiring indigenous legal publishing house -Universal Law Publishing. Publ ishing industry in India is very fragmented, with national as well as regional players. Courts in India have a phenomenal number of pending cases. The Indian judiciary has got a major investment boost in the last five years and it is important to equip the judiciary with the right tools and resources. If we look at the numbers, Indian legal publishing would be a US$ 70-75 million industry, with a growth of 7-8 percent per annum, told Mohan Ramaswamy, managing director, India, LexisNexis Legal & Professional, a leading publisher and online solutions provider in the legal, tax, academic, and test-prep segments.

“We wish to promote the rule of law and expand our sphere and provide authentic and well-researched information to the legal fraternity. LexisNexis was purely a legal publishing house till a few years back, when we added tax and later academic titles to our list. This has been achieved through both organic as well as inorganic growth. While growing organically, we have built up our own strengths, we have also partnered or acquired existing players who were either looking at partnerships or were on the verge of exiting,” added Mohan.

LexisNexis has recently acqui red Univers a l Law Publishing, which has been publishing law books and bare acts for legal professionals, academics and students in the Indian market for five decades. Recognised for their relevance and speed to market, Universal Law Publishing titles are held in high regard by legal professionals across India. Over the years, Universal has published popular works by eminent authors like PM Bakshi, HM Seervai, KD Gaur, justice VR Krishna Iyer, justice PN Bhagwati, justice Michael Kirby, Soli J Sorabjee and Arun Jaitley to name a few.

Mohan added, “It i s a strategic acquisition as Universal Law Publishing perfectly complements our existing range of offerings in the legal market. Their presence in the bare act space expands our reach to a large set of legal practitioners. And soon, we expect to make Universal’s content available on our Indian online legal research solution – Lexis India – providing even more content to our customers.”

“LexisNexis India is one of the leading publishers and online solutions providers with many good authors and titles. This combination gives authors an opportunity to work with superior editorial and product development systems with higher quality benchmarks that provide greater value to customers. Under the aegis of LexisNexis editorial and supported by their strong marketing and sales teams, Universal Law Publishing titles will now be accessible in more markets,” he added.

Mohan RamaswamyOn asking about whether Universal Law Publishing would continue its brand, Mohan replied, “We will try our best to retain the brand as far as we can as it has its own brand identity. Nevertheless, it would become an imprint of LexisNexis and best practices we have adopted at LexisNexis would be practised here to service our customers better.”

Talking about the competition in the legal publishing segment, Mohan shared that there’s an opportunity for everybody and it is always healthy to have competition. “The USP lies in better and easier platform. LexisNexis has differentiated and created a niche for itself.

We have invested in people and right resources. In India, we had a team of just 30 professionals 7-8 years back, which has now increased to 250+ employees and we are expanding further. The recent acquisition of Universal Law Publishing has added 50 more employees to our team. Besides, we have good online tools and technologies and stateof- the-art platform. And we are making continuous investments in all spheres,” he added.

“LexisNexis is committed to India, and we will continue to make the right investments to help our customers become more effective, efficient, and productive in their professions,” concluded Mohan.

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 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 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, 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.