Industry Activity

The book industry in India is worth approximately US$ 2 billion and is growing at around 10 percent every year. India exports books, publications and printing to more than 120 countries around the world and its export in 2009-10 has been over US $250 million.

In this backdrop, CAPEXIL Book Division organized the second Reverse Buyer-Seller meet in Agra on December 22-23, 2010 with importers from focus countries for books, publications and printing panel. As many as 19 importers from 12 countries (Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Vietnam and Zambia) and 50 exporters (from 9 states of India including 6 metropolitan cities) attended the meet. The highlight of the meet was 1000 one-to-one meetings in 2 days to enforce a mutually beneficial relationship with foreign buyers and to explore business possibilities. The first such meet held in Jaipur in January 2010 was much appreciated by the industry.

Despite poor connectivity and dearth of printing infrastructure, the north-eastern states in India are bringing out quality publications in multi-languages. Here, Subhabrata Deb, secretary, Tripura Publishers Guild outlines the challenges in publishing in north-eastern states, especially Tripura.

Journey down the memory lane

Subhabrata DebPublishing is a century-old business in Tripura, starting with grace of the then Maharajas of the state. They published Raj-Ratnakar and discount viagra perscription drug just try! Rajmala in Bengali language about 150 years back. At the end of the Eighteenth century, a publication came out on Kokborok language which was written and published by Daulat Ahmed from the Sonamura sub-division of west Tripura District. I believe, that is a landmark in the publication scenario of Tripura state.

Publishers, especially those who published non-text books, viz. literature, history etc, faced a lot of problems. During mid-fifties, a lot of books were published, mainly of poetry, travelogues and plays. But all these were not for sale, but for distribution free of cost among the friends, relatives and authors.

The sixties saw a lot of little magazines published mostly in Bengali language, which provided platform for upcoming writers. The major landmark was a collection of short stories by Bimal Chowdhury published by Pounami Prakashan of Agartala in the 1970s. That collection was titled Taranath O Chandrabijoy (Taranath and Journey to the moon). Though there were only 3-4 part-time publishers, still they brought out some valuable literary publications at that time.

In the year 1981, with first Agartala Book Fair held at Agartala - scenario of publishing started to change very rapidly and beyond one’s expectation. In March 2009, we completed 27th year of Agartala Book Fair achieving substantial dynamics.

Publishing industry…today

It is indeed achievement to reckon with that there are now 30 active publishers having a record of 250 titles every year from Tripura, in Bengali, Kokborok, Manipuri and other tribal languages.

Challenges and ordering viagra mail illegal maladies

I believe that one needs to be highly enterprising to be in the publishing business in the north eastern states. As a publisher from this region since 1987, I feel that it is a mammoth task, especially in Tripura, which is almost surrounded by international boundary and aviation is still the basic route to travel to other parts of India. Though railways and roads are there, but still the connectivity is very poor.

Lack of printing and publishing infrastructure in the region compels publishers to take support from Kolkata to produce their publications/books. Cost per unit of the printed book gets enhanced and the bulk books transported all the way from Kolkata to Agartala, hinge extra cost. Besides, the usual print run of 500 copies is not at all viable and sometimes, it even takes more than 2-3 years to sell the 500 copies stock.

Most of the publishers are first-generation publishers, but with the brief publishing courses from NBT and some other organisations, helped them get a professional outlook.

Apart from that, our authors are also not professionals, simply because they are not properly paid for their creation. I don’t think that there is any full time professional author in Tripura, who is living on his writing. The scenario has now started changing and soon there would be healthy changes.

On a concluding note…

Despite all these challenges and viagra cheapest price generic safety maladies, publications from Tripura are now deep rooted. Our leading publishers are regularly taking part in the book fairs countrywide since last two decades and have established their multi-lingual role in publishing by bringing out books in Bengali, Kokborok, Manipuri, and other minor languages. Soon, Tripura would emerge as the alternative centre of publishing.

Delhi-based Ambedkar University recently organized a conference on publishing wherein industry stalwarts gave interesting insights into the future of publishing. Excerpts.

Bharat Ratna Dr BR Ambedkar Vishwavidyalaya, Delhi (Ambedkar University, Delhi or AUD for short) was established by the Government of the NCT of Delhi through an Act of Legislature, which began functioning in August 2008. The AUD is taking a collective challenge of making publishing in India’s various languages strong and sustainable. With this laudable goal, it embarks on a bold initiative to establish a School of Publishing Studies with undergraduate and specialized programs in publishing. Dr Shyam B Menon, vice chancellor has taken keen interest in initiating an academic programme in book publishing. He believes that the publishing industry is facing the challenges from the new technologies which have threatened the printed word.

As a first step in this direction, the University hosted a two day conference titled ‘Publishing in India: Challenges and Opportunities’ on January 17-18, 2011. The conference was intended as a venue for an exchange of information between academics and practitioners from the publishing world and broadly defined to include peripheral activities such as ‘outsourcing’ which are gradually blurring the traditional boundaries of the publishing industry. This conference attempted to address critical issues like New Age of Publishing: evolving structures, demands, and opportunities; Scholarly publishing: best practices in acquisitions, evaluations, enhancement, and marketing; The Designer as author: the role of book design in communication; Editing in the current and future publishing industry in India; ‘Publishing’ activities in the periphery; New technology and publishing: The worlds of Amazon’s ‘Kindle’, Apple’s ‘iPad’ and Google; University-based Publishing Studies programme: challenges, models; and Design and staffing of short-term programs for publishing professionals.

Others who were associated in this programme were the Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing, Simon Fraser University; German Book Office, New Delhi; and Sage Publishers.

Dr Rowland Lorimer, director, Master of Publishing Programme, Simon Fraser University, presented a paper on ‘Developing the Simon Fraser University Programme within the context of book publishing policy in Canada; the policy’s current impact on writers and publishers in local and global markets’ while Payal Kumar, vice president, Editorial and Production, Sage Publications (India) Pvt Ltd expressed her views on ‘Editorial Challenges Now and in the Future.’

Besides, Laua Bysalko, development associate, Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing, Simon Fraser University; founding partner, Idefix & Co. and Sirish Rao, development associate, Canadian Centre for Studies in Publishing, Simon Fraser University; founding partner, Idefix & Co gave a brief history and snapshot of the Indian children’s book industry, especially in English. They highlighted the idea of childhood in India, and attitudes and trends in children’s literature linked to this. The marriage of text and visual that is particular to children’s books, the importance of ‘Indian-ness’ for Indian children, and the role of fantasy and pleasure in children’s books, were also discussed.

Robert E Baensch of Baensch International Group Ltd, New York; discussed ‘Evolving structures, demands, and opportunities in the New Age of Publishing,’ focusing on the path that might lie ahead for AUD in terms of academic publishing and the industry in terms of publishing in general.

While, Urvashi Butalia, publisher, Zuban, painted an interesting portrayal of ‘The Wonder of Independent Publishing in India’ She talked about the many-dimensional world of independent publishers, the societal and artistic role for them, and what it means for authors.

Other speakers included Dr Sugata Ghosh, vice president, commissioning books and journals, Sage Publications (India). And Ulhas Anand, senior product manager, Impelsys India, Bangalore who examined emerging trends and their relevance in a consumer focused publishing model.

Dr Sham Menon, vice chancellor of the AUD expressed hope that soon they shall be able to prepare a model for studies in book publishing which will be relevant to the present needs of the society. He expressed hope that cooperation from the industry will make the initiative a success.

A rising issue of concern in the publishing industry is plagiarism which means a piece of writing that has been copied from other source and is presented as their own work. iGroup Infotech recently organized a seminar on its prevention. Excerpts. Plagiarism – what is it? We all know about it but might not accept it. Plagiarism refers to use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one’s own original work. “A survey of students was conducted in which they were asked if they did plagiarism. Almost 40 percent of the surveyed students accepted plagiarism while 60 percent totally denied it,” told Kailash Balani, managing director, iGroup Infotech India Pvt Ltd at the seminar on plagiarism prevention. He said that it has become very easy for people to copy and paste text from other sources and claim it as their own.

Kailash Balani, MD, iGroup Infotech India and Kelvin, GM, iGroup Infotech, SC Sethi, president, FPBAI Singapore adressing the audience.

iGroup Infotech offers softwares that can check on plagiarism. “We have been offering such product for over a decade. A lot of universities and publishers wanted to check the research papers/manuscripts they receive. For universities, we offer ‘Turniton’ software while the ‘iThenticate’ is targeted more at publishers,” added Balani.

Speaking at the occasion, SC Sethi, president of the Federation of Publishers’ & Booksellers’ Association of India (FPBAI) said, “We have been fighting the issue of plagiarism for the last 20 years. Even the copyright manual of the publishers’ federation says that it is a criminal offence. Since I am also a publisher, I receive manuscripts on all subjects; the authors are sometimes leading professors as well.

It is really difficult to check whether it is a genuine manuscript or not. When we used iThenticate, we were surprised to find that almost 70 percent of the matter was pirated.” He wished Balani a great success for this amazing venture.

The audience was also given a brief product demonstration of this amazing software – iThenticate, which is a tool for originality checking and IP protection and doc-to-doc comparison. Urvashi of iGroup Combating the menace of Plagiarism A rising issue of concern in the publishing industry is plagiarism which means a piece of writing that has been copied from other source and is presented as their own work. iGroup Infotech recently organized a seminar on its prevention. Excerpts.

The Aviva Great Wall of Education, a book donation drive, presented by Hindustan Times, for the underprivileged children, received an overwhelming response this year too. The hon’ble minister of state for communications and IT, Govt of India, Sachin Pilot, along with Gaurav Rajput, associate director marketing, Aviva India, Sudeep Mukhiya, resident editor, Hindustan Times and Arindam Kunar, vice-president, DLF Place, Saket presented 1,36,370 books to the representatives of Save the Children India, Khushii and Handpaper, the recycling partner.

Speaking on the occasion, Gaurav Rajput, associate director-marketing, Aviva India, said, ‘‘We have collected more than 1,36,370 books here compared to 1,23,000 books collected last year. It is indeed a great encouragement for us to work towards building a brighter future for the underprivileged children by helping them into education.’’

Infotech said that there are four forms of plagiarism – copying from single/multiple source, paraphrasing, self-plagiarism, and improper use of quotations. “We have a large base of customers in India for our ‘Turniton’ software. Our ‘iThenticate’ software was launched in India in January 2010. This software is used by publishers, corporate and law firms. We have 25 million+ articles, besides we have proprietary content from global publishers using iThenticate as well as have access to aggregators and syndication,” she said.

iThenticate uses the following document types – Word, Word Perfect, Rich text format, HTML, Text, Postscript and PDF. You simply need to login to your account on iThenticate, upload the document, which is split into separate folders of 5,000 words each and within five minutes, you get a report back with the highlighted plagiarized text and the source from which it is taken.

While, KK Saxena, president, Delhi State Booksellers’ & Publishers’ Association (DSBPA) said that all publishers are suffering from the issue of plagiarism and there is a great need to check it. “Generally, it takes substantial time to create a book and if an author is coming up with 3-4 books in a year, the total content may not be original.” He then congratulated Balani for organizing such an interesting conference.

Kelvin, GM, iGroup Infotech, Singapore said that database is equally important. “Digital fingerprinting or digital signatures should go with each article.” He further informed that iThenticate is now being offered in three more languages – Chinese, Thai and Japanese. “Author can give citations but he cannot claim the plagiarized text as his own. In the end, the skill of the editor is very important. It is up to him to decide what can go in the manuscript. iThenticate is a perfect tool to help the editor do an originality check on the document,” he concluded.

The future of a printed book is becoming big question mark all over the world. Will the printed book continue to see the sunrise in the years to come? Will it be able to face the challenge in the making by digital threat? These were the major issues discussed during the 2nd summit of Globalocal recently organized by German Book Office (GBO) and the Frankfurt Book Fair in New Delhi on Nov 26, 2010, apart from general issues of language publishing, service providers in the form of BPOs. The day-long conference aimed at providing a comprehensive overview from all the players – publishers, printers, service providers and vendors, not just from India but from all parts of the world. The nature of the participation truly reflected the title: ideas and issues from the so called ‘mature markets’ like the UK and US but also from different corners of the globe. “Innovations happening by smaller companies, 21st century and 14th century going parallelly”
–Vivek Govil, president & CEO, Pearson Education

‘‘India needs to be taken differently’’
–Karthika VK, publisher and chief editor, HarperCollins India

“Monetization of content is going to be a key issue. Being between group of authors and set of printers, publisher looks like acting as financer”
–Sunder Singh, principal consultant & segment head, Information Services, TCS

“Need to create and develop TRUST factor, give up controls”
–Naresh Khanna, publisher, Indian Printer and Publisher

“Simply having PDF format of books makes easy for transforming to e-book platform”
–Tej PS Sood, publisher and director, Anthem Press

“Two out of three publishers of the world are outsourcing publishing services. India remains preferred choice”
–Vivek Shenoy, analyst, ValueNotes

“With digital content, we have been able to provide right solutions. There is a need to be ambitious in adopting newer technologies. Future of ‘content’ will always remain, be it a book or any other device enabling reading”
–Michael Moynahan, CEO, HarperCollins Publishers, Australia
Juergen Boos

After having the two minutes’ silence to remember those who died in the 26/11 terror strike in Mumbai, the one-day conference started with the welcome address by Juergen Boos, president, Frankfurt Book Fair who pointed out that the print world is changing and presently is in the middle of transformation. Publishers changing with digital are becoming stronger. India has immense potential with fast increasing literacy rate and adopting digital devices.

Thereafter in the first session moderated by Emma House, trade and international director, The Publishers Association (UK), presenting his view Michael Moynahan, CEO, HarperCollins Publishers, Australia mentioned that the changes are happening in new market vs matured market. Relationship between publishers and consumers in matured market has a distance but in new market there has been a closer relationship between them bringing newer opportunities. Herman P Spruijt, president, International Publishers Association said that content need to reach to every one (end users like libraries, professors, etc) and added, “Though India is cost conscious country, but we could find associates to work, produce and distribute books together.” Vivek Govil, president & CEO, Pearson Education, mentioned that high quality academic books written by eminent writers are important, specially those with added value like teaching techniques. “Though relationship between sales-representative and buyers, matters a lot,” he added. Vivek Agarwal, CEO, Liqvid, also shared his views in this session.

In the second session moderated by Kevin Fitzgerald, chief executive, Copyright Licensing Agency Ltd; Clare Somerville, general manager India, UK and export sales for Harlequin Mills & Boon enumerated their initiative for Indian readers which include giving Rs 95 per book offer, and mentioned that as per a French survey, 25 percent share in total books sold will be of digital by the year 2015. Karthika VK, publisher and chief editor, HarperCollins India stated, “We should always keep in mind ‘What’s next?’. As every person is a reader, you need to look into yourself to know what is right and satisfactory, then move further and offer these devices to readers. May be in next five years, 40-50 percent revenues will be coming from digital books/devices. It is time, Indian publishers also need to be pro-active and reach out to international platform.”

Multilingual markets have similar challenges. They also operate in regions with the same language but divided territories. What are the business models in such cases? How do they cope vis-à-vis the English language publishers? It was discussed in the third session moderated by Urvashi Butalia, publisher, Zubaan; Emile Khoury, managing director, CIEL Lebanon; Shirley Lim, regional director - Southeast Asia, McGraw-Hill; and Anna Soler-Pont, director, Pontas Literary & Film Agency.

Moderated by Naresh Khanna, publisher, Indian Printer and Publisher, the session on ‘Return of the colony: India as a service hub’ also became quite effective when Vivek Shenoy, analyst, ValueNotes; Bimal Mehta, executive director, Vakil & Sons Pvt Ltd; and Sunder Singh, principal consultant & segment head, Information Services, TCS shared their constructive views.

Dr Ashok Gupta The English language has definitely provided an advantage in the erstwhile British colonies. Whereas the local industry cried foul for years against the advent of the MNC, the development of a service base to the rest of the world has created a whole new segment (arguable the largest!) within publishing.

In another session on ‘going global, going digital’ moderated by Sirish Rao, director, IDEFIX & Co; PT Rajasekharan, managing director, Panther Publishers / chairman, Focus Medica Pte Ltd; Ravi DeeCee, CEO, DC Books; Ronald Schild, managing director, MVB Marketing- und Verlagsservice des Buchhandels; and Zhou Hongli, CCO, Shanda Literature Limited (China) presented how the business will survive and grow in the digital arena that has changed the nature of the business. Gautam John (lawyer) and Achal Prabhala (researcher and writer) enumerated salient features of Wikipedia.

Akshay Patha, director of the German Book Office (GBO), New Delhi, a joint venture of the Frankfurt Book Fair and the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, took turns as emcee of the programme. Vote of thanks was delivered by Dr Ashok Gupta, vice president (North), The Federation of Indian Publishers.

The event was attended by over 150 publishing and media professionals and supported by CAPEXIL Book Division, Liqvid eLearning Services Pvt Ltd, the Association of Publishers in India, and the Federation of Indian Publishers. Partners included Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, Cape Town Book Fair, International Publishers Association (IPA), The Publishers Association (UK), while the sponsors were Libreka, Oxford Bookstore, the Park Hotel and Welbound Worldwide.