The Publisher’s Post – December 2013

 Newsletter December, 2013
  Latest Developments  
Booking its place
The Bangalore Literature Festival kicked off its second edition this year. Held at the Crowne Plaza, Electronics City, the three-day festival garnered tremendous response with over 135 speakers from all over India. Besides, authors such as Ashokamitran, K Satchidanandan, Nilanjana Roy, Kishwar Desai, Anita Nair, Shobhaa De, Shashi Deshpande, Ashwin Sanghi and Meena Kandasamy, the festival also saw the stalwarts in other fields such as Farhan Akhtar (cinema), Wendell Rodricks (fashion) and Sri Sri Ravishankar (spirituality) participate in the various panels and discussions that were held during the festival. Sessions on written and oral literary tradition in various vernacular languages were another novel aspect to the festival in addition to a special workshop of writing for children.

According to Vikram Sampath, co-founder of the festival, “It was a phenomenal success and more than 15,000 people attended this festival. We had speakers from all over India and abroad and there was a coming together of different streams, ideas and thoughts. Bangalore has a very vibrant literary landscape and we really needed something like this, especially in an age when people’s interest in the old world romance of books is on the wane,” he says adding, “We are very buoyed of the success and hope to make this bigger and better next year.” Read more

Publishing Next at the World Book Fair
Publishing Next, the annual conference on the future of publishing, has been invited by the National Book Trust, India, to organize Publishing Next at the New Delhi World Book Fair, its first extension programme, from the long-format conference held in Goa. Through its presence in Delhi, the organizing team hopes to introduce the conference to the publishers in Delhi and to several others who will travel to the capital from different parts of the country, for the Fair.

During the conference, the following sessions will be held:

  • Session 1: Publishing in Indian Languages
  • Session 2: Understanding Issues In ePublishing
  • Session 3: Self Publishing – A Viable Publishing Alternative?
  • Workshop: “ePublishing 101″ for publishers

For more details visit the website:

Harlequin India bets big
Harlequin set up shop in India in 2008, before which only global titles were exported to this market. The company started with a short story-writing competition to search for Indian talent.

“While the annual competition, ‘Passions-Aspiring Author Auditions’, is still conducted to find Indian authors, we now work through other channels such as literary agents for acquisitions in India,” says Amrita Chowdhury, India head and publishing director of Harlequin. And while firsttime authors are often hand-held by Harlequin’s editorial team in the UK, Chowdhury feels the advantage comes from the fact many of them come from non-writing backgrounds and bring a healthy element of diversity both professionally and culturally to the table.

That the stereotypes about the Mills & Boon men being chauvinistic and dominating are changing also helps in wider acceptability. “The Indian titles, which now sell far more than the global ones in this market, offer a great degree of cultural and gender sensitivity. The women characters are not just secretaries or school teachers like those of yesteryears, they are doctors, bankers and engineers; and the men even if they are rich and handsome are also sensitive and make adjustments. The themes of second marriage and arranged marriage have also been explored in recent Indian M&B titles,” explains Chowdhury. Read more

Sahitya Akademi Fellowship for Sitakant Mahapatra
Eminent litterateur Sitakant Mahapatra [has been] awarded the Sahitya Akademi Fellowship. He was conferred the highest honour of Fellowship by Akademi president Vishwanath Prasad Tiwari. He was presented with a shawl, a citation and a memento.

Mahapatra has the distinction of publishing 21 anthologies of poems and nine collection of essays on literature and culture and four travelogues. He has also delivered lectures in several universities in India and abroad on Development Anthropology and Literature.

The Sahitya Akademi Awards 2013 were announced on 18 December 2013 by Sahitya Akademi. Poetry writers have dominated the awards announced in 2013. Eight books of poetry, four of essays, three of novels, two each of short stories and travelogues, one each of autobiography, memoirs and play have won the Sahitya Akademi Award 2013. Read more

Rashtrakavi G.S. Shivarudrappa no more
Distinguished Kannada poet, writer and researcher G.S. Shivarudrappa (87), popularly known as Prof. GSS, passed away at his residence at Banashankari here on December 23.

He was the third Kannada poet to be honoured with the prestigious title of ‘Rashtrakavi,’ after Manjeshwara Govinda Pai and his mentor and guide Kuvempu (K.V. Puttappa). Prof. Shivarudrappa was known for his writings that offered a fine combination of artistry and social commitment. Between 1951 (when his first collection ‘Samagana’ came out) and 1999 (when his last collection ‘Vykatamadhya’ was published) he authored 13 collections of poems. The Karnataka government honoured him with Pampa Prashasti for the year 1996 in recognition of his excellence as a poet.

Both Bangalore and Kuvempu universities honoured him by conferring an honorary doctorate.Read more

Three-day publishing forum to be held parallel to JLF
The Jaipur Literature Festival (JLF) will not be the only event in the pink city that book lovers will be seen thronging this winter. Running parallel to the JLF will be the Jaipur Book Mark (JBM), a three-day forum, for publishers, agents, rights holders and literary content producers.

The conference will host six sessions, each looking at different aspects of the publishing industry, from self-publishing to e-books, digital content to distribution.

The sessions will be followed by an extended networking lunch with scope for meeting and personal interaction. There will be a cocktail reception in the evenings, which will provide further opportunities to circulate and interact. The JBM is expected to bring together 100 key publishing professionals in its first edition. Read more

Page turners
Doordarshan’s new book show, Kitaabnama: Books and Beyond, tries to showcase the multilingual diversity of Indian literature by inviting laureates from different languages to talk about their work. It reminds one of the times when book stores were not overwhelmed by technical writing and self-help books; when literature and quality writing were not considered a waste of time; when the pleasure of reading was experienced by many.

In an attempt to widen its coverage of literary events, DD Bharti sent crews to Tarjuman, the translators festival in Ahmedabad, and the Mountain Echoes Literary Festival in Bhutan. Interviews from prominent authors present at these events were telecast on Kitaabnama. Currently, the show has no sponsors. But the team hopes to get some sponsorship soon.

The show airs on DD Bharti at 8.00 p.m. on Sundays, and DD National at 6.00 p.m. on Saturdays. Read more

  Opinion & Analysis  
India, a big market for dictionaries, says UK publisher
India, among other countries like China and South Korea, is seen as a big market for the English language dictionary, despite a swell in digital tools for word learning and usage, says a UK publisher.

“In places like India and South Korea and in our biggest markets in China and Taiwan, a dictionary is seen as a good investment because language is seen to get a good job, to go study abroad etc. So people are ready to purchase and invest in them,” says Alison Waters, Publisher, ELT dictionaries and reference grammar, Oxford University Press, UK.

Alison was in India for a multicity workshop on the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary for teachers in Delhi, Chennai, Mumbai and Kolkata. Read more

Everybody’s Business
The business book in India is no longer that tome gathering dust on the bookshelf, only to be brought down occasionally by that smart cousin studying at a B-school. Neither are they international titles written mostly by Americans. “The first thing that struck me was that the market was undiscovered from the perspective of Indian authors writing business books. With the kind of explosive growth that the Indian economy had enjoyed over the last two decades, there are a number of great stories that are waiting to be told,” says Anish Chandy, business editor, Penguin India. “I think Indian readers are seeking something closer to their roots and international readers have realised the shortcomings of business principles that are restricted to western ideas,” says Devdutt Pattnaik, author of Business Sutra: A Very Indian Approach to Management (Aleph 2013), which is trending on the bestseller list. Read more
Bangla literature: From home to the world
The third edition of the recently concluded Hay Festival in Dhaka, Bangladesh (founded by Peter Florence and Tahmima Anam in 2011) witnessed a substantial turnout of literary agents from the UK and US this year [and large participation from many Indian publishers and authors].

Fresh voices and powerful narratives have struck a chord with prominent publishing agents who are now expressing interest in Bangladeshi literature. It’s a new dawn for Bangladeshi authors whose stories are reaching out to a global readership thanks to the growing trend of translation and worldwide distribution. Read more

Social media more effective in promoting Tamil literature
Opinion is divided over whether leading journals are giving enough space for serious literature.

Even though thousands of titles in Tamil come out annually, many of which are of serious and creative works, one issue that has been bothering several writers is over the degree of attention being paid by the mainstream Tamil media, especially leading periodicals, to such literary efforts.

Sa. Kandasamy, veteran Tamil writer and the Sahitya Akademi winner for 1998, says Tamil journals, which otherwise follow and capture trends in various fields such as travel, technology, self-improvement and spiritualism apart from cinema, do not display adequate interest in serious literary writing. Read more

Mature storylines get comics more takers
Inside their mature, movie-like panels, ambiguous moral choices and profane speech bubbles, you will find the growing hunger of comic book readers. Fuelled by Hollywood-induced curiosity about superheroes, events such as Comic Con and a wider array of alternate Indian comic books on offer, today’s evolved comic book fan does not mind shelling out anywhere between Rs 50 and Rs 300 each on a book. This has meant a slow yet assured boost for the Indian comic book industry whose fate had been written off a few years ago.

“In the last three years, the number of individuals and publishers actively publishing comics and graphic novels has certainly risen from three to four to about 10,” says Jatin Varma, founder, Comic Con India referring to Vimanika, Holy Cow Entertainment, Meta Desi and Manta Ray Comics among others. “The numbers might seem small but it is a phenomenal growth,” adds Varma, who also heads Pop Culture Publishing, which was launched three years ago and is known for its humour and Bollywood-based titles such as ‘Widhwa Maa Aur Andhi Behen’. Read more

  Events & New Book Releases  
His library, your library
Mera Library is home to over 4,000 books in eight Indian languages besides English, written by 2,000 authors through 250 publications. Officially launched in 2011, Shabir says this labour of love has harboured in thought from 2009. As an employee of a large electronic publishing company in Bangalore, Shabir observed that few smaller publishers, especially those in the bhasha (vernacular) languages, put out e-book versions of their publications. And for those who did, avenues for display and distribution were rare. “So I quit my job, took a year off to research the concept and slowly approached publishers, initially asking them for their backlists because I didn’t think they would give their new works to a start-up.” Read more
Narrative sextet
Oxford University Press has published a series of six Oxford Novellas.

Of the six novellas two are by women and translated by women — Nabaneeta Dev Sen’s Sheet Sahasik Hemantolok (Defying Winter, Bengali, translated by Tutun Mukherjee) and Saniya’s Tyanantar (Thereafter, Marathi, translated by Maya Pandit). The other four novellas are from the four major South Indian languages: C.S. Chellappa’s Vaadivaasal (Arena, Tamil translated by N. Kalyan Raman), Na. D’Souza’s Dweepa (Island, Kannada, translated by Susheela Punitha), Kesava Reddy’s Moogavani Pillanagrovi (Ballad of Ontillu, Telugu, translated by the author) and Johny Miranda’s Jeevichirikkunnavarkku Vendiyulla Oppees (Requiem for the Living, Malayalam, translated by Sajai Jose). The three men are from various professional backgrounds while the women are from the discipline of English studies. As series editor Mini Krishnan notes, “Having absorbed words from nearly 400 languages, English is opulently equipped to interpret and express the cultural energy of the regions it once entered as the coloniser’s voice.” Read more

Historicizing the past
Well-known fiction writer Ramesh Upadhyaya has been publishing thought-provoking articles in his literary journal “Kathan” as well as through a series of books that deal with issues of contemporaray intellectual discourse such as globalisation and ecology. Janwadi Lekhak Sangh’s magazine “Naya Path” brought out special numbers on the first war of Indian independence i.e., 1857 Revolt as well as on the hundred years of Hindi cinema. “Samayantar”, a magazine founded and edited by well-known short story writer Pankaj Bisht, has also been publishing similar stuff and recently caught people’s attention because of its intervention in the currently raging debate on the contribution of the late D D Kosambi to the study of Indian history and archaeology. And, mind you, this list is not exhaustive. There are many more Hindi magazines who have come out of the narrow confines of literature and are devoting their pages to discuss social, political, environmental, economic and cultural issues. Read more
Raknno – pride of Konkani
Karnataka counts Konkani as one of its own tongues. Konkani literature, written in Kannada script, has developed in leaps and bounds, and the language is officially recognised in the 8th Schedule of India. Celebrating this language is the Mangalore-based Konkani weekly Raknno (meaning guardian), which has just completed 75 glorious years. Raknno may be cited as a key milestone in the growth of Konkani.

As a publishing house, Raknno has been publishing books, both fiction and non-fiction, and it has to its credit nearly 120 titles. It also has audio book CDs. Earlier, Raknno contained matter in three languages — Konkani, Kannada and English. Initially, its annual subscription was Rs 2.50, currently, it is Rs 250. Read more

Under the Bak-Bak tree
Karadi, the ‘bachelor bear’, has told children stories from 1996. Stories of forests and valleys, animals and trees, Gods and little children, superheroes and human beings. Through rhymes and poems, the singing bear has opened children to a distinctly Indian world, gently nudging them into the English language without overtly teaching them. From the audio books, Karadi now finally comes alive, in a full length musical, to be staged in Kochi today, called Once Upon a Bak-Bak Tree.

The Karadi Rhymes was always meant to be on stage, says Shobha Viswanath, director of children’s publishing house Karadi Tales. “When the first audio books were released, we found that many schools were using the entire soundtrack for their annual day plays. All that the children had to do was enact the stories while miming the Rhymes. That’s when we realised that this could be staged, but we envisioned a film, not a play!” Read more

The Wild and Whacky
At a time when iPads and PlayStations trump books and literature, Aparna Raman, the young founder of Timbuktoo Publishing launches a book for kids written by a group of six to nine-year olds with engaging text, cute illustrations and pleasing aesthetics. Titled My Book Of Me, What am I Going To Be Today?, the 34-pager sees the little authors personify different objects and describe themselves in each role. “The book would be best described as a role play collective. The roles the kids have chosen to play, tell you something about the personality of each of them,” says Raman.

Timbuktoo Publishing, started in March 2013, is a company that focuses exclusively on young authors. Apart from publishing books, they also conduct workshops for kids of different age groups. In the pipeline is a collection of write-ups by 9-12-year olds who attended their Genre Genie workshop. Expected to launch in May 2014, the book will focus on writings of specific genres like mystery and adventure. Read more

Coffee table book on Mandela in Telugu
Visalandhra Publishing House, which is celebrating its golden jubilee, is bringing out a coffee table book on the former South African President Nelson Mandela. The 60-year-old book house obtained permission from the South African government in this regard.

The book titled ‘Nelson Mandela Coffee Table Book’ would be published in Telugu with the experience, explanations, writings, struggles and the history of the great leader with his photographs. Read more

  New Books!  

Catch that Cat!

Story: Tharini Viswanath
Images: Nancy Raj
Published by: Tulika Books
Price: Rs 150.00
Pages: 28




By: Shivaji Savant
Published by: Mehta Publishing House
ISBN: 978-81-8498-490-3
Price: Rs 480.00
Pages: 878



Stories From Joe’s Sit-Out: Savouring family life in Goa and way beyond

By: Bernadette Correia Afonso D’Souza
Published by: Goa, 1556
ISBN: 9789380739670
Price: Rs 200.00
Pages: 160



A Life in Three Octaves: The Musical Journey of Gangubai Hangal

By: Deepa Ganesh
Published by: Three Essays Collective
ISBN: 9788188789931
Price: Rs 600.00
Pages: 220



One Part Woman

Written by: Perumal Murugan
Translated By: Aniruddhan Vasudevan
Published by: Penguin India
Price: Rs 399.00
Pages: 248



Understanding Dyslexia

Written by: Remediana Dias
Published by: CinnamonTeal Publishing
ISBN: 9789383175468
Price: Rs 250.00
Pages: 132



The Land of Flying Lamas & Other Real Travel Stories from the Indian Himalaya

Written by Gaurav Punj
Published by: Westland
ISBN: 9789383260522
Price: Rs 395.00
Pages: 132

  To have your books listed here, please send all details and a cover image to writetous@  

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The Publisher’s Post – November 2013

 Newsletter November, 2013
  Latest Developments  
Literature for children focus at World Book Fair 2014
Literature for children will be the focus at the upcoming edition of New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF) with Poland being chosen as the Guest of Honour country.

“We are happy to join hands with a country like Poland which has had four Nobel laureates in literature. The association will be fascinating and facilitate rich exchange of literature between two countries,” says A Sethumadhavan, Chairman, National Book Trust (NBT).

He was speaking at the at the launch of the translation of a Polish book titled “Little Chopin” recently.

“The focus for Delhi World Book Fair 2014 will be literature for children and Poland will showcase children’s illustrations through an exhibition and bring books for children,” says Anna Tryc-Bromley, director Polish Institute here, part of the Polish diplomatic mission and responsible for promoting Polish culture in India. Read more

Publishing Next at the World Book Fair
Publishing Next, the annual conference on the future of publishing, will organize Publishing Next at the New Delhi World Book Fair, its first first extension programme, from the long-format conference held in Goa. Through its presence in Delhi, the organizing team hopes to introduce the conference to the publishers in Delhi and to several others who will travel to the capital from different parts of the country, for the Fair.

Based on the feedback received from past conferences, the following topics will be addressed:

  • Session 1: Publishing in Indian Languages
  • Session 2: Understanding Issues In ePublishing
  • Session 3: Self Publishing – A Viable Publishing Alternative?
  • Workshop: “ePublishing 101″ for publishers

For more details visit the website:

Punjabi varsity to digitize its documents on Ghadar movement
Punjabi University, Patiala, has decided to digitize all documents that are more than 60 years old in its library, especially those pertaining to the Ghadar movement. Vice-chancellor Jaspal Singh said the university would digitize about 300 such documents, which were in the form of manuscripts, articles and news reports related to the movement.

He said the decision was taken in view of the shelf-life of the documents that were 60 to 90 years old. These could get damaged or destroyed if digitization was not done in the next one or two years, he added. Read more

India scripts success story at Sharjah book fair
A star-studded author line-up, including former president A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Ruskin Bond, Kamal Haasan and Ravinder Singh, best-sellers, higher publisher participation and a wide variety of books in diverse languages on sale drew massive crowds to the Indian Pavilion at the Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF), [held in November] making it a runaway hit.

“We think at least 300,000 to 400,00 Indians were coming in…the largest number of people from any country actually. The maximum number of events were also from India,” said Ravi DeeCee, CEO of DC Books that coordinated the entire Indian pavilion, bringing in publishers and big names from the Indian literary world.

The number of titles and publishers from India in fact increased by 50 percent compared to the past year. Read more

Bengali publishers log on to e-book bandwagon
Paperbacks and hard-bound are passe. After reading habit of the entire world has literally shifted to the virtual space, Kolkata publishers have finally felt the urge to usher in the change and go the electronic way. Facing a soaring demand for Bengali books from abroad and an increase in pirated scanned copies across internet, they are catching up with their national and international counterparts to make their presence felt on the e-platform. Read more
National Vitrual Library plan gets Union Cabinet nod
An ambitious scheme aimed at creating a National Virtual Library, which is to be a comprehensive database of digital resources in the country, today received the government’s nod.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs gave its approval to the Ministry of Culture proposal to upgrade public libraries as part of the National Mission on Libraries (NML).

The scheme, which would benefit researchers, scientists, artists, students, children, differently-abled persons, the general public and neo and non-literates, would entail an expenditure of Rs 400 crore during the 12th Plan period.

The plan envisages creation of a National Virtual Library database on digital information about India and on information generated in India. Read more

Mumbai Comic Con to start on December 21
There will [be many] new comic titles launched at Comic Con [this year]. Few book launches to look out for are Gandhi by Campfire, Shiva – Book III by Vimanika Publishing, The Skull Rosary by Holy Cow Entertainment, Tinkle Hindi Collections by Amar Chitra Katha Publishing, Zombie Rising by Chariot Comics which will be launched by special guest – Luke Kenny (VJ on Channel V and Actor, Rock On) and Munkeeman 3 by Pop Culture Publishing which has been planned to be launched by Creator Abhishek Sharma (Director of Tere Bin Laden) and Special Guest Manish Paul (Actor, Mickey Virus). Read more
Nilanjana Roy wins the 2013 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize
Journalist, book critic and author Nilanjana Roy has won the 2013 Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize for her debut novel The Wildings.

The book, “with its eccentric, lovable characters, all billis with earthy desi names, is a well-paced, delightful novel, chiefly about felines, that will strike a chord with animal lovers of any age, even the very young”, according to’s Vaihayasi Pande Daniel.

The other contenders for the award this year were Boats on Land by Janice Pariat, India Becoming by Akash Kapur, The King’s Harvest by Chetan Raj Shreshta, Foreign by Sonora Jha and A Pleasant Kind of Heavy and other stories by Aranyani. Read more

Attracting fellow beings to the fine virtues of reading
‘Hornbill Books’ – the name seems to be that of a publishing company, but voracious readers in the city have already started identifying it as the collective effort of a four-member family which loves to attract their fellow beings to the fine virtues of reading. Forty-five-year-old P K Babu and his wife Mini Justin, 38, started this initiative just two months ago. Read more
  Opinion & Analysis  
Publishers find a vibrant market for Tamil translations of classics
Translations in Tamil seem to be vibrant with eminent authors from other Indian and foreign languages finding their way to the vernacular.

The translated version of Satyajit Ray’s Feluda stories (about fictional private investigator) was released in the city recently. Another Bengali novel that is to hit the stands soon is the controversial Lajja by Bangaladeshi writer Taslima Nasrin.

Tamil readers will have a chance to lay their hands on some classics from other languages, political philosophies and self-help books thanks to the big works in the pipeline.

Varthamapusthakam, the first travelogue in Malayalam, also regarded as the first in any India language written in the 1700s, will soon be released in Tamil. “Many pages were missing in the book, but we managed to put the story together which is about a journey of a Malayali Christian community travelling to Rome,” says translator Yuma Vasuki. Read more

The Evolution of e-publishing: Why India has lagged behind in adapting eBooks
The last 12 months or so, especially, have seen a lot of new launches and activity. Swiftboox, for example, is tying up with small and medium publishers in Bengali, Marathi, Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, etc and offering to digitise their backlists using a technology that works with Indian vernacular languages. In October this year, HarperCollins launched an e-imprint, Harper21, with a series of 21 e-singles by 21 authors at a “token cost” of Rs21 each. “We decided to introduce readers with a format that was not too long or complicated to read by known authors, and could be finished while travelling on the Metro, for instance. We are not really looking at it as a revenue earner now,” says Karthika. In the last year or so, leading English-language publishers such as HarperCollins, Random House and Aleph have started to release new titles in both print and eformats. Read more
Of Indian authors & desi romances
They have long been criticised for being primitive, of perpetuating submissiveness and misogyny, of glorifying male chauvinism and have even been blamed for failed relationships. To generations of readers, the 106-year-old Mills & Boon’s is a familiar plot in which pretty heroine falls for tall, dark and brooding Mr Handsome who takes his own sweet time to reciprocate. But the books have their defenders, the defence running the gamut from “it’s just fiction” to “it’s actually quite feminist”. Read more
Active marketing important in publishing: Cyrus Mistry
“Marketing holds tremendous importance in the publishing industry and ensures a book doesn’t become a sinking stone,” says Cyrus Mistry, the reticent author of Chronicles of Corpse Bearer.

Mistry who began writing at a young age had won at the age of 21 the Sultan Padamsee Award, a prestigious, international playwriting contest for his first full-length play, Doongaji House.

The author who has been longlisted for the fourth edition of the $ 50,000 DSC South Asian Literature Prize for Chronicles of the Corpse Bearer says the book is a story of marginalised community and looks at larger questions about life and death, which makes it a different read. Read more

Literary world still an old boys’ club?
Is the lettered world insulated from the proverbial glass ceiling? This was the underlying thread running through the many discussions on literary form, structure and style at the two-day seventh conference held by the Lekhakiyara Sangha.

Indeed, the literary world is still quite the old boys’ club, said writers, who lamented the fact that in the absence of any policies or government vision to encourage women’s writers, the number of women in the field is on the decline. “Many states have formed policies in this regard, where they either give subsidies to publishers on books by women’s writers or offer other incentives to those who publish works by women writers,” says Vasundhara Bhupathi, a doctor and president of the Sangha. Women writers are also very poorly represented among those from the literary world nominated to the Legislative Council, she points out. Read more

Digital libraries can help bridge divide: Ansari
President Hamid Ansari Wednesday highlighted the important role digital libraries can play in enabling people access, share and apply knowledge in a more effective manner.

“The challenge before us would be to overcome the digital divide that exists between countries of the north and the south, regions within national boundaries and on the basis of socio-economic stratification.

“Democratisation of access to knowledge by bridging the digital divide would be essential for inclusive, sustained development,” Ansari said in his address at the International Conference of Digital Libraries 2013.

He said digital libraries provide a valuable platform for achieving the desired results. “They provide an efficient and cost effective medium through which information can be delivered and knowledge shared in formats that are easily accessible to the masses,” he said.

Organised by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the three-day conference with its theme “Vision 2020: Looking Back 10 Years and Forging New Frontiers” aims to accelerate the process of knowledge management by developing digital libraries. Read more

  Events & New Book Releases  
Amar Chitra Katha unveils comics on Kurien; plans on Dhyanchand, KD Jadhav
Amar Chitra Katha (ACK), well-known publishers of children’s graphic comics is planning to immortalise sports legends Dhyan Chand and K D Jadhav, too, in its series on India’s “Visionaries”.

The popular publication has sold the maximum numbers on legends like Mother Teresa, Jim Corbett, Salim Ali and JRD Tata, Reena Puri, Editor of the Group, [said] at a function where ACK unveiled an illustrated graphic comics on life and times of the late Dr Verghese Kurien, Father of White Revolution, on his 92nd birth anniversary.

ACK, which refrains from publishing comics on living persons, is, however, considering to reassess its policy on whether to publish a book on sports legend Milkha Singh, on which a biopic was recently released with actor-director Farhan Akhtar in the lead role. The book on Dr Kurien, released in English, is being translated into Gujarati, and may be brought out in other languages, too. All comics are published with an initial print order of 30,000, she added. Read more

Book traces history, status of Assamese Muslims
Eminent folklorist and former president of Asam Sahitya Sabha, Prof Birendra Nath Datta today unveiled a book Asamor Musalman: Itihas aru Samaj at a function at the International Convention Centre at Srimanta Sankaradeva Kalakshetra.

This is the first of the five-volume series concerning the history and heritage of the Assamese Muslims brought out by the Al-Ameen Janakalyan Samaj, Guwahati.

Prof Datta in his address while recalling his experiences of association with the Muslim community in different parts of the State, came up with interesting and thought-provoking anecdotes.

He said that the assimilation process of the Assamese Muslims took place at the grassroots, which was the reason they had contributed significantly to the composite heritage of the State.. Read more

Now Gitanjali in Chakma
Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali has been translated into Chakma by prominent writer Timir Baran.

The tribe is concentrated in a few northeastern States and the neighbouring Chittagong hill tracts of Bangladesh.

“It has been a great honour for us to publish ‘Chakma Bhasay Gitanjali’ or Gitanjali in the Chakma dialect,” said Gavinda Dhar, senior official of Srot Publishing House on Thursday. The book is a compilation of 157 translated poems of Gitanjali. Read more

New Assamese scientific dictionary
In a bid to give an added dimension to Assamese language, Asom Jatiya Prakash, a non-profit organisation, today launched a new project, that of publishing an Assamese scientific and technological dictionary.

The project was ceremoniously launched at the newly inaugurated Jatiya Abhidhan hall by former vice-chancellors of Gauhati and Dibrugarh Universities, Hiralal Duora and Kulendu Pathak, respectively. Read more

  New Books!  

Civility Against Caste: Dalit Politics and Citizenship in Western India

By: Suryakant Waghmore
Published by: Sage India
ISBN: 978-81-321-1308-9
Price: Rs 750.00
Pages: 276



Sukhad Vrudhhatva

By: Ratnavali Datar
Published by: Mehta Publishing House
ISBN: 978-81-8498-522-1
Price: Rs 140.00
Pages: 130



Refiguring Goa: From Trading Post to Tourism Destination

By: Raghuraman Trichur
Published by: Goa, 1556
ISBN: 9789380739502
Price: Rs 200.00
Pages: 208



Gender & Neoliberalism: The All India Democratic Women’s Association & Globalization Politics

By: Elisabeth Armstrong
Published by: Tulika Books
ISBN: 978-93-82381-23-5
Price: Rs 575.00
Pages: 280




Story by Chatrura Rao
Pictures by Ruchi Mhasane
Published by: Tulika
Price: Rs 150.00
Pages: 24



Wind Horse

Written by Kaushik Barua
Published by: HarperCollins India
ISBN: 9789350296714
Price: Rs 450.00
Pages: 390



Goa Through the Eyes of Fanchu Loyola

Written by Carmo D’Souza
Published by: CinnamonTeal Publishing
ISBN: 978-93-83175-44-4
Format: EPUB
Price: Rs 90.00

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The Publisher’s Post – October 2013

 Newsletter October, 2013
  Latest Developments  
Bookaroo Children’s Literature Festival
The sixth edition of Bookaroo Children’s Literature Festival will be held on 22, 23 and 24 November 2013 at IGNCA (Indira Gandhi National Centre of Arts). Presented by Alpenliebe Juzt Jelly, Hindustan Times Bookaroo 2013 continues the celebration of children’s books, storytelling and reading. It will once again bring together children, authors, illustrators and books in one venue for three exciting days:
22nd November (Schools’ Day): 9.30 am to 12 pm. By invitation
23rd, 24th November: 11 am to 5 pm (Open Day for families)

Some of the authors, illustrators and storytellers who will participate include Ashok Banker, Cornelia Funke, Gen Ian Cardozo, Giti Chandra, Jeeva Raghunath, Musharraf Ali Farooqi, Rajeev Tambe, Sally Gardner, Vandana Bist while Amar Chitra Katha, Bloomsbury, CBT, Duckbill, Hachette, Katha, NBT, Puffin, Random House India, Red Turtle, TERI Press, Scholastic, Tulika and Young Zubaan are some of the publishers who have confirmed participation.

Frankfurt Book Fair concludes on an optimistic note
Over 3,500 participants from 72 countries took part in the more than 20 seminars and conferences of the Frankfurt Academy. According to the organisers, new conference formats, such as Contec and StoryDrive, have certainly contributed to the rapidly changing face of the Book Fair, and to the fact that it now attracts new groups of visitors.

The German Book Office, Delhi and Frankfurt Academy had jointly organised special guided tours for the first time visitors from India to the Frankfurt Book Fair to give them a more focused understanding of the Fair.

In addition, two more events were organised, which focused on the Asian visitors. On 10 October, the Globalocal Roundtable event discussed success stories from Asia and India at the Asia Lounge. On 11 October, a paid guided tour was conducted for educational book publishers and exhibitors from India to meet and interact with international educational publishers and service providers. Read more

Kobo launches in India
Kobo has officially launched in India through partnerships with bookstores Crossword, W H Smith and electronics store Croma.

Kobo’s e-bookstore has also launched, featuring 95% of top-selling Indian authors including Jhumpa Lahiri, Ramachandra Guha and Sachin Garg alongside international bestsellers such as Dan Brown, John Grisham and Lee Child.

Kobo’s general manager Wayne White said he believed India was in the early stages of a 25-year transformation from print to digital reading. Read more

Announcing GLOBALOCAL 2014: The Forum for Content
The fifth edition of GBO New Delhi’s annual event, GLOBALOCAL: The Forum for Content, is slated to be held on 13-14 February 2014 in New Delhi.

In 2014, GLOBALOCAL will again have an exciting mix of roundtables, rights & licenses training, matchmakings, keynote presentations and networking breaks. But the new additions for this year will be thematic workshops led by noted practitioners and an Experts’ Table with a panel of industry experts there to provide guidance. There are also going to be ample opportunities to meet peers, professionals, new business partners, to present your products/ideas, and interact with people from the publishing and allied industries from all over.

For expressions of interest and queries, please contact Shabnam Sudha Srivastava, Manager- Sales & Marketing at

ALMA Nomination for 4 Indian Publishers
Astrid Lindgren, one of Sweden’s most important authors, died in 2002 at the age of 94. To honour her memory and to promote interest in children’s and young adult literature around the world, the Swedish government founded an international award in her name, the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA).

The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award is presented every year. The award money is SEK 5 million, making it the largest international children’s and young adult literature award in the world. The huge amount awarded as prize money indicates that reading by children and young adults is extremely important. The prize is intended to inspire anyone involved in children’s literature.

The award is presented to authors, illustrators, oral storytellers and reading promoters. The award may be presented to a single laureate or to several, regardless of language or nationality.

This year, 4 Indian publishers – Tara Books, Pratham Books, A&A Book Trust and Katha – have been nominated for the award. The entire list of candidates is here.

CUP to take full ownership of CUP India
Cambridge University Press has taken full ownership of CUP India ahead of the retirement of founding partner and managing director Manas Saikia, saying the move will “accelerate further investment for growth”. While Saikia is retiring from the board, he will stay on as MD during a transition period until April 2014.

CUP said under Saikia’s leadership, CUP India had seen “huge growth”. Saikia also helped to lead the fight against large-scale piracy and the development of cost effective copyright clearance, helping to create the Association of Publishers in India (API) and the Indian Reprographic Rights Organisation (IRRO), CUP said. Read more

Bringing back the joys of reading
National Book Trust director M.A. Sikandar is ecstatic that, as part of the upcoming National Book Week, NBT will sign an MoU with the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation. This agreement will enable NBT to exhibit its gargantuan collection of scholarly as well as children’s books at metro stations in the Capital from November 14 to 20.

For the World Book Fair, the NBT Director said his organisation was pulling out all stops to ensure that the nine-day event becomes a roaring success. “Nurturing reading skills and making books easily available to the public is our primary goal. Reading encourages people to imagine, expands their mental horizon and widens their views on politics, cultural heritage and economics. Since reading has undergone a change, we will also be showcasing e-books.”

As Poland will be the guest of honour country, the NBT director has requested the Polish Government to also send its Nobel laureates so that they can share their vision before the visitors. English translations of Polish literature, children’s books and new books from Poland would be up for grabs.

During the fair, the New Delhi Rights Table will offer a business-to-business match-making session between publishers in a refreshing new business ambience. This format will enable participants to book their own rights table, present their products and ideas and also tentatively finalise their agreements for transfer of translation and other rights of books available in English, Hindi and other Indian languages.

In a new development, the recent MoU signed between Korean Publishers Association and NBT would facilitate entry of Korean books in a big way. Read more

Konkani Wikipedia in the making
The Goa University has re-launched a four-volume Konkani Vishwakosh (Konkani encyclopaedia) and announced its plan to upload the same on Wikipedia so as to build the Konkani Wikipedia.

The project is seen as a major stride in Konkani learning, research and production of books. The project, which will involve 42 students of the Konkani Department of Goa University including four designated as Ambassadors of Konkani, will turn students into producers of knowledge rather than mere consumers of knowledge. The University has signed a three-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Centre for Internet and Society (CIS) for building up the Konkani Wikipedia. Read more

Akademi to convert 1,001 books into digital format
The Kerala Sahitya Akademi here will publish as many as 1,001 books that completed the copyright terms from its collection of books in a digitalised format soon, so as to make them available to the public through free licensing, according to Kerala Sahitya Akademi secretary R Gopalakrishnan.

The books that completed the copyright terms have been classified in this regard, which will soon be converted into digital format, so that anyone can have access to it free of cost, he said, adding that it would be a continuing process as more books published by the Akademi over the years will have to be added to the digital collection based on the validity of their copyright terms. Read more

Book fair to hit Chandigarh after 18 years
After nearly 18 years, the Chandigarh Book Fair will be held from November 13 to November 18. Preparations are on in full swing for the event, which will be organized by the Chandigarh administration, in collaboration with National Book Trust, New Delhi.

More than 100 publishers from across the country will participate in the fair. Authors from various states will be invited. Read more

E-merging literature
The first authentic Marathi e-book was launched on Friday by Mehta Publishing House, one of the largest Marathi language publishers. These are to be the first digital rights enabled (DRM) Marathi e-books in the country, which means that the books are not only piracy-free, but also have better quality, usability, fonts, text flow and other features. The event was attended by Sunil A Mehta, Managing Director, Mehta Publishing House, as well as Mrinal Kulkarni and Ravindra Mankani, while celebrated consultant Dimakh Sahasrabuddhe spoke about the technical aspects of e-books. The books will ensure a wider audience for Marathi literature and will help in promoting the language among the youth. The e-books may be purchased at Read more
MAC Charities awards announced
The MAC Charities has announced its annual awards for promotion of Tamil language and literature and excellence in fine arts and entrepreneurship.

R. Selvaganapathy, Tamil scholar, has been chosen for the Dr. Rajah Sir Annamalai Chettiar Award for outstanding contribution to Tamil language and literature, according to a release from the Charities.

The recipients will get a cash prize of Rs. 1 lakh each and a citation in a silver casket at a function here on October 12, on the occasion of the 95th birth anniversary of M.A. Chidambaram, the release added. Read more

Top Manga publisher set to make India entry
The largest US-based Manga publishers is all set to make its entry to India.

“The Indian market is especially important to us as we expand our reach and distribution of our English language manga around the world,” says Kevin Hamric, director of publishing and marketing of VIZ Media, which has headquarters in San Francisco and distributes, markets and licenses anime and Manga titles from Japan.

Manga are Japanese comic books, read from right to left, covering a broad range of genres, including action and adventure, science-fiction and fantasy, romance, historical drams, sport, food and the paranormal. The two main categories are Shonen – generally for boys and tending to be more action orientated, and Shojo – for girls and tending towards romance and the paranormal. Read more

  Opinion & Analysis  
Demand for printed books still strong in India despite global decline
While the e-book explosion has led to the closure of bookstores in many parts of the world, the book market in India has shown a remarkable resilience.

Experts believe the trend is here to stay for some time.

Dr Ashok Gupta, general secretary at the Federation of India Publishers, said: “Growth potential is very high — that means for another 50 to 100 years, we can continue to grow in the educational sectors…the market is so big. Read more

No takers for e-publishing?
The multiple roles that e-publishing calls for translates to a range of career profiles — proof readers, copy editors, graphic designers, page designers and project managers.

While the e-publishing industry is on the lookout for freshers every year, colleges or institutions offering a certificate or diploma course in e-publishing, are almost non-existent, leading to a dearth of employable candidates. “The industry requires freshers every year as most projects have roles that necessitate a 60: 40 ratio of experienced hands to entrants,” says an HR manager of a top multinational publishing firm in Puducherry. Read more

Band of Brothers: NE writers explore new frontiers
Avoiding the cliched conflict-related literature and other adages attached to the northeast, new and young writers are making their forays into different genres.

From crime fiction and youth-related themes to the historical legacy of Tibet, they are exercising their talent earning rave reviews from critics and catching readers’ attention. They are also being published by some of the big names in the publishing world.

Somnath Batabayal’s ‘The Price You Pay’ was recently released in the city. Batabayal, now based in the UK, has set his crime fiction in the backdrop of New Delhi’s underbelly, and is gripping and dark. ‘Wind Horse’ by Kaushik Barua, is a historical fiction set in the backdrop of the resistance movement in Tibet will be released soon by an international publishing house. His novel explores the suffering and heroism of the Tibetian people. Historical fiction is generally considered a tough literary endeavour.

Janice Pariat’s ‘Boats on Land’, was well received by critics and recently won a Sahitya Akademi award. Pariat explores the sights and sounds of her native Meghalaya in different time phases. Aruni Kashyap’s ‘The House With a Thousand Stories’ also published by a noted publishing house and has earned rave reviews from literary critics and is getting a good response from readers.Read more

  Events & New Book Releases  
Dance as a daily offering
The Marg publication series devoted to classical Indian dance, edited by Dr.Sunil Kothari, has been further enriched by the latest study on Sattriya, the classical dance of Assam. It is a compilation of nine chapters by experts, who analyse the different components of Sattriya.

Sattriya is revealed as a living, evolving tradition, rooted in the philosophy and vision of saint-preacher-reformer-artist-composer Sankaradeva (1499-1568). The history of the bhakti movement behind the rise of Sattriya, the socio-cultural-religious context and the rise of the sattra, make for interesting reading. Read more

Reproduction of Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘Harijan’ to be released
The facsimile version of ‘Harijan’, a weekly publication started by Mahatma Gandhi, to highlight the social and economic problems of India and the world, was released on Sept. 30, 2013.

“‘Harijan’ is one of the two main publications of Gandhiji. While Young India has already been published,
‘Harijan’ was yet to be published,” Vivek Desai, managing trustee of Navajivan Trust, which holds the rights of publication of literature related to Mahatma Gandhi, said. The nineteen volumes will be reprinted for the first time, he said. Read more

Mamoni books to be released in 5 languages
A Guwahati-based publishing house will observe the 72nd birth anniversary of writer Mamoni Raisom Goswami by releasing her books in five languages.

Goswami was a popular Assamese writer who won the Sahitya Akademi and Mrityunjoy awards, among others, for her contribution to literature. She passed away on November 29, 2011.

The book release will be held at ITA cultural complex at Machkhowa on November 14, Goswami’s birth anniversary, in association with South East Asia Ramayani Research Centre, a research institute set up by her in 2008 to carry out research on the Ramayan. The books to be released are Adha Lekha Dostabej (an unfinished autobiography) in Khasi, Dontal Hatir Unye Khowa Hauda (The moth-eaten howdah of the tusker) in Mising, Sinnomostar Manuhto (The Man from Shinnamosta) in Nepali, Nilokonthi Brojo (The Blue-necked Braja) in Bengali and a short story collection in Bodo. Read more

Inking the Anglo-Indian saga
With fiction and non-fiction titles, the Anglo-Ink publishing house, a venture by Harry MacLure, encourages quality writing.

He, however, adds that Anglo-Ink is not a mere commercial venture, as it also aims to provide a platform for aspiring writers who struggle to find publishers.

The first title was The Year Before Sunset by Hugh & Colleen Gantzer, followed by Lillooah Revisited by Denis Whitworth and Blood and Steel by Brig D E Hayde. The latest title launched is Footprints On the Track.

MacLure says that the publishing house is open to non-Anglo-Indians writing about the community as well. Apart from the new titles, the publishing house is also looking at reprinting literary works by Anglo-Indian writers that have gone out of print. Read more

Vernacular road to love
Mills and Boon, the iconic and most widely read romance fiction series published by Harlequin Enterprises Ltd, has forayed into the regional publishing market with translations of the popular English titles in Hindi, Tamil, Malayalam and Marathi.

Out in the stands is its first titles in Malayalam, Bossinte Pranayini and Veendum Thalirkunna Chillakal . Mills & Boon Malayalam are available at kiosks, bookstores and organised retail stores for an introductory price of Rs. 99. Read more

  New Books!  

Reconstructing the Bengal Partition: The Psyche Under a Different Violence

By: Jayanti Basu
Published by: Stree
ISBN: 978-81-906760-9-0
Price: Rs 650.00
Pages: 292



The General Is Up

By: Peter Nazareth
Published by: Goa, 1556
Publication Date: October, 2013
Price: Rs 200.00
Pages: 170



Red Blooms in the Forest

By: Nilima Sinha
Published by: Niyogi Books
ISBN: 9789381523995
Price: Rs 350.00
Pages: 244



अर्थशास्त्र का मर्म क्या है?

लेखक: अमित भादुरी
प्रकाशक: एकलव्य
ISBN: 9789381300725
मूल्य: Rs 25.00
पृष्ठों: 40



The Bookworm

Written by Lavanya R. N.
Art by Shilo Shiv Suleman
Published by: Karadi Tales
ISBN: 978-81-8190-180-4
Price: Rs 95.00



The Promise of Power: The Origins of Democracy in India and Autocracy in Pakistan

Written by Maya Tudor
Published by: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107046061
Price: Rs 595.00



The Start Up Diaries

Written by Neeti Jain & Gagan Jain
Published by: CinnamonTeal Publishing
ISBN: 978-93-83175-34-5
Price: Rs 249.00



Decent Work: Insights from India’s IT Industry

Written by Nausheen Nizami & Narayan Prasad
Published by: Sage India
ISBN: 9788132111597
Price: Rs 795.00

  To have your books listed here, please send all details and a cover image to writetous@  

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