|Blogs and Articles
Comments and posts on trends and events in the book industry.
Books will be books
Source: The Hindu
Parragon now turns its attention to tier-II and tier-III cities and towns
After getting a stronghold in metros, Parragon Publishing India is all set to target tier-II and tier-III cities. On the basic strategy to harness the readership there, Vineet Sharma, Managing Director, explains, “Our prices are very nominal – Rs. 95 to 295 – with a majority of the titles under INR 200. In addition, there is further slash in the rates and at the start we have a new range available from Rs.39 onwards (for children’s activity books).”
The company does not want to restrict itself to the English language and has launched 400 bilingual titles, mainly in Bengali and Marathi. New ventures include a collaboration with Disney at a global level; Parragon is the leading licensee with all the major Disney titles.
Read more »Growing up with fiction
Source: Times of India
…publishers across the country are now targeting the YA segment as a separate category and coming up with books that have adolescent Indian protagonists in local settings. HarperCollins Publishers India launched the YA category last year under the Harper imprint while Penguin India rolled out Penguin YA in February 2011. Amar Chitra Katha also plans to come out with two separate YA lists – graphic novels as well as fiction – within six months. All of them are targeting the 14 to 21 age group as a separate segment.
Read more »Copyright as cultural notion
Source: The Telegraph
That book history is gradually coming of age becomes evident when the National Library organises the first BS Kesavan Lecture on this subject that few were aware of even a decade ago. The lecture on Saturday at Bhasha Bhavan on the library premises in the memory of the first National Librarian after Independence was by A.R. Venkatachalapathy of the Madras Institute of Development Studies on the “Cultures of Copyright.”
In the 1940s, the notion of copyright was one of simple transaction – outright sale of copyright for a pittance. When a man said he was a writer, he was asked what he did for a living – the earnings were so meagre. Kalki was a successful journalist and writer, but when he wanted to join the satyagraha, his employer was not happy. He said what Kalki had written was as an employee and thus had to relinquish his copyright. The case was hotly debated in Kerala. The writer’s claim was always made on moral and cultural grounds, not on legal grounds.
When the same song on different topical issues made the rounds, several people would claim authorship. Copyright was recognised only if registered. After Independence, 50 years after the death of Subramanya Bharathi, his songs and works were placed in the public domain in 1949, overruling the legal right of two men. The government gave a decent sum to Bharathi’s widow although she had no legal right, the move stemming from the notion of moral responsibility. Moral and cultural claims superseded legal notions.
Read more »Extending palm-leaf shelf life
In this age of technology, the rare palm leaf manuscripts are like remnants of history. While Orissa is a storehouse of palm leaf manuscripts, the State Museum is being considered as the largest repository in the world with around 50,000 manuscripts.
These are categorised in 27 sections such as Vedas, lexicons, mathematics and art. There are manuscripts on three types of Oriya style of temple architecture – Pidha, Rekha and Khakara.
Researchers believe that the temple architects might have used these manuscripts as references before. translating the designs on stones.
In this regard, a five-day national preventive workshop on manuscript conservation was organised by the State Museum in association with National Mission for Manuscripts (NMM) in Bhubaneswar. Read more »
The Lo-Cal Literati
These young professionals are giving vent to the book in them, sans any literary pretension.
They are the sort of writers who couldn’t get past the security guards outside plush publishing houses. Their books were thrown routinely into the slush pile. But now, as a new generation of readers, famished for books about themselves, buy them by the lakhs, smashing all bestselling records, they are sending publishers into a tizzy. Never before perhaps in the publishing business have so many editors got it so wrong for so long.
Read more »Are estributors the future of publishing?
Enter the concept of estributors, the brainchild of J.A. Konrath, ironically one of the largest and most famous proponents of authors striking out from their publishers and going it alone.
A facilitator who could be a buffer between the author and the business end of self-publishing. I called this position an estributor.The more I began to self-publish, the more I realized what a time suck it was to take care of all the non-writing parts of the job. When you go indie, you essentially become a small business, and take on all the responsibilities for running that business. That cuts into writing time. Doing quick and dirty assessment of my time management and my productivity, I concluded that I could make more money if I gave an estributor 15% to take care of the business side for me, because my increased writing output would more than make up for that cost. Plus, Iâ€™d be happier, because Iâ€™d much rather write for a living than run a business.
Read more »Surinder Mohan Pathak: The King of Hindi Pulp
Source: Times of India
Having retired over 13 years ago from government service, Pathak continues to write four months in a year, working nearly nine hours a day, churning out about three novels a year. “It’s the first 100 pages that take time, the rest of the story just flows.. it’s all about the resolution of the crime.” His book The 65 Lakh Heist (or Painsath Lakh ki Dacoity in Hindi, featuring popular detective Vimal) has been mentioned in the Time magazine among the all-time bestsellers and once, notoriously, a bank robber took tips from one of his crime novels.
His readership remains steadfast, but Pathak admits, “There are not too many new readers.” There are issues with publishing houses, who are not honest about returns, he says. Besides reading his favourite Jack Higgins and other detective fiction, he enjoys watching old Hindi movies. As for new ones, he says, “Sometimes, my son drags me to the multiplex. But, in between, I wish I had a torch so I could read a book.” Interestingly, he gives away all the books he has read and only keeps the ones that he hasn’t.
Read more »
New Book Releases and Events
New book and journal releases, new imprints and other similar events.
The Nor’eastern Post
Note from the Literary Editor of The Nor’eastern Post, Uddipana Goswami
The Nor’eastern Post – a daily soon to be launched from Guwahati, Assam. It promises to be a regional publication with a national and international reach. My aim as literary editor will be to showcase the literatures produced in the Northeastern region to a wider audience as well as to make readers in the region aware of the richness of their own literatures. Literature from the Northeast is usually treated as a homogenous entity, but my effort will be to bring out the diversity within it. It is hoped that this will establish a dialogue of equality and harmony among the many constituents producing the various ‘literatures’ of the Northeast.
This is a call to readers to share their creative and critical writings as well as translations with the newspaper.
- The critical writings/features could relate to any aspect of the literature of any of the regions within the Northeast. They may also deal with particular writers or texts or genres.
- In creative writing, poetry submission is particularly welcome, although space permitting, we might also occasionally carry pieces of fiction/memoir/literary non-fiction.
- We will also devote considerable attention to translations of classic and contemporary literary pieces. The translators must however, have acquired the necessary permissions from the original copyright holder. A short translator’s note and adequate information about the original author are also required.
Contributions from writers living in/hailing from outside the Northeast are especially welcome. I am also looking at ‘mainlanders’ views of Northeast literature.
Please send in your entries to northeastliterature@ gmail.com. To avoid having your email sent to the spam folder, please use the following in the subject line: “Submission: Nor’eastern Post”.
Simon & Schuster all set for India ops
Source: Economic Times
Publisher Simon & Schuster will begin its India operations from August and promises to give readers “the best” in terms of content, price and package besides encouraging home grown talents.
The establishment of Simon & Schuster India (S&SI) is part of Simon & Schuster, Inc’s strategic focus to bringing the works of its authors to widest possible global audience.
As part of its localised publishing and marketing strategy, S&SI will offer titles from S&S’s many worldwide imprints and divisions, including distribution client titles. Books will be rupee-priced and selected and formatted specifically for the Indian marketplace. Inventory for titles published and distributed in India will come primarily via S&S UK, with reprints handled locally.Read more »
Archieji, Bettydidi and Tintinbhai
In June, Archie Comics released the comic book in Hindi and Malayalam. They plan to sell 10,000 copies in Hindi before increasing the print number, and so far, the response has been “quite positive”. In the pipeline are plans to give the comics a desi twist. “We have introduced simple translations of the original intellectual property material, but we plan to Indianise it further if the books get a good response,” says Om Arora of Variety Book Depot, Delhi, who is in charge of the distribution of the comic in India. Thus Archie will become Raj Patel and Betty will sport her girl-next-door look in an Indian attire. “It is still a new concept. We are trying to take it slowly but we recognize that there is a bigger market for Archie in India than what we have tapped. For now, the Indian version is just like the original with the change in the language,” says Jon Goldwater, CEO, Archie Comics. Read more »
One Amazing Journey
Source: The Hindu
The last of the four in the Knit India Through Literature series, this volume on North Indian languages opens up a treasure-trove. Like the earlier three volumes – South, East and West – that focussed on the literature and languages of particular regions, Volume IV – The North dwells on Hindi, Kashmiri, Punjabi, Urdu and Sanskrit literature. The author calls the Knit India Through Literature project of 16 years a literary yagna, during which time she had immersed herself in a sea of literature – “a sea comprising the works of eminent writers from 18 Indian languages.”
Each volume, designed to a pattern of travelogue, interview, history, myth and opinions in a logical format, encourages easy reading. Read more »
Springer to expand footprint in India
Springer, one of the world’s leading publishers of books on advanced science, technology and medicine with 1,000 top Indian writers in its international database, is to expand operations in India, a company official announced.
The German company is planning to increase content, editorial structure and distribution networks to penetrate a wider customer base in India.
The 169-year-old publishing firm has set up a new office in the capital where it will locate 10 editors in different fields to understand Indian sensibilities, content requirement, distribution and facilitate better networking with institutes, scholars’ societies and community of professionals, he added. Read more »
Finding space for their verse
Source: The Hindu
It was for the first time that seven poets, from different backgrounds, got a chance to publish their works collectively. Each of them invested Rs.2,000 to get their maiden works published with the support of the Vettom People’s Collective Book Project. The group included students, daily-wage workers, and school employees. Opportunity knocked at their doors when the publishers invited works from budding poets and screened out the best for publishing.
Na Sheershakam (Untitled), the anthology of 17 Malayalam poems was released by P.K. Pokker, former Director of the State Institute of Languages. Read more »
Albums that tell a story, for Rs 1.5 lakh
Source: The Telegraph, Kolkata
Most of us, at some point or other, have lingered over old family albums, looking at the faded pictures. Now it’s time to read them.
Enter the heritage album, which not only freezes the past through photographs but also tells a family’s story with accompanying text.
The idea came to Abhijit Singh, a Rajput from Tana in Mewar, who wanted to compile a book on his family. The result was a 90-page album with rare pictures and text. His effort got several families in Rajasthan, where many boast of an illustrious past, interested in the concept of heritage albums that tell a story more interesting than a mute collection of faded photographs. Read more »
News from around the world…
Bangkok selected as World Book Capital 2013
Source: newkerala. com
The United Nations (UN) on Wednesday announced that an international committee designated Bangkok, Thailand as World Book Capital 2013.
Representatives from the publishing world, along with the UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), met at the UN agency’s Paris headquarters where they agreed on selecting Bangkok. The committee said it selected Bangkok “for its willingness to bring together all the various stakeholders in the book supply chain and beyond, actors involved in the publication chain for a range of projects proposed, for its community-focused and the high level of its commitment through the proposed activities.” Read more »