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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