News / Asia

Struggling Publishers Look at India’s Thriving Book Market

Struggling Book Publishers Look at India’s Growing Market
Struggling Book Publishers Look at India’s Growing Market
TEXT SIZE - +
Aru Pande
— Despite more people turning to e-books in the digitized world, the printed word is still a first choice for the majority in India. Foreign publishers are increasingly tapping into the South Asian country to take advantage of the world's third largest English-language book market, which, unlike others, is seeing double-digit growth.

Forget e-readers. For many Indians, like Shema Kallimel, there is no comparison to turning the pages of a hardback.

"My dad says as a kid, when I didn’t know how to read and write, I would take his big fat books and just start flipping," she said.
 
She is not alone. While a technology boom has meant the closing of bookstores in many parts of the world, here in India the market for books is thriving.
 
The boom is evident in the more than 1.4 million people who will visit the annual New Delhi World Book Fair, where 1,100 exhibitors from India and around the world display their latest books.

At the Harper Collins India stall, American bestsellers are stacked alongside the latest works by Indian authors.
 
Minakshi Thakur says the U.S. publisher will put out 160 books by Indians this year to keep up with the country’s growing readership.

“India has got the largest youth population, one of the largest now, and literacy is growing in India very fast - and that’s proportionate to the readership growing in India -  and that’s why I think the book industry is growing, There are more people writing in English," said Thakur.

Indeed, more writers are catering to the millions of English-speakers in India. 

Binny Kurian is with the National Book Trust India, the publishing house that organizes the book fair and was created decades ago to promote reading.

“Even if you talk of the English-speaking population, which they say is about three percent, then when you put it into a one billion and over [population], three percent works out to be a huge, huge market - thousands and thousands of colleges and universities.  They all make up something you can sustain for generations and generations," said Kurian.

Dozens of foreign publishers have set up shop in India to tap into a growing market that is shrinking elsewhere.
 
"Teaching the concept of math or science through the storybook, the editorial content combined with the illustration, is something that is not available here yet," said Greg Taylor, who is with a South Korean company that wants to give Indian schoolchildren a new take on learning."

His and other foreign companies here hope to leave the book fair with a deal that will give them entry into India’s lucrative market.

Nielsen Book, the U.S.-based information provider, began tracking book sales in India in 2010. The company found that, in 2011, the volume of book sales grew by 45 percent during the first half of the year alone.

And that figure is said to only account for just over a third of India’s book market, since small, independent retailers - who often do not keep electronic records of their sales - sell many of the books in the country.

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid