Plans on pushing out close to 800 titles by the end of the year
Penguin Books India has launched its first instalment of e-books, with over 200 titles presently available, paving the way for a fledgling e-book market.
While the announcement precedes Flipkart’s proposed e-book launch, the company is initially targeting major international retailers such as Amazon and Apple and plans on including Indian retailers soon.
“The idea behind this is to basically catch up on the digital model of publishing. While the current tranche consists of 240 Indian titles, which includes all the new books published in 2012, we are planning on pushing out close to 800 titles by the end of the year,” said Ananth Padmanabhan, Vice-President, Sales, Penguin Books India.
“Over the course of the year, we will continue to publish from the remaining best-seller backlist, and by January 2013, we plan to offer all new books in print and e-book editions,” he said.
E-books, which by the end of the year will contribute to 5 per cent of Penguin Book India’s revenue, have become popular due to the rapid growth of tablets and smartphones along with expansion of the Indian publishing industry.
Presently, the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry estimates that the publishing industry is growing at a compounded rate of 30 per cent annually.
While Indian readers will presently have to buy from international retailers, thereby paying a higher price, Penguin Books India hopes that will change soon.
“When we look at Indian retailers, which can provide a rupee price to customers, there are a number of security audits which we have to do to make sure that there is no software piracy and digital rights management issues. We are currently in talks and hope to have something solid soon, while the e-book industry develops here,” Mr. Padmanabhan said.
“E-books are a serious consideration for revenue generation, in the next three years we are looking at it contributing close to 15 per cent of our revenue.
“However we believe that it will continue to flourish along with the print publishing, one will not cannibalise the other.”