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Big players of the publishing world throng India to find buyers

G. Venkataramana Rao
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Children looking at a book on dinosaurs at the Book festival in Vijayawada.- Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar
Children looking at a book on dinosaurs at the Book festival in Vijayawada.- Photo: Ch. Vijaya Bhaskar

The big players in the publishing world are thronging to India in their effort to find buyers.

Several foreign publishers who preferred to simply export books to India have now taken the trouble to set up Indian subsidiaries and publish Indian editions.

Many of these publishers participated in the Vijayawada Book Festival, which is steadily gaining importance in the world of publishing.

The Indian subsidiary of Cambridge University Press, one of the oldest publishing houses in the world, the Cambridge University Press India Ltd. participated in the book fair. Similarly Oxford University Press, Macmillan, Penguin Books India, Harper Collins, Taylor and Francis Books and Pearson from the United Kingdom, Springer (India) Private Ltd. and Elsevier (India) from Scandinavian countries and Scholastic and Hachette from the United States participated in the book fair.

Large market size

Book Festival Society President D. Ashok Kumar said two reasons have forced foreign publishers to sit up and notice the Indian market. A major reason was the huge size of the market.

The fast growing population of the country compensated for the low literacy percentages. The number of literate persons in the country was larger than what it was in some of the developed countries because of the large population.

The second reason for foreign publishing companies to set up shops in India was the severe recession that was sweeping the developed world, he says.

Oxford University Press Academic Division in-charge, M.Joseph, said the company was selling imported books for Indian prices at its stall in the book festival. This is one of the ways in which the longstanding publishing house is trying to retain its flock of customers.

Indian publishers like Jaico, S.Chand, Orient Paperbacks and Orient Blackswan (earlier Orient Longman) are also coming out with innovative marketing strategies and new books on a wide range of subjects. The design and covers have also improved in an effort to give foreign publishing companies a run for their money.


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