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The publishing and content startup Bookosmia has acquired Hong Kong-based Mytha, an Indian mythological stories App for children. For Bookosmia, as a curator of vernacular and contemporary content for children, taking up Mytha helped the launch of a unique collection of mythological stories and Indian folk tales for children, digitally. Bookosmia, founded by ex-banker Nidhi Mishra, CEO; and co-founder Archana Mohan, publishes through physical books, e-books and audio formats.

With the acquisition of Mytha, Bookosmia will add a library of over 50 mythological digital stories and two published books. Our story bank now consists of quintessential and little known mythological and folk tales in English, Hindi and other Indian languages, a perfect resource for parents wanting to introduce children to Indian stories. “Right now these stories are solely on Kindle but we plan to publish them as physics books as collections/anthologies in the future,” says Nidhi.

Talking of Indian books accessible to children, Archana feels, “Ask any parent about a regret they have and they are likely to feel that today’s children grow up knowing all about the Potter or Marvel universe but have no idea about the rich heritage of Indian stories. This is especially true for Indian families abroad who have to shell out a lot to import books from India or pick them on their trip to India. This is where Bookosmia comes in.”

Speaking about the earlier books that tested the climate for Bookosmia, Nidhi says “After the retelling of an old Panchatantra tale in ‘I Wish I were’ with rich Indian illustrations by Parvathi Pillai a former Design Head of Chumbak, ‘Yaksha’ a book on Yakshagana as a dying folk art form, surprised even the best brains in the publishing business as it sold out our first print run of 1000 copies within a week when it was launched at Ranga Shankara’s International Theatre Festival for children along with “experiencing” the book, through live Yakshagana performances.”

Although Bookosmia means the smell of books, with the push on digital, Nidhi and Archana are not bent on boxing themselves into a single format. “Stories are fluid. Just like each of us gains something different from the same text we read, we believe the spread of formats helps reach out to different people to experience content in different ways. We are working on a foray into theatre as well with a play based on ‘Yaksha’ in the works,” says Nidhi. The e-book is exciting for the space and convenience it offers in the digital world. “AK Ramanujan said in India, stories are a grandmother away. Bookosmia tries the next alternative by offering 50+ digital stories as of now, all are being released in Hindi in addition to English. Work is on to have them out in Kannada, Tamil, Bengali, Telugu and other languages,” she adds.

According to the India Brand equity Foundation report of 2017 Archana says the books market in India is the sixth largest in the world and the country’s print book market, including imports, stands at US$ 3.9 billion (R26,000 crore). “While these figures look impressive, the digital revolution (more people are gaining access to digital technology) is paving the path for ebooks.”

Elaborating on the the network of some of the finest designers and illustrators from across the world who make Bookosmia’s stories come alive with beautiful imagery in diverse styles, Archana says some of them include Parvati Pillai in Finland, advanced researcher in art Baba Anand in Paris, Art illustrator of Post Magazine Katherine Cafaro in New York, and Shiva Kant Vyas in New Delhi. “Our digital stories are typically 10 to 12 pages in length with an illustration on every page. We have a collection of close to 500 stunning illustrations,” she says.

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Printable version | Jun 10, 2021 4:55:30 AM |

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