Book distribution

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Thousands of book stores@a click

A1WebStores is a true and most admired online marketplace for book buyers! Visiting www.a1webstores.com is like visiting thousands of stores, seamlessly. Kishore Venkatesh shares the journey….so far…so good!

“A1WebStores enviably positions itself as a dependable partner for Indian book industry that helps them grow their business in terms of customer base and new market segments. We have no competitors as all are our friends. We work with everyone. Daryganj and Nai Sarak lanes in Delhi form the book hubs of Asia. The Indian publishing industry publishes 70,000 new titles every year in English, Hindi and in more than 30 Indian regional languages. It has over 800 million readers, around 18,000+ publishers and book exports worth almost INR-Rs. 4,290 million. These are figures that need to travel from the exciting lanes of Daryaganj and Nai Sarak to the world of A1WebStores marketplace, so that they are easily accessible by millions of book buyers. This is what our key objective is,” told Kishore Venkatesh of A1WebStores.

Our warehousing facility in India and USA and access to UK publishers and sellers adds punch to our Indian initiatives. This makes it possible and easier to offer the widest ever range and best collection of books on all subjects, for all age groups and to suit varying purchase budgets. It currently lists over 6.44 million ready-to-ship book titles from India, USA and UK.

Further sharing more about this initiative, Venkatesh explained, “We have been selling books online since 2007 in India. It has not been easy, but we are moving slowly toward our key objectives.”

“Being an advanced web technology online marketplace platform, the publishers are able to manage with ease their product catalogues and inventory and sell directly to ordering buyers. This ensures authenticity and correctness of listed products, cuts short the transit time of ordered goods to buyers and also ensures frequently updated inventory management,” added Kishore.

Moving forward A1WebStores will take forward with more focus its exciting initiatives to take original Indian books to overseas markets vis-à-vis the POD and eBooks programs of our USA and UK partners, adds Kishore. A1WebStores owes its success to Kishore’s mentor Mr Shinu Gupta, located in USA who has been the driving force behind the Indian success story of A1WebStores.

On a concluding note, he added, “Since launching A1Marketplace in October, 2004, despite odds acting against us, we have received an overwhelming response and boast of more than 4,000 Publishers and sellers from India, USA and UK and the list is growing. We continuously strive to develop the most balanced seller and buyer-centric site available and make selling and buying exciting and great fun too!”

Book distribution help make publishers profitable!

The book distribution business is a vital part of publishing industry. It spreads knowledge and makes the publishers earn profits. Here’s an insight into this business. The industry is changing. There is growth of readers, while retailing points are changing, both online and offline. Retail are shrinking, and book distributors need to reach more B & C towns and remote areas. New ideas sell and digital (e-book and online selling) are giving tough competition,” summarises Ravi, general manager of Manjul Publishing House.

On asking about how he sees book distribution as a profession, Ravi replied, “It is the work which makes company profitable, spreads knowledge and if one has interest in reading books, it is an added advantage. The expanse of our distribution network is across the territory/ or wherever buyers available.”

So what is the criteria for selection of books for distribution? “Profile of author, subject of writing and new thought of writing derives to decide the distribution of a particular title,” replied Ravi.

Warehousing of books is very important aspect of book distribution. “The space of the warehouse of the books depends upon the quantity for all titles supposed to come from press. It is then sorted out as fast moving and regular titles movement from warehouse to customers. For example at our Daryaganj office of Manjul Publshing House, fast moving and regular titles are housed at ground floor and rest on first floor. Then, books are segregated on language basis – English, Hindi titles and other regional languages. Books on racks are sometimes placed author wise and sometimes as fast moving titles as per space available,” shared Ravi. Manjul Publishing House is one of leading publishers of self-help books, besides being a distributor of books for various publishers. “We have distribution arrangements of major publishers like Penguin (Hindi), HarperCollins (Hindi), Yogoda Satsanga Society of India, Himalayan Institute, Rajpal, Rajkamal, Westland, Frozen Thought, Jaico, Qford Books, Pentagon Press etc,” he added.

On asking about the MIS systems in place, Ravi replied, “The MIS system should be very easy to operate as during the process of despatching the books, we cannot wait for any extra technical entry on any important order or branches transfer.”

With many libraries now opting for e-books and e-journals, how is this affecting the overall business? “It’s not alarming for carbon books as e-books or e-journals are limited. But, it is important to have digital versions of printed books as well,” concluded Ravi.

Ravi Sethi has been in the industry of books distribution and publishing for the last 25 years, with 20 years in Jaico Publishing House and five in Manjul Publishing House.

Chennai Book Fair ends on a high note

Books give the knowledge and direction to grow in life, said Mylswamy Annadurai, ISRO scientist, while inaugurating the fair. “Reading books not only enriches one’s knowledge but also conditions one’s emotions,” said R Thandavan, vice chancellor, University of Madras, in his valedictory address. Referring to the huge crowd even on the last day of the fair, he pointed out the event had become an indispensable part of the city’s calendar since it began in 1977.

The ‘book fever’ gripped the book lovers to attend in large numbers the 38th Chennai Book Fair held from January 9-21, 2015, organised by BAPASI (Book Sellers and Publishers Association of South India). M Meenakshi Somasundaram, president, BAPASI, informed that 10 lakh+ visited the fair this time.

Olivannan, treasurer, BAPASI, claimed that the fair is not just to make it a market place for selling books but an opportunity for cultural transformation in society. “This year again we have increased number of stalls than last (750+) constructed over an area of 2,00,000 sq ft area, while 1.3 million visitors attended the fair from Chennai and neighbourhood,” he said.

TS Srinivasan, Giri Trading Agency (foremost publisher of spiritual and religious books, CDs, DVDs, who is a part of organising BAPASI Book Fairs), informed that a book fair will be held at Hamm, Germany during Tamil New Year (April 14, 2015) for five days. “There will be 60 stalls from publishers in India. The whole thing will move subsequently to Dortmund, Germany and then to London. About 1,00,000 Tamils live in Europe,” he said. There is also a Kamakshi Temple in Hamm, he told. “As the enquiries received by BAPASI, books are required in the fields of Law, Medicine, Industries, Real Estate, Managing Labour, etc. and we shall try to add these in the Fair,” he concluded.

–D Ramalingam

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