“We expect healthy growth in Hindi publishing in near future”
says Pranav Johri, partner, Rajpal & Sons, in conversation with Varsha Verma of AABP.
Pranav JohriAABP: What is your motivation to be in the Hindi language publishing space? What are the trends in this space?
Pranav: Our publishing house Rajpal & Sons has been in the Hindi language publishing space for 105 years. In the recent years, with the growth of new retails channels like online sellers and kindle, and with the growth in Hindi media, we have seen a healthy growth in Hindi publishing. Though the numbers in Hindi publishing are smaller compared to English publishing, I do expect healthy growth in the near future in Hindi publishing.
AABP: Can you talk about the challenges you face?
Pranav: Lack of distribution and lack of bookstores for Hindi books are two main challenges in Hindi language publishing.
AABP: Can you describe your readers in India and overseas?
Pranav: Our readers range from the young in age to the more experienced readers. Since we have a large and diverse catalogue, we cater to the reading interests of different age groups and tastes. For example, authors like Sudeep Nagarkar are more popular amongst young readers, while Shivani and Acharya Chaturesen are more popular amongst older readers. Some authors like Harivansh Rai Bachchan, Devdutt Pattanaik and RK Narayan are popular with both young and older readers.
AABP: Has there been digital adoption of your products?
Pranav: Yes, about 30% of our catalogue is available in ebook format. Even though digital sales comprise a small percentage of our total sales currently, I expect this area to show healthy growth in the near future.
AABP: What has been the print runs in the last 3 to 5 years?
Pranav: For a normal book, the print run is 1000-2000 copies. For a bestselling book, the print run ranges from 5000-10,000 copies depending on estimated demand.
AABP: Are you selling any translation rights of your books into other Indian and/or foreign languages?
Pranav: Yes, we have sold translation rights of our books both in Indian languages and foreign languages. In Indian languages, many of our titles have been translated into Marathi. Gujarati and Malayalam languages. In foreign languages, multiple titles have been translated into Chinese (Mandarin), Thai, Korean and Spanish languages.
AABP: What all fairs you participate in India and internationally?
Pranav: Internationally, we participate in Frankfurt and London Book Fairs. Last year, I was invited to attend Paris Book Fair and found that to be a good experience. In India, we participate in the New Delhi World Book Fair, Kolkata Book Fair, besides book fairs in Jaipur, Patna, Lucknow and Allahabad.