Meet the Publisher: Kalpana Shukla


Managing Director,
KW Publishers Pvt Ltd

KW Publishers Pvt Ltd is celebrating 20 years of publishing and 2018 is an important year for KW for new initiatives and announcements. Here’s more on this two-decade-old publishing house. AABP: Share the history & journey of KW Publishers?

Kalpana: In the 1980s, I felt that there was an urgent need for a structured and systematic method in addressing book supplies; especially for the corporate sector. Thus, Knowledge World was formed to work in an intelligent way to understand and meet the needs of customers for their training programs as well as for the setting up of libraries from the embryo stage. This was met with success which encouraged us to move in the direction. It also helped that the business grew due to word of mouth. The need then was to assure some amount of assurance on deliveries keeping in mind that communication and information were slow to reach. This success and meeting many book lovers who were keen to develop their libraries with only books that were relevant to their subject helped. We moved from strength to strength and in 1998 were given an opportunity to publish our first book Nuclear India. Between publishing and working on procuring relevant titles for each customer, we privatised our company in the early 2000s. This resulted in a fresh wave of thoughts, ideas, systems and learning for the entire team to reinvent their working methods. The team grew in numbers and we were able to move to our own premises to further increase the business to yet another vertical of journals, for which we collaborated with some of the think tanks we work with. This was a challenge since journals do need a different expertise in promotion as well as handling, this too has grown over the years to a steadily rising subscription base.

AABP: What are the major genres you publish in?

Kalpana: Our main focus area remains defence and security studies, international relations, politics, diplomacy. After building up a strong list in this subject, we have now developed a list in Management and Commerce, Technical and Vocational Education, Young Adult Fiction, etc. Initially we felt the need to build up on the publishing of titles of the same genre before venturing into other areas. This helped in a focussed market penetration in terms of promotion and marketing, thus creating demand and sales. Most importantly, it helped in branding the business KW is now known for.

AABP: How many titles you have? What are the print runs of your titles?

Kalpana: We have over 500 titles till date and our print runs are subjected to each book and our marketing departments vision for sales.

AABP: You also represent a number of international publishers. Please give details about the kind of arrangement you have with them?

Kalpana: We represent Human Kinetics, Rowman&Littlefield, Casemate, Emerald Publishing, Georgetown University Press. The publishers we represent view KW as their co-partners in South Asia. This is an added responsibility we have knowingly taken on and requires immense work in the promotions of the product not only to the trade but into institutions too.

AABP: Do you also co-publish? If yes, give details.

Kalpana: We have co-published some books with Taylor and Francis and are in conversation with others for most of our titles. This helps us achieve globalisation of our books keeping in mind that our authors are well established internationally.

AABP: Any expansion plan?

Kalpana: Expansion plans are always afoot if one needs to remain in business. 2018 is an important year for KW and do watch out for new initiatives and announcements.

AABP: What about distribution and reach of your books? And what about author relationships?

Kalpana: KW has created a strong network of channel partners and the bond has become strong in the years of business.

In the 20 years of publishing, KW has created a strong relationship with Authors who are internationally known as well as built good relationships for sales. This is only possible if you are confident of your product the rest follows.

AABP: Anything else you would like to add…

Kalpana: Our journey began with a motto: The Quest for Knowledge is an Unending Adventure… this continues even today. KW is committed to ‘responsible publishing’ which we have consciously maintained. In continuing with this principle, we now simultaneously to our motto above add one more: the new motto of KW is KNOWLEDGE WITH SUBSTANCE.

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