How is the publishing industry geared up for 2020? Here, we present different views on the current scenario in India and how this can be changed to the benefit of the industry.
Bookshops are at the risk of closing down
All educational books business have shifted from retail shop to school/colleges and coaching classes.Most school/colleges sell books in their campus and make it compulsory for students to buy books from them only. From last 2-3 years now, coaching classes and private tuitions have also started selling books or they make combo package with tuition fees for giving books. Besides, many publishers have different policy for doing business with school/college/classes & bookshops. They give higher discount to schools/colleges than retail bookshops, whichI think which is very unfair. This has affected the business seriously and most of the bookshops are at risk of closing down.
On the other hand, sale of general books has become low due to changing habit of people. Due to digital revolution, people now are more interested in electronic gadget than reading books. Now people are more willing to spend on smart phones rather than books. Also with
easy availability of e-Books on online platform and with reduced price (25% price of physical books), sale of books is very low.
We are facing lots of competition from online portals because of heavy discounts they are offering to customer. It is very difficult for local book store to offer such discount. Also by offering other facilities like next day delivery and cash on delivery customer are more willing to buy online then to visit bookshop.”
–Abdul Qadir Bookwala,
Ujwal Book Depot, Mumbai
concept in book selling should be introduced
We truly believe that buying books online is very much convenient for the readers who don’t have easy access to the book stores. In this regard, online books stores are fairly playing their part. What is creating trouble is the attitude of the publishers and/or distributors. If the publisher/distributors make sure that the books shall not be sold on a high discount to individual buyers through online book stores, than the book stores will not face any trouble. This is for sure!
We have to keep in mind that impulsive buying helps the book store to run with all the books whereas through online book store only customer-centric books get sold. We at R R Sheth Publishers (a leading book publishing house in Gujarati language since 1926) have made sure that none of our distributor and/or retailer sells our books on online channel at not more than 10% to 12% discount. This helps us to maintain our brand at higher standard in both offline and online markets.
We should introduce Market-Operated-Price (MOP) concept in book selling also which is widely accepted in electronics market., If we can balance discounts and services in proper sync between online and offline store then we can be certain that our offline stores can breathe heavenly. This balance means that offline stores should have more offering than online stores. This way we can also make bookstore a social place for likeminded people who love books and reading. This is not possible through online channels on broadly sense.”
Director, R R Sheth & Co Pvt Ltd, Ahmedabad