Mission Skill at FPBAI!


Training and development can be described as an academic process which includes the sharpening of skills, concepts, changing of attitude and gaining more knowledge to enhance the performance of personnel.

The biggest and the most difficult challenge for a conventional publisher will be the overhauling of organizational set-up. The roles required and organizational structures of even modern publishers will not suffice in this new landscape. Digital production can no longer be a small sub-division of the technical people. In addition to a digital team, the engagement and customer insight team will need to grow. The senior management needs to have a wider vision.

Having such vision in mind, the Federation of Publishers and Booksellers Association of India (FPBAI) is planning to initiate skill training for all ranks engaged in publishing industry. To achieve this, the Federation has initiated to organize seminars on skill development, to which SC Sethi, President-FPBAI, terms as ‘Mission Skill’. He says that we cannot change the direction of the wind but we can adjust our sails to reach our destination.

In view of the above, Sethi, with his team decided to organize three training programmes on the following subjects: Acquisition, Evaluation of Manuscript and Copy Editing; Various Aspects of Book Production; and Marketing and, Sales of Printed and e-Books.

The first of its kind was organized at Federation office on January 19, 2019. Almost 20 candidates participated in the seminar. Addressing the audience, Sethi said that there is no doubt that book industry has a threat to his existence, mainly from digital media, slump in the international market and internal competition among the booksellers by offering heavy discount. “Despite all this the printed books are still sought after by readers in India. There is a rise in reading culture and the sudden spurt in national and straight level literature festival. This is evident from the book fairs being organized across the globe. However to mitigate the lurking challenges publishing industry requires a good shape for which constant training and updates are required,” he said. Sethi said that this seminar is a beginning in that direction.

There were two sessions of the seminar on Acquisition, Evaluation of Manuscript and Copy Editing. The first session was deliberated on: (i) Acquisition of a Manuscript by Dr. Dinesh Sinha, a publishing luminary, having to his credit an illuminating experience of more than 30 years; (ii) The deliberation of Evaluation of a Manuscript was given by Prof. G.S. Jolly, who is a publishing consultant and was on the course faculty of College of Vocational Study, Delhi University for a number of years.

The second session was divided in two parts: (i) Editing: House Style, Copy-editing and Tools, Grammar and Punctuation; and Editing (Practical). Both the lectures were delivered by Dr. Malini Sood, who did her Ph.D. in US history from Stony Brook University, New York, USA. Malini Sood is an editor, writer, researcher, historian and publishing consultant. The participants were spell bound from her art of rhetoric and highly informative deliberations.

The seminar was organized under the overall supervision of SK Ghai, Chairman-Seminar Committee. Ghai gave the vote of thanks alongwith a piece of advice that such seminars need to be the recurring feature in the times to come.

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