Exploring the new form of the book!

What then are the new forms that a book can take? To Jumpstart this discussion with creative industry leaders and experts, the German Book Office, New Delhi organised. Beyond the Book in Mumbai and Delhi, the 2019 edition of the annual content creator’s congress – JUMPSTART, shares Prashasti Rastogi, GBO, New Delhi.


A primary industrial (commercial) imperative within the contemporary entertainment industry is a pattern of repetitive media consumption across a range of forms. For this reason, adaptations dominate the media landscape from video games to television spin-offs to webisodes, establishing what producers hope will be an ongoing entertainment experience without boundaries,” writes, Linda Hutcheon in A Theory of Adaptation. In the digital era, the book or story has the potential to take not just many forms but in fact become a universe in itself.

“This is the best time for publishing since Gutenberg,” Penguin Random House’s CEO Markus Dohle said at the 2019 Frankfurt Book Fair. It is a time to create and narrate stories because you can reach new readers with a tap on the mobile phone. At this time the biggest hunt is on for stories that fly out of the book ends and become a drama, a game, a film, a podcast, or the characters to be found in retail stores. What then are the new forms that a book can take? To Jumpstart this discussion with creative industry leaders and experts, the German Book Office, New Delhi organised Beyond the Book in Mumbai and Delhi, the 2019 edition of the annual content creator’s congress ~ JUMPSTART.

The conversation in the book industry is shifting, its not only about increasing the reach to the readers and finding new technology that enables it but also about making connections and learn the new styles of storytelling which are being widely consumed over mobile devices.

Beyond the Book: JUMPSTART

Beyond the Book: JUMPSTART brought the industry leaders of prominence both from media and publishing face to face with authors to infuse ideas and collaborations. Producers and content heads from Voot by Viacom 18, Endemol Shine, Star shared their unique perspectives, examined case study models, networked, brainstormed and ideated through various interactive sessions including workshops, masterclasses, presentations and panel discussions. It was a star studded affair with Neeraj Jain, MD, Scholastic India; Jiggy George, Founder, Dream Theatre & President of Licensing International; Venke Sharma, Head, Digital at STAR; Mrinalini Khanna, VP, Endemol Shine; Siddarth Jain, Story Ink; Mita Kapur, CEO, Siyahi; Paro Anand and Bilal Siddiqui of Bard of Blood fame amongst other key players from the industry.

Themes discussed

Key themes addressed at JUMPSTART were:

  • The opportunities created for content creators in the emerging digital landscape.
  • An overview of Indian children’s literature landscape.
  • What is potential for growth in children’s content and what are the opportunities for writers and illustrators.
  • The journey of a book to screen and the author’s play.

In partnership with Licensing International, JUMPSTART presented opportunities in licensing and merchandising while online platforms Wattpad showcased how data and diversity is the future of publishing. This year’s edition engaged with writers and illustrators and explore the various opportunities they have to extend their books into a larger universe of media and products; look at content creation opportunities for mediums beyond print and look at the book as a form in completely different ways. The primary focus of this festival is to provide a forum for international and Indian experts to share their work and knowledge, connect professionals in the content industry with each other and facilitate collaboration, as well as offer expertise and skill development for content professionals through invigorating masterclasses on writing, animation and author branding and promotion.

Delhi edition of JUMPSTART invited Jan Weitendorf von Hacht, CEO of W1 Media Germany who presented case studies of diverse content models across print and digital and non-traditional sales touchpoints like car apps or lifestyle stores for published content. In his interactive Masterclass, Jan Weitendorf talked about consumer research, moodboards, customer personas and use big data to make publishing decisions.

Big Data and AI

Big Data and AI is gaining traction in the publishing world and this year’s Frankfurter Buchmesse had a few sessions focused on this theme. In a white paper on “AI in Publishing” published in collaboration with Goldfinch Gmbh, a study reports that publishers are interested but a bit unsure about the developments and capital outlays involved. The report says that marketing & distribution are likely to be the two fields were Big data and AI can be the most beneficial in the short term, followed by (supportive functions of) editorial. There also seems to potential in the optimizationof administration, production and press% of answers departments.

Following the cue, GBO New Delhi has planned a series of workshops across cities in India with experts from Germany to demystify practice of AI in publishing. The workshops are planned for January and the schedules will be out soon. The white paper on AI in publishing is available for download on Frankfurter Buchmesse website https://www.buchmesse.de/en/press/press-releases/2019-10-10-kunstliche-intelligenz-der-verlagsbranche-frankfurter-buchmesse-und

Monthly podcasts…

Taking the conversations around transmedia collaborations a step ahead, GBO New Delhi has started a monthly series of podcasts to capture trends from media and publishing in conversation with creative industry leaders to facilitate a network of collaborators. This podcast series features leaders making an impact in the creative sector. The content will focus on disruption, what it takes for creative entrepreneurs to succeed, especially in tough business conditions; we speak to them about how the industry has evolved and their own journey. The podcast is available on all channels including Spotify, Hubhopper,

Apple and Google. It can also be heard on www.globalocalforum.com

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