“There’s A Promising Future For Illustrated Books”

tells Trisha De Niyogi of Niyogi Books, the publishers of illustrated books in English and Hindi.

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Niyogi Books is one of the biggest names in the illustrated books market from South Asia. “We have published books on a wide range of subjects, from art to photography, philosophy to heritage and culture, textiles to maps, and many others,” tells Trisha De Niyogi of Niyogi Books. “We bring out 60-70 titles a year.”

Illustrated books in Hindi as well…

“We are also the first publisher to have an exclusive line of Illustrated books in Hindi (under the imprint Bahuvachan). In the past, there have been a few illustrated books here and there. But, we have given immense focus on the Hindi Illustrated books produced according to International standards,” tells Trisha as a matter of fact.

The author base…

The company has developed a prestigious author base that includes award-winning photographers and journalists, distinguished art historians and curators, and artists, scholars, travel writers, and translators from all over the world. B.N. Goswamy, Geeta Chandran, Hugh and Colleen Gantzer, Lata Mangeshkar, Mushirul Hasan, Jaya Jaitly, Sethu and Raghu Rai are just some of the illustrious names on their list.

On translations…

Since translation has become very important for publishers, Niyogi Books is also not behind. “We also work extensively in translating literature from Indian languages. We have translated books from at least 13 Indian languages,” she tells.

On distribution…

“Niyogi Books Pvt Ltd distributes its own books, however, we have around 150 authorized dealers across India to reach out to the market. We also distribute through our store. Currently, we have one bookstore in Kolkata. We are planning to open bookstores in other parts of the country as well,” she tells.

Niyogi Books is not confined to India. “We also distribute in Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bhutan through our distributors in India. We also have exclusive distributors in US & Canada as well as UK & Europe,” she adds.

On sale and purchase of translation rights…

“We have sold translation rights in Turkey, Korea, Japan, China, Germany to name a few for both our illustrated and nonillustrated books. We also buy rights (translation or South Asian rights) from other countries like UK, France, Germany, Turkey and others,” tells Trisha.

Challenges in publishing…

“The year 2019 brought a mixed bag in the Indian publishing interest. While there are occasions to cheer, there were also occasions to be alarmed about. For example, GST posed a major problem to the publishers, eating away at whatever limited profit margin publishers have. However, a lot of bonhomie is visible beyond the English publishing scenario also, especially in the case of Bengali, Marathi and Malayalam. However, the phenomenon of the rise of a number of niche publishers is enriching the scenario,” shares Trisha.

“2020 also opened on a promising note. The lockdown and the COVID scare has put a temporary stasis on our plans, but I am quite confident this too shall pass. Hence, I guess the present predicament being over, whenever that happens, our publishing activities along with many other business and commercial enterprises, will also bounce back to normal. It may take a little time, a few months at best, but the business of books is not going to be dented seriously. Wonderful books will be published, distributed, sold, reviewed and circulated as usual.

Man’s hunger for books is not going to go away because of coronavirus. As a matter of fact, we are already coming back on track with several new interesting titles on the way and newer ways of reaching out to our discerning readership,” she adds.

Trends in trade publishing…

“As far as English market is concerned, available statistics suggest that export of Indian books has seen a sizeable rise. This fact is further corroborated by India being selected as the guest country in at least three major international book fairs — Abu Dhabi, Mexico & Paris (cancelled due to Corono Virus pandemic),” she tells.

Publishing scenario ahead…

“An incorrigible optimist, I visualize a very vibrant publishing scenario in the year ahead.

English readership is increasing by leaps and bounds, thanks to the network of educational facilities, which is available in India today.

As a result, the book hunger is also on the rise and there is a competition amongst the English publishers to cater to this hunger. Such healthy competition always augurs well for any industry. Apart from speculative fiction, art books, there is also a trend for out-of the box subjects like AI, popular economics, popular culture and the like,” tells Trisha.

“I do not think there is going to be any major genre emerging as an offshoot of lockdown. Some kind of corona-diaries or some disaster fiction might crowd the scene, but this will be only a passing phase. However, I do feel interest in science fiction, especially cli-fi will see a growth with time,” she adds.

“The illustrated books segment, contrary to popular opinion, this segment of books is showing promising response,” concludes Trisha optimistically.

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