On the 25th of June 2021, the Publishers’ Exchange hosted a session with the Indian Virtual Book Fair team via Zoom. Kannan Sundaram from Kalachuvadu Publications, who is one of the promoters, introduced the concept of a virtual Book Fair with these words, “The Indian Virtual Book Fair was started as an attempt to cope with the crisis that hit the publishing ecosystem as India went into lockdown in March 2020. One major aspect of the discussions was how to publish, promote and deliver books to the reader, looking beyond the traditional, limited book supply chain. #VBF is the answer.”

While, AJ Thomas, former editor of Indian Literature, says, “The concept of a Digital Book Fair itself is innovative and of immense value in these pandemic times when normal book fairs cannot happen, and even bookshops cannot be opened and the entire print industry is in a deep crisis. The leadership taken by Tamil publishers would certainly be followed by other publishers and help the publishing industry recover, I hope.”

The site has different categories like award winning books, new launches, children corner (categorized age wise), recently reviewed and a separate corner for books recommended by popular personalities. The books can be sorted by price, popularity, author as well as the category of the book. There are other products in the pipeline like rights pavilion, literary festivals, master classes with writers, illustrators, editors, speakers, protection against piracy and plagiarism, VBF awards, publishing industry classifieds and meet the author sessions.

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