Fairs give an insight into industry trends

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Genre: Children’s books like story books, activity books, knowledge books, books with animation CDs, educational supplements, board books, board games, encyclopedias, etc.

Book fairs attended: All major international and national book fairs

Importance of book fairs: You meet buyers, agents and distributors from across the world and also a lot of idea exchange happens and it also gives us insight about the industry trends as well. The fairs are one place where all stakeholders of the industry from physical as well as digital publishing meet and learn from each other.

Expectations from book fairs: We were always able to make rights sale, co-editions and bulk quantity sales in most of the fairs we have attended in the last 22 years of our international business. We were also able to make some agents and collaborate as well for some countries.

Interesting incident: My first international fair was in 1999 when we went as a design studio to offer creative services and most of the publishers were not able to perceive India as a design outsourcing hub. We took it as challenge and spent next one year in preparing a portfolio and went again in 2000 and showed our portfolio to most of the publishers and most of them were shocked after looking at the quality of art Indian artists had created.

On online vs offline book fairs: Most of the online fairs are able to organise it fine but are not successful as buyers are not visiting, deals are not happening and mostly nobody is ready to experiment or invest in new products. Success and failure of any fair is also directly related to overall situation of the Industry. I am sure it’s a boom time for edtech companies but strategising time for physical books publishers.

Offline book fairs are way better than online ones. We are looking at future with a mix of physical and digital platforms almost coming at par and impacting the industry in a lot more ways than can be imagined as of now.

-Sandeep Kaushik, CEO & Publisher, Macaw Books

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