Towards a truly international NDWBF

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An out-of-the-box feedback session – Publishers’ Meet was held by National Book Trust, India to make New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF) 2015 an even better show! Over 70 people from the publishing industry participated and brainstormed on the same. The suggestions included use of social media for publicity, discount coupons for visitors, lower rental rates, provision of business hours, cluster of Hindi publishers in one hall and reaching out to college students, to name a few. A feedback session on New Delhi World Book Fair was recently held by National Book Trust, India.

Dr MA Sikandar, director, NBT, India welcomed the panel members – Dr Sadhana Rout, additional director general incharge, Publications Division; Satish Kumar and Rajeev Chaudhry of NBT, India and the participants.

Dr Ashok Gupta, president, Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP) said that under the leadership of Dr Sikandar, the New Delhi World Book Fair is better organised but he stressed that there is still a need to ensure more footfalls. He also opined that there should be a workshop on technologies and Rights Table activity should invite more participants from different regions. He also said that education efforts being stressed upon by the new government, need to take “Books” per se along. Another suggestion he made was that the rentals at the NDWBF be reduced to make publishers go for bigger sizes, thus displaying more books.

“We need to get more students to the book fair,” voiced Atiya Zaidi, publisher, Ratna Sagar Pvt Ltd. She also expressed concerns about over-crowding of religious publishers, emphasising various religions. While, Manisha Chaudhry of Pratham Books suggested that there should be some discount coupons mechanism for visitors so as to promote book sales.

Urvashi Bhutalia, publisher, Zubaan Books suggested that social media should be extensively used to increase publicity. While, a spokesperson from Rajkamal Prakashan said that Hindi publishers should not be scattered but put together with Urdu and Sanskrit publishers in one hall.

Dr Sadhana Rout said that there is a need to involve ministries with the help of publishers. While KK Saxena, president, Delhi State Booksellers’ & Publishers’ Association (DSBPA), said that the librarians do not attend the book fairs as enough grants are not available to them. Dr Sadhana suggested that there are Enhancement and Skill building grants available in many ministries which can be utilized for meeting such needs. Further to this, Dr Sikandar informed that AICTE has already agreed to recognise publishing as a “skill.”

Manas Saikia, MD of Feel Books Pvt Ltd, shared that getting an ISBN is a challenge, especially for language publishers and this is one of the reasons why their titles are not available online.

All in all, it was a very informative and fruitful discussion and the New Delhi World Book Fair 2015 is all set to hold another successful show from February 14-22, 2015 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi.

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