JBM 2023 focuses majorly on translations and children’s publishing

Jaipur BookMark harnesses the collective energy of authors, literary agents, translators, publishers, designers, marketers, publicists, booksellers, and festival organizers to discuss new
ideas and how to take them to the market. Here, Manisha Chaudhry, Advisor, Jaipur Bookmark gives us a peek into the major focus at the event, in conversation with Varsha Verma.

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South Asia’s leading publishing conclave, Jaipur BookMark, returns to the pink city for its ninth edition from January 19–23, 2023. The conclave runs parallel to the iconic Jaipur Literature Festival and brings together publishers, literary agents, translation agencies, writers, and major industry players from across the world.

The format…

The ninth edition of Jaipur BookMark (JBM) will host industry delegations from across continents, covering themes such as translation, children’s publishing, podcasts, new formats, and agenting among others. Since its inception, JBM has provided coveted opportunities to not just talk shop through relevant industry sessions and focused roundtables but also to carve a niche in the literary sector.JBM offers an exclusive B2B networking lounge, providing space for one-on-one meetings and constructive networking.

Manisha Chaudhry

Manisha Chaudhry, Advisor, Jaipur Bookmark, shares, “The JBM 2023 spotlights some of the most exciting areas in publishing this year. With a roundtable on translation, we are going to catch the buzz in this segment that has received a huge fillip after the Booker win. The children’s publishing roundtable is focused on the latest ideas that can nurture a new generation of readers. There are sessions on audio books, eBooks, podcasts and emerging segments that are sure to gain influence in a changing world. A stellar line-up of speakers ranging from translators, authors, editors, literary agents and new creators promise to make each session alive with ideas and purpose.”

Focus on translations…

“This year there is a major focus on translations. Given the fact that this year’s Booker went to an Indian book, originally written in Hindi and the prize was shared between author Geetanjali Shree and translator Daisy Rockwell, translations are in the spotlight. This has obviously given a great fillip to the whole idea of translations in the publishing world and there is much excitement about publishing more translations. Readers are also opening up to translations. More people are getting drawn into the business of translation and more people are interested in becoming translators. Since JBM is an industry focused publishing platform we are excited to focus on this new trend.” adds Manisha.
As always, JBM has come up with a stellar line of participants. These include well-known translators such as Arunava Sinha and industry veteran Mini Krishnan, “We are looking forward to welcoming Daisy Rockwell and we also have other national and international translators,” adds Manisha.
Talking more about the subsequent sessions, Manisha shares that they are also looking at how the translation grants such as the Zubaan-Prabha Khaitan Foundation Translation Grant, the programmes of the Tamilnadu Textbook Corporation and Sahitya Akademi are creating new opportunities for publishing translation. Agents such as Kanishka Gupta are pitching for getting translations published abroad. “JBM is a platform which encourages B2B talk, so there will be a discussion on the role of grants and agents for greater visibility for translation,” she says.
“We also have Indian language publishers talking about translations in the session called Bhasha Samvad and we are trying to encourage them to talk about the issues around translations being published by Indian language publishers from other Indian languages,” she adds.

Focus on children’s publishing….

“Our second focus this year is children’s publishing. Even though there have been sessions on children’s publishing in past editions, I thought it required a greater focus and with my personal interest in children’s publishing and having worked with multilingual books for children,we thought we should give it more attention this year,” adds Manisha.
“We are looking at the role of funding agencies that support children’s literature as well as how Literature Festivals like Bookaroo and Neev Festival contribute to increasing readership for children’s literature. Besides, the session will focus on how publishers can work together with government agencies so that more books are purchased because the government is the biggest consumer of children’s books through school libraries. The session will also focus on publisher related problems in the children’s publishing sector and how to work together so that they have a strong lobby which pitches for a greater focus on reading in as many languages as possible,” she adds.
Elaborating more on the sessions, Manisha shares that they are also looking at a session on building reading communities. The Community Library Project, Reading Racoons (an online community where they review and talk about books), Champaca (a subscription model for curated books in specific genres),the Delhi based Eureka bookstore and NBT Reader’s Club – all these people are basically working to create a community around reading.“So, there will be a session which is devoted to them and they will talk about how this is such an important thing to do as it helps people to figure out what books to buy for children or what kind of book related activities will keep the children more engaged with reading,” she adds.

Other sessions…

“We are looking at other aspects of publishing as well. We will have retailers and publishers talk to each other. Podcasts are making a big impact on bringing attention to books as podcasts and books have a symbiotic relationship. Publishers will also discuss how government policies could be more supportive of their work. A session on contracts for audio and OTT is also on the cards because so many authors/publishers are now being approached by audiobooks and OTT platforms for stories and so on,” informs Manisha.
“Besides, we have a session on eBooks and audio books as these new formats are now in vogue. There will be a festival director’s round table with Sanjoy Roy, where there will be a lot of sharing and exchange of ideas. Another important session is on the books published in the mind-body-spirit genre which garners huge sales,” she adds.
“We will have 20+ sessions in all and they will be useful to people in the trade and also anybody who wants to know more about publishing. We have a stellar line-up of experts in the field and we know that many conversations that start at the JBM can result in many collaborations beyond JBM,” concludes Manisha.

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