For Rajpal & Sons, the year 2012 is special – they are completing 100 years of publishing this year. To commemorate the occasion, they have a plethora of new launches this year. Pranav, marketing director briefs about the company’s memorable 100 years to Varsha Verma.
With more than 4,000 titles of which 2,000 are active till date, Rajpal & Sons has come a long way. “Infact as many as 50 titles have been continuously printed for the last 50 years. These are the evergreen classics of Indian literature,” informed Pranav, marketing director, Rajpal & Sons.
So what are the average print runs for their books? “Across all, we can say that the average print run is about 3,000 copies but there are a few titles like Madhushala by Harivansh Rai Bachchan and Abdul Kalam’s books with print run upto 10,000 copies,” he disclosed.
Perhaps their multi-packaging strategy for almost all titles, has kept Rajpal & Sons afloat. “We package the same book in different formats – paperback, hardbound, premium packaging, etc to suit the customer’s budgets,” told Pranav. “Hence, we have a same book at different prices – the content is the same but the look differs. Each of our title is available in at least two formats. This way, we spread cost across all the formats and pass on the benefit to the consumer.”
A new ‘centenary logo’ has been designed to mark the 100 years of publishing at Rajpal & Sons.
As a part of this celebrations, Rajpal & Sons is bringing out centenary editions of classics like Madhushala, Gitanjali, etc in a bigger format.
There are four major launches this year – Kalam on Corruption, Straight Talk by Dr Abhishek Manu Singhvi, and books on Narayan Murthy and Irom Sharmila. The pre-booking of these books has already begun at the New Delhi World Book Fair 2012.
More recently, Rajpal & Sons has diversified into children books. “We are heavily investing in the designing of children books…it’s not just the cover but the inside pages as well. We wish to enhance the child’s experience for the entire book,” told Pranav.
The books on Panchtantra, mythology and places have already been launched and during this year itself, they plan to launch 35 titles in this genre. For this, they have tied up with different set of distributors and retailer for the Indian sub-continent. And with Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan in full swing, Pranav hopes that the demand for graphical books will grow with time.
Not just children books, illustrations and pictures have become a part of their books now. Pranav also mentioned about their book Sunset Club which is set in the lush Lodhi Garden. “In order to take the readers to feel the set-up, we used a lot of pictures as well,” he added. Similarly, their book on Abdul Kalam has real-life pictures with text. “It really helps set the tone and context of the story being talked about. The content gets automatically elevated using design inputs,” he said.
Similarly their cookbooks by Sanjeev Kapur have a lot of pictures. “Besides we are bringing out a series of comprehensive range of ‘shayri’ books. We are not just repackaging the cover but are also integrating illustrations to go with the particular piece,” shared Pranav.
Most of the books at Rajpal & Sons are available in four languages, of which Hindi and English are always there. “We have regular tie-ups for regional languages like Marathi, Telugu, Kannada and Gujarati,” told Pranav. “In fact, we pioneered the concept of India-made books in regional languages. We started the concept with Kalam’s book Indomitable Spirit which was published in eight languages in one year. This concept is very successful for books on national icons.”
“It is interesting that the old and modern are coming together. “Our e-book formats for Kindle and iPads are generating good response and demand, especially for the old classics,” conveyed Pranav.
Publishing is never going to die and the fact that publishers like Rajpal & Sons having firm roots in this industry for over a centenary, stress this point even more.
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