It’s a bliss to be surrounded by books…that too on different genres, different languages, different sizes…even the rain could not deter the book lovers from the mecca of books – the New Delhi World Book Fair (NDWBF) 2013 witnessed unprecedented crowds…confirming the fact once again that books are our best friends. Organised by National Book Trust, India and India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO), the New Delhi World Book Fair (February 4-10, 2013) was a convergence of the publishing and intellectual world.
The show was inaugurated by Dr Shashi Tharoor, honourable minister of State while Dr Karan Singh, the eminent author, Member of Parliament (Rajya Sabha) and president, Indian Council for Cultural Relations was the guest of honour. “Nothing delights more than encouraging Indians to read and celebrating books and childhood is the time to discover books,” said Dr Shashi Tharoor. He also said that though e-publishing has made inroads in India but only a small percentage of people read digital books, the majority still rely on conventional printed books.
While, Dr Karan Singh said for a book lover, there is no greater treat than book fair. “Books have played critical and crucial role in civilisation,” he said. He also reiterated the fact that though quantum of publishing is equivalent to the number of readers, but attempt needs to be taken to cover other languages as well. Besides, he also emphasised on the fact that there need to be value-based education in the curriculum.
France was the guest of honour country at the fair. Francois Richier, ambassador of France for India was the special guest on the occasion. “It is a very important occasion for France,” said Francois, “Though France has not invented writing, printing or internet; they have been contributing a lot to books not only for our consumption but whole community.”
The welcome address was given by A Sethumadhavan, chairman, NBT, who said that the hosting of such a fair is a huge responsibility bestowed on us and making it an annual affair needs a lot of planning and hard work. He also mentioned that India has now become an economically and educationally empowered nation. Sethumadhavan also mentioned the new initiatives in this fair like Rights Table, CEO Speak, Authors’ Corner, Children Activity Corner, Youth Pavilions, etc.
While, Sudhir Malhotra, president, Federation of Indian Publishers (FIP), said, “From a handful of publishing houses in the 1950s, India has grown to be amongst the top five publishing countries in the world. The picture looks bright but the progress is uneven. While some languages have made significant progress – English being the most talked about, followed by Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Marathi and some other, publishing in many other important languages like Urdu, Konkani, Oriya, Kashmiri and North-Eastern languages have not kept pace.” Another important point he highlighted was that the export of books and other printed material stands at over Rs 1,700 crore, registering a growth of 60 percent in the last three years and Indian textbooks are regularly prescribed and used in several parts of the world. “But, we need substantial investments in international marketing efforts. Book exports need focussed attention and cannot be clubbed with industrial products under chemicals and allied products and therefore considered insignificant in comparison,” he added.
Rita Menon, chairman & managing director, ITPO, welcomed the collaboration of HRD and ITPO and hoped that this would lead to bigger and better book fair in future. She also said that ITPO will promote fair at all international and national levels. Rita also appreciated the B2B activities and the France as the guest of honour. “Countries like Ghana, Malaysia and Thailand are participating for the first time,” she informed.
This year, the show was spread over an area of 45,000 sq m with 1,100 participants. About 23 countries including China, USA, Poland, South Korea, Turkey and agencies like UNO, WHO, UNESCO, among others were present in the foreign pavilion.
This year France was the guest of honor country at the fair. Traditionally, France is known for its strong publishing industry. France displayed close to 2,000 French titles in the French pavilion. The vibrant cultural heritage of France with its music, food as well as cinema and other cultural performances formed a major component of French presentation.
French and Indian professionals got together to discuss and share over thoughts and policies of the book markets at Indo-French Professional Round Table Meetings. Panelists comprising French and Indian editors and experts in book publishing shared their knowledge and experiences in context of general panorama. MA Sikandar, director, National Book Trust (NBT); Max Claudet, cultural counselor, Embassy of France in India and director, Institut Francais; Jean-Guy Boin, director, BIEF; Alain Grund, president, BIEF; Sudhir Malhotra, president, FIB; Marianne Durand, director, Nathan Jeunesse, Syros and others were the key speakers during the meetings.
“Book publishing is part of culture in France and this industry has been growing tremendously in recent time,” asserted Alain Grund. Highlighting the Indian book publishing industry as one among the largest five in the world, Sudhir Malhotra mentioned the country as an ever growing hub where books are flaunted in more than 28 different languages by 65,000 publishing entities. He mentioned about the new trend of making the country’s bestsellers into movies, which eventually benefit both authors and publishers.
There was another interesting session on children’s books. Marianne Durand remarked that the book publishing industry of France, which releases around 90,000 titles a year, emphasises much on children books of different formats (e-book, special tablets, etc) to please the young readers. “We have regular and specialized book shows such as Salon Du Livre Junesse designed to gratify children and young people,” she added. In this context, Urvashi Bhutalia of Young Zubaan said that 15 percent of books in India are for children and 65 percent of these children books are school books.
“It’s indeed a pleasure to be here at the show after 6-7 years of absence. We are really thankful to NBT and as a guest country and our participation this year is renewal of our presence in New Delhi World Book Fair,” told Judith Oriol, Book Attachee, Institut Francais, French Embassy, New Delhi.
Theme of the fair…
The theme of the Fair was "Indigenous Voices: Mapping India's Folk and Tribal Literature", where the multifarious expressions of Indian's traditional native cultures including exhibit of books, traditional art forms, crafts, panel discussions and performances were showcased. Ethnic and simple, colourful and vibrant, they are the legacy of a nation's rich cultural traditions.
A special exhibit of books on various aspects of folk and tribal culture was the main focus. Books in English and all Indian languages related to the theme including studies on tribalism, folk and tribal lore, art and culture, performances, music, new writings across various literary genres, legends and myths, were on display in hall 7E.
Swami Vivekananda pavilion…
To commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, NBT and Advaita Ashram, Kolkata organised a special exhibit of original photos and books on Swami Vivekananda in hall 18.
Different genres, different halls…
As always, there were separate halls for different genre of publishing like general publishers, Science & Technology and Medicine, Government & ebook publishers, Foreign publishers, Hindi language publishers, Social sciences & Humanities, Regional language publications; Educational Aids, CDs, games, etc; Children & Educational books and Souvenir shops.
And visitors loved the segregation. “Rare books as well as all bestsellers flaunting at the fair are mind blowing. In addition, I love the way the fair ground and exhibition floor are segregated in accordance with the themes, genres and activities. Even the educational book stands are pretty good,” shared Salil Arora (portal owner), New Delhi.
Children’s & youth Pavilion abuzz with activities…
One of the most frequented hall at the fair was undoubtedly the Children’s & Youth Pavilion. Plays, storytelling, puppetry, book reading, workshops, panel discussions…the experience was energetic and enigmatic. Children, youth and parents could be seen attentive at the pavilion.
The pavilion was inaugurated by Jitin Prasada, minister of state, Human Resource Development, Government of India. Activity Corner, Career Desk, interactive sessions with authors and illustrators in the Author-Illustrator Corner, besides a display of select recent children’s books in Indian languages based on folk and tribal stories, were few of the highlights at the pavilion.
The importance of toys in the life of children cannot be undermined. They are their most precious possessions. But, they are not just to entertain; they are used for a number of educational purposes as well. Such toys are called Educational toys & Aids. They help children to learn new things, increase their cognitive abilities and aptitude and help build their emotional or physical development. Parents and educators are increasingly becoming aware of the power of educational toys. At New Delhi World Book Fair, a number of players in this segment displayed the various educational toys and aids for children.
“For smart kids we have smarter books. All our products are combination of books, activity and game. And kids love us for that,” told Shitij Malhotra of Traveller Kids.
Moreover, to attract authors and visitors, there were four Author’s Corner where more than 75 English, Hindi and other languages eminent authors and other literary personalities had reading sessions of their works and also interacted with the readers. Besides, there were almost 50 literary activities like seminars, discussions and book release functions.
NBT, in association with the College of Art, Delhi put a first-ever show of Book Art in India. These installations can be interpreted as an expression of common desire to find reading material and the idea of reading permeating all nook and corners of human life.
The visitors during ongoing NDWBF were happy with added facilities like Mobile ATM; Mobile Medical Emergency Facility / Ambulance; Cafeteria inside halls; information kiosks and free shuttle service. Besides there was also a team of young student volunteers, to assist and help visitors with their queries and concerns.
“Every year we participate at New Delhi World Book Fair and we get to know about the market demand. This year kid’s encyclopaedia is doing really well and also the other general knowledge books. So we focus more on interactive knowledge content for kids,” said Somomita Taneja, Booklings.
While, Greg Taylor, manager/ foreign rights & exports, The Choice Maker, Seoul, South Korea told, “We are here to explore the Indian book publishing industry in search of good distributors and foreign rights for our titles . Such good international exhibition helps us a lot to accomplish our aim.” Similar views were expressed by Sujeebun Dharmendre, director, Trinity Impressions Ltd, Mauritius - “Our position in Mauritius is quite strong and we are now participating in this fair to mark newer territories in the growing overseas markets like India.”
Exhibitor from Nepal also shared a similar view. “Overall showcase at our stand is a complete array of the most acclaimed titles in Nepal. Since India has a good population of Nepalese speaking people, we receive good footfall at the show,” added Keshab Khatri, manager business development, GEMS Events, Kathmandu, Nepal.
The exhibitors were happy with the arrangements and response at the fair. “It’s quite good to see rapid development of New Delhi World Book Fair over the last two editions. In addition, we find every edition of the fair quite an interesting showcase and experience,” remarked Osman Unalan, vice president, Indialogue Foundation, Turkey New Delhi. While, Sandeep Jain and Madhu Magon of Little Pearl Books, shared, “New Delhi World Book Fair is an ideal platform for rights and co-editions selling. We are getting wonderful response.”
Among the exhibitors showing unique items during the NDWBF 2013 included Mark 2 Mark which presented M.R.P. printing machine for books. “Our machine has been used by a number of leading book publishers in India. And our participation in this mega fair is a yet another fresh opportunity to boost up our current list,” commented Rajesh Gandhi, director, Mark 2 Mark. He added that 20-25 publishers discussed about installing the machine.
While, SK Ghai, managing director, Sterling Publishers Pvt Ltd said, “I appreciate the way NBT organises this fair which will be one of the best, not only in India, but also at global level someday.”
“Our presence in the fair gave us an opportunity to promote our brand too. In addition, such book fair is indeed a need of the industry to interact with our clients as well as core groups/partners who could go along to boost business under mutual co-operation,” remarked Ravinder Kumar, deputy marketing manager, Amity University Press.
While, a regular participant to the fair, Manish Rajoria, director, Aadarsh Pvt Ltd remarked that the New Delhi World Book Fair 2013 has witnessed advancements in terms of exhibits and themes developed during the fair. He further mentioned about the prospects of the fair to be attained as a big international occasion by the next few future editions.
"We are quite happy and satisfied with the footfalls which show high demands of our books in the contemporary market,” mentioned Prabhat Kumar of Prabhat Prakashan.
Satisfied to the fact that the fair has brought the industry leaders as well as visitors from far and near corners of the country to a common platform, Rajneesh Chowdhry, managing director, Goodwill Publishing House valued the jobs which NBT has done for the book publishing industry, future of school children and book lovers across the country.
While, Girish Redkar, head-sales & marketing, Nirali Prakashan said, “We look forward to participating in such fair which is not simply an exhibition but a meeting point for all the industry leaders as well as book lovers.”
“Most of all, book fair organised in such scale instills the reading habits of people. In addition to that, the overall layout of the show is quite impressive as it forms an umbrella body under which visitors enjoy whatever they love to pick up,” said KPR Nair, managing director, Konark Publishers.
Similar views were expressed by VK Arya, AITBS Publishers who said, “We are impressed with the way that NBT brings out this World Book Fair at the heart of Delhi. Such exhibition would help in pushing the book publishing industry to the level which we have been planning to see for years.”
According to NBT sources, the number of visitors to the show has surpassed all previous records and the average number of visitors per day with entry ticket or complimentary invite rose to around 75,000. And, this time the show attracted substantially higher number of school children, college students, youngsters and librarians.
New Delhi World Book Fair 2013 provided a strategic platform to some of the leading Pakistani publishers who sold their popular titles like hot cakes to Indian book lovers. Taj Company (Pvt) Ltd is one of the leading publishers in Pakistan, widely known for its popular volumes of Quran and other Urdu literary works. Zir Uddin, director, Taj Company (Pvt) Ltd, shared, “We arrived a bit late due to visa formalities, but we are very pleased to see the overall passion of book lovers around the exhibition floor.” Another Pakistani stand being heaved with a wide range of highly-demanded Urdu books was Oxford University Press (Pakistan). Titles which pulled crowd to this stand included the ever popular Urdu-English dictionaries and other literary publications. “We are excited to present our exclusive books to Indian readers,” mentioned Siraz Haider, sales director, Oxford University Press (Pakistan).
On asking about the readership of their books, Shahzaj Alam, Pages (publisher and distributor) replied, “We deliver our books to a mixed audience, who could be either school kids or people from different walks of life.” He further mentioned that they particularly translate international bestsellers for both children and adults, such as Goethe, Tarzan and others into Urdu, which are of special interest to all young and old visitors alike.
At the stand of Manshurat , another well- visited Pakistani stand, one could find publisher’s bestsellers like Jab Zindagi Shuru Hogi for children and young people. Another interesting Pakistani stand at the fair was Royal Book Company. The catalogue of the company consisted of 600 rarest and most popular books on the history of Pakistan, partition and other common topics/subjects available in Urdu, English and Punjabi. Jamshed Mirza of Royal Book Company expressed the company’s honour to be at New Delhi World Book Fair 2013 and they have been in close connection with Pustak Bhavan in New Delhi to popularise their books in India.
Show Daily: mirror of the fair
Jointly published by National Book Trust, India and All About Book Publishing, the Show Daily was published on all the seven days of the fair, giving an overview of the activities at the fair. This was first such initiative ever seen during any book fair in India.
Debut New Delhi Rights Table focused on importance of language publishing
As a part of its effort to promote Indian books abroad and to facilitate business Interactions to buy/sell translation rights between Indian publishers and foreign publishers, the National Book Trust, India organized a two day 'New Delhi Rights Table' on February 2-3, 2013.
MA Sikandar, director of National Book Trust, India welcomed dignitaries and expressed his gratitude towards the participants. "We just conceived the thought of rights table three months before and it feels good to see it happening in reality. We are thankful to the ministry for their support. We hope to get bigger by next year," he shared.
"India is one of the largest publishing industries in the world. We publish books in all Indian languages, besides Hindi and English. It has been our dream to reach our books across the country and to the world. The Rights Table, initiated first time in India by NBT, is a major step towards that direction," said A Sethumadhavan, while inaugurating the New Delhi Rights Table.
The inauguration was followed by a panel discussion on "Perspectives on Indian Publishing Industry in the Context of Rights Trade", where some of the best publishing minds put their views on the current scenario in India regarding the exchange of Rights in publishing industry. The panelists included A Sethumadhavan, chairman, National Book Trust, India; SK. Ghai, chairman, Institute of Book Publishing; Sudhir Malhotra, president, Federation of Indian Publishers; Ramesh K Mittal, chairman, Books, Publications end Printing Panel, CAPEXIL; and VK Karthika, publisher and chief editor, HarperCollins, India. The panel discussion was ably coordinated by Binny Kurian of NBT.
Ramesh Mittal emphasized on the importance of such events and encouraged NBT to promote Indian publishing industry.
Stressing more on the importance of regional translations, VK Karthika added, "We earned more profits by selling rights of 'Turning Points' by APJ Abdul KaIam then selling its English version copies.
Speaking on the occasion SK Ghai, congratulated NBT for organizing this event first time in India. He said that India has a treasure of good books and literature, which should definitely be translated into other languages so that it reaches a wider readership. Sudhir Malhotra also stressed on the importance of Indian language, and added, "There's a huge market in India, and we should try to market our existing titles to other regional languages." The panel discussion was followed by an interactive session after which the rights exchange programme started. There were over 60 participants from all over India and of course a few overseas participants. They all were busy discussing business and networking. On asking Rakesh Nath, Vishv Books about his views, added, "Rights table is a good initiative and I hope we will get better with time. I feel NBT needs to publicize it more. It is a good opportunity to contact buyers from other Indian regions and abroad."
While Bipin Shah, Mapin Books was quite happy with it and added, "I appreciate such initiatives; it's the right way to move forward."
Besides, Rahul Singhal, Xact Books added, "We have attended several such programs overseas and it feels good to have such initiative in India too."
Fascinating performances at Lal Chowk Theatre
Every evening of the fair, Lal Chowk Theatre came alive with numerous dance performances from different states across the nation. Some of the dances included Kolkali, Lakshadweep; Bohura Godhani, Bihar; Ghumura, Odisha; Hojagiri Dance, Tripura; Thang-ta, Manipur; Traditional Bhajans, Gujarat; Bastar Band, Chhattisgarh; Naada Samanwayan, Kerala; Jhumar and Nagpuri Songs, Jharkhand; Choliya Dance and Lok Geet, Uttarakhand; Mand, Rajasthan; Bihu Dance, Assam; Bhand Pather, Jammu & Kashmir, to name a few.
Book launches@ NDWBF
Obviously, book fairs are an ideal platform to launch new titles and New Delhi World Book Fair was no exception. Many publishers like Konark Publishers, Sterling Publishers, LiFi Publications, Publications Division, etc launched their new titles at the show.
The Publications Division, Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India released their latest title ‘India 2013’ at the New Delhi World Book Fair. Manish Tiwari, minister of state for Information & Broadcasting officially released the book. He also launched the new logo for ‘Employment News’ and e-version of Urdu Employment News.
Tapping the opportunities in e-publishing
There was an array of exhibits by leading e-publishing companies which provide publishers a new platform to tag on the trend of digitized book formats as well as e-publishing. A report.
The technology in the book publishing industry is changing fast; publishers need to upgrade themselves accordingly to stay ahead of the competition. E-books, apps and other digital technologies are changing the way people read. A book lover can carry thousands of books in a small kindle, which he can carry anywhere…thus he can carry not just the book he is currently reading but the entire bookshelf with him, all the time.
And the kids who hate the sight of books would love to go through a book with lot of multimedia features and apps, thus enhancing their interest and curiosity. Books have suddenly becoming more interesting. The crowd swelling the colossal stand of Attano Media & Education Pvt Ltd consisted of a horde of publishers as well as students from schools and universities who are smitten by the concept of the company’s e-publishing.
Oxford University Press (OUP) launched its digital aid at the fair, called Oxford Educate that integrates, in a single resource, an e-book with interactive teaching tools and learning materials. It includes animations, audio and video clips, slideshows, worksheets, reference material, answer keys and much more.
What’s more? Students sometimes refer more than one book at a time; they might like a particular chapter from a book and would be happy if they can buy just the particular chapter. Globally acclaimed e-publishing company Qbend does just that. Qbend has unique delivery systems such as ‘e-chapters’ which compile different chapters from more than one book as per the requirement of the reader/ student.
Heralding the message of e-publishing to be a big platform in the book publishing industry of India, Ninestar presented its ideas and activities at the fair. “Business of e-publishing is convenient and hassle-free to everyone, be it publishers or authors or students,” said Naren Gopal of Ninestars adding that they provide a huge range of educational and general books through their e-platform which persuades many publishers who are new to this concept.
Its not just the students who are benefiting from this e-revolution, the professionals are also gaining. Primarily providing e-books and CDs on a range of law subjects, Manupatra Information Solutions Pvt Ltd was at the fair to power up the ‘legal’ search of those looking for distinguished e-books and other digitalized materials. Widely known as ‘online retail bookshop’ across the globe, Infibeam delivers books of varied genres through its portal and its participation at the New Delhi World Book Fair is an opportunity which helps them interact with a number of new publishers and authors. Vivek Tiwari, assistant manager-Vendor Relations, Infibeam appreciated the way NBT has set separate section for e-publishers in the fair.
Magic Software’s activities over the last 20 years in the book publishing industry to get on new trends and developments are showcased at the international book fair. “Our e-publishing in partnership with leading publishers like Pearson, Scholastic, etc has been quite successful worldwide and a platform like New Delhi World Book Fair 2013 would be a rightful endeavour to popularise overall ideas of e-book, e-publishing, digitized materials to those who are new to this concept,” said Surajit Pal, senior manager, Business Development, Magic Software.
Also, people who are visually challenged or are not able to read due to old age or who simply wish someone to read them a book, can utilize the talking pen technology. Companies like Aadarsh offered talking pens for such readers. The opportunities are endless it has opened up a plethora of ways to use the content, which was once stored just in the printed form.
Poland to be the guest of honour country at NDWBF 2014
A Sethumadhavan declared Poland as the Guest of Honour country for 2014 edition of the New Delhi World Book Fair. The show will be scheduled from February 15-23, 2014.
Prof Piotr Klodkowski, Ambassador of the Republic of Poland, Embassy of the Republic of Poland in New Delhi, expressed his privilege to be here. According to him, it is a challenge to have the perfect translation and he hoped to have a session on translation into another language. He also wished that Polish translations would be done directly from the original Indian language to maintain the expressions.
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