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he publishing industry in India is defined by a vast set of variables.

To understand its intricacies, one cannot simply come up with a figure for market size and growth rate. In fact, for such precise figures one needs sufficient customer data. At this point, such data is missing and in reality the book publishing sector alone might be much bigger than the current estimates of Rs 80 billion. This is one of the reasons why John Makinson, a former journalist with The Financial Times, Chief Executive of Penguin group since 2002, calls publishing in India ‘a step in the dark’. Like most industries, publishing is also driven by its customers. Research about what the readers like, how they make their buying decisions and how much they’re willing to pay for a book are questions a publisher in India cannot avoid. The publishing industry in India is largely reader driven. The good news is that the reader base in India is growing. With the country set to become a hub of the largest English speaking population, books sales will directly go up. Secondly, the number of writers in India is also increasing, with more and more new authors finding ways to make it to the market. However, the pool of established writers is still limited. Those new on the horizon are finding it difficult to go beyond selling a few hundred copies. Only a handful of titles such as Chetan Bhagat’s book and Gregory David Robert’s Shantaram go beyond the 3 lakh copies sold mark. There are also others in the category of 1 lakh copies, such as The World is Flat, Freakonomics etc. The truth is that in general, books take time to become popular and so do authors. Since the industry is not a one-click solution and with all the content out there, it is not simple for an author to stand out in the crowd, multiple factors operate when it comes to the success of any book. Some of these are the content, the right launch and platform, marketing initiatives, finding the right audience and of course, how the book is priced. In the past decade, publishers have directed their efforts to target the mass audiences, the common Indian reader who likes it simple and cheap. What the Indian reader is reading is a question to ponder on. A recent survey by NBT / NCAER Survey, of readers between the ages of 13 – 35 years of age in India finds that of the 83 million youth readers (comprising 25% of the youth population), fiction is the most preferred genre among 42% of the youth followed by nonfiction for 24%. Fantasy, comics and classics are the three most preferred genres of fiction, and the least preferred are romance and graphic novels. When it comes to non-fiction, religious/spiritual texts and biographies/autobiographies are the most preferred. The success of Hachette India, which has recently climbed to the rank of second-largest trade publisher in the country by value terms, is largely attributed to the Stephenie Meyer collection. A taste of vampire romance certainly played its magic in India. It is not surprising that this mass appealing novel accounted for 17-18% of the publisher’s turnover of Rs. 270 million in 2009. Talking of the big players in Indian publishing, Penguin is still the big fish, with a turnover of more than double Hachette’s. Apart from what books are being read, the second question to ask is how they are priced. This is where smaller players and new entrants in the market need to find innovative ways to break the barriers. The industry works on volumes because the margins for publishers in India show a bleak picture, with only 2.5 to 3% multipliers, as against UK or US where the publisher can ‘afford’ to multiply costs by 10-12 times. Prices of books, instead of going up, have gone down further with the popular Rs. 100/- novel trend. They have been more or less static for the

new reading devices and discoveries are set to take place in India in the next decade. reduced pricing and fewer but sturdier players. China and EU are expected to be the growth leaders. Even in the e-books segment worldwide. one of the sad highlights of India’s publishing scenario. With MBAs in Media and Communications already being imparted in many B-schools. there will be enough opportunity for professionals from various educational domains. In fact. The country will also need dedicated training infrastructure to impart multiple skills needed in publishing. Currently. another problem publishers face is the lack of skilled manpower. Many books are badly written. Though this won’t change in the near term. Various aspects of book publishing from the pre-press to post-press stages will require specialized expertise. Some of the courses that a person looking to work in this dynamic sector can consider are those offered from time to time by National Book Trust (NBT) and Institute of Book publishing (IBP). content providers. There is a dearth of quality editors. comes the obvious damage to quality. publishing services outsourcing is another emerging option in India. Here. as noted by. CEO Sriram Subramanya in the world’s first conference on publishing BPO services. 2010. While the publishing sector in India is growing rapidly due to expansion of the literate population and English speaking section. however has been challenged by sale of books such as The Harry Potter series. with mistakes in grammar in plenty on every single page. the emergence of online media is one opportunity India cannot afford to overlook. Indian epublishing industry is expected to grown at 35% per annum. this problem can also be expected to get solved in the coming years. Integra Software Services founder MD. the U. many publishers have forgotten their editing lessons.past ten years! Along with this trend. Need for Manpower Besides the challenges inherent in the Indian market. along with immense . etc due to missing links in formal education in publishing. one must also account for the many challenges of piracy. Macmillan had begun its off-shoring unit in India. The success of the industry will now depends more and more on quality. offering immense outsourcing opportunity. the sad truth is that in a rush to produce more and more titles at a cheaper cost. is the biggest market for e-readers and e-book. As such. Meyer’s Twilight series and Shantaram. The sector is now poised for unhindered growth. copy editors. pirated copy in India. Emergence of Online Media and Outsourcing In spite of many of the hassles in traditional publishing modes. A short term intensive course in Editing was also conducted by the Indian Publishing Institute between June 2-9. This is however not an entirely new trend. Managerial posts in publishing houses will continue to rise. India.S. These are some of the books that have seen high sales in spite of higher prices. IGNOU offers a distance learning course in book publishing. The woes of cheap-price-poor-quality. Thus. Even back in 1977. as a major section of the readers still prefer to get a shoddy.

Are you ready for the challenge? References: Major business publications in India Newspapers Business Standard The Economic Times Financial Express The Hindu Business Line Magazines Business Today Business India Business World Capital Market Dalal street Outlook Money . of course. However. One can. there is more to it than meets the eye. Clearly. While writing or reading a book might be all pleasure and no pain for many. The publishing players must balance their aspirations on the thin line of playing on volumes versus giving the masses the right type of content and books to read. also pull it off without compromising on either sides. The onus is now on the emerging players to publish quality books and at least be wary of English usage in published content. what we read is what shapes our minds and thought processes. there is tons of scope for innovation in this sector. After all. the business of books goes beyond pleasure and you have to be truly passionate to pursue it with all its opportunities and challenges. like all industries. while from outside the publishing sector appears to be full of fantasy stories and make believe characters of literature.scope for entrepreneurship and starting your own ventures as providers of one or more of these indispensable service offerings.

We currently work with 240 retainer clients. Like most industries. infrastructure. The good news is that the reader base in India is growing. Chief Executive of Penguin group since 2002. Our client list includes some of the most reputed corporations and financial institutions – both Indian and multinational. In each of the practice areas and industry verticals that we cater to. books sales will directly go up. all important single financial markets. pharma & health care. how they make their buying decisions and how much they’re willing to pay for a book are questions a publisher in India cannot avoid. We offer a truly national footprint. calls publishing in India ‘a step in the dark’. Over the last 11 years that we have been in operation. While we have the largest market share in banking and financial services. engineering and capital goods. with presence in 40+ cities. crisis and issue management. Principal verticals that we serve are banking and financial services. This is one of the reasons why John Makinson. such data is missing and in reality the book publishing sector alone might be much bigger than the current estimates of Rs 80 billion. he publishing industry in India is defined by a vast set of variables. With the country set to become a hub of the largest English speaking population. our solutions are rooted in the clients’ business objective and strategy. as well as the recently added sports vertical. technology. We have provided communication support for numerous high profile M&As. we have managed some of the most challenging and complex communication assignments for corporate India. The publishing industry in India is largely reader driven. pharma & healthcare. Knowledge-driven communications being at the core of our brand promise. These include the largest capital market offerings over the last 10 years. a former journalist with The Financial Times. We specialise in corporate reputation management and financial communications. real estate and construction. as well as. and all major media centres. restructurings. for such precise figures one needs sufficient customer data. technology. Secondly. To understand its intricacies. At this point. covering all state capitals. the . realty and infrastructure. In fact. open offers and delistings. one cannot simply come up with a figure for market size and growth rate. our consultants combine domain knowledge of every single vertical with communication expertise. sports. automobile and auto accessories. publishing is also driven by its customers. investor communications. engineering and capital goods.About Us :: Overview Adfactors PR is among India’s top three consultancies on public relations. we are also among the top three in all other chosen verticals including auto. Research about what the readers like.

Fantasy. The industry works on volumes because the margins for publishers in India show a bleak picture. There are also others in the category of 1 lakh copies. the second question to ask is how they are priced. marketing initiatives.number of writers in India is also increasing. fiction is the most preferred genre among 42% of the youth followed by nonfiction for 24%. many publishers have forgotten their editing lessons. Meyer’s Twilight series and Shantaram. with only 2. it is not simple for an author to stand out in the crowd. Penguin is still the big fish. with mistakes in grammar in plenty on every single page. publishers have directed their efforts to target the mass audiences. such as The World is Flat. The truth is that in general. Many books are badly written. how the book is priced. 270 million in 2009. The woes of cheap-price-poor-quality. Only a handful of titles such as Chetan Bhagat’s book and Gregory David Robert’s Shantaram go beyond the 3 lakh copies sold mark.novel trend. however has been challenged by sale of books such as The Harry Potter series. When it comes to non-fiction. While the publishing sector in India is growing rapidly due to expansion of the literate population and English speaking section. and the least preferred are romance and graphic novels. It is not surprising that this mass appealing novel accounted for 17-18% of the publisher’s turnover of Rs. In the past decade. the right launch and platform. They have been more or less static for the past ten years! Along with this trend. religious/spiritual texts and biographies/autobiographies are the most preferred. instead of going up. Since the industry is not a one-click solution and with all the content out there. one must also account for the many challenges of piracy. Talking of the big players in Indian publishing. Those new on the horizon are finding it difficult to go beyond selling a few hundred copies. What the Indian reader is reading is a question to ponder on. which has recently climbed to the rank of second-largest trade publisher in the country by value terms. The success of Hachette India. as against UK or US where the publisher can ‘afford’ to multiply costs by 10-12 times. the pool of established writers is still limited. 100/. have gone down further with the popular Rs. finding the right audience and of course. Freakonomics etc.5 to 3% multipliers. This is where smaller players and new entrants in the market need to find innovative ways to break the barriers. comes the obvious damage to quality. books take time to become popular and so do authors. Emergence of Online Media and Outsourcing . Prices of books. is largely attributed to the Stephenie Meyer collection. pirated copy in India. A recent survey by NBT / NCAER Survey. with more and more new authors finding ways to make it to the market. the sad truth is that in a rush to produce more and more titles at a cheaper cost. comics and classics are the three most preferred genres of fiction. Apart from what books are being read. one of the sad highlights of India’s publishing scenario. A taste of vampire romance certainly played its magic in India. However. multiple factors operate when it comes to the success of any book. Some of these are the content. Here. as a major section of the readers still prefer to get a shoddy. These are some of the books that have seen high sales in spite of higher prices. of readers between the ages of 13 – 35 years of age in India finds that of the 83 million youth readers (comprising 25% of the youth population). with a turnover of more than double Hachette’s. the common Indian reader who likes it simple and cheap.

the emergence of online media is one opportunity India cannot afford to overlook.S. while from outside the publishing sector appears to be full of fantasy stories and make believe characters of literature. the U. In fact. The success of the industry will now depends more and more on quality. of course. Are you ready for the challenge? References: . Even back in 1977. this problem can also be expected to get solved in the coming years. what we read is what shapes our minds and thought processes. Thus. Integra Software Services founder MD. There is a dearth of quality editors. Clearly. India. Though this won’t change in the near term. As such. Managerial posts in publishing houses will continue to rise. new reading devices and discoveries are set to take place in India in the next decade. While writing or reading a book might be all pleasure and no pain for many. also pull it off without compromising on either sides. Various aspects of book publishing from the pre-press to post-press stages will require specialized expertise. However. copy editors. the business of books goes beyond pleasure and you have to be truly passionate to pursue it with all its opportunities and challenges. Some of the courses that a person looking to work in this dynamic sector can consider are those offered from time to time by National Book Trust (NBT) and Institute of Book publishing (IBP). A short term intensive course in Editing was also conducted by the Indian Publishing Institute between June 2-9. Even in the e-books segment worldwide. there is more to it than meets the eye. content providers. like all industries. China and EU are expected to be the growth leaders. 2010. The publishing players must balance their aspirations on the thin line of playing on volumes versus giving the masses the right type of content and books to read. as noted by. publishing services outsourcing is another emerging option in India. This is however not an entirely new trend. is the biggest market for e-readers and e-book. another problem publishers face is the lack of skilled manpower. Indian epublishing industry is expected to grown at 35% per annum.In spite of many of the hassles in traditional publishing modes. etc due to missing links in formal education in publishing. there is tons of scope for innovation in this sector. along with immense scope for entrepreneurship and starting your own ventures as providers of one or more of these indispensable service offerings. offering immense outsourcing opportunity. The onus is now on the emerging players to publish quality books and at least be wary of English usage in published content. CEO Sriram Subramanya in the world’s first conference on publishing BPO services. The sector is now poised for unhindered growth. there will be enough opportunity for professionals from various educational domains. With MBAs in Media and Communications already being imparted in many B-schools. Macmillan had begun its off-shoring unit in India. One can. reduced pricing and fewer but sturdier players. IGNOU offers a distance learning course in book publishing. Need for Manpower Besides the challenges inherent in the Indian market. Currently. The country will also need dedicated training infrastructure to impart multiple skills needed in publishing. After all.

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