Indian publishing to be Rs 800 billion industry by 2024
IANS | New Delhi | July 14, 2021 10:48 pm

According to EY-Parthenon, Ernst & Young's global strategy consulting arm and the largest global strategy consulting organization, Indian book industry, which has the second-largest publishing infrastructure among the developing countries next only to China, is expected to grow to Rs. 800 billion by 2024 from Rs. 500 billion in 2019. This boost in Indian publishing industry is due to some 250 million students at the school level and more than 35 million at the higher education level in the country.




New Education Policy (NEP), 2020: A Sea of Opportunities for Publishers
Dec 01, 2020

Prof. G.P. Sharma, Chairman, National Book Trust, India, Ministry of Education, Govt. of India, urged the publishers to work towards the objective of the NEP 2020 in order to make India a knowledge-based society. Addressing the virtual session ‘CEO Speak—a forum for publishing’ on the theme NEP 2020: Role and Opportunities for Publishers and Content Creators, organized by FICCI, jointly with NBT India, Prof. Sharma said that books play an important role in education and without books it is not possible to get modern education. “Books are needed in today’s education. To create a global citizen with knowledge we need to have books designed in that format. It is time for quality education,” he asserted. He added, “We need to create content for creating a knowledge-based economy and NEP will have to be kept in mind while creating the content”. He said, “Publishers will now have to design content and books even for the pre-school students. This is a new opportunity for the industry. We will have to design content for almost 1 crore new students”.


Indian Publishing Industry’s Prospects: A Road Ahead
Oct 15, 2020

EY-Parthenon, Ernst & Young’s global strategy consulting arm, has released a study, The Value Proposition of Indian Publishing: Trends, Challenges, and Future of the Industry, with the intent to highlight the contribution of the Indian publishing industry to India’s economic growth. Results of the study indicate that book publishing in India is the key enabler for education attainment, continuous learning, and recreation, promoting Indian culture, values, and excellence. India has at least 22 officially recognized languages, which may offer opportunities for publishing industry to collaborate with government and private organizations to offer diverse content in multiple languages at various price points, and to enable greater access and affordability for end-users. The study concludes that the way forward will be for the publishing industry in India to support 21st century education, create a knowledge society, and function as an ambassador for India in the world.


Future of Educational Publishing in 2021 and Beyond
Oct 12, 2020

With the introduction of the internet and digital technologies, the trend in the educational publishing industry is shifting from print to digital. According to a report by Technavio, the digital educational publishing market is expected to increase by $6.96 billion between 2020 and 2024. With the digitization of educational publishing, more publishers are expected to use course authoring tools. In fact, 58% of the publishers have already started using such tools. Course authoring tools cut down the time, effort, and cost of producing learning materials significantly. With the increased use of digital technologies, providing interactive books would become easier as well. This is expected to boost the growth of interactive books in the coming years. By 2027, the interactive books market is expected to reach a value of $2.3 billion, growing at a CAGR of 16.5%. according to a report by Even the rental market is expected to be dominated by eBooks. Between 2020 and 2024, the e-textbook rental market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 22%, according to a report by Technavio. By 2024, the market is poised to increase by a value of $295 million. Even after the effects of the pandemic have waned, the digital shift is expected to stay.


How India’s Publishing Industry Coped with the Pandemic Years
Sep 12, 2020

Publishing in India saw several challenges in 2020 and 2021 due to the covid-19 pandemic but focus on online sales and making the best use of various digital platforms helped in promotion of books and keep authors in the public eye. With zero sales for almost three months in 2020, many had to trim their publishing list drastically. However, publishers adapted and actively looked for trends to cater to the subjects that their readers would find useful and engaging. New and innovative ways of marketing and selling books also became a part of the year gone by which saw people reading more. Milee Ashwarya, publisher at Ebury Publishing and Vintage Groups, Penguin Random House India, says 2020 was also the year when the power of digital transformation was felt in publishing like in other industries. She says, “While some bookshops shut down, some new ones opened, and online sales saw a surge. All in all, 2020 was full of learnings and got us more focused on our business”.


Print Book Sales Could Grow by 2% to 8% This Year
Publishers Weekly, 22nd July 2021

In a July 21 presentation on industry print unit sales through the first half of the year, NPD BookScan analyst Kristen McLean laid out three possible scenarios. All outcomes assumes that the rapid gains in print unit sales the industry has posted so far this year will slow in the last six months of 2021. McLean noted that, since the end of what she called an historic first quarter, the year-to-date growth rate has lost about one point per week; in other words, growth was up 29% at the close of the first quarter and ahead 18% at the end of the second quarter. At present, she said, sales appear to be steady gliding back to a more normal performance. If that is the case and sales run even with 2020 for the balance of the year, print unit sales will finish 2021 with an 8% gain over last year. If sales return closer to 2019 levels—which means a decline in sales in the last months of the year compared to 2020—sales would still finish the year ahead up 2% over 2020. Prior to making her prediction, McLean reviewed trends through July 3, in which sales were up 18.4% above last year. Two of the biggest drivers of sales in the period came from graphic novels and young adult fiction.

Reading Time Rose 21% in Second Half of 2020
Publishers Weekly, 29th July 2021
The theory among the publishers that book sales rose last year because people were reading more has borne out in part by a survey recently released by the U.S. Department of Labor. According to the survey, reading among people 15 years old and up increased by 21% in the May-December period in 2020 over the same period in 2019. The data shows that reading of all kinds increased from just under 17 minutes per day in 2019 in the same timeframe to just over 20 minutes in the comparable period last year. The biggest increase in daily reading came among 20 to 34 year-olds and in readers over 65. People older than 75 spent by far the most time reading last year (and every year for that matter), reading an average of 55 minutes per day in the 2020 May-December period. Men increased their daily reading habit by 30%, to an average of 18 minutes per day, while the time women spent reading rose 18% to about 23 minutes daily. Economic and educational divides presented a stark picture of who, exactly, had time to read last year. There was a significant drop in reding among those with no high school certificate, with the daily average falling 42%, to 6.5 minutes per day. People with at least a bachelor’s degree increased their reading time by 24%, to 31 minutes. In addition, people who could be considered upper middle class had the biggest increase in reading, jumping 131%, to over 22 minutes daily, the longest time spent reading among all groups. Daily reading fell 27% for those in the lower income group. Time spent reading remained flat, at 12 minutes, for the wealthiest people.
Pandemic and Publishing: Time to Turn the Page
Business Line, 13th May 2021
“Book sales in India slowed down considerably as the national lockdown in 2020 led to brick-and-mortar bookshops staying closed for a long period and e-commerce sellers being allowed to only sell ‘essential items’” says Teesta Guha Sarkar, head of editorial at Pan Macmillan. Publishers who were dependent on brick-and mortar stores saw a fall of above 20% in sales, says Rita Jagoorie, general manager of Hachette Books. The 90’s saw a boom, with the opening of new publishing houses, and the expansion of old ones. Smaller outfits came up, too, and many feared that they might have been badly hit by the pandemic. Trisha De Niyogi, director and chief operating officer at independent publishing house Niyogi Books, however, says that contrary to what they had thought, the publishers managed to do almost as well as they did in pre-pandemic times, thanks to digital support. The bigger establishments are looking at change, too. Publishers report that while the quantum of publication has not fallen since the pandemic, they have had to hold back new titles and have been reeling under falling sales.
In many parts of the world, online sales have shown an increase, with people downloading books at a time when closed bookstores imply fewer physical books. The Indian story, however, is different, says Gautam Padmanabhan, CEO, Westland. The reading community is heavily dependent on bookstores in India, he adds. “Unlike in some other parts of the world, staying home hasn’t necessarily meant more book buying in India. Since more people tend to read books rather than e-books (in India), store closures and lockdowns have definitely affected visibility and sales,” he says. But like most sectors, publishing is focusing on digital, too—with books being made available online for sale. Marketing moved into the digital space in 2020, says Jagoorie of Hachette. “Marketing of books has now turned online as well—with virtual author events and virtual book fairs,” she says. All is not bad news, however. Several publishers reported that online sales increased proportionately to the loss in sales of physical copies, and ended up keeping sales at the same level as before 2020. Says Jagoorie, “We are hoping that this trend continues, and that the pandemic has forced people to migrate online as a second option if not by choice”. A study—Impact of Covid 19 on the India Book Consumer—conducted by Nielsen Book India in June-August 2020 found several insightful results. It found that more people were buying books through online platforms than earlier. More than two-thirds of Nielsen’s respondents reported they were reading more books since the lockdown of March 2020. Both reading and audiobook listening went up, increasing by a substantial seven hours weekly on average to as much as 16 hours total per week. Now, people spend more time reading e-books and listening to audiobooks.
Government Broadens Rules that bar Retired Officials from Publishing Sensitive Information
The Economic Times, 2nd June 2021
The Centre has amended its rules barring officers who had worked in intelligence and security related organisations from publishing sensitive information by adding new clauses, including the conditions that they cannot share any material on “domain of the organization” or its personnel. The Central Civil Services (Pension) Amendment Rules, 2021, states that they need to take prior permission from the “head of the organization” for publishing such material. In the earlier 2007 rules, permission was to be taken from the head of the department. All employees would have to give an undertaking to the head of organization that they would not publish such information falling which pension can be “withheld or withdrawn”, the amendment states. The amended provision reads, “No government servant, who, having worked in any intelligence or security-related organization shall, without prior clearance from the head of the organization, make any publication after retirement, of any material relating to and including domain of the organization, including any reference or information about any personnel and his designation, and expertise or knowledge gained by virtue of working in that prganisation”. The rules apply to employees who retire from the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), Central Economic Intelligence Bureau (CEIB), Directorate of Enforcement (ED), Aviation Research Centre (ARC), Border Security Force (BSF), Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), National Security Guards (NSG), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) among others. The list also includes the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB), Special Frontier Force (SFF), Special Protection Group (SPG), and Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU). The CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972, which have been amended to make way for 2007 and 2021 rules, however, don’t apply to officers of the Indian Administrative Service (IAS), Indian Police Service (IPS), and Indian Forest Service (IFoS) among others.
PubliCon 2020: Economics of Publishing
New Delhi, 9 January 2020
Prof. G.P. Sharma, Chairman, NBT, India, said that books are not just reflection of society, but also the guiding force to give direction that will pave the way forward to a new society. Speaking at ‘PubliCon 2020: Economics of Publishing’, organized by FiCCI, Prof. Sharma said that books are often termed as soft power and highlight the current challenges of the society in order to create future society. Whenever we try to create a new society through the help of books, not only the society gets reflected but also efforts are made to guide the society as well. He added that publishers should also keep society in mind while publishing books. Highlighting the challenges of the publishing industry, Prof. Sharma said that one of the important issues is with regard to the pricing of book and profits. “While deciding on the price points of the books, we should consider the target market for which we are publishing,” Prof. Sharma added. He said that on one hand, some publishers print limited copies of a book at higher price while some print more number of copies at lower rate. “Publishers can either opt for publishing less copies of a book at higher price or more copies at lesser price in order to make profits. In India, we should focus on printing a greater number of copies of a book at lesser cost and still make profits,” Prof. Sharma emphasized.
Local Publishers Need to Catch up with Technological Changes
National Herald, 10th June 2021
Publishing in India is at once traditional, caught up in the by lanes of Ansari Road, the Old Delhi books street, and digitally aspirational, in its plush offices in the National Capital Region. It has weathered many storms and there are inherent contradictions where old problems and new opportunities can, and often do, coexist. Competition and collaboration between existing and new forces and entities are more visible than ever before. Local publishers are facing the heat and need to catch up with the rapid technological changes in publishing, while multinational publishers look to marry content and technology to move up the value chain. Publishing services in India are used globally for their cost and quality effectiveness and this sector needs to get its due place in mainstream publishing for its contributions to local employment and to global publishing needs. According to The India Book Market: Understanding the India Book Market report by Nielsen, there are 9000 publishers in India, with over 21000 retailers, publishing in 22 official languages and if we include regional dialects, the total is about 1600. Literacy, in India, is rising rapidly; it surged from 65 percent in 2001 to 74 percent in 2011 and is predicted to reach 90 percent very soon. With such impressive figures, the industry has a long way to go.
Trends Transforming the Publishing Industry Outlook in 2021
Linchpin, 10th July 2021
Whether it is print or digital publishing or the print industry, 2021 continues many trends that began taking hold in 2018. The strongest developments relate to niche development and search engine optimization (SEO), with the development of online communities a strong contender for the top trend. Niche publishers continue to flourish, and they will increase in popularity, especially in the digital publishing realm. Now, publishers have to expertise in information technology since businesses have begun moving toward IT service providers over traditional print suppliers. They need to add to their expertise organically or by partnering with an experienced IT service provider. The move to IT services translates to a more diverse product portfolio and assures print security. The trend toward digital publishing continues to grow and succeed. Those who succeeded with their digital launch attributed their success to a devotion of commitment, time, and resources. Rather than simply introduce new digital products, they revamped and re-launched existing digital publications and tools. When it comes to re-launches, integrate content engagement and artificial intelligence (AI) for auto-tagging to scale and create process efficiencies. Publishers shall continue to focus on basics like SEO strategies but also leverage advanced technology such as AI to tout their digital and print publications. Other marketing options include creating subscription content and podcasting. AI significantly contributes to building audience engagement. Strong SEO will help you get a better Google ranking which has further increased in importance. Its shift to a mobile-first index continues to spotlight local results and personalized search results. Publishers will create platforms to collect and visualize audience, and community data as the focus on segmentation grows even more. While content remains king, it is site architecture that combines with SEO to draw more visitors to publishing brands online.
London’s Booker Prize for Fiction Names its 2021 Longlist
Publishing Perspectives, 26th July 2021
In announcing its traditional “Booker’s dozen” 13 longlisted titles and authors overnight, the United Kingdom’s Booker Prize for Fiction has returned to the 2017 Nobel Prize in Literature and Booker laureate Kazuo Ishiguro—three times shortlisted for a Booker in the past. He won the Booker in 1989 for The Remains of the Day. He was shortlisted in 2005 for Never Let Me Go, in 2000 for When we were Orphans, and in 1986 for An Artist of the Floating World.
In fact, as heartening as it always is to see Booker attention for debut writers, it’s bracing to see the wealth this year of so much previously proven talent. In addition to Ishiguro’s handsome track record with what is arguably the English language’s most influential literary prize, we find on the list—(1) The gifted South African playwright and novelist Damon Galgut, twice shortlisted for a Booker, in 2006 for The Good Doctor and in 2010 for In a Strange Room. (2) The American Pulitzer Prize-winning Richard Powers shortlisted for a Booker in 2018 for The Overstory and longlisted in 2014 for Orfeo. (3) Britain’s Sunjeev Sahota, shortlisted in 2015 for The Year of the Runaways. (4) Canadian Mary Lawson longlisted in 2006 for The Other Side of the Bridge.
This time, two novelists are longlisted for their debut publications—the Americans Nathan Harris for his The Sweetness of Water and Patricia Lockwood for No One is Talking About This. Like Olympics sports journalists totting up national medals here, six nations are referenced in these longlisted works. This list adds up to 15, not 13, because two of the authors identify as having both British and another country in their background. The Booker’s home team, the United Kingdom, leads with five longlistees. The United States is close behind with four contenders on the list. Canada is represented by two authors. South Africa also has two writers on the list. Sri Lanka is here with the one mention, the work of Anuk Arudpragasam. Somalia is represented with one longlisting for Nadifa Mohamed’s work.
The Booker Foundation’s media messaging points to four independent publishers on the list—Bloomsbury, Granta, Faber, and Holland House Books. Faber & Faber is at the opposite end of that spectrum, having won the Booker Prize seven times, making it second only to Penguin Random House’s Jonathan Cape, which as eight wins to its credit.
Authors, Illustrators Pressure the UK Government on Copyright
Publishing Perspectives, 1st August 2021
A brace of 2661 signatories whose names appeared in an open letter to the editor in London’s Sunday Times include such icons as playright Alan Ayckbourn, the Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro, Royal Society of Literature fellow Philip Pullman, Scotland’s William Boyd, the translator Simon Bruni, and Hilary Mantel. They and their associates are stepping forward to get the attention of the UK government amid its “reconsideration” of the United Kingdom’s post-Brexit approach to copyright and trade. They think that the exercise considers a weakening of copyright rules crucial for exporting books around the world and ensuring that UK authors benefit financially from those sales. “The Intellectual Property Office of the UK is currently consulting on the UK’s future exhaustion regime. If they decide to introduce an international exhaustion framework, authors will be unable to limit foreign editions of their books being sold into the UK, undercutting their domestic sales”. “Britain is a world leader in publishing and currently exports more books than any other country in the world. The wrong outcome would jeopardize the whole books industry and vandalize the UK’s cultural landscape. It would mean fewer books, by fewer authors, for fewer readers.”

Print-on-Demand Makes Publishing Industry Environment Friendly and Cheaper
Indian Printer Publishers, 24th July 2021
One of the UK’s leading print-on-demand companies believes the service should be embraced by publishers wanting to drive down costs and lower their environmental footprint. Prime, part of the Precision Proco Group, has cornered the market in its fully automated print-on-demand system, which customers across various sectors have widely embraced. And now the company believes it is a model that should be adopted by the publishing world, allowing it not just to produce the books it needs and to be able to restock quickly if needed but also to ship directly to the customer. Jon Tolly, Chief Innovation Officer at Precision Proco Group, believes that waste could be slashed with no adverse effects to the customer by simply utilizing what print-on-demand has to offer.
“Despite being able to read on electronic devices, people still love and prefer the feeling of having a book in their hands”, said Jon. “But there’s no doubt that every step of the production process has an environmental cost, particularly if the book ends up in a pulper because it hasn’t sold.” “By using digitalization and technology, it means there’s the opportunity to take a completely different approach, replacing the outdated print-to-projection model with a print-to-possibility mind set.” Book publishers take a gamble on sales every time a book is brought to market, particularly from a first-time author with no real idea of how it will be received. “Using print-on-demand carries a far smaller financial risk, allowing publishers to print in smaller quantities, even with special embellishments to the cover or jackets, but with the option to quickly replenish the stock if it becomes a bestseller”, said Jon.
Print-on-demand also brings the opportunity for publishers to cash in on front list and back list titles, allowing them to be delivered to the reader. “It means that there will never be a time when anyone has to stay out of print ever again”, added Jon.