Even as the World Book Fair turns into an annual affair, publishing industry bigwigs feel the need for more such fairs in different parts of India to reach out to the “marginalised” and “hinterland readers” as well as harness “untapped potential of language media” publications.

“Only having one large world book fair in Delhi is not enough. We need to reach out within the market through the language publishing media by taking these book fairs to every corner of the country that speaks different languages,” said Ravi Deecee, CEO D.C Books.

Deecee, who heads one of the country’s largest retail chain, said there was dire need of book fairs, which focused on the regional languages of the country.

“What we need is more fairs focusing on regional languages like Malayalam, Punjabi, Bengali and other eastern tongues. Reaching out to those readers in a win-win situation both for the publishers as well for languages in dire need of attention,” he said.

Deccee was participating in a round-table event “CEO Speak – a Forum for Publishing” organised in partnership with National Book Trust and FICCI as a collateral event of the World Book Fair, which began here on February 4

The event saw captains from the publishing industry exchanging ideas and sharing business and book trade-related issues and concerns such as industry status for the publishing industry, implementation of National Book Promotion Policy, tax related issues as well as digital media.

The focus of the first-of-its kind annual forum aimed to evolve a composite agenda of publishing in India, and among other things, for the proper projection of Indian publishing in international book trade in order to strengthen the business component of the New Delhi World Book Fair.

“We hereby urge the government to accord industry status to the publishing industry and also hope that the National Book Promotion Policy will be eventually implemented benefiting both the industry as well the readers,” said Sidharth Birla, senior Vice-President, FICCI.

Eminent author and Minister of state, HRD, Shashi Tharoor in his brief keynote address said the Indian publishing industry has certainly improved over the years.

“The future of the publishing industry certainly looks encouraging. I had a difficult time finding a publisher for my first book but it’s not so difficult these days, I guess. The quality and the editorial content too have improved over the years,” Tharoor said.

(This article was published on February 5, 2013)
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