Publishing Next: from Goa to Delhi, for the World Book Fair

After three successful editions held in Goa every year since 2011, Publishing Next will make its debut at the New Delhi World Book Fair (15–23 February 2014) this year, on 16th February.

08 Feb 2014 | By Vinutha Mallya

PublishingNext at New Delhi World Book Fair (henceforth, PN@NDWBF) will bring to New Delhi the flavour of publishing practices from around the country, from the different languages.

In the last three years, the conference brand has emerged as a platform that has brought into focus, views from publishers of different Indian languages as well as those of SME (small and medium enterprises) and independent publishers. The annual conference has also been instrumental in widening the discussions of publishing technologies and their future, for Indian-languages as well as for independent publishing.


In Delhi, the one-day meet will continue its focus on the publishing ecosystems of Indian languages, with a panel that will bring together publishers publishing books in Punjabi, Maithili, Hindi, Santali and Kannada. The discussants will examine the evolution of publishing industry in each of these languages, their readership and authorship, readiness for translations, and their book distribution systems.

While e-publishing remains a hot topic in almost every industry discussion, the panel on e-publishing at PN@NDWBF will go further and look at infrastructural issues that have affected the proliferation of e-books in India. It will explore the important issues, such as standardization of fonts for Indic scripts; the need for a homegrown e-book reader; and the problems of employing tools such as OCR and other technologies that could potentially facilitate the development of e-books, especially among the Indian languages.

For long, self-publishing has remained a touchy topic for publishers. The dedicated session on self-publishing will open up the discussion to its many touch points. The appeal of self-publishing for first-time authors, the appeal for publishers who are looking to acquire self-published titles, and the genres that are leading the self-publishing phenomenon—all these will be delved into. The challenges faced in distribution of self-published books and their discovery will also be taken up during the discussions.

e-publishing, step-by-step workshop

Feedback received from participants in the past editions of Publishing Next have revealed that while e-books and e-publishing have been hot topics, for most SME publishers, with limited resources, it was a confounding term. The very basic steps towards e-publishing appear daunting to many. With this in mind, conference organisers felt a need to hold a workshop on e-publishing. Entitled “ePublishing 101”, the session will be a primer on digital data development, which will especially address the needs of publishers with limited resources.

But first…

The inauguration of the conference will first be followed by a performance, setting the tone for the discussions, as well as keeping them in perspective. Kannada poet Mamta Sagar will perform verses from her newly launched bilingual collection of poems—Hide & Seek (Kadalu, 2014), and bring to the forum the voice of the author—the primary component of the publishing process. Sagar has been invited around the world to perform and present her poetry, and her poems have been translated into over 30 languages.

List of speakers 

  • Alind Maheshwari, marketing and copyright director of the Rajkamal Prakashan, a leading publisher of books in Hindi.
  • Badri Sheshadri, co-founder of the Chennai-based New Horizon Media, which publishes books in Tamil. He has also been at the forefront of developing publishing technologies for Tamil language.
  • Debasri Rakshit, manages Harper21, HarperCollins India’s e-imprint.
  • Desraj Kali, publisher of several books in Punjabi.
  • Gouri Nath, publisher of Antika Prakashan, which publishes Hindi and Maithili literature
  • Kanishka Gupta, writer, editor and founder of Writer’s Side literary agency
  • Leonard Fernandes, co-founder of Cinnamon Teal, the Goa-based publishing services company. Cinnamon Teal organises Publishing Next.
  • Mangal Majhi has a bookstore and publishing house devoted to Santali literature.
  • Manish Purohit, co-founder of AuthorsUpFront, a self-publishing platform
  • S Sitaram, self-published author, whose book is now picked up by a traditional publisher.
  • Shailesh Bharatwasi, founder-editor of Hind Yugm, publisher of books in Hindi, with self-publishing platform for writers.
  • Shiva Kumar, manages strategic partnerships in print media for Google.
  • Sridhar Gowda, publisher of the Kadalu (an imprint of Peak Platform), and a literary agent. He publishes books in Kannada.
  • Swaran Latha, director and head of Technology Development in Indian Languages, a project of the Department of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India.
  • Venkatesh Hariharan, director of Knowledge Commons, an NGO working on policy issues around open standards, free and open source software and open education resources.
  • Vidula Tokekar, founder of the Pune-based TranslationPanacea, which offers translation services to publishers.
  • Vinutha Mallya, principal at LineSpace Consulting, a publishing advisory.
  • Vishal Salgotra, business development director and founding member of Contentra Technologies, a technology services company.