Publishing Next to highlight Indian language publishing, ePublishing and self-publishing

Publishing Next has emerged as an important event on the calendar of every publishing professional who wishes to keep abreast of new technologies, business practices and trends in publishing, through a mix of long-form panel discussions, how-to workshops and experience-sharing insight talks. Since its inception in 2011, Publishing Next has touched upon topics that primarily focus on Indian languages, ePublishing and other perennial issues that the book industry in India grapples with - issues su

06 Feb 2014 | By PrintWeek India

The efforts and successes of Publishing Next haven’t gone unnoticed and National Book Trust, India, after witnessing its wide appeal and the range of topics discussed during the conference, invited Publishing Next to organize a 1-day conference during the forthcoming World Book Fair at New Delhi. The conference will be held on the 16th of February at Pragati Maidan, the venue of the Fair.

Publishing Next at the New Delhi World Book Fair, will examine a wide variety of issues. The conference will start with deliberations on Indian language publishing. In what is an ongoing focus on Indian languages, the panel will examine the state of publishing in languages such as Maithili, Kannada, Punjabi, Hindi and Santali. This session will examine the issues encountered by publishers publishing in these languages. Moderated by Vinutha Mallya, a Bangalore-based publishing consultant, the session will have panellists like Desraj Kali, Alind Maheshwari, Mangal Majhi, Sridhar Gowda and Gouri Nath, all publishers with considerable knowledge of the publishing environment in their respective languages.

Alind Maheshwari of Rajkamal Prakashan said, “With changing times, the Indian languages publishing industry faces new challenges. I wish to shed some light on the current state of Hindi writings, readers and the changing scenario. Another issue that I will address is the existing online market of Hindi books scope for children books in Hindi and the lack of professionalism that persists in our industry.”

The next session will see panellist put their heads together about the impending growth of ePublishing in India. Infrastructural issues that have undermined the proliferation of eBooks in India, issues such as the non-availability of adequate fonts, the absence of a home-grown reader and the absence of well-evolved tools such as OCR that could facilitate the development of eBooks within an Indian context will be heavily discussed and debated. This session will be moderated by Swarn Lata , country head of W3C in India, Venkatesh Hariharan who has considerable experience in the development of fonts and tools for Indian language publishing. They will be joined by panellists Shiva Kumar, who manages Strategic Relationships at Google Books will talk about the benefits of going digital, Badri Seshadri, co-founder, New Horizon Media will share his perspective on development of eBooks in Tamil, Debasri Rakshit of Harper21 , HarperCollins’ e-book imprint will discuss changing nature of content over the last five years and how e-books and e-readers can tap into that market and Vishal Salgotra, director of business development, Contentra Technologies India.

Talking about Publishing Next Venkatesh Hariharan, said, “Publishing Next is a great platform for the industry to come together and address common issues. I think the publishing industry could benefit greatly from a professionally run industry association and Publishing Next can be a great catalyst in making this happen.

There are significant opportunities and challenges for Indian publishers on ePublishing front. India now has the third largest Internet user base, and access devices like smartphones and tablets are growing rapidly. Many technology companies are now focusing on enabling the Internet in Indian languages.Traditional publishers will have an edge because they own content. However, we will see a new generation of publishers flourish because of e-Publishing. Those publishers who master the dynamics of this new opportunity are the ones that will be the most successful.”

The third session planned for the conference is ‘Going Solo: Examining Self-Publishing’ which will focus on the phenomenon of self-publishing and examine its place in today's publishing environment in India. It will examine the causes for its popularity despite the fact that new publishing houses are emerging ever so rapidly and how technology may have catalysed this popularity. The session will also exchange views on the so-called negative aspects of self-publishing: the fact that it is equated with vanity publishing and disdain among traditional publishers and retailers alike. The session will be moderated by Leonard Fernandes, co-founder of Goa-based CinnamonTeal Publishing.

Manish Purohit, co-founder of AuthorsUpFront and one of the speakers for the session said, “Self-publishing has started gaining popularity and acceptance in the Indian market. As e-publishing expands in India and rest of world and as technology expands and makes it even easier, self-publishing will certainly become one of the more important forms of publishing. It will also provide Indian authors (and likewise authors from other countries) access to bigger global markets. In India, the language landscape and its diversity helps the self-publishing momentum.”

The day will conclude with a workshop titled "ePublishing 101", which will serve a basic primer on digital data development that would address issues mainly raised by publishers with limited resources. The conference in Delhi will therefore include a workshop that builds a case for eBook development, help the audience understand the pros and cons of undertaking eBook development and will address the issues related to the basic workflow involved in producing an eBook. The workshop is a great opportunity for small and large publishers alike, whether publishing in English or in Indian language, to understand how eBooks should be embraced and be acquainted with the intricacies of such an undertaking. This workshop will be conducted by Amit Verma, currently co-founder of SpiritNoise and previously software developer at Dorling Kindersley and Rough Guides.

For more details on the conference, please visit

Publishing Next, an annual conference held each September in Goa is a platform for the convergence of people associated with the Indian publishing industry. The two-day conferences concentrate on a few select languages each time and discussing the state of publishing in various Indian languages. Thus, the topics that are addressed attract publishing professionals from all over India, and even abroad. Besides English and Indian language publishers, editors, translators, designers, bloggers, students of publishing courses, book retailers, digital content developers, literary agents, government bodies and observers of the publishing industry have attended the annual event, since 2011.