Publishing Next conference to be held on 20-22 September 2019

After a hiatus of two years, the next edition of the Publishing Next conference has been scheduled to be held in Goa on 20-22 September 2019.

27 Feb 2019 | By Dibyajyoti Sarma

A session from a previous edition of the Publishing Next conference

Established in 2011, Publishing Next was conceived as a forum where publishing professionals could come together and discuss threadbare the issues that they face at work, or in the industry they worked in. While it is an industry conference, focused on issues of concern to the book trade, it also maintains a broad perspective and seeks to foresee the future of book publishing.

The conference has brought together publishers and other publishing professionals, from publishing houses, big and small, often just one-person entities, drawn from across India, those publishing books in its various languages, besides publishers from abroad. Those who have attended include publishers, editors, translators, illustrators, literary agents, bookstore owners, librarians, printers, entrepreneurs, sales managers, distributors, technology service providers, and others.

Through its many sessions and workshops, the conference facilitates an empathetic understanding of the many challenges publishers face as they strive to cope with the twin demands of keeping their businesses afloat in a very competitive market while also responding to the demands of a technologically-savvy readership. A key concern has been, and remains, the role of independent publishers in this scenario, and the important issue of bibliodiversity, in an environment that seems to favour monocultures of the mind.

Publishing Next also allows best practices to be shared among its participants, and new technologies to be introduced. Alongside serious discussions on a range of topics, the unique atmosphere in which the conference is held allows friendships and business alliances to develop.

According to Leonard Fernandes, co-founder, Publishing Next, Publishing Next ensures a gender balance in the composition of its panels that new voices in the industry are given an opportunity and that publishers in regional languages have a stronger presence here than at any other publishing forum in India.

“Towards that last objective, we have speakers from almost every published language in India, including, but not limited to, Assamese, Bengali, Maithili, Santhali, Konkani, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Kannada, Kashmiri, and Hindi. Most importantly, perhaps, the forum has remained independent of any influence that may attempt to dictate the agenda of the conference,” Fernandes added.

The conference also organises the Publishing Next Industry Awards. Established in 2014, these Awards, the only ones of their kind in India, were presented in 10 categories in 2018, and seek to reward innovation and leadership in the Indian book trade. Panel discussions and workshops we propose for this edition of Publishing Next include: the commerce of poetry; the challenges facing book retail and distribution; bibliodiversity; the sustainability of independent publishing; and the proposed National Book Promotion Policy, to name a few.

“We have estimated expenses of Rs 14,88,000, mainly towards the travel and stay of speakers, and catering for participants. Other expenses include rent for the venue, some social media marketing, and miscellaneous expenditures such as bags and lanyards for participants. In order to reach our target, we are approaching organisations and individuals who share our vision for the conference and would like to see it continue,” Fernandes said.

Towards this, Fernandes has appealed to organisations to support the event in ways they can. These include, one, sponsoring a speaker or two, if someone from the organisation is invited. This would entail paying for their travel to Goa and back. Two, sponsoring a couple of attendees. This would entail paying their participation fees, and paying for their travel to Goa and back, and for their stay in Goa. Three, coming in as a sponsor by opting for one of the sponsorship plans.

For details, interested parties can write to