Publishing Perspectives Podcast by Roli Pulse
Summary: Through every adversity the world has faced, it has found a constant friend and companion in books. From pocketbooks during the Second World War to technology that allows people to carry many books at one go in the form of ebooks, our relationship with books has never faltered. This has been possible due to the adaptability of the publishing industry which has evolved with changing times, to ensure that the essential commodity for our mind and soul always remains accessible. Publishing Perspectives by Roli Pulse attempts to de-construct this ever-changing industry by bringing publishing stalwarts together for engaging discussions on its various aspects: what is independent publishing? How can books in regional languages become more accessible to global readers? What does publishing mean for young professionals in this industry? How has book marketing changed in the COVID-19 world? These episodes, published every week, open the doors of the publishing world for readers and publishers alike. Roli Pulse is a digital initiative by Roli Books. Follow Roli Books: Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn.
The ongoing pandemic, especially the period of lockdown, significantly affected the sale of books through brick and mortar stores. Yet, at the same time, it also gifted the publishers with the opportunity to increase their readership. The lockdown may have surged the popularity of ebooks and audiobooks, but print books still hold the ground, which has witnessed growth in sale post-lockdown. But how has readership altered across genres and different age groups? What kind of preferences do readers have, or has it evolved during lockdown? How has the pandemic affected independent publishers and their readership? Does the digital platform hold the power to influence readers? Durba Chattaraj, Manasi Subramaniam, Vikrant Mathur and Rukmini Banerji, in conversation with Sayoni Basu, share their insights. Durba Chattaraj is faculty at Ashoka University. Manasi Subramaniam is the Executive Editor and the Head of Literary Rights at Penguin Random House India. Rukmini Banerji is the CEO of Pratham Education Foundation. Vikrant Mathur is the Director of Nielsen BookScan India Sayoni Basu is the co-founder of Duckbill, and Consulting Editor at Penguin Random House India.
The pandemic is only one in what feels like an avalanche of prominent shifts in the world order – from constant political strife stemming from numerous humanitarian crises to the looming climate emergency. In this week’s episode of Publishing Perspectives, Arpita Das is joined by Richard Nash, Nathan Hollier, Mahurukh Mohiuddin, and Bodour Al Qasimi in a discussion on the kind of books that the world requires now of the gatekeepers of culture – the publishers; and the way forward in what is a fairly tricky trade. Bodour Al Qasimi is the founder and CEO of Kalimat Group. Mahurukh Mohiuddin is Managing Director at University Press Limited. Nathan Hollier is the CEO of Melbourne University Press. Richard Nash is a Coach, Publishing Strategist, and Serial Entrepreneur. Arpita Das is the Founder and Publisher at Yoda Press.
Audio book publishing is yet a relatively unexplored domain that varies in form: an audio book could be a book being read out or narrated or it could be content created specifically for listeners, like an immaculately structured podcast. On this week’s episode of Publishing Perspectives, Naomi Barton discusses several aspects of audio book publishing with Amit Varma, Yogesh Dashrath, Arcopol Chaudhuri and Miranda West. Amit Varma is a writer and podcaster, and hosts the popular podcast, The Seen and the Unseen. Arcopol Chaudhuri is Rights and Backlist Manager at HarperCollins India. Miranda West is Publisher at Do Book Company. Yogesh Dashrath is India Country Manager of Storytel. Naomi Barton is Audience Engagement Editor at The Wire.
From posters and “bestseller” endorsements a decade ago to the endless possibilities that digital marketing has opened up now, book promotions have seen a veritable shift in scope and scale over time. This week on Publishing Perspectives, Kapil Kapoor talks to Amish Tripathi and Anant Padmanabhan about innovations in marketing strategies in publishing. Amish is a writer, columnist and diplomat. Anant Padmanabhan is the CEO of HarperCollins India. Kapil Kapoor is Managing Director at Roli Books.
With a paucity of publishing courses in universities and a lack of streamlined internship programmes in India, publishing remains a somewhat inaccessible career to young book lovers who wish to be a part of the process of making books. Shubhi Surana, Aritra Paul, Shreya Pandey and Sonali Jindal join Aprita Das on Publishing Perspectives this week to talk about the work culture in Indian publishing, navigating the various operational aspects of trade publishing, diversity and inclusion, and meeting the demands of an evolved reader-base. Aritra Paul is Assistant Editor and Digital Marketer at Stree-Samya Books. Shreya Pandey is Assistant Editor at Penguin Random House India. Shubhi Surana is Editor at Wonder House Books. Sonali Jindal is Editor at DK India. Arpita Das is the founder of and Publisher at Yoda Press.
While the success of Vivek Shanbhag’s Ghachar Ghochar might have been a rare phenomenon, the potential readership for translated works from Indian languages into English and other Indian and international languages remains vast yet largely unrealized. In this week’s episode of Publishing Perspectives, Neeta Gupta of Yatra Books is joined by Arunava Sinha, Minakshi Thakur, Kannan Sundaram, and Aditi Maheshwari Goyal to discuss the joys and challenges of publishing in translation. Aditi Maheshwari Goyal heads Copyrights and Translation at Vani Prakashan. Arunava Sinha is a translator and faculty at Ashoka University. Kannan Sundaram is Managing Director and Publisher at Kalachuvadu Publications. Minakshi Thakur is Publisher at Eka, Westland – Amazon India. Neeta Gupta is Publisher at Yatra Books.
Popularity, representation, an efficient handling of difficult yet necessary themes – what defines a children’s book as successful? Belinda Rasmussen, Sarah Odedina, Vatsala Kaul-Banerjee and Venkatesh M. Swamy discuss with Sayoni Basu common themes, what they think constitutes a successful list, the challenges posed by the pandemic and next steps in children’s book publishing. Belinda Rasmussen is Publisher at Macmillan Children’s Book, Pan Macmillan UK. Sarah Odedina is Editor-at-Large at Pushkin Children’s Books. Vatsala Kaul-Banerjee is Publisher at Hachette India. Venkatesh M. Swamy is the founder of Eureka and Director of Bookaroo Children’s Literature Festival. Sayoni Basu is the co-founder of Duckbill and Consulting Editor at Penguin Random House India.
Discussion on publishing would be incomplete without a discussion on bookstores, which have always been a key link between publishers and readers, before the advent of online stores. In this episode, Manjari Sahay engages Amrita Somaiya, Nijesh Shah, Rick Simonson and Sarah High on what the trends were in sale of books through brick and mortar structures before the pandemic and what impact has Covid-19 had on them, primarily shifting the attention from physical bookstores to online availability of books, and how that has influenced the sale and distribution channels of books. Amrita Somaiya is Director at Kitab Khana. Nijesh Shah is Group President at Sapna Book House and Sapna Infoway. Rick Simonson is Senior Book Buyer, and Co-Director of Reading Series at Elliott Bay Book Company. Sarah High is Partnerships Manager at Bookshops.org. Manjari Sahay is Book Club and Literary Associate at Belongg.
COVID-19 has forced publishers to reconsider their approach towards digital publishing, as digital formats of books – whether audiobooks or e-books – have become a necessity today rather than an added advantage to physical books. It has made publishers pause and consider the opportunities this medium might bring to the readers and to the business of publishing. Vikram Chandra hosts the episode to gain insights from Chiki Sarkar, James Faktor and Ranjeet Singh on what digital publishing in different media holds for the publishing industry, not just in the current global situation, but in the new future. Chiki Sarkar is the co-founder of Juggernaut Books. James Faktor is Publishing Director at Lume Books. Ranjeet Singh is the CEO of Pratilipi. Vikram Chandra is the founder of Editorji.
Although e-books had been running at snail’s pace in India in terms of readership, its demand has surged during the lockdown, which brings focus to book fetishism, and why, perhaps, it is time for publishers and readers alike to adapt themselves to the new platform: digital. Adrian Levy, Anuja Chauhan, Priya Kapoor and Sidharth Jain join host Ankur Pathak to talk about how physical books are not just finding their way to e-books for readers, but also to other digital media, such as live streaming platforms, to cater to a wide variety of book lovers, and find a new lease of life in the process. Adrian Levy is an award-winning writer and producer. Anuja Chauhan is an award-winning writer. Priya Kapoor is Editorial Director at Roli Books. Sidharth Jain is the founder of The Story Ink. Ankur Pathak is Entertainment Editor and Film Critic at HuffPost India.
As the world slowly reels itself back to adjust with the ‘new normal’, a pertinent question to be asked is: what kind of possibilities does the new normal hold for publishing? The pandemic has not changed the way publishers have responded to the complete global shutdown, it has also affected the way we read. Alexandra Pringle, Diya Kar and Sayantan Ghosh come together to discuss with Amit Varma on the new outlook publishers have gained on the kind of books that readers prefer to read and how they prefer to read. Alexandra Pringle is Executive Publisher at Bloomsbury UK. Diya Kar is Publisher and Rights Director at HarperCollins India. Sayantan Ghosh is Senior Commissioning Editor at Simon and Schuster. Amit Varma is a writer and podcaster, and hosts the popular podcast, The Seen and the Unseen.
Independent publishers face a two pronged challenge: the domination of mainstream publishers in the market and the preference of bookstores in having books of mainstream publishers. This challenge has further intensified with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, which has affected, most importantly, the reachability of publishers. Hal Robinson engages Urvashi Butalia, Michael Dwyer and Naveen Kishore to throw light on the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on independent publishers and how they are responding to sustain their readership, their authors and their channel of distribution. Urvashi Butalia is Director at Zubaan Publishers. Michael Dwyer is Publisher and Managing Director at Hurst Publishers. Naveen Kishore is Publisher at Seagull Books. Hal Robinson is an Independent Publishing Consultant.
Kapil Kapoor, Sophy Thompson, Michel Moushabeck and Karthika V.K. – publishers from three different continents, and companies of different scale – join host Amit Varma to discuss the impact of Covid-19 on the business of publishing industry: how the industry was functioning before the pandemic struck, and how it is responding to the pressure of the adversity now. The episode also explores how Covid-19 has not just affected publishing; it has also affected readership. Insightful views are exchanged on how, perhaps, we are subconsciously responding to the effect of such times on the way we read. Karthika V.K. is Publisher at Westland. Kapil Kapoor is Managing Director at Roli Books. Michel Moushabeck is Publisher at Interlink Publishing. Sophy Thompson is CEO and Publisher at Thames and Hudson. Amit Varma is a writer and podcaster and hosts the popular podcast, The Seen and the Unseen.