Booknomics


Publishing, Print on Demand, Self-publishing in India from Pothi.com Team

January 5, 2018
by Neelima
0 comments

Interview: Richa Jha

We got to talk to picture book publisher Richa Jha!

Richa Jha is an Indian children’s author and picture book enthusiast. Her books have been shortlisted for prestigious national literary and industry awards, won a popular award, and entered the Limca Book of Records. She hosts the country’s first online critique platform and runs the only website dedicated to reviewing Indian picture books (Snuggle with Picture Books). She is a former editor for children’s books at the New Delhi based Wisdom Tree, and the Kids section editor at Time Out Delhi. She’s an active member of the kidlit community, SCBWI and IBBY, and regularly attends conferences, webinars and book fairs, including Bologna and Frankfurt. She now runs her independent publishing house, Pickle Yolk Books. She is a keen solo traveler having backpacked across 31 countries, and counting. She lives in the NCR with her husband and two children in a house filled with picture books, photographs and plush toys.

Writing children’s books is picking up in India. How did you start?

The picture book landscape in India seems to be gradually coming of age and there cannot be a happier soul in this country than I! It is heartening to see the kind of interesting, exciting books that are beginning to get written and published now. I feel we are all set to welcome a glorious phase of picture books in India!

I have been writing for over 20 years now, but my children’s book writing journey began only about seven years ago. This was a natural, organic extension to my passion for picture books. The love began in earnest once my first child was born in 2002 and I began buying books for him by the dozen when he was less than four months old. I didn’t look at age appropriateness. It was the sheer act of snuggling together and reading aloud to him that kept us both engrossed and took our bonding to another level. That’s when I began to appreciate the power of picture books. It has been (and continues to be) an amazing journey of discovering some of the greatest stories from around the world ever told in a format most engaging and complete. So when I began writing my own stories, it was like my mind had been prepping itself up for it all these years.

You’ve started a publishing house called Pickle Yolk Books and you also have a website called Snuggle with Picture Books. What has your publishing journey been like so far?

Unplanned, straight from the heart and deeply satisfying. I enjoy creating books but am yet to feel comfortable with the ‘publisher’ tag resting on my head, mostly because I am unable to get myself to ‘think’ like a publisher or see my Pickle Yolk Books like a business. In a way, it acts both as my biggest strength and my weakest link. By seeing myself only as a creator, I make sure I don’t allow the market/ selling dynamics to influence my choice of subjects. But brave books don’t sell; brave picture books, even less so.

Then there are the additional ‘age-appropriate book’ perceptions of the parents to battle with. Parents in India are loath to seeing even their 5-6-year-olds with a picture book in their hands. In a mad rush to get them to read ‘real’ books the weaning off happens early. So by definition, picture books in India get slotted as books for under 5-year-olds. Given the kind of books I publish, therefore, it’s like creating books for a non-existent reader! My biggest challenge as a publisher is to get parents, teachers, children to warm up to the idea that picture books can (and should) be read by older children too, alongside anything else that they are reading.

The themes of your books are unique and brave. Be it bereavement, gender, friendship or embarrassment, you talk about tough issues to little people. How do you zero in on these ideas? 

I have always believed that our children lead difficult lives that we adults often gloss over. We tend to sugarcoat it as an innocent idyllic life-stage. But in reality, they are faced with constant rejections and varying forms and degrees of loss. They struggle with finding acceptance in an adult world, they fight hard for their thoughts to be heard, they are negotiating a rude, mean dynamics among the peers and are battling all kinds of fears that are new to them, in additions to getting weighted down by academics and parental expectations. All this, without the hindsight of experience. It’s not easy for them. And that is what my books are all about. About tough personal challenges in some form that the children themselves figure a way of navigating around and triumphing over. So it’s not about issues but about the real demons they face within and without.

How long does it take for you to write a 400-word picture book?

Sometimes, as many as five years! But for most books, it is about a year. I go through several (about 50, on an average) rounds of revision, spread over months/ years. Because I also publish most of what I write, I have the luxury of keeping them in a constant state of revision until the final printed copies are out. Actually, in that sense, they never quite end up not being works in progress.

You’ve collaborated with artists Gautam Benegal and Ruchi Mhasane. What’s the most important thing to remember when you are collaborating?

Trusting and respecting the illustrators’ artistic process and their creative space. Which also means that unless I am struggling to meet a critical deadline, I try not to rush them through the artwork. What I love about working with both Gautam and Ruchi is that they act as my creative conscience-keepers; in moments when I am beset with self-doubt about the story of the WIP, they help me get back my clarity. And they never shy away from pointing out the flaws and weaknesses in my story. In many ways, learning to welcome and respect feedback (without taking it personally) is the first step in any healthy collaboration.

What are the tools an author and illustrator need to know about while creating a picture book? 

I am not sure if these would qualify as tools, but here are the essentials.

  1. First and foremost, there is the need to rid oneself of the perception that a picture book is easy to write; it looks deceptively simple. And read hundreds and hundreds of good books in this format before attempting one of your own.
  2. The author needs to think visually. So even though, in most cases, the illustrations are done by another person, by thinking visually, the author is able to get the pacing, page turns and punches right.
  3. A picture book is very different from an illustrated storybook; the latter follows a somewhat similar narrative like the oral stories we are used to hearing from our grandparents. But a picture book is different. The interplay of the text and visuals is what forms its core and soul.
  4. The illustrators need to go way beyond what the text says when planning out their visuals. In a picture book, the illustrations have as much role to play as the text. So a parallel visual narrative or two over and above what the text says is non-negotiable.
  5. Where most picture books fail is getting the ending right. Without a deeply satisfying ending, the reader feels cheated.

Favorite picture book?

That’s impossible to respond to! I have countless favorites. I once compiled a list for my blog (but this too was a couple of years ago; I’ve discovered so many gems since!): A Monster Jamboree of my Favourite Picture Books.

Sneak peek into your next project.

I could fill reams talking about my works in progress! These days I am working on the story of a blind boy negotiating the crowded streets of Calcutta (Maccher Jhol, illustrated by Sumanta Dey) and on a funny story of a dad-daughter duo.

All the best with your future projects, Richa!

December 26, 2017
by Neelima
0 comments

Interview: Abhik Dutta

We spoke to Abhik Dutta, author of several books in Bengali including Kichukhkhon, Nosto Somoyer Golpo, Chandalika Ebong Onyanyo Golpo, etc.  Born in a Bengali middle-class family, Abhik has been reading books since his childhood. He is a busy Chemical Engineer but after coming back from his office, he loves to read various kinds of literature and edits a web magazine called Adorer Nouka, a web magazine. Abhik gets his inspiration from Tagore. He is also a music lover.

 

What challenges have you faced as a writer in Bengali? What successes have you achieved?

Presently, the number of readers is decreasing in the field of Bengali Literature and the market is getting limited day by day. I started writing on my facebook pages and got satisfactory responses. Facebook provides a liberal platform to the writers who want to publish their writings independently. But I still feel the conversion rate between reading and enjoying stories on facebook and buying the physical book from the market needs to be improved.

Tell us about the themes of your short fiction.

I write both short fictions and novels. I love writing thrillers and love stories.

What advice do you give to authors out there who wish to market their books?

I have a popular facebook page named Srichoroneshoe. It is quite popular in the Bengali Fb circuit. I write my stories there. People read these stories that I post and make queries about buying my books. It is quite effective if anyone wants to market their books.

You are a chemical engineer. How did you take the plunge into writing?

I write after I come back from work. Writing is a passion. My readers also inspire me to write. Even if I am tired after work, I don’t see that as an obstacle to my writing.

What is your next project?

In the upcoming Kolkata book fair, two of my books are getting published.

All the best with your writing in the future, Abhik!

December 7, 2017
by Neelima
1 Comment

Interview: Nihar Sharma

Nihar Sharma is an engineer turned freelance writer and poet. She regularly shares poetry on social media under her alias ‘The Dreamer’, read by followers across the globe. She is a native of Jammu, India, and currently resides in Kansas, US. Her self-published poetry book ‘Wanderings’ was third on the hot new releases for poetry by women in December 2016 on Amazon and the digital version was #1 bestseller in Asian American poetry in April 2017. When she’s not writing, she’s most likely reading, daydreaming or shooing off the squirrel from her bird feeder.


I think
I was meant
to be around people
and yet not be around them
to observe them from
a distance
and
wonder what
their
stories
are.

Why does an engineer decide to write poetry or why does a poet become an engineer?

My grandfather had an old typewriter, and as a kid, I loved the tap-tap of the keys. That’s when I wrote my first poems. But then school happened, and I forgot about writing. A part of me was interested in science and hence engineering ensued. But after college and working for a while in a software company, I felt unfulfilled and somehow could not feel passionate about my work. I got anxious and depressed, and just to let my emotions out, I began to write. It felt as though the words had been waiting to be penned all along. One day I was feeling really low and decided to find a place online to give way to my emotions. I found a website created for writing anonymous thoughts, but before I could type anything, I began reading what other people had written and my problems seemed very small in comparison. I started replying to the posts, asking those in pain to hold on, and that there was more to life if they tried. The next day I got a reply from someone telling me I had saved his life! That was a high I will never forget. And I realized that’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to write and help people, share my emotions and tell them that they are not alone. I wanted to give them something positive to look forward to and I decided to do so in the form of short prose and poems. That’s how The Dreamer started. And to my surprise, the response was phenomenal. Technically, I never had any issues because writing came naturally to me. It helped sort out my emotions and gave me relief. It became my anchor. I am addicted to writing now. And I hope that those who read it are addicted to it too.

Your favorite poet/poets.

 Tyler Knott Gregson, Nayyirah Waheed, Khalil Gibran

Your FB page has a large number of followers. Any tips about marketing for wannabe writers?

Consistency is the key. Write well and write often. If you get a chance, share your writing on FB pages that are looking for such content. If you touch the right chord with the audience, people will automatically come looking to your page for more. And if you write often, they will stay. Be open to criticism.

Instapoetry is taking the poetry scene by storm- tell us about the effort you put in to make the digital experience of your poetry more interesting.

Apart from rare occasions when the poem is long, I try to keep it short and clear. On social media, especially Instagram, you have a very short time to peak a person’s interest. So clarity is important. Also, be consistent. People read your work because they like the way you put it. If you keep changing the way it looks experimenting with a lot of fonts, I doubt they will recognize it as yours anymore.

Explain your writing process- is it spontaneous or do you spend time rewriting work?

When a thought comes to me I write it down in whatever rough form I can. Then later I try to make sense of it and rewrite if necessary.

 What are you working on now?

A second book of poetry.

 Any tips for writers seeking inspiration?

Some days it is easy to write, but it is not easy to write every day. Only ever make a career out of it if you cannot survive without writing. On the days Inspiration decides to look the other way, watch movies, read books, think about the people you have met. You will definitely find something to pen down.

 If not poetry, then?

A fiction novel. I love creating stories in my head. I have always been a dreamer.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas, Nihar! We wish you all the best for your second book!

You can follow her on FB and Instagram to read more of her work.

 

November 27, 2017
by Jaya
0 comments

5 Common Mistakes Authors and Self-publishers Make While Assigning ISBNs to their Books

It’s not enough getting the International Standard Book Number (ISBN). This numeric identifier that contains thirteen digits needs to be properly understood before you add it to your book. In this article, we look at five common misconceptions that people have about these much-coveted ISBNs.

                                                     Source: Wikimedia Commons

1. Using the same ISBN across different titles
An ISBN doesn’t represent an author, so you can’t use the same ISBN across all your titles. It is even more specific than a single title.

2. Using the same ISBN across eBook and print book
ISBN not only represents a title but also a specific format and edition of the book. It cannot be shared between eBook and print versions of even the same title.

3. Using the same ISBN in paperback and hard cover
Even using the same ISBN for different formats of print books is incorrect. Paperback and hard cover must have different ISBNs.

4. Using the same ISBN across different editions
An ISBN has to be unique to a specific format of a specific title. It also has to be unique to a specific edition. If a new edition of a book is being brought out, it can’t reuse the previous edition’s ISBN. Reprinting with the same ISBN is fine. This concept, however, runs into some trouble with print on demand since you can keep making small changes in the books all the time.

At what point does a book deserve to be called a new edition? When you make significant changes,  calling it a new edition and assigning a new ISBN will be good from a marketing perspective. Another recommendation we have is if your changes are significant enough that they change the physical specifications of the book like the number of pages or page size, then you should treat this as a different edition and assign a new ISBN.

5. Using the same ISBN across different country editions
Even if the content is the same, if you are creating different editions to sell at different prices in different countries, you should use different ISBNs for them. ‘Price change’, as such, does not require changing the ISBN. But having two differently priced editions at different places at the same time is not exactly a price change. It is really two different editions. Keeping the ISBN the same across differently priced editions can also create confusion in the listing of your book on online stores. So, use two different ISBNs in such cases.

 

Let us know if you have any ISBN related queries that haven’t been answered.

 

November 23, 2017
by Neelima
1 Comment

Interview: Chetana from IKnowItMOM.com

We spoke to Chetana,  founder of IKnowItMOM Pvt. Ltd. She started the company with her husband Ishwar Bhat.

Chetana is an engineer, animator, storyteller, entrepreneur and a mother. She has a keen interest in psychology and she loves children. Her experience of working as a program analyst in Infosys has helped her map professional problems with childhood issues. She has had great success in combining development psychology with storytelling. She is a certified storyteller from Kathalaya. Her stories are popular as she talks about difficult topics without sounding preachy.  Ishwar, the co-author,  is also an engineer. He has 20+ years of experience in training and blogs at Mid Manager.
Tell us a little about your venture IKnowItMom.com.

The IKnowItMOM company was born with a vision to create a better childhood. Children who develop the right attitude early on become more successful in life. To help with all-round growth, we cover all aspects of childhood like bullying, safety, money, health, food, memory techniques, leadership, relationships, etc. We bring the best of technology into education through physical books, interactive eBooks, animation and mobile games.

The books on bullying are a prominent part of your series. Why did you choose to write about this theme?

When my son was 5 years old he said he wanted to learn Kung Fu. He joined Kung Fu class and was good at it. Within a year, he got his first belt. Then he started making excuses and skipping classes. I knew he still liked Kung Fu, since he enjoyed practicing it at home. After talking to him, I came to know that the other boys in the class call him ‘Baby’ and teased him. As a caring mother I tried to help by saying “Just ignore them”. Of course, it didn’t work. He was emotionally hurt.  That’s when I realized how bad the effect of bullying could be. I wondered how many children out there missed opportunities because of bullying. I couldn’t find books that taught practical tools to handle it, so I decided to write about bullying. These books cover all types of bullying: verbal, physical and cyber. They make children self-sufficient and confident.  My son is 9 now and has already reached Red belt in Kung Fu.

Some tips to prevent cyber bullying?

Cyber bullying can be very well managed with awareness. We need to tell children about the risks of being online. Most children don’t know that downloading a game can be dangerous. We need to install Anti-Virus software and use kid-safe browsers. Children should never reveal their identity to strangers and parents should monitor any emotional stress in the children after using the Internet. Most important, keep communication open with the children. They need trusted adults to share their problems.

How to be safe online, what to do when we receive hateful messages, trolling, mobile addiction, social media addiction, hacking, dangerous selfies, and many more topics are covered in  Cyber Bullying and Cyber Safety. It is one of a kind book with unique illustrations.

 

How do you advise parents and teachers to use the books in your series?

Our books are designed to be used as teaching material for parents/teachers and as books meant for children. Parents can also use our books as a Parenting Guide to develop the right conversations with the children. For each story, the introduction page sets the context. The Activities page can be used for introspection and assessment. The books begin with a quiz where children can check their knowledge. Life skills coaches can use these books as part of their curriculum.

Future projects?

Our next book will be on ‘School’. Many children don’t learn because they have issues with the school or the teacher. This book will motivate children to learn. It will also reduce pressure on teachers. We will publish many more books, eBooks and games next year. We also plan to design curriculum around these books. We want to give children all the tools to be emotionally strong, so that they can reach their full potential.

Tell us about self-publishing experience.

When Ishwar and I started our company, we had very little knowledge of book publishing. Pothi.com helped us to understand the publishing industry, especially self-publishing. Our first book was published at Pothi.com. We like the simple workflow provided. It is easy to navigate, publish and try different printing options. Thank you very much.

Thank you Chetana for taking the time to answer all our questions!

November 2, 2017
by Neelima
0 comments

Interview: Sunaina Patnaik

Sunaina Patnaik is a twenty-something writer from Hyderabad. Her writing explores the realms of vulnerability, loss, healing,and self-love. Warm Delinquencies is her debut collection of poetry and writing that deals with the matters of the heart.

We decided to talk to this poet about her journey.

 

 

I would come running with
shovels and spades,
torn paperbacks and bottles of ink,
and get my hands dirty all too willingly,
we aren’t meant for calm seas,
blue horizons, and clear skies,
who are we fooling?
we are only destined for
dingy basements, sappy music, and
warm delinquencies.

You have published a poetry book with themes exploring love, separation, and healing. How did you zero in on these themes?

In my experience as a reader, I’ve read a number of books that dealt with subjects like love, separation, and healing individually but not together. When I started writing ‘Warm Delinquencies’, I was certain that I wanted all these subjects together to convey the journey of a lover, the aftermath of a heartbreak and eventually, the healing.

Which poets or writers have influenced you the most?

Growing up, I read Ruskin Bond and Enid Blyton avidly. Inspired by Bond, I started penning personal essays at an early age, sent it to my friends in the form of letters, postcards etc. which made me familiar with tracing inspiration from my life and things happening around me.

The other writers that influence me are Haruki Murakami and Vikram Seth. I keep going back to Seth’s poetry because of its ethereal beauty.

Tell us about how you got started with writing and what motivated you to get published.

I did several pieces and interviews throughout high school and college. I found writing poetry and personal essays quite cathartic and started a blog in 2011, succeeding which I never had to look back. The intent of publishing it originated when I realized I had a readership that resonated with my thoughts.

Do you think that poetry is more popular than people would like to admit?

I like to believe that poetry has always been popular for its power to express a lot in little. Although the rise of poets on Instagram is a new trend, it’s still just an additional medium for writers to share their work. We’ve always sought solace in Plath’s or Bukowski’s poetry; millennials now are drawn towards the poetry of Lang Leav, Michael Faudet etc. because of the writing form which is lucid and deals with modern issues.

But what I think has really changed is the mindset towards poetry. When I was in school, poetry was perceived as something undecipherable; however, the world is now more open to poetry.

Where do you write? Tell us a bit about your writing process.

I can write anywhere. Through chaos and silence. In crowds and isolation. But mostly I tend to write in the comfort of my room, usually late in the night.

Tell us about your latest project.

Right now, I’m working on a collection of short stories. I’ve started this project much before I’ve embarked on writing Warm Delinquencies, but it’s still a work in progress. I’m hoping to finish it towards the end of 2018. Fingers crossed!

What is your favorite pastime besides poetry?

Juggling between reading, writing, and a 9-5 job leaves me with very little time. But when I find time, I binge-watch TV shows, movies, and explore new restaurants in the city.

Thank you, Sunaina!

You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.

September 28, 2017
by Neelima
0 comments

Writing Competitions and Opportunities (Free to Enter) Round-Up: September 2017 Edition

1. Short story competition with Juggernaut and Death of the Author 

You need to enter your contact details on this form, email your story (2000-8000 words on any theme)  to contest@juggernaut.in with the subject line: WRITERS’ SALON.  The winner gets a contract with Juggernaut Books. More details on the link. The last date for submission is 15 October 2017.

2.  DWL Short Story Contest 2017 

Email your short story entry(based on any theme with word count of up to 5000 words) to info@desiwriterslounge.net only as a Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) attachment. The top three entries for the contest will win $100 each and one of the top 3 stories will also receive the Dastaan Award.  The Submissions deadline is 30 September 2017. For further details visit the link.

 

All the best!

 

July 13, 2017
by Neelima
0 comments

Writing Competitions and Opportunities (Free to Enter) Round-Up: July 2017 Edition

From time to time, we’ll be doing round-ups of competitions that are free to enter and that Indian writers are eligible to participate in. This is our first list for 2017.

1. TOI Write India Season 2 Contest 2017: Times of India

Write India is a Short Story Contest initiative by Times Internet that offers prompts from 11 of India’s top-selling authors.  Every month a winner is selected from the entries received with the help of the ‘Celebrity Author of the Month’. Please go through the faqs in detail. A book will be published with all the top winning entries.  The competition starts on the 7th of every month till the 30th of the month.

2. James Hemingway Short Fiction Award-2017

James Hemingway is one of the first publishing imprints under the umbrella of Shreem Info Media. SIM Publishing has launched a short fiction prize aimed at finding genuine Indian voices. The award is open to stories written in both English and Hindi languages. Previously published stories are welcome too.  The first prize winner will get a fixed cash award (to be announced) along with the submitted entry published in a book on the theme with other nominations and released worldwide. Twenty-one best stories will be nominated for the award. These twenty-one stories will be published in the book form by SIM publishing and launched worldwide. All nominated stories will be translated into English(if Hindi stories are selected). This year’s theme is ‘Delhi’. Deadline is at midnight 22nd July 2017. There is a late fee of INR 250 for all submissions after the deadline. The word limit for Hindi is 4500 and for English is 3500. Please go through the rules on the website.

3. Monsoon – My Article Contest

Looking for write-ups on Monsoon memory, recipes, etc. Email write-up at halfsamosa@99colours.com with your full name. Mention the contest category(mentioned in the link) and a title for your write-up. Your write- up should be at least 300 words long and it should be in MS Word only.You can send more than one article. Contest closes on 31st July 2017. The winners will be judged on the basis of Facebook likes (50%) and on the quality of the write-up/entry (50%). The winner will be announced by email on 10th August 2017. The best two winners will be awarded Flipkart gift vouchers of Rs. 500/- each. Articles will be accepted in both English and Bengali.

4. The Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction

Comma Press and the University of Central Lancashire have announced the first annual Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction. The theme for this inaugural year will be ‘Café Stories’, in honor of Dinesh’s Café Shorts series which he posted on his blog. He believed cafes to be “fertile ground for the short story.” The prize is open to anyone 18 years or over, and the story you submit must not have been published anywhere else, online or in print. It is free to submit your entry, but only one per writer. All entries will be made anonymous upon receipt. Entries will be made anonymous upon receipt and will remain so until after the shortlist has been decided. Entries open 10th May 2017 and close 31st October 2017. All entries must include a cover letter which states the author’s name, address, email, contact number, and story title. Any entries sent without this information will not be considered. You must submit your story both electronically and in hard copy form. Please send your story entry and cover letter electronically to commaprizes@gmail.com in the form of a Word Doc, then send a hard copy of your story to Becky Harrison, Comma Press, Studio 510a, Hope Mill, 113 Pollard Street, Manchester, M4 7JA. The winning writer will receive £500 and all 10 shortlisted authors will be featured in an ebook anthology which will be published by Comma Press and sold online.

Please go through the rules on the website.

5. Futurescapes-Writing Contest

FutureScapes is an annual writing competition that asks writers to envision a particular future and tell its story. For 2017, the Futurescapes Contest theme is “Blue Sky Cities.” Contest winners will be published alongside multiple professional authors including Paolo Bacigalupi. There is an entry fee for second entry; first entry is free. The winner receives $2000 and five runners-up receive $500 each. Professional authors are not eligible to enter. Contest deadline is October 13, 2017. Check the rules in detail on the website.

6. Wordweavers Contest 

This is the 8th year of the Wordweavers Contest. All submissions for a single category should be copy pasted in the entry form along with the address details. The deadline for poetry (2-100 lines) and short story (5000 words) is August 15th, 2017. The entrant should be above 16 and a citizen of India. Entries should not have been previously published. Go through the details rules here.

 

Disclaimer:  The above-mentioned competitions and opportunities should not be treated as recommendations, but only information. The reader should verify the quality and suitability of each before submitting.

 

 

 

 

July 11, 2017
by Neelima
0 comments

Textbooks, GST and South Asian Writers @ Lit Browser

What’s happening in the writing and publishing world in India right now? Found three stories related to this sphere.

There are around 10,000 publishers in India today, with textbooks owning a large chunk of the business. The managing director of the publishing house S Chand group is one example. Founded in 1939 in Old Delhi, the S Chand Group has raised its IPO in April 2017. They’ve come a long way for a company that publishes textbooks. To know about the textbook business in India, read this Forbes story by Paramita Chatterjee.

 text books oc students semester GIF

Another story I stumbled upon is about the GST book connection. The good news is that there is no GST on books but the bad news is that making a book has just become a bit more expensive. So the raw materials that are required to create a book including paper and glue and the cost of employing freelancers have all gone up.

“But why will publishers not get the same benefit that other industries will get? As with the older Value Added Tax, the GST also includes the concept of Input Tax Credits (ITC). Put simply, this means that the seller of the final product has to pay GST at the prevailing rate, but can claim credits on all the GST already paid by his suppliers. In this scenario, the publisher would have been able to claim ITC on the GST paid its suppliers – had there been a GST on the books it’s selling.”

For more analysis read this essay in the Scroll by Jaya Bhattacharjee Rose.

 i dont understand GIF

On a more positive note, writers from neighboring countries are finding the Indian publishing industry a better bet with a large number of manuscripts from Pakistan and Sri Lanka adding to the South Asian quotient. Why is this happening? Several reasons have been mentioned including rejection at the homefront owing to fear of controversy and censorship. Some writers also feel that India has a diverse enough audience to accommodate fiction from another country. More about South Asia’s publishing haven by Somrita Ghosh here.

 

May 31, 2017
by Neelima
0 comments

Vodka, Vikram Seth and Indian Literary Mags @ Lit Browser

If you have missed the author Vikram Seth, you will appreciate this article called ‘A Suitable Girl’ is coming. What was it like to read Vikram Seth’s ‘A Suitable Boy’ 24 years ago? on Scroll by Devapriya Roy. The exciting news is that Vikram Seth is on track with A Suitable Girl and he writes about a new India, a far cry from the India Lata inhabited in his magnum opus published in 1993. There is also a link to a video conversation where Seth fans will get to meet the man himself and his cat, Vodka.

 

I also stumbled upon an interesting story about the inception of The Indian Quarterly, a literary magazine in India. The birth of the magazine was triggered by the horror of 26/11. The idea was to create a perspective through ‘art, poetry, photography and cinema’.  Thus came the birth of the shelfie:

A magazine or publication with staying power unlike those which transit momentarily in our homes before going to the kabadiwala.

What is interesting about this article is how it throws light on how little we know about the story of magazines. The author delves into the genesis of the little magazine founded by so many philosophers and thinkers in Europe and the US. The author narrates the peculiar story of the literary magazine Encounter who was backed by a group hard to guess.  I suggest you read the article to find out more.

The author is optimistic about the future of literary journals though he is aware that this space too is fast disappearing. What about India? Are there any literary magazines of note here?

The Lalit Kala Akademi used to publish a Lalit Kala Contemporary journal. Marg, a quarterly magazine founded by late novelist Mulk Raj Anand in 1946, is still going strong.

Many magazines have shut down and turned into collectibles. But The Indian Quarterly has long-term plans. Read the article by Madhu Jain here: From Selfie to Shelfie.