February 12, 2013

India’s publishing industry is booming


While some say that publishing in Europe and the United States is in the throes of a death rattle, the book industry in India continues to grow.

According to recent projections by the Frankfurt Book Fair, the Indian book industry had a growth rate of 15 percent annually and is worth nearly $2 billion.

First Post in India writes,

“Experts say the millennia-old tradition of written texts, conservative Indian mindsets, vigorous event-based promotions of the reading culture, the sudden spurt in national and state-level literature festivals and competitive pricing are keeping the industry on the move, drawing new segments of readers.”

The continued boom may also be attributable to the country’s exploding population and increasing levels of educational attainment. First Post also quotes a survey by the National Book Trust, which says that one-fourth of the youth population (nearly 83 million in 2010) can currently be identified as “readers of books,” and that number is set to grow.

Although problems with rampant book piracy remain, as discussed here on MobyLives, some more left of field factors may also slow growth over  the next few years.

According to Himanshu Gupta of the S. Chand Publishing Group,

“One of the biggest issues is the cost of paper, which might increase by 72 percent in the future, forcing a hike in cost of books … Duplicate books sold at traffic intersections is another cause for alarm with corporate infringement in which coaching centres and colleges use and distribute content from our books to students for Rs.3,000-Rs.5,000.”

Despite these concerns, India’s growing native audience, hugely successful international events such as the Jaipur Literature Festival, as well as a foreign readership that is open to and eager for more books make this an exciting time for the publishing industry in India.



Ariel Bogle is a former publicist at Melville House.