Today homegrown children’s literature is a flourishing segment at bookstores across the country as a new breed of Indian authors builds themes and characters in contemporary settings.The Indian authored children’s books section is growing steadily at a rate of 10% year-on-year with newer authors and publishers entering the space with more relevant story lines. According to experts, India’s English publishing industry was estimated at R1,200 crore in 2010, of which children’s category accounted for about 15%. However, of the total books market, excluding the academic books, the children’s books share is estimated to around 25%.Leading bookstores in the country say there has been a surge in the growth of kids’ books authored by Indian writers in the last few years. “We see an increasing demand and that’s why we are stocking more of such books. Indian authored books for children is a fast moving category, followed by comics,” says Dipak Marwah, VP and business head, Reliance TimeOut.For Crossword, the children’s section contributes almost 30% of its books sale, of which over 15% are Indian books. Sivaraman Balakrishnan of Crossword Bookstore points out that in recent times the segment has grown ten-fold over the last ten years. “Indian authored children’s books are definitely growing steadily as publishers have realised the potential of homegrown stories. Around five new Indian authors were introduced across publishers,” he says.“Children’s publishing holds immense potential as the new crop of young Indian authors understands the needs of children in the current society and are now more focused on creative writing, artwork, production quality and characterisation set in the Indian milieu,” says Marwah.
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