When Nishant travels to college, he finds a comfortable spot for himself in the bus and reads books on his smart phone.
The publishing industry in India is waking up to this new reader. It is transitioning into a new platform, where there is a possibility of reaching out to a wider audience at a relatively lower cost and creating new revenue streams.
Bangalore-based publisher Pratham Books was among the first Indian children’s book publishers to make their title “Muchkund and His Sweet Tooth” available in the digital medium.
The title has got more than 6,000 views on Scribd till date.
However, simply “knowing” the technology won’t be sufficient. Suzanne Singh, Chairperson at Pratham Books, says, “Digital publishing requires people who can help create new engagement models with readers. We require people who understand analytics, social media and are digital innovators. These are early days in digital publishing… [but] we look for out-of-the-box thinkers who believe in the transformative power of technology…”
Parthibhan Amudhan at BookBox, an organisation that helps publishers digitise their books, says, “There has been a marked rise in publishers looking for companies to digitise their books. At Bookbox, we produce animated stories to help improve reading skills and language learning using Same Language Subtitling. We make sure the content is easily accessible across all existing and upcoming digital platforms such as YouTube, Google Play, Apple Store, Kindle and DTH.”
However, with rising awareness, digital products are being taken more seriously by book publishers. For example, Penguin India launched the Penguin App for smart phones in 2011 and rolled out its e-book publishing venture in 2012.