London book fair puts spotlight on India

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The annual London Book Fair, which ran from Tuesday (14) to Friday (17) at the Olympia Exhibition Centre, opened a Spotlight on India series as part of the UK-India Year of Culture celebrations in the two countries.

The spotlight marked the first event as part of India@UK2017, the official set of events being coordinated by the Indian High Commission in London and the Ministry of Culture along with a series of cultural organisations in India and the UK.

“The London Book Fair (LBF) worked with the Indian government’s export trade body Capexil to stage an exhibiting presence over three pavilions for nearly 40 exhibitors.

“The enhanced Indian exhibit at this year’s fair showcased the global importance of India’s publishing industry, in particular its digital innovation,” an LBF statement said.

The events as part of the India spotlight included an “In Conversation” with Indian author Amit Chaudhuri, a symposium on Indian writing today with a delegation of authors from the Sahitya Akademi, a discussion titled “Indian Worlds: From Book to Screen” with UK-based author Shrabani Basu and a session on “How to access the Indian book market”.

There was a seminar titled “Opportunities & Challenges”, hosted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

“The Indian publishing market has an overwhelming potential for growth. Were currently investing time and resources into helping Indian-based publishers distribute their print and digital books throughout our global network of sales channels,” said David Taylor, senior vice-president of content acquisition at Ingram Content Group, one of the participants of the Spotlight on India.

“International distribution can be a headache for publishers in India as availability and warehouse costs weigh heavily on their businesses. Ingrams virtual wholesale model enables publishers to recognise the sales potential of their titles through print-on-demand availability and an efficient, reliable digital supply chain,” he explained.

The fair is held every year in March as a global marketplace for rights negotiation and the sale and distribution of content across print, audio, TV, film and digital channels.

The UK-India Year of Culture follows a joint announcement in 2015 by India prime minister Narendra Modi and then British prime minister David Cameron of a bilateral initiative to mark India-UK cultural ties and the 70th anniversary of India’s Independence.

Queen Elizabeth hosted a special reception at Buckingham Palace last month to mark the official launch of the year-long celebrations, which will cover a vast programme of cultural exchange and activity taking place in cities across both countries.

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