Hybrid approach is the formula for success in publishing industry, says NBT India Director

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In a Webinar on ‘Future of Publishing’, organized by FICCI, Yuvraj Malik, Director, National Book Trust, India said that COVID has taught us that books are not just a reflection of the society, but can also bring positive force in our lives to give direction that will pave the way to overcome these tough times. He added that as an industry we must accept the need of the hour, and as publishers, we must disseminate information and knowledge to the society through every possible medium. Hence the hybrid approach is the key.

Talking about NBT’s initiatives during the lockdown and pandemic times, Yuvraj Malik said that realizing the extraordinary psychological, social impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the human society in coming future, NBT launched a publishing series titled Corona Studies Series to document and provide relevant reading materials for all age-groups for the post-Corona readership needs. We also made our digital content available for free. This pandemic has made us realize that the publishing sector can play a significant role in the health sector as well. Taking a note from this we made our books available at Corona care centers, and we are overwhelmed with the positive response for this first of its kind initiative.

Highlighting his view on New Education Policy, and what NEP has to offer for the publishing industry, Yuvraj Malik said that three language formula introduced in the policy gives us the flexibility to publish not just fictional or non-fictional content but also educational content. India’s demography is its strength, all that is required is to channel our resources in the right direction. Publishing Industry is very dynamic, we need to strike a balance between digital and traditional approach. “We are not part of the economic ecosystem; we are part of the knowledge ecosystem. We play a crucial role in nation-building. India is the youngest country in the world so as an industry, it’s on us to provide the content accordingly. We should consider all factors of the consumer for which we are publishing,” Malik added.

Ratnesh Jha, Chair, FICCI Publishing Committee, and Managing Director said that the publishing industry plays a larger role in the entire ecosystem as a knowledge industry. We need to reimagine ourselves and create an environment of awareness, coz awareness leads to innovation. Jose Borghino, Secretary-General, International Publishers Association, Switzerland, said, “Pandemic has forced publishers to examine the insufficiency in supply-chain. Governments around the world must understand the importance of the publishing industry and consider book supply-chain in essential service. Monica Malhotra Kandhari, Co-Chair FICCI Publishing Committee, and Mg Director, MBD Group said that the Publishing industry needs to collaborate and create content in a newer way. Digitalization with artificial intelligence will help us in understanding the behavioral patterns of our readers. Kristenn Einarsson, Managing Director, Norwegian Publishers Association, said that at present, people need storytelling for comfort and boost up their morals. Citing examples from Norway and Sweden, Einarsson underlined how government, publishers, and authors are coming together and taking up new initiatives like a collative licensing system for library and summer campaign on reading to push students towards books.

The next session on Copyright issues in Publishing in online space was also discussed by distinguished panelists like Emma House, Managing Consultant, Oreham Consulting, UK, Aditi Maheshwari, Director – Copyrights & Translation, Vani Prakashan, Vikram Singh Panwar, Legal Counsel, Cambridge University Press, and Sanjiv Goswami, Mg Director, Springer Nature.

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