At the Kolkata book fair this year, there were 521 stalls and pavilions and 200 more for little magazines. With regional publishing alive and well—though there are price challenges and quality of production issues— across Gujarati, Bengali, Tamil, Malayalam, Marathi and other vernaculars, players are trying out new ways to reach the reader.
Some like DC Books of Kerala have well-entrenched distribution strategies, others are learning the ropes. Sudhanshu Dey of Dey’s Publishing in Kolkata says malls are becoming the latest outlets of Bengali books. Starmark, Crossword and other book retails chains now all have Bengali sections that are seeing brisk sales. “What this has done is improve the production quality,” says Dey. Bengali publishers are now realising that prices have to be increased to meet quality. “Of all the regional publishing in Hindi, Tamil, Oriya, Gujarati, Bengali books are priced lowest, but if we need to carry on with some innovative marketing, we need to hike prices,” adds Dey.
Full report here Financial Express