Girgaum had a long run as the centre of Marathi publishing from the pre-independence years to the 90s. But large-scale migration of Marathi-speaking residents to distant suburbs like Thane, Kalyan and Ambernath took a toll on the industry.
Today, Marathi book publishers say they face immense challenges. They lament the exodus of their clientele, which has left them with a population that speaks other languages. Besides, the ones who have stayed back prefer English to Marathi. “They don’t buy Marathi books; they don’t speak the language. This impacts buying,” says Vikas Paranjpe of Jyotsna publishers.
The Marathi publishing industry was informal for many years. It was only in the late 90s that a professional bent asserted itself. For a business formerly conducted on faith, with interpersonal relations being more important, concepts like contract, royalty and payments came in much later. “The whole Marathi publishing business… was extremely informal and non-professional. It was only in the late 90s that the professional approach of memoranda of understanding and contracts came into being,” says Naren Parchure of Parchure Prakashan Mandir.
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