The Federation of Indian Publishers, in collaboration with Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI), organized the National Convention of Indian Languages Publishers at Hotel Savera, Mapple Hall, Chennai on 2 May 2015. More than 50 delegates had participated in the Convention. Dr. Ashok Gupta, President, FIP, inaugurated the Convention. In his inaugural address, he apprised the participants about the FIP and its objectives, activities and important role it plays to strengthen and promote professional standards amongst members and create a forum not only to discuss their problems at national and international level but also address them satisfactorily. He also emphasized the necessity and importance of holding such Conventions organized from time to time for the development and exchange of knowhow of publishing industry.

In his welcome address, Shri S.M. Meenashi Somasundaram, President, Booksellers and Publishers Association of South India (BAPASI) said that he was extremely happy to welcome Dr. Ashok Gupta, President, Federation of Indian Publishers and distinguished speakers, who had come to participate in the Convention. Stressing on the importance of developing the arena of Indian languages in Southern India for the benefit of publishing industry, he said a positive outcome would emerge from the proceedings of the Convention which would
provide them the necessary guidelines and direction for future. The topics discussed during the Convention were: (i) Challenges in translations from Tamil to other Indian languages and vice versa; (ii) Writing a Book – an author’s perspective; (iii) Copyright and Indian Reprographic Rights Organisation (IRRO); (iv) Marketing Strategies; (v) E-books and their effect on the market; (vi) VAT Implications for Publishing; and (vii) Plagiarism and Piracy in the book industry.

Challenges Ahead of us – Shri Olivannan Gopalakrishnan, Treasurer, BAPASI, spoke briefly about the challenges confronted by the publishing industry and stressed that all publishers have to work hand in hand to resolve these problems faced by them. He further said in publishing, the role of Indian language publishers was very important but, somehow, most of the Indian language publishers had confined themselves to publishing the books of their own language. He emphasized that there was a need that they should publish books of other languages also.

Challenges in translations from Tamil to other Indian languages and vice versa – Shri Kuppuswamy, Translator, briefed the participants on the importance of translation from Tamil to other Indian languages and vice-versa which he said was utmost important and necessary for the spread of Indian culture across the country. He said in a country like India where there are 25 languages and numerous dialects, the translation from one language to another is the primary need. He said that NBT had taken a number of steps by holding Conventions and Book Fairs across the country but translation from Tamil to other Indian languages and vice-versa was lagging behind. He further said for publishing a translated book, strenuous efforts and huge expenses were involved like getting a good translator to keep the spirit of original work alive in the translated version. Further every translated works should be rechecked by a proficient translator also.

Writing a Book – an author’s perspective – Pazha. Athiyaman in his address focused on a few insights which were pre-requisite and helpful for writing a new book. At the outset, the author is to define his topic which appealed his passion. The author should be well-versed and thorough on the subject so that his style of writing and expression of ideas should be full of flow to make his book worthy of an Award Nomination. The author should also be in touch with experts on the subject who should give him feedback on his work. He further said for writing a book, he should choose a publisher who should be proactive, knowledgeable and reputable. Although publishers have extensive marketing strategies for the publicity and promotion of the publications, yet, it is still author’s responsibility to expand his book’s readership

Copyright and Indian Reprographic Rights Organisation
(IRRO) – Ms. Swapna Sundar, CEO, IP Dome, briefed the audience about the establishment of Indian Reprographic Rights Organisation (IRRO), registered by the Central Government as a Copyright Society in the field of literary works. The principal objective of IRRO is to collect fees from the educational institutions/corporate offices and business establishments and distribute the collected fees amongst authors publishers and other stakeholders.

Marketing Strategies – Shri Badri Seshadri, New Horizon Media briefed the audience on the marketing strategies of their publications. Although strategies vary from publishers to publishers but the objectives and goals are the same. He further emphasized the ways to do it cost effective by using various utilities provided over the internet. Publishers who had participated in the Convention took keen interest in the discussions and explained their difficulties experienced by them in marketing their publications but the methods and strategy adopted by each of them differ from publishers to publishers

E-Books – already at our doorstep – Shri Murthy Raju, Founder, Book Connect briefed the audience about the advent of e-books and its impact on the market. He said although, the advent of e-books is at nascent stage in our country at present but in the coming period, e-books would capture the market and affect the sale of physical books. He further said in the electronic age, we the publishers should be prepared to adapt ourselves to cope with the market trends.

VAT Implications for Publishing – Shri RSJ Ravindran, Consultant, briefed the participants about the VAT Implications for publishing. He said that the book being the prime medium of transmission of education and knowledge, they should be exempted from all types of taxes – sales tax, VAT, Octroi etc. He said books from across the world are allowed into the country without any duty and are imported at zero duty tariff. He further said at present books are not exempted under the Goods and Services Tax. He cautioned that if the books are not included in the negative list of GST regime, it would prove suicidal for the publishing industry.

Plagiarism and Piracy in the book industry
Shri Gandhi Kannadasan spoke on Plagiarism and Piracy which are menance across the country. He said a large scale of books are copied and pirated all over the country and they are badly affecting the publishing industry. The problem is growing day-by-day and is constant headache as well as revenue loss to the publishers. He explained the strategies as to how these menance could be eradicated. He dwelt on the enforcement of
Copyright Act and the most important aspects of copyright enforcement were to create awareness by publicity through the media and organization of Seminars and Symposium across the country.

Dr. Ashok Gupta, President, FIP, summed up all topics deliberated at the Convention and suggested measures to be taken for the eradication of challenges and problems faced by the publishing industry. He also thanked the President, Secretary, Treasurer and other important members of the BAPASI for making excellent arrangement and creating cogenial atmosphere for holding the Convention All the Conventions were well organized and very well attended. The Conventions were concluded with a vote of thanks. NBT (an autonomous organization under the Ministry of HRD) had sanctioned grant-in-aid for the organization of these National Conventions.