Tuesday, January 29, 2013

The Vibrant Regional Languages Market in India

Neeta Gupta, Publisher Yatra Books

The speech will deal with Vibrant Regional Language Market for Books in India. What is the current situation? What is the size and projected growth of the market, what needs to change to make it even more competitive and global in its outreach.

Neeta Gupta is at the GLOBALOCAL forum to let the audience in on the vibrant regional languages market in India.

She begins ‘India speaks in many languages, also publishes in many languages.’

She lists down the numbers that are relevant to the publishing industry vis-à-vis the diversity in languages and readers base.

She states the classical dilemma that a writer faces today- deciding the language to write in- his own mother tongue or English. Of course, the latter choice will open up a wider market for him and also up his chances of getting published.

Sahitya Akademi, set up in 1954 has done its bit to encourage writers of various languages by awarding and supporting them. It has given a boost to regional literature of all genres.

The Indian Constitution lists down 22 languages and there are newspapers in 101 languages, radio programs in 146 speech varieties. To add to that is literature written in 50 languages and about 25 writing systems, out of which 14 are connected to the Unicode System.

 Reiterating the importance of national, political and commercial communication, Neeta also mentions how the Indian publishing is portrayed as the success story of English language publishing.

India’, she says ‘is the preferred destination for international publishers because India is 2nd only to the US in terms of population of English language speakers.’

She however goes further to simplify the statistics by saying how English language readers constitute only 12% of the reading public and the real numbers and growth lie in regional writing/publishing. However, the problem with this industry may stem from the fact that a large part of it is unorganized.

Neeta wraps up on the positive note that the Indian market is growing and that people are ready to pay higher, and that Nielsen’s Bookscan features at least 4-5 titles in Hindi in top 250.

‘This is an exciting time to be in the publishing industry in India!’ she concludes.

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