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This year too, we have planned an interesting mix of panel discussions, workshops and insight talks for you. Our selection of topics for the various sessions reflects our commitment to ensure that there is something to be learnt in every session and that there is a scope for enough discussion among participants. In addition, new business practices, publishing trends and technologies that impact publishing will be discussed.

Panel Discussions:

The Business of Graphic Novels: The relatively new, but fast-growing segment of graphic novels will be discussed in this session. The popularity of this genre has led to the development of new business models that are of interest to many in the publishing community. The several sub-genres that exist within the umbrella of ‘graphic books’ will also be taken up for discussion. The presence of graphic books in Indian languages, the distribution of graphic books in general, and the prospects for new publishers and creators (such as illustrators and designers) in this genre will all be explored by the panelists.

Worse Off without Verse: Is there a cause for concern for the future of poetry? Are publishers indeed reluctant to publish poetry? And readers reluctant to buy it? Join the panel as they attempt to understand if poetry has indeed become the unprofitable segment within the publishing industry today, and if poetry should be accessible, or literary, or both. The panel will also discuss the “state of poetry” in the Indian languages, if low sales and low readership are a product of each other, and the need, if there is one, to give poetry a boost.

Open Publishing, Copyright and Copyleft: Panellists will talk about open publishing models and their impact on the publishing industry, especially on scholarly publishing. Of the different forms of Open Publishing, Open Access is seen as the most viable. Although Open Access was once seen as a threat to scholarly publishing, the model has been adopted by almost every global publisher of academic and scholarly journals. Taking cue from Open Access and its impact on scholarly publishing, this session will examine the future of all forms of open publishing, in the different publishing segments. The issues of Copyright in these forms of publishing will also be talked about. The session will highlight the role of Copyleft and licences such as the Creative Commons, which facilitate Open Publishing, as well as other legal aspects.

Are There Enough Good Books for Children? There are no dearth of books being produced for children. But what about their quality? Are they the “right books”, which could fire a child’s imagination or perk up her curiosity? This session will delve into examining the quality of books available for children and examine how books are being made accessible to children. It will discuss the role of the retail trade and the effectiveness of state-sponsored library system in providing access of good books. Innovations in this area, especially new formats like e-books, apps and transmedia content, will also be discussed.

Publishing in Indian Languages: The panel on publishing in Indian languages is held in each edition of Publishing Next. A select set of Indian languages are represented and their publishing industries explored. The aim of this recurring panel is to explore and document the languages’ industries. Various issues, ranging from author discovery, author–publisher relationships, book development and production, to distribution and retail, are discussed. Through these discussions, the unique features and innovations in these industries are also discovered.

e-Publishing in India: With the publishing industry facing disruption due to rapid changes in technology, the session on e-publishing has also been a regular at Publishing Next. Speakers on this panel discuss the progress of e-Books and other forms of electronic publishing in India, and whether they has been able to meet the promise of making books accessible to the reader. The panel will discuss innovations, new business models and the acceptance of e-Books among readers. Pricing and rights management, and the distribution and retail of e-Books will also be discussed.

The Art of the Book: Book design and book production have played a major role in making books appealing to readers. The Art of the Book panel will bring together the makers of illustrated books, visually-rich books, and coffee table books, to talk about how design, production, and printing, combine with the editorial, to produce quality. The panel will also discuss business strategies that these publishers adopt, to be able to keep such books visible in an increasingly electronic-content environment, and the modern printing technologies that are aiding them in the process.

A Pulse on Publishing: With so much in transition in the publishing industry, the pressing question of our times is, “what is the future of publishing”. Industry insiders will comment on the state of the Indian book market, and present their perspectives on its future. Print publishing, digital books and content, book retail, pricing and marketing strategies for books – these and other aspects of the industry will be discussed.


Physical Distribution in a Global World: How can independent publishers manage physical distribution across global markets? How can they avoid the headaches of inventory management, the frustration of lost sales or over-supply? Who are the readers, and where are they situated? This workshop will attempt to raise awareness about these issues and to help find much needed solutions.

eBook Development and Distribution: Ever wondered how to develop eBooks, and then distribute them? This workshop will take you through the steps, beginning with raw text, and help you understand how publishers decide which eBook formats to invest in, the tools and skills required for eBook development, the processes through which eBook development pass, and the various avenues available for eBook distribution.

Publishing Translated Literature: This interactive workshop will help participants gain insight into the international business of publishing literature in translation, discussing how to broaden their international lists and in turn promote their own authors.  From sourcing interesting titles from abroad, securing rights and translation subsidies to working with translators and promoting translated books in the Indian market, the workshop will address a range of topics and offer practical advice and know-how.

Understanding the ISBN: This session has been scheduled to facilitate a dialogue between publishers and a representative of the ISBN issuing agency. Questions related to timely issuance of ISBNs, and their importance in the publishing and distribution processes will be addressed.

Fiction/History/Research: The French author, Dominique Varma, will address issues related to the dilemmas of writing while answering the question, “what is a novel made of?”

Insight Talks:

by Klaus Willburg: Klaus has been the CEO and publisher with Sauerländer and Thienemann (both specialised in publishing children’s books and books for young adults) for about 15 years and was also the President of the association of children’s book publishers in the German speaking region.