With zero gross sales for nearly three months, many needed to trim their publishing checklist drastically. However, publishers tailored and actively seemed for developments to cater to the themes their readers would discover helpful and fascinating.
New and modern methods of selling and promoting books additionally grew to become part of the yr passed by which noticed folks studying extra.
Milee Ashwarya, writer at Ebury Publishing and Vintage Groups, Penguin Random House India, says 2020 was additionally the yr when the facility of digital transformation was felt in publishing like in different industries.
“While some bookshops shut down, some new ones opened and online sales saw a surge. All in all, 2020 was full of learnings and got us more focused on our business,” she advised .
HarperCollins India CEO Ananth Padmanabhan says 2020 was unprecedented in each approach – and particularly to the enterprise of publishing – one when in India printed books had been declared non-essentials.
“The entire value chain had zero sales for almost three months. This did teach us all many valuable lessons about the way we conduct our business but even more importantly about the way readers will buy books in the future – formats, retail, genres and how often too,” he says.
“We continued our publishing program – beginning with digital first, E-books through April and May and by late June our new books in print had also started to go out – depending on how unlock rules impacted retail,” he provides.
According to Padmanabhan, gross sales in 2020 had been at larger double digit charges over 2019, each by worth and quantity.
The single most impactful change, he says, has been modern digital advertising and marketing that may bridge the discoverability hole, contemplating bodily shops are shut.
Chiki Sarkar, writer at Juggernaut, says its “list was cut drastically, so revenues fell but the books we did publish pretty much performed as they would on any year and a large number of our books have gone into reprint”.
Westland writer Karthika VK too says there was a direct impression at each stage as “we couldn’t publish at all for three months, apart from the sheer logistical difficulties of getting books to readers even after the lockdown had lifted, due to disruptions in the distribution and retail chain”.
According to Thomas Abraham, Managing Director, Hachette India, the publishing expertise was pretty unhealthy with the battering brick and mortar shops needed to take they usually’re nearly recovering slowly. “Online did really well in holding up lists, but new books and the lesser known title which needed the discoverability at curated stores lost out badly.”
Hachette India editor-in-chief and writer Poulomi Chatterjee provides they needed to reschedule many key new releases within the native checklist conserving in thoughts a gradual and erratic market.
“Physical bookstores, when they reopened, saw low footfall so offline visibility of new books too was affected. Releases of the select list of books that were published in 2020 were meticulously planned so they would get adequate attention and visibility,” she says.
As publishing schedules had been drawn up effectively prematurely, editors continued engaged on books as deliberate even whereas lockdown impacted gross sales fairly severely within the early months.
“The early months were particularly difficult for everyone as we were trying to get used to working from home amid much uncertainty regarding what lay ahead,” says Himanjali Sankar, Editorial Director at Simon and Schuster.
For Renuka Chatterjee, VP Publishing at Speaking Tiger, “Overall sales may have gone down but we survived. We focused on online sales and made best use of the various digital platforms that opened up to market and promote our books and keep our authors in the public eye.”
The impression of the pandemic was strongly felt by Oxford University Press India and the training group, particularly younger learners who wanted engagement and handholding in a distant studying atmosphere.
“Responding with agility, we at OUP India added extensively to our vast repository of digital and online resources and combined them with our print books while constantly engaging with teachers on remote teaching methodologies,” says its managing director Sivaramakrishnan Venkateswaran.
“Whether it was providing free access to resources on COVID-19 to researchers and medical professionals, offering free access to our education platforms, supporting professional development for teachers, or sharing guidance on home learning, we made our valuable content available to the widest audience during these challenging times,” he says.
Since the pandemic took the publishing business by storm, not less than throughout the full lockdown in India, buying editors had been compelled to be extra selective than ever as publishing lists had been tightened, says Rajdeep Mukherjee, managing director of Pan Macmillan India.
“Publicists adapted promotional campaigns to suit a world moved online as on-the-ground activities stood cancelled, sales representatives found it highly challenging to convince brick-and-mortar bookstores, already struggling due to the growing predominance of online retailers, to place significant orders,” he says.
Bhaskar Roy, CEO of Palimpsest Publishing House, says although publishing has suffered badly for near a yr now and lockdown drastically diminished footfalls in bookshops, folks learn extra as they remained of their properties.
“Also, now that outings are unfashionable, book ideas shelved for years are being dusted off and turned into texts. Some of them are sure to figure in publishers’ lists in the New Year,” he says.
Trisha De Niyogi of Niyogi Books thinks the yr pressured publishers to reinvent and innovate.
“During the lockdown, we realised more and more people were reading, which has always been music to our ears. The importance of ebooks and audiobooks cannot be ignored, more so now. The rollercoaster ride of 2020 is bound to continue into 2021, but we feel more prepared. I am confident that we will find a (or a few) way out,” she says.