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Simon & Schuster set for India operations

By Zafri Mudasser Nofil
July 28, 2011 13:41 IST
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BooksIn more good news for book lovers and authors, top publisher Simon & Schuster will begin its India operations from August and promises to give readers 'the best' in terms of content, price and package besides encouraging home grown talents.

The establishment of Simon & Schuster India is part of Simon & Schuster, Inc's strategic focus to bringing the works of its authors to widest possible global audience.

"Our target audience will be the family as we offer many different subject categories and want to market and promote the same. Our niche is certainly business, non-fiction and self help books," says Rahul Srivastava, director (marketing and sales) of S&S.

"We are all for promoting Indian authors. Though we have published authors of Indian origin in the US and the UK, we will look for home grown talents once we venture into publishing here," Srivastava told PTI in an interview.

As part of its localised publishing and marketing strategy, S&SI will offer titles from S&S's many worldwide imprints and divisions, including distribution client titles.

Books will be rupee-priced and selected and formatted specifically for the Indian marketplace.

Inventory for titles published and distributed in India will come primarily via S&S UK, with reprints handled locally.

Carolyn Reidy, president and chief executive officer of S&S, Inc. says, "India is a rapidly developing market for English language books, with a growing retail bookstore presence, and a deep-seated culture that prizes books and literacy.

"We are very excited to bring more of our authors' books to India's expanding audience of English readers."

S&S aims to start publishing in 2012. It has already started re-formatting, re-packaging and re-pricing

the new titles like 'Allah, Liberty and Love' by Irshad Manji.

Besides, it is planning two other titles immediately -- Stephen R Covey's 'The Third Alternative' and Brendon Burchard's 'Millionaire Messenger' (self-published best seller in the US).

"The idea is to give the best to our Indian readers in terms of content, price and package," Srivastava says.

Asked about the impact on publishing houses from writers who are more and more into self-publishing these days, he says?

"Self published authors get noticed by publishers and then with the expertise of the publisher, they are marketed, promoted and get the maximum distribution, examples -- Ashwin Sanghi and Brendon Burchard."

Initially S&SI doesn't see many challenges in India.

"As publishers we have our own identity and S&S has already carved a niche in self-help, business and non-fiction and we have a very strong list in these categories.

"We will now look at establishing our fiction list as well as expanding our children list although we have been publishing Hardy Boys and Nancy drew for many years.

"S&S is among the top publishers and we would like to replicate the same in India over the course of next five years.

"Initially we will promote our international brand authors and as we make a footprint in the market we would look at publishing authors in India," says Srivastava.

S&S is also not averse to concepts like e-books.

"S&S is a tech-savvy company and we were among the first few publishers to digitalise the complete backlist titles and therefore whenever India adapts to new trends like e-books we will be at the fore front," he says.

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Zafri Mudasser Nofil in New Delhi
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