Shantanu Rau Choudhury wins Book Editor of the Year Award

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The Publishing Next Awards recognize the work of professionals in the publishing industry. The newly introduced Editor of the Year Award was won by Shantanu Rau Choudhury of Harper Collins, while Simar Puneet Aleph Books was declared runner up. The winners were presented with a trophy while the runners up will each receive a certificate.
The Cover Design of the Year (English) award, presented to a book designer, was won by Bena Sareen for the cover she designed for How I Became a Tree Aleph Book Co, while Harshad Marathe was runner up for his cover of Mohanaswamy HarperCollins India. In the corresponding category, Cover Design of the Year (Indian Languages), Mugdha Sadhwani won the Award for her cover design for Achanak Ek Kavita Yatra Books while Pooja Ahuja was declared runner up for her cover design for Akbar Rajkamal Prakashan.

Pratham Books was declared Publisher of the Year at the recently announced Publishing Next Industry Awards 2017. Niyogi Books came runner up in this category. The Awards, now in its 4th year, seek to recognize innovation and leadership of publishing professionals and others in the book trade.

This year several new categories were introduced, especially for Indian languages. While Invisible Libraries by Yoda Press was declared winner in the Printed Book of the Year (English) category, and Adhyathma Ramayanam Kilippattu by Palm Leaf Innovations won the Printed Book of the Year (Indian Language Category). The Gene  Allen Lane and Baaghbaan – Nindiya Chor Harper Hindi were runners up in these categories respectively.

In the children’s book categories, When I Grow Up I Want to be a Tiger (Speaking Tiger) and Muezza and Baby Jaan (Puffin Books) were winner and runners up respectively in the Children’s Book English category while Mujhe Ghar Mil Gaya, Mumbai Mobile Creches and Akal Aur Uske Baad, Eklavya Publications were winner and runners up respectively in the Children’s Book Indian Language category. In the Illustrated Book of the Year category, a category introduced for the first time this year, Rehearsing Freedom (Leftword Books) was the winner, while Taj Mahal: Multiple Narratives (Om Books) was declared runner up.

The Covid-19 pandemic led to the country-wide lockdown on 25 March 2020. It will be two years tomorrow as I write this. What have we learned in this time? Maybe the meaning of resilience since small companies like us have had to rely on our resources and the forbearance of our employees as we have struggled to produce our trade platforms.

The print and packaging industries have been fortunate, although the commercial printing industry is still to recover. We have learned more about the digital transformation that affects commercial printing and packaging. Ultimately digital will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future.

Web analytics show that we now have readership in North America and Europe amongst the 90 countries where our five platforms reach. Our traffic which more than doubled in 2020, has at times gone up by another 50% in 2021. And advertising which had fallen to pieces in 2020 and 2021, has started its return since January 2022.

As the economy approaches real growth with unevenness and shortages a given, we are looking forward to the PrintPack India exhibition in Greater Noida. We are again appointed to produce the Show Daily on all five days of the show from 26 to 30 May 2022.

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– Naresh Khanna

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