The German Stall at NDWBF

New Delhi World Book Fair

German Book Office in New Delhi represented Germany at the European Union Guest of Honour Pavilion at the New Delhi World Book Fair 2018. The German stand saw a large number of visitors which included both German-reading and non-German reading audience. The Wall of Translations was a special attraction; it consisted of translations published by Indian and German publishers. Many said that it was a wonderful opportunity for them to be introduced to German literature. A large number of German-language speakers and learners explored the Contemporary German Book Collection to find the latest books from Germany under crime fiction, children’s literature, nature writing, writings on and by Karl Marx, and design books collection among various other genres.

The Globalocal Talk took place on 9 January 2018, between 12:00 to 1:30 PM at the Rights Table, on the 1st floor of Hall 7 A at Pragati Maidan. The Talk comprised of a panel discussion and a special session on Frankfurt Book Fair, and was followed by a networking lunch.

A team of panelists from Germany, France and India discussed about business and socio-economic responsibilities of publishers. Annemarie Blumenhagen, director of rights, Ullstein Buchverlage, Germany, Fabrice Piault, editor-in-chief of Livres Hebdo, France, Minakshi Thakur, commissioning editor of Westland, Manas Saika, managing director of Speaking Tiger Publishing Pvt. Ltd.and Shobhit Arya, the founder of Wisdom Tree were a part of the panel at the event. At the discussion, there was a unanimous agreement among the panellists about the fact that the publishers hold the freedom of expression and the freedom to publish.

The session from the Frankfurt book fair comprised of a discussion wherein Claudia Kaiser, vice president of business development was involved in a conversation with Judith Becqueriaux, president of the International Commission of the French Publishers Association and Judith Oriol of the Foreign Rights Department, Editions Gallimard, France.

The Frankfurt Book Fair was the first to start the concept of guest of honour at book fairs back in 1976 and the European Union was the guest of honour at the NDWBF 2017. The discussion revolved around the heavy participation that the French Union witnessed at the Frankfurt Book Fair after being adjudged as the guest of honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair in 2017. The discussion also focussed on new geographies that they had discovered and new partnerships forged through their participation, setting an example for other publishers.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels 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. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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