Tamil publishing house Kalachuvadu Publications wins coveted Publisher of the Year Award

Publishing Next Industry Awards at New Delhi

Kalachuvadu Publications

Kalachuvadu Publications — the noted publishing house of books in Tamil, which discovered and published internationally renowned writers like Perumal Murugan and Salma — emerged the winner in the Publisher of the Year category of Publishing Next Industry Industry Awards. The fifth edition of the annual Awards were presented at a ceremony in New Delhi. Nagercoil-based Kalachuvadu was among 11 winners and 10 runners-up who received the honours that were presented in 10 categories.

Since its inception in 2014, the annual Publishing Next Industry Awards (PNIA) recognise and reward talent, initiative, entrepreneurship and quality in book publishing, across publishers of all sizes, and in all Indian languages. Established under the aegis of the Publishing Next Conference, a platform furthering discussion and networking within the book publishing industry, the Publishing Next Industry Awards seek to celebrate innovation and leadership in the Indian book trade.

Kalachuvadu was adjudged Publisher of the Year 2018, for being a publisher that prioritizes books of the highest quality and tries to reinvent them so as to be relevant to the reader. The exchange of ideas with foreign publishers at various fora, the rights sales of their books, and their purchase of rights to translate and publish in Tamil, communicates a sense of them working towards a larger vision of publishing.

The Illustrator of the Year 2018, a newly introduced category in the Awards, was Sonali Zohra, with the runner-up honour bagged by Rajiv Eipe. The Bookstore of the Year 2018 was awarded to Trilogy Bookstore in Mumbai, with the Bhubaneswar-based bookstore, Walking BookFairs, emerging as the runner-up this year.

The Awards presentation, which until now were held Goa during the annual Publishing Next Conference, was held in Delhi this year to coincide with the ongoing New Delhi World Book Fair, which draws publishers from all over India.

The event in Delhi, which was attended by leading publishing industry professionals publishers like Karthika VK (publisher, Amazon/Westland), Vivek Mehra (CEO, SAGE India), Sesh Sheshadri (CEO, Overleaf) among others, was held at India International Centre.

Before the presentation, at a panel discussion on the topic, Truth and Morality: What’s Publishing got to do with it, the speakers included Vivek Mehra, Karthika VK, Raman Shreshta (owner of Gangtok-based Rachna Bookstore) and Rihan Najib (books editor at the Hindu Business Line’s magazine, Blink). The discussion was chaired by Arpita Das, publisher of Yoda Press. Ravikant, associate professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS), delivered a keynote address, on the future of Indian languages adopting digital technologies.

Winners and runners-up of Publishing Next Industry Awards 2018:

Bookstore of the YearTrilogy Bookstore and Library, MumbaiWalking Bookfairs, Bhubaneswar
Editor of the YearPremanka Goswami (Penguin Random House India)Aienla Ozukum (Aleph Book Company)
Illustrator of the YearSonali ZohraRajiv Eipe
Book Cover of the Year (Indian Languages)M. Rohini for her design of the cover of Peruvali, published by Kalachavadu Publications.Saurabh Garge for his design of the cover of Do Log, published by HarperCollins India.
Book Cover of the Year (English)Pooja Saxena for her design of the cover of Centrepiece, published by ZubaanHaitenlo Semy, for his design of the cover of Jadoowallahs, Jugglers and Jinns: A Magical History of India, published by Pan Macmillan India
Illustrated Book of the YearThe Konyaks: Last of the Tattooed Headhunters, published by Roli BooksVivan Sundaram: History Project, published by Tulika Books, Delhi
Children’s Book of the YearJointly presented to A Book for Puchku, published by Pratham Books and to Salim Mamoo and Me, published by Tulika Publishers, ChennaiDance of the Wild published by Pickle Yolk Books
Printed Book of the Year (Indian Languages)Janamaru Marana, published by Dhauli BooksAvasthantarachya Kavita, published by Copper Coin Publishing
Printed Book of the Year (English)Sair-ul-Manazil, published by Tulika Books, DelhiRemnants of a Separation: A History of the Partition through Material Memory, published by HarperCollins Publishers India Ltd
Publisher of the YearKalachuvadu Publications Pvt LtdHarperCollins Publishers India Ltd

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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