India’s premier literary institution, Sahitya Akademi has registered itself with online retail giant Amazon for sale of its publications. It is for the first time that India’s National Academy of Letters has adopted the digital platform to sell its books to the Indian readers.
Since its inception in 1954, Sahitya Akademi has endeavored to promote good taste and healthy reading habits among Indian readers. It strives to keep alive the intimate dialog among the various linguistic and literary zones and groups through seminars, lectures, symposia, discussions, readings and performances, to increase the pace of mutual translations through workshops and individual assignments and to develop a serious literary culture through the publications of journals, monographs, individual creative works, etc.
It has so far published over 6,000 books, the present pace of publication being one book every 19 hours. Every year, Sahitya Akademi holds at least 50 seminars at the regional, national and international levels along with workshops and literary gatherings, under various heads like Meet the Author, Samvad, Kavisandhi, Kathasandhi, Loka: The Many Voices, People and Books, Through My Window, Mulakat, Asmita, Antaral, Avishkar, Nari Chetna, Yuva Sahiti, Bal Sahiti, Purvottari and Literary Forum meetings.
Talking about the new initiative, Dr. K Sreenivasa Rao, secretary, Sahitya Akademi said that the Akademi’s main objective is to promote literature and one has to change with the times for betterment. He said that Sahitya Akademi has initially put ten English titles up for sale at the Amazon portal since 20 January 2019. According to him, Sahitya Akademi will sell the best collection of physical books of Indian literature in different languages via online portals and also launch sale of electronic books. The Akademi also has plans to sell printed books simultaneously through its website and Amazon portal for a wider reach.
Since Sahitya Akademi is a government organization for promotion of literature, profitability is not the main criterion for it to promote its products.
Among the titles to be available initially are popular books such as Parva: A Tale of War, Peace, Love, Death, God and Man by SL Bhyrappa, Bharata: The Natya Sastra by Kapila Vatsayan, Myths, Legends and Literary Antiquities by Manoj Das, History of Indian English Literature by MK Naik, A Most Truthful Picture and Other Stories by Ashokamitran, Tales of Tomorrow by Rana Nayar, and Indian Short Stories – 1990-2000 by EV Ramakrishnan.