Sahitya Akademy takes the online route

Sahitya Akademi partners with Amazon for online sales


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.

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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