At JBM 2020, books mean business

Jaipur BookMark, 22–25 January 2020, Jaipur

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JBM 2019. Photo JBM
JBM 2019. Photo JBM

Each year, as the world comes together to celebrate the written word at Jaipur Literature Festival, publishing trends are acknowledged and commemorated at Jaipur Bookmark — where books mean business. The 7th edition of Jaipur BookMark (JBM) 2020 will take place from 22 to 25 January 2020 at Jaipur.

JBM brings together stakeholders of the book industry from across the world – publishers, literary agents, writers, translators, translation agencies and booksellers. It provides the right atmosphere to inspire dialog and a space for one-on-one meetings and networking through relevant sessions and focused roundtables.

Publishing business sessions at Jaipur BookMark 2020 include ‘The Heart of a Bookstore,’ in which booksellers from around the world speak of their profession and the joy and learnings they derive from it; ‘The Big Book Box for Kids,’ where authors, publishers and booksellers discuss the challenges in making children’s books visible and accessible to young readers, as well as marketing strategies for overcoming them. The session on ‘Translation as Intimacy’ will feature a friendly face-off between Sunandini Banerjee and Arunava Sinha; ‘Food for Thought: Gastronomy and Literature’ will see food writers gather to share their recipes for food and literature. ‘Consumer Intelligence: Who’s Reading What’ will be a session for publishers and authors who will discuss how this big data can be used to analyze book-buying behavior.

In 2020, the Norwegian Embassy is once again partnering with Jaipur BookMark, marking the 7th year of their association. Naveen Kishore of the Seagull School of Publishing is on board both as an advisor and supporter of the festival. Seagull Books Kolkata has single-handedly put India on the international translation map with its global list of authors, which include Nobel Prize winners and others shortlisted in major international literary awards categories. The French Institute in India will bring representatives of the French Publishing Industry to JBM 2020. India will be the Guest of Honor nation at the Salon du Livre in Paris from 20 to 23 March 2020.

JBM is known to bring world-renowned publishers, including the iconic author and publisher, Roberto Calasso, the chief executive officer of the Frankfurt Book Fair, Juergen Boos, the creative force behind Seagull Books, and Naveen Kishore.

At JBM 2020, attendees will meet publishers like Jo Lendle, Naveen Kishore, Urvashi Butalia, Vera Michalsky, Michael Dwyer, Niko Pfund, Atiya Zaidi, Richa Jha and booksellers like Arsen Kashkashian (JLF delegate), Jeff Deutsch, Priyanka Malhotra, Maina Bhagat, and Rick Simonson, among others.

Apart from being a B2B platform that brings together the best of the publishing industry from across the world, JBM also provides aspiring writers with an exciting platform ‘iWrite’ – a new writers’ mentorship program. The program invites poets, literary enthusiasts and novelists to share their stories and get an opportunity to be mentored by experts in the field. No longer limited to first-time writers, the initiative not only gives writers a chance to express themselves, but also lets them mingle and interact with publishers, literary agents, translators and other industry experts in a pitching session, and perhaps even get a chance to sign a book deal!

The three major awards that will be announced at JBM 2020 –include the Vani Foundation Distinguished Translator Award, The Romain Rolland Prize, and The Oxford Bookstore Book Cover Prize.

The Indian publishing industry has snowballed with the world’s attention converging on it, and for JBM, this has meant that creating a meaningful B2B platform. Jaipur BookMark was conceived to run parallel to the Jaipur Literature Festival in 2014. In the seven years since its inception, JBM has emerged as a nodal point for the South Asian publishing industry and focuses on the book trade.

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.

It is the right time to support our high-impact reporting and authoritative and technical information with some of the best correspondents in the industry. Readers can power Indian Printer and Publisher’s balanced industry journalism and help sustain us by subscribing.

– Naresh Khanna

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