Himalayan Writing Retreat launches Nielsen HWR Bestseller List

Will update weekly Top 50 Fiction, Top 50 Non-Fiction, and Top 25 Children's books

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Himalayan
Photo Vikas Makwana on Unsplash

India is the world’s 7th largest book market but didn’t have its own credible, regularly updated list of bestselling books, until now. To help Indian readers simplify their search for fiction, non-fiction, and children’s books, the Himalayan Writing Retreat (HWR) announces India’s first comprehensive weekly bestseller book list titled ‘The Nielsen- HWR Bestseller List’.

HWR is a residential learning center for writers founded in the Uttarakhand Himalayas in 2016 by author couple, Chetan Mahajan and Dr Vandita Dubey.

“When other countries can have bestseller lists like the New York Times bestseller list in the USA, why not us? India has a sizable number of readers always on the lookout for new books that match their tastes. As teachers of writing, we’re often asked, ‘What are people reading in India?’ The absence of any credible information was a gaping void that we are very proud to fill with India’s first comprehensive bestseller list,” said Chetan Mahajan, co-founder, Himalayan Writing Retreat, while announcing the launch of the list.

HWR will release a weekly bestseller list in India with the top 50 fiction, top 50 non-fiction, and top 25 list of children’s books. The list will comprise book-sales data backed by global marketing research firm Nielsen. It includes data from physical bookstores across the country as well as from online channels like Amazon and Flipkart. It will cover approximately 60% of all print book sales in India, making it the most comprehensive, credible bestseller list in the country.

“We believe that bestseller lists from sources who sell books cannot be neutral or unbiased. The reason the New York Times list is credible is because the NYT doesn’t try to sell you anything – just reports the books ranked by sales. Our bestseller list is the same. In fact, our list is that much richer because we are covering books in all languages,” said Dr Vandita Dubey, HWR co-founder, and a published author.

“The Himalayan Writing Retreat is all heart. Their book club is free. Their first draft club (which helps authors finish their first drafts) supports a small Uttarakhand School. For a small, young business it is amazing how much they give back already. I am sure the HWR Bestseller list will also become a valuable free resource for readers and writers,” says bestselling author Kiran Manral.

This is a classic case of a tiny business doing a big thing. The HWR team will analyze and present monthly and quarterly trends and commentary on the data from Nielsen as well. The list is now available at  https://www.himalayanwritingretreat.com/bestselling-books-in-india/

The Himalayan Writing Retreat (HWR) is India’s leading residential learning center for writers based in Uttarakhand. The mission of HWR is to help writers – aspiring and otherwise – ‘Write better, Write more’.

HWR was founded in 2016 by an author couple, Chetan Mahajan and Dr Vandita Dubey. It is a writer’s muse, designed to inspire the creative soul. The Himalayas help, of course.

The retreat offers courses online as well as in the Himalayas. The courses range from entry-level to masterclasses for experienced writers. The faculty has luminaries of the writing world such as Manjula Padmanabhan, Mariam Karim Ahlawat, Erika Krouse, Kritika Pandey, Neil D’Silva, and Rochelle Potkar. HWR also offers a workshop on emotional well-being through writing led by Dr Vandita Dubey, a published author, and clinical psychologist.

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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