New Delhi World Book Fair @ 50

NDWBF physical edition from 8 – 16 January 2022

New Delhi World Book Fair
New Delhi World Book Fair 2019. Photo IPP

The 50th edition of the New Delhi World Book Fair 2022, from 8 – 16 January 2022 at
Pragati Maidan in New Delhi, will have a physical format. The special edition will
commemorate 75 years of the country’s independence with the theme ‘Azadi ka Amrit
Mahotsav.’ The book event will witness an array of literary activities including book
releases, book and picture exhibitions, panel discussions, seminars, workshops, author
interactions, and more at the exhibition’s theme pavilion.

The book fair will be held in its physical format after a gap due to the ongoing Covid-19
crisis. Held virtually in 2021, the NDWBF nevertheless saw participation from visitors
from over 70 countries, along with key Indian as well as international publishing houses.
The 2021 virtual edition is said to have garnered 2.8 million hits.

The annual book fair, organized by the National Book Trust, is much-awaited by
bibliophiles and publishing professionals in the capital. NDWBF serves as a window to the
Indian publishing arena, especially Indian language publishers, and for major publishing
houses around the globe. The fair will hold an exclusive photo exhibition to mark its 50
years from 1972 – 2022.

Guest of honor – France

France will be the guest of honor country at the 2022 edition of the event, and book lovers
can look forward to several literary events organized by it, as well as activities by other
participating countries at the Foreign Pavilion and the International Events Corner. This is
a reciprocal invitation as the French Government had invited India to be the guest of
honor country at Livre Paris 2021, commonly known as the Paris Book Fair. The French Pavilion will provide a chance to interact will contemporary French authors as well as publishers. The special pavilion will also showcase a good number of French books along with translated works.

The literary event will also host CEO Speak and New Delhi Rights Table for participating
publishers, booksellers, rights agents, book distributors, and business visitors to convene,
network, and talk business, translation, and book rights.

The 50th edition of the NDWBF will also host a special Child Author’s Corner and Yuva
Corner to develop children’s interest in reading from a young age. To mark 75 years of
independence, the Ministry of Education had launched a scheme titled ‘Yuva – Prime
Minister’s Scheme for Mentoring Young Authors’ to train young talented writers. A pan
India contest selected 75 young authors who were mentored by well-known writers. These writers will display their books at the Yuva Pavilion and interact with visitors, book
enthusiasts, as well as the other winners.

The Children’s Corner will promote literary experiences to develop the reading and
storytelling habit among kids such as street plays, quizzes, storytelling workshops, and
book discussions. The 2022 NDWBF will also have cultural programs and activities to
entertain visitors.

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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