L-R: Indu Chandrashekhar, Alvito Barreto, Mandira Sen, Radhika Menon, Amrita Akhil

The chairperson of the session Ms. Indu Chandrashekhar, publisher and managing editor of Tulika books, New Delhi began this session, on The Future of Independent Publishing, by introducing the panel members, all of whom had rich experience on the independent publishing front. She first explained how  IPDA, the Independent Publishers Distribution Alternatives, came into being. This organization constitutes independent publishers who came together to set up a distribution platform or mechanism that serves not only the needs of the founder publishers, but also new independent publishers across the country.
Ms. Amrita Akhil, the Director of Marketing (IPDA), in her presentation, outlined the kinds of books independents publish and elaborated on how books were marketed. Next, Alvito Baretto who owns a selling service called ‘Focus Bookstore’ in Bangalore shared his experience and warned that while independent bookstores had it difficult to attract and retain customers, they should not lose sight of the values that they hold and abandon them in pursuit of profits.
Ms. Radhika Menon (Tulika Publishers, Chennai) and Ms Mandira Sen (Stree-Samya, Kolkata) also provided their valuable inputs and brought their individual experiences to bear upon what was indeed a spirited discussion. They spoke about the marketing and editorial challenges they faced and provided unique insights into how independent publishers function in India, against all odds.

A healthy audience-panel interaction then followed.

Payal Kumar, Vice President, Editorial and Publishing at Sage Publications India, conducted a workshop on “The Art of Academic Writing” on the first day of Publishing Next 2011. Addressing various aspects of the topic, she stated the need for refined writing that will eventually help increase the chances of a piece of work being published.

“The main reason why scholars manuscripts get rejected by journal is due to the fact that they do not keep in mind their readership audience when writing. Another factor would be the distinctive style sheet of a journal that isn’t followed,” Ms. Kumar stated.
Ms. Kumar focused on the aim and scope of academic writing along with topics like plagiarism, citation and open source publishing.She has also laid emphasis on the need for turning authors into publishers.”Poor referencing reflects poor report writing”, she said in her presentation. The workshop ended with queries from the audience.

The conference got underway in time and the audience was introduced to the theme and tenor of the conference through an introduction by Leonard Fernandes, Co-Founder of CinnamonTeal

L-R: Jaya Bhattacharji Rose, Prathibha Sastry, Kailash Balani, James Bridle, Radhika Menon

The first panel discussion was an attempt to answer the question: “where are digital books headed?”. Four panel members, James Bridle, Kailash Balani, Prathiba Sastry, Radhika Menon, along with the chair, Ms. Jaya Bhattacharji Rose deliberated on the scope of e-books in the rapidly evolving publishing environment.

Ms. Radhika Menon presented her views on the the various type of digital consumers present today and showed with examples how her publishing house was coping with this mode of consumption. Digital books for children should aim at fulfilling the market demands of providing an overall educative experience, she said.

James Bridle, publisher of Bookkake, exhorted the audience to remain true to the values they had imbibed as print publishers, values he said would hold them in good stead while developing ebooks. He said that there were many changes happening in the market whose impact it was still difficult to understand.

While Prathibha Sastry, of JiniBooks, asked the publishers in the audience not to shy away from ebooks and digital content creation, Kailash Balani of Balani Infotech provoked the crowd by stating the print was almost dead and that publishers could ignore digital books only at their own peril.

An interactive Q&A session followed after which Ms. Bhattacharji Rose wound up the session by stating that while the industry was in a churn and many opportunities did present itself, there were an equal number of challenges that publishers have to be aware of and rise to.

CinnamonTeal Publishing has launched a new distribution service that will cater to electronic books alone. This service primarily targeted for the distribution of books in Indian languages will allow CinnamonTeal Publishing to leverage its association with several ebook distribution services around the globe and ensure worldwide visibility and availability for its titles. In addition to its revamped website dogearsetc.com, ebooks distributed by CinnamonTeal will also be available through smashwords.com and globalebooks.es, allowing its titles to be purchased on more than 100 websites and a wide range of devices.

CinnamonTeal believes that this service will allow publishers to make their books available worldwide without the extra hassles of printing and physical distribution, in a medium that is increasingly gaining currency among readers. There is a lot of evidence to suggest that ebook sales are increasing worldwide and while CinnamonTeal Publishing already provides ebook development services, this new distribution service will supplement that service and ensure that the produced titles are also now easily available to buyers. For new authors, especially those who wish to self-publish, this service provides them the low cost option of doing everything electronically and altogether rejecting the option of producing copies in print.

This service will be available for all languages and books will be produced in EPUB, MOBI and PDF formats, which, together, can be viewed on most of the e-readers available in the market. For more details, do write in to contactus@ cinnamonteal.in

Many distributors are reluctant to work with self-published authors and this remains the ultimate challenge that such authors face, one that renders their book inadequate no matter how well written and produced. At CinnamonTeal we have tried our best to provide distribution services for the titles we have published but these efforts have largely been confined to India. Many authors want their books to be available globally. Our association with LightningSource International (LSI) provides just that.

Starting this month, we have entered into an agreement with LSI, an international POD distributor as a result of which we will be able to offer POD distribution services and make our titles available for buyers in Europe, North America and Australia. This agreement, allows us access to a large number of distributors and retailers.

We hope that this service will go a long way in making our titles accessible to a larger audience. We have always believed that our authors have told some beautiful stories. We are glad many more can now read them. This service is available only for the books we have published

To know more about this service, email us at publishing@ dogearsetc.com

Europe Australia & New Zealand USA
Adlibris ALS Ingram
Agapea Biblioquest Amazon.com
Aphrohead Booktopia Baker & Taylor
Amazon.co.uk DA Information Services Barnes & Noble
Bertrams Dennis Jones & Associates Espresso Book Machine
Blackwell Footprint Books NACSCORP
Book Depository Limited Garratt Publishing
Books Express Holistic Page
Coutts Information Services Ltd. James Bennett
Designarta Books Koorong
Eden Interactive Limited Peter Pal
Trust Media Distribution (formerly STL) Rainbow Book Agencies
Mallory International The Nile
Paperback Shop Ltd. University Co-operative Bookshop
Superbook Deals Westbooks
The Book Community Ltd. Wheelers NZ
W&G Foyle Ltd.
Wrap Distribution

My home state, of Goa, has a rich history of printing and publishing. The first printing press arrived here in 1556, although unintentionally, when the ship carrying it stopped at Goa en route to Abyssinia but couldn’t move forward because the weather won’t permit it to. So, quite unwittingly, Goa had the distinction of having the first printing press in Asia. It was attached to the Jesuit training centre for aspiring priests, the St Paul’s College.

In here and at the Rachol Seminary several works were published, mostly spiritual books that catered to the needs of the newly converted indigenous population. These books also alluded to the circumstances of the times and became a commentary of the socio-political environment present then. Following the expulsion of Jesuits from Goa in 1759, and a general disinterest in protecting cultural documents like these, many of these precious works were lost either to ransacking crowds or to interested bibliophiles who added these books to their collections.

Gradually these books and manuscripts are beginning to resurface, in far away places. Many of them are now available in public or college libraries in Paris, London and Lisbon or among private libraries in India. Many of them are in a dilapidated state, close to ruin. These books represent an important part of the cultural landscape of the state and must be preserved for future research and scholarship.

Credit must be given to the Central Library, Goa and its curator, Carlos Fernandes, who is doing his best to make these texts available once again to readers in Goa. We at CinnamonTeal Publishing have been working closely with him, and have thus been able to develop an expertise in book restoration and printing and thus add another service to our repertoire.

The books we have restored so far include a volume of the Jesuit Miguel de Almeida’s Jardim de pastores, which was printed in Goa in five volumes in 1658-9 and an account of the life of Jivbadada Kerkar, a senapati (commander) in the Maratha army in the Peshwa era. We are currently working on a reprint of “Arte da Lingoa Canarim” (A Grammer of Konkani), published in 1640. The text of this book was available only at the School of Oriental and African Studies, London, which graciously allowed us to work on a reprint.

The book was originally in a very bad condition before we painstakingly “restored” it.

With each book, we carefully scan the pages using a specially constructed book scanner, “clean out” the embellishments on each page and carefully layout the book to closely resemble the original. The book is then printed in required quantities. It has usually been just a couple of copies each time so that these copies can be circulated or loaned to members of the library while the original book is carefully preserved.

We are very excited about this new line of business because it allows us the excitement of discovery of new worlds, quite removed from modern times, one we could only imagine without the guidance of these texts.

After your book has been written, edited and laid out and ready to be printed, you need to start thinking about ways to market it so that people know about your book and set out to buy it. Book marketing, perhaps, is most ignored by authors when they could themselves be the most passionate salesperson their book could have. While we do provide a wide range of marketing plans, here’s a list we put together for our authors to do themselves. Perhaps something you could borrow from?

Online promotion:

1. Have bloggers review your book. Choose relevant bloggers. For example, if your book is on science fiction, send it to bloggers who are sci-fi aficionados

2. Add a “signature” to your email. Signatures should be brief and “punchy”. Add a link to information about your book if possible

3. Get friends to add your link to their email signatures

4. Create a free website (blog) for your book. These are free and easy to set up. For blogs visit http://www.blogspot.com/ or http://www.wordpress.com/. For websites, visit www.weebly.com. Alternately you can contact us and we will set up one for you. When you set up one, make sure it is easy for people to find ways to contact you.

5. Post extracts of your book on your website or blog. Although this may see counter-intuitive, posting such free content allows your book to come up during search results. It also makes readers want to read more

6. A download of a few chapters of the book along with a discount coupon for purchase of the entire book. Or an online game where the winners get a discount on purchase of your book

7. Comment on other peoples’ blogs, especially those on topics that match that of your book. Comment intelligently and don’t brag. Sign off with your name and with a link to details of your book.

8. Guest blog on other sites that will allow you to.

9. Invest in social media such as Twitter, MySpace, Facebook and Orkut. The investment is of time, not money. This is a whole new beast called “social media marketing” and if you are here, you have probably heard of it already

10. Send out free press releases. Google “free press releases” and you will find many such services. Your press release should be brief and should contain the words users might search for.

Offline promotion:

1. Invest in getting your book edited and in getting a good cover designed for your book. Nothing turns readers away as much as an error-riddled book does. Similarly, an attractive cover can help market your book.

2. Dig into your mailing list – email every contact and tell them about your book. Ask them to promote your book in turn.

3. Similarly phone your friends and tell them about your book.

4. Contact your local newspaper. Ask them to do a review of your book. There is a certain prestige that comes with being a reviewed author. Give free copies away for reviews

5. Contact your local FM station and ask them to do an interview. Promote your book there

6. Make post cards for Diwali, Id or Christmas. Promote your book on it and send it to friends and acquaintances

7. If your book is on a niche subject, offer your services as a speaker when a seminar or conference is held on that or on an allied subject.

8. Promote your book at social meetings and gatherings.

9. Depending on the audience for your book, keep your book for sale in “unusual places” like coffee shops or supermarkets. People who frequent these places often have time to spare and money to spend. An attractively placed book might just trigger an impulse purchase

10. Arrange for readings and book signings if your environment allows it. Have them in prominent bookstores in your neighbourhood. In places like Bombay and Bangalore, weekly bingo is a common occurrence. Have your book launched before or after one such or similar meet. Cafes are another place where you can promote your book

The unique ability of print-on-demand to produce only as many books as required allows us, at CinnamonTeal Publishing, to experiment in exciting ways. Like our partnerships with publishers around the world, that allow them to introduce their titles in India at practically no cost and allow us to introduce good books to our readers in India.

CinnamonTeal introduces the titles in India on its own website and those of its channel partners. The books are printed on sale and dispatched to customers. The publisher is thus able to sell within India and does not have to spend a dime in the process. All rights, even those for sale within India, still rest with the publisher. By this arrangement, CinnamonTeal only charges for printing and shipping. The rest, after accounting for channel discounts, is reimbursed to the publisher.

Using this model, CinnamonTeal has partnered with publishers in Nigeria, South Africa, UK, Canada and Australia, thus allowing readers in India access to good literature from these countries. It has also allowed lesser-known publishers to introduce their titles in India and receive a readership for them.

CinnamonTeal wishes to partner with more publishers using this model. If you are a publisher and are interested in finding more about how you could work with us, do write in at contactus@ cinnamonteal.in

To view these books, do visit our website at: