Publishing Next commences with panel discussion on, "Where are digital books headed?"

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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.

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