Publishers say 2017 World Book Fair a profitable affair

Penguin India saw a hike of nearly 20% in business from last year’s fair


Readers explore books of various categories at the World Book Fair in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. Photo: PTI
Readers explore books of various categories at the World Book Fair in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. Photo: PTI

New Delhi: As the New Delhi World Book Fair comes to a close on Sunday, the nine-day long event was an “excellent” experience with leading publishing houses making significant profit on sales compared to previous years.

Vimal Kumar, General Manager at Speaking Tiger said they had “unexpected sales”, despite facing several technical glitches in the aftermath of demonetisation. “Due to demonetisation we faced several problems since many a times card machines didn’t work due to lack of signals. But, it has been an excellent experience, rather unexpected sales for Speaking Tiger. Our sales have almost doubled this year,” he said.

Some of the top sellers at the stall included ‘Himalaya: Adventures, Meditations, Life’ edited by Ruskin Bond and Namita Gokhale, and ‘Murderer in Mahim’ by Jerry Pinto among others. For Penguin India, which saw a hike of nearly 20% in business from last year’s fair, the event being moved ahead by a month from the usual February, has worked favourably.

“The book fair used to be held in February until a couple of years ago and this move into January has actually helped the sales due to extended winter break in schools, festivals, etc. There is a carnival like atmosphere at the Pragati Maidan,” Nandan Jha, vice president, Product and Sales at Penguin Random House India, said.

All time children favourites like ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’, Roald Dahl, ‘Tintin Series’ and Sudha Murty, books by Salman Rushdie, classics, and books by Bollywood celebrities including Karan Johar’s autobiography, ‘An Unsuitable Boy’ and Twinkle Khanna’s ‘Mrs Funnybones’ were major business makers for the publishing house.

Other top sellers included books by Devdutt Pattanaik, Y Cassandra Clare, Elif Shafak, Elon Musk, ‘The Fault in Our Stars’, ‘Inner Engineering’ and Paulo Coelho’s ‘The Spy’. Harper Collins also asserted that the turnout was better compared to last year with titles by Paulo Coelho, Agatha Christie, Nadia Hasmi and Sidney Sheldon fetching impressive business and customers keeping credit/debit cards handy.

“There has been a good turnout in comparison to last year. The sales have increased around 15% this year for us. Popular international titles have been a major draw. “Even Khushwant Singh, Arvind Adiga and Rishi Kapoor’s ‘Khulam Khulla’ were in large demand. We didn’t see any effect of demonetisation since people easily did digital payments,” Vikas Sharma, Head of Key Accounts at Harper Collins, said.

More From Livemint