New Delhi: Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd is rolling out its self-publishing imprint in India under the Partridge brand. The imprint is being launched in partnership with US-based Author Solutions Inc., the self-publishing company acquired by Penguin last year.
Author Solutions has published 170,000 writers around the world under various imprints such as Trafford, iUniverse and AuthorHouse.
Andrew Phillips, CEO and president of Penguin Group (India), said the country’s growing interest in reading and writing prompted the publisher to choose India as its launch market.
“There are a lot of authors who want to come to the market with their stories. They don’t necessarily have the opportunity with traditional publishing houses. We get a lot of manuscripts every month. So we know there is a huge writing community here,” said Phillips, explaining the launch of Partridge in India.
The venture may soon be joined by Autonomy, the self-publishing unit of Harper Collins that’s currently available in the US and the UK.
Although numbers are hard to come by, Phillips said readership of books is growing.
“Growth of commercial fiction and non-fiction...not just from Penguin...is bringing new readers to the market,” he said. “India is the first territory where we are going to be rolling out Partridge. But it won’t be the last.”
South Africa will be Partridge’s next destination. Author Solutions’ imprints in the US, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Spain will, over time, be rebranded Partridge.
Partridge’s services-based model is one in which aspiring authors can choose different packages for a fee. The company will offer a combination of services from one-on-one author support, worldwide distribution, book cover design services as well as marketing and advertising strategies for a price.
Partridge will be “casting an eye” on what comes in to ensure that defamatory, pornographic or inappropriate content is not published. “You can submit all you want but it may not get published,” Phillips said. Partridge will publish children’s books, commercial fiction and non-fiction and family histories.
Penguin acquired Author Solutions to take advantage of the rapidly growing self-publishing segment.
“It was a strategic move although Penguin and Partridge will be run separately. However, Penguin will be looking at the sales and quality of the books published under Partridge. And if an author or a work does well there is a strong possibility there could be a traditional publishing deal with Penguin,” Phillips said.
V.K. Karthika, publisher and chief editor at publishing house Harper Collins India, said that self-publishing was a very new area in India. “It remains to be seen how it will pan out. But it is definitely an area we would want to enter and launch Autonomy, our self-publishing brand, in this market this year.”
The company may also launch its e-books business in India this year.
In October 2012, Bertelsmann and Pearson announced the merger of their publishing arms Random House and Penguin to form a joint venture, Penguin Random House, in which Bertelsmann has the majority stake.
Vidhi Choudhary contributed to this story.