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Looking Back to Look Forward

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Nitasha Devasar
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Abstract

India is the second-largest book market in the world for English-language content. Indian publishing, predominantly educational and 75 per cent in English, is growing at a compound annual growth rate. Tracing the business’s 75-year journey, this article highlights key phases and players that have shaped the way this industry looks today. Family businesses and international publishers have been an intrinsic part of the local publishing scene from the start. A large textbook market and growing general books market sustain them as new players continue to appear on the scene. The book-publishing ecosystem has historically included bookselling, distribution, and printing and in more recent times has expanded to edtech and telecoms. The COVID-19 experience has enhanced the need for collaborations in this ecosystem to sustain Indian publishing. Although the books market remains 90 per cent print, its sustainability requires e-resources that enhance, support, and test learning from these printed books. Finding suitable pricing models in a historically price-sensitive market is one of the key challenges. Government policy plays a key role in the direction and growth of Indian publishing. Tax, copyright, and education policies can pave the way for Indian publishing to be a research and skilling hub for this youthful nation.

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