Rahul Srivastava, Managing Director, Simon & Schuster India
It’s the fifth anniversary of Simon and Schuster India. How has the journey been so far?
It has been an enthralling journey so far, the market is in a state of flux and it has kept us on the edge of the seat. We have been able to keep pace with the change and that has helped us grow year-on-year and establish ourselves as a credible publisher in India.
Simon and Schuster has published Indian authors who are globally recognised, like Vikas Swarup, Chitra Banerjee, Kishwar Desai, Shauna Singh Baldwin and others. What has been the response of the market in India to the works of these authors?
We have had success with all the globally recognised authors. We have supported the publication with wide distribution, marketing and publicity so the results have been encouraging. These successes have prompted us to start local publishing and work with Indian authors.
With the expansion of local publishing, what potential do you see for the fresh list of authors you’ll be publishing in terms of readership and sales?
Indian authors are selling better than before and we definitely see a good potential to expand our readers’ base which will, in turn, increase the sales and revenue. Our core business will remain our strong international backlist and we will gradually grow the Indian publishing. The plan is to publish one local Indian author a month till 2018. We want to provide strong marketing and publicity for each book and every book will be our “lead” book for the month.
After the announcement of the inaugural list, what has been the response of distributors and book sellers?
The response has been encouraging and supportive as they know that S&S will do a good job for the domestic authors as we have done for our International list. Our strong sales network will ensure that books get maximum exposure and do not get lost in the pile of books.
What will be your strategy in taking these authors to new readers and getting desirable sales figures?
The strategy is to collaborate with the authors and make a separate plan for each book. It will be different for every book as every book is different. Some of the things we can do will include launching the book in vernacular languages, collaborating with institutes, online promotions, etc.
How do you plan to balance the new list with your overseas fresh and back list? Is there a demand for more Indian writings here?
As mentioned the new list is an extension and with one book a month we will be able to provide the attention needed for the new authors as well as work on the International list which is firmly established. The balance will be maintained as one brings revenue and other builds the brand.
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