The publishing industry in India is considered as one of the top seven publishing nations in the world. With an estimated market share of INR 10,000 crores, India ranks third after the US and UK in English language publishing. The Indian publishing market is heterogeneous and is based on the parameters of regional dialects and level of education. The 24 Indian languages including English, arm the Indian publishing industry with ample scope and variety.
Print books are still sought after by readers in India. The Indian publishing industry is currently growing at a compound annual growth rate of 25%. Book publishing has undergone rigorous transformation. The growth story of Indian publishing is like its syncretic culture that allows both the old and the new to co-exist. Physical books have large bottlenecks in terms of production, distribution and payments, and that is causing deep concern within the publishing industry.
Publishers have also taken a different route to reach out to readers, such as e-books and digital content. With the onset of digital age, the nature of the industry has evolved, catering to consumer requirements. Meanwhile, the self-publishing trend has given rise to a large number of authors who can now get their own work generated and published. Although eBooks currently account for less than 10 percent of the top brass of publishers in India, this figure is expected to grow to around 25 percent by 2020.
The rise of e-books in the past decade has brought about path breaking changes in reader preferences, which in turn, has affected the publishing industry. With the onset of the digital boom as well as progress in IT infrastructure, newer avenues have opened for publishers to branch into other categories such as virtual reality. India has witnessed growth in the electronic publishing sector as the country’s population has embraced the latest technological gadgets such as smartphones and tablets. A recent report elaborated that 70 % of publishers have already embraced digitization of their books that are compatible with e-readers and other digital devices.
As publishers are progressing towards exploring digital spaces, the demand for print books continues to grow in India. While the number of titles published each year has been rising, in the last three to four years, English-language trade publishers in India have not sold e-books worth more than 2 percent of their total sales revenue. The educational books sector, which forms 70 percent of the book market in India, is the mainstay of the industry. The print-versus-e-book debate has almost died down in the book industry, replaced by the realization that print and digital formats are likely to coexist and in the future, lead to a hybrid publishing model that taps into the strengths of both.
On a global perspective, the e-publishing sector is flourishing. Though in certain periods, the sale of e-books would have declined, it does not affect the growth of the e-publishing sectors or digital publishing service providers. The market for the e-publishing sector is wide open for India since the need for digitization persists among technologically evolved readers. The Indian market will continue to grow in the years to come as the Indian economy grows and flourishes.
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