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Saturday, January 22, 2011

Digital Age Presents an Opportunity Not Threat for Printed Matter

Printed books (including non-academic books) are not dead. In fact they are growing by 15% to 18% per year in India, China and other Asian countries...And Asian countries are cutting edge in new digital tech, which encompasses all the new eReaders, eBooks and ePublishing platforms.

"Technology is merging things, but the book is still at the center"...Indian critic Sunil Sethi.

Some key, insightful and juicy perspectives are jumping forth from the Asia-Pacific's largest annual literary event, the DSC Jaipur Literary Festival, taking place right now between 21-25 Jan in Jaipur, India. This event is attended by literary giants from all over the world.

Want to publish a printed book to a large market? Go global and publish in India!

This from Reuters by Henry Foy:

The book is dead? Long live the book, authors say

Rubbishing those who hail the digital age as the end for books, publishing industry players and best-selling authors on Saturday hailed a new dawn for publishing, with India's voracious readers at its forefront.

Book sales have been squeezed in recent years by e-books and the huge success of Amazon.Com's Kindle reader, but India's booming publishing market is proof of the physical book's staying power, said participants at Asia's largest literary event, the DSC Jaipur Literary Festival.

"You read something on Twitter and you know it is ephemeral," said Patrick French, a best-selling historian and biographer who has written extensively on Asia. "Yet the book is a solid thing. The book endures."

Regional language novelists and poets rubbed shoulders with Nobel laureates and Booker Prize winners at the seventh festival to be held in the historical pink-tinged city of Jaipur, the capital of India's northwestern Rajasthan state.

Hundreds of book lovers attended a debate on the fate of printed books in the sun-drenched grounds of a former palace as part of the free five-day event.

"The idea of the book dying comes up all the time. It's wrong. I think this is a wonderful time for books, to enlarge the audience of the book and draw in more readers," said John Makinson, Chairman and CEO of the Penguin Group of publishers.

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