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Thursday, 25 July 2013

Can Vernacular Publishers stop the Amazon flowing in India?

Can Vernacular Publishers 
the Amazon flowing in India?

© 2013 Nirupam Banerjee, India

Amazon is now the largest STORE (& maybe even 24 x 365 hrs/yr FAIR) in the planetary Book-industry. This now, is considered definitely a rival of the Traditional Publishers, and that too, supposedly throughout the planet.

But I knew or intuited sometime ago, that the Bengali publishers would definitely resist the Amazon 'river' flooding their rain forest of the local bookstores. The local trade publishers' anxiety could be partly due to the very different business model that Amazon uses comparing to the physical bookstores. 

The local "Ananda Publishers Pvt. Ltd." however follows Penguin, as they are currently linked up. But Penguin has had also not (as far as I believe) a 'much' good relation or viewpoint, about Amazon. In fact there's a tussle already going on between the Western publishers & this giant Tech-savvy company. Which can be compared to the Google & Apple.

Ewan Morrison of Scotland forecasted in 2011, that the 'Publishers' of the FUTURE will be:
  • Amazon
  • Apple
  • Google
  • etc
instead of Penguin, Random House, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, Bloomsburry et al.

The point is—in my opinion—not necessarily that the Technology triumphs over the Arts, but that Technology is just a filter that now nakedly scans out the essential roles the publishers can still claim as THEIR work.

If the work load of rather the E-bookstores are now proved commercially larger, then these new Retailers would dominate the Publishers like never before in the planet's entire history of the bookstores.

Amazon was well poised. They even quite recently launched in India their e-Reading device KINDLE @ about 6,000 rupees! In the hope to conquer the local languages.

But Amazon's gambit with the Kindle, backfires! This USA-based North American 'Amazon river' didn't see that the people in the Indian rain forests are mostly poor ones. They can rather read the books directly online and not in an e-reader. 

Amazon can't perhaps secure market for Bengali publication in India. Audience is not equipped. Moreover $ is now often running above Rs.60. This would make the living even harder for the mass public here, in the near future.

And the Bengali Publishers? They might even try to boycott Amazon. So, Amazon may get only the self-published authors. Who however, can hope to circulate their books only within the 'rich' & the NRI-style Bengalees.

Amazon's inherent opening policy is that, their books can be downloaded only in the Kindle which Amazon itself manufactures! So in order to buy a single book from Amazon (even if it costs $0.99/- i.e. about Rs.60 only) you have to buy a Kindle beforehand

Thus Amazon forces the transaction of Rs. 6000 + 60 = 6,060/- for the 1st book.

I believe Amazon should change their opening preparation. If they want to really penetrate India. 

The US company needs to not only track the economics here, but also study the mindset of the Local/Bengali publishers. That Ananda Publishers is linked with Penguin, doesn't necessarily mean that what Penguin does will be soon followed here.

Maybe, some local Startup business (that I might support/advise on) can make the breakthrough if Amazon can't convince the Bengali Publishers to send e-books, or the mass Buyers to buy Kindles.  


For Kindle Paperwhite model with Wi-Fi, the cost is about Rs. 11,000/-. And for Kindle Paperwhite with Wi-Fi + 3G, it's about Rs. 14,000/-.

And the lowest model of Kindle was Rs. 7,000/- @ last year. 
Amazon has reduced it by 1000 rupees just very recently this year.  

But even Rs. 6,000 extra (for seeing e-books) would be too much for an average Bengalee who perhaps just doesn't read the 'book-length' works in English while, on the other hand, the Bengali e-books are still not practically available at Amazon. So what would NOW justify their purchase of the Kindle?♦ 

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