In this month's ALLi Insights, Orna Ross chatted with Ritesh Kala and Mukti Jain from Read Out Loud and Author Rasana Atreya to discuss what is happening in the self-publishing and publishing market in India.
Here's an excerpt of some of the conversation highlights, and you can watch the You Tube presentation in it's entirety, below.
We had a few challenges with the global connectivity during this call, but all participants pitched-in keep the conversation going and on-topic.
India Market Overview
The Indian book market is fast changing, and according to the Book Market Report by Nielsen – India ranks as 2nd in English Language market share, which places it behind the U.S. market but ahead of the U.K. market.
Amazon is also gearing up to attract mobile shoppers in India, and also launch CreateSpace later this year.
Amazon will acquire startup Emvantage for an undisclosed amount to develop its Indian e-commerce site’s payment platform. In a press announcement, Amazon said the Noida-based company’s employees will start working for Amazon’s payment team after the transaction is completed. Read More on Techcrunch or Read More on Fortune Magazine
The mobile phone market in India is huge. There's currently over 900 Million mobile phone users in India, at least 42% have transacted through their mobile gateway at least once to purchase digital content. Part of the challenge with e-book growth in India, is that the retailers have been relying on credit card payment options for content purchasing, but only 2% of the population have credit cards.
This is why Amazon's acquisition of Emvantage is so important for the growth of the market to overcome the logistics associated with the path to purchase.
How Indie Authors can support Growth in India
Historically, discoverability of books have primarily been in bookstores.
In India it is of utmost importance to have physical books in physical stores…. consumers believe are acquiring tangible objects rather than digital.
Ingram has joined up with a local Indian printer to distribute international POD books in India. Like all other markets, the cost of printing books in India is prohibitive for a lot of indie authors.
Pricing your book for the Indian Market
Well-known authors price their books to sell, and use a 99 Rupees price (under $2) to make their money on volume rather than an high cover price.
In last month's Ask ALLi Q&A, Joanna talked about pricing strategies for book releases in India, and her sentiments were mirrored again by Rasana on today's call. She gave the following advice:
Price the book for the Indian Market, rather than just convert your local currency price into rupees.
What price should an average book price in India be?
Obviously this is a bit of an open-ended question, but based on a standard text-based novel of average page-length, Romance or Chick Lit. should be priced around 150 to 200 Rupees ($2.30-$3), whereas Literary Fiction is around $3.80 to $5.40.
The Big Five publishers in India price books slightly higher .. because they only bring the biggest authors into India – i.e. 300-400 Rupees ($4.60-$6.20)
Any CreateSpace or Ingram book which is printed outside of India usually sells for about 900 Rupees, which is 3 or 4 times the price of what books should be sold for.
e-books in India
(At timecode 24:00-30:00) Rasana Atreya provides an overview of the different players (Daily Hunt and Juggernaut) and e-book statistics in the Indian marketplace.
If you get your books translated, you get access to a larger market share.
For more information about Daily Hunt (dailyhunt.in)
- 20-25% royalties for independent authors
- 35-40% royalties for publishers and author collectives
- Rates are lower than Amazon because of current cost and taxes associated with mobile carrier billing
For more information about Trade Publisher Juggernaut
- Focus on short-stories for mobile reading
Indian Market Predictions
(At timecode 32:30-36:00) Orna asks our ALLi Insights guests to give us their predictions for the future of the Indian book market.
Translations are going to be really big…. or else you'll only be able to reach a fraction of the Indian market.
There's a distinct trend towards skipping single-purpose e-readers in favour of reading content on mobile phones, which are multi-purpose.
Bollywood and Book Rights
Bollywood is constantly searching for new stories, and Read Out Loud are looking for authors with stories they can pitch to production houses and film distributors.
What Indie Author Content could do well in Bollywood?
- Action Movies (i.e. Avengers, Die Hard)
- Psychological Horror and Suspense story-lines (i.e. Stephen King)
- White Collar Crimes story-lines (conspiracy theory)
- Feel Good story-lines (Little Miss Sunshine, Juno etc.)
- Children's books and Super Heroes
“Going Global: Publishing in India” Video
“How Authors Sell Publishing Rights”, from The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi), helps authors navigate today’s complex rights marketplace. It shows writers the best ways to reach decision-makers in various industries, what these rights-buyers are looking for, and what to expect in negotiating a licence or sale of rights.
The writer’s path to publication has grown more complex, full of new choices. What once was a one-track pathway to print can now feel like a maze of formats, platforms, apps, territories and rights: film, TV, broadcast, foreign, translation, audio and more.
All of these publishing rights represent potential readers and income but each market offers different opportunities and operates by different rules. How are writers to find their way without a team of experts and lawyers?
Meet the ALLi Insights Guests
Founding Member of Read Out Loud India, Ritesh Kala is an ex-Investment Banker and Business Consultant, who left all that glamour aside to keep his love for literature alive. He started by reading and perpetually blogging about books and now is your “Knows-all-about-the-publishing-industry” guy.
Founding Member of Read Out Loud India, Mukti Jain has a Bachelor’s degree in Sanskrit literature and Philosophy, and a Master’s in Creative Writing. After a small stint as a researcher and script-writer for television and films, she dove deep into books and is now in charge of supervising every word that Read Out Loud brings to the market.
Rasana is the author of the Amazon bestseller Tell A Thousand Lies, which was also shortlisted for the 2012 Tibor Jones South Asia award. UK’s Glam magazine calls this novel one of their five favourite tales from India (June 2014). Her other works are The Temple Is Not My Father and Twenty-Eight Years A Bachelor. She is the only self-published author to be invited to the prestigious Jaipur Literary Festival as a panelist.
ALLi Insights Host: Orna Ross
Orna Ross launched the Alliance of Independent Authors at the London Book Fair in 2012. Her work for ALLi has seen her named as one of The Bookseller’s “100 top people in publishing”.
She also publishes poetry, fiction and nonfiction, and is greatly excited by the democratising, empowering potential of author-publishing.
Where can I watch or listen to more Ask ALLi?
- You can catch up on all of our videos on ALLi’s YouTube Channel
- You can listen to all of our podcast recordings at ALLi’s SoundCloud Channel or on our iTunes Channel
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