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London Book Fair 2009 to focus on India

books Updated: Apr 10, 2009 16:08 IST

IANS
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The London Book Fair to be held from April 20-22 will focus on Indian publishers and authors. The British Council (India) announced on Thursday that 51 authors and around 90 publishers would be a part of the fair's India Market Focus Programme.

The London Book Fair, an annual event held at Earl's Court, London, is an opportunity for the international book industry to meet and forge new business partnerships. Publishers, agents and service providers from 67 countries are likely to be present.

Over 25,500 publishers, booksellers, librarians, authors, agents, press and service providers from 117 countries were present in the 2008 fair that showcased the Arab Market Focus Programme.

For the first time the event will lay special attention on India under the India Market Focus Programme.

Renowned Indian writers like Anita Nair, Vikram Seth, Sunil Gangopadhyay, Daljit Nagra, Jaishree Misra, Neel Mukherjee, William Dalrymple, Prasoon Joshi, Javed Akhtar and well-known writers in regional languages like Y.D. Thongchi, Namdeo Dhasal, Bhalchandra Nemade, Jiwan Namdung, Salma, Dai and many others will take part in a series of 10 seminars and readings, as well as participate in additional events in and around London.

Works in around 15 Indian languages represented in 40 odd events will be showcased at the fair's 38th edition and it's cultural segment.

"We are very excited about prospects for Indian writers. Since this is a trade fair, there will be a large scope for sale of rights. With bookers and Oscars pouring into India, this event is scheduled at a time when Indian writing is coveted, read and followed internationally," Sujata Sen, British Council's director for east India, told a press conference.

In India, 32 languages are spoken and written. There is a diverse range of writing that is not easily accessible to the domestic market let alone the international scene, so the fair's organisers feel that the programme would reveal why India "is such an exciting market for reading, writing and publishing".

India is the world's third-largest producer of English language titles. Over 15,000 titles in English are published in the country each year. The Indian book market is worth 625 million pounds and is growing at 10 percent per year.

"This is the 18th largest market for UK book exports. Publishing outsourcing will be worth $1.46 billion by 2010. There are around 16,000 publishers here. After the success of the Arab Market Focus Initiative last year, India was the obvious choice this year," Sen added.

Sahitya Akademi, a national organisation that promotes literature, has partnered the event along with Capexil, the Federation of Indian Publishers, the Confederation of Indian Industry, India Trade Promotion Organisation, Association of Publishers of India and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations.

"We are delighted to take part. Eleven of our authors will be a part of the seminars at the fair. We are sure that this will raise awareness about our rich literary heritage," said RK Sharma, deputy secretary, Sahitya Akademi.