Christmas in the middle of summer? You could look at the HarperCollins sale quite that way. More than 1,00,000 titles, in nearly all genres, are up for sale – from adult fiction, kid-lit to coffee table books – at throwaway prices. The catch: the publishers won’t name names so readers will really have to test their love of books by going right up to the HC warehouse in Faridabad.
“We haven’t publicised a list of titles because we’d like people to discover the range of books available and we’ll be around to help with selection,” promises Karthika VK, publisher and chief editor, HarperCollins India.
HC paperbacks will be available for Rs 25, hardbacks for Rs 50 and big format illustrated books for Rs 100. There is also a 90 per cent discount being offered on box sets, which contain multiple titles by the same author or different authors. Most of these will be backlist titles.
Is the sale an indirect way of getting rid of stocks or an indication that books are not selling enough? Karthika says this is not distress selling at all. “Sales are a normal part of the publishing cycle. When certain books are new they are visible and fast moving but then they do eventually come back to the warehouse and become part of the publisher’s stock. So instead of putting them back on the market, a sale is a fun way of getting readers to re-engage with books.”
Will this be an annual affair? “We would very much like to, if all goes well. Several international publishers have been doing something similar and we felt it might be a good idea to try something of the kind in India,” adds Karthika.
Suhrita Basak, a business entrepreneur and a mother of two teenagers in south Delhi, said she finds the discount figures very tempting and plans to visit the HC warehouse, but would have preferred an online sale or at a bookshop nearby.
The publisher, however, does have a point. “It would be impossible, not to mention enormously expensive, for us to move all the books to another location for the two days. And hey, there are people who live in Faridabad too, they might appreciate the proximity!” points out Karthika. “The whole idea of the sale is to enthuse readers and give them an experience they are not likely to have had before. To invite them into our world of making and selling books, even if only for a few hours.”
The sale will make readers feel good in ways more than one. A part of the proceeds are going to Frendicoes, the animal welfare NGO.
Venue: Plot No 15/5, Sector – 27 B, Behind Choirform Factory, Mathura Road, Faridabad (nearest Metro station: Mewala Maharajpur; the road is next to metro pillar nos 580-581)
Dates: June 24-25, 2016
Time: 10am – 6pm
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