PILF 2018:Marathi readers want more of everything
The session on Marathi publishing — where it has come from and where is it headed? — at the sixth Pilf was an eye-opener for many regional writers in Marathi.
The session held at BookNook, where tent was built on the grounds of Yashwantrao Chavan Academy of Development Administration (Yashada), had Anand Latkar (Latkar Prakashan), Rohan Champanerkar (Rohan Prakashan), Rajeev Barve (Dilipraj Prakashan) and Sadanand Borse ( Rajhans Prakashan) speaking about the new changes in the publishing industry.
Publishing has been influenced by globalisation and readers want more of everything. All the publishers agreed that this has indeed been a good year for publishers, except for Champanerkar who felt that although it showed signs of a good year it wasn’t completely satisfying. While Barve felt that there are challenges for the publishers, but a good year for the readers with many genres opening up.
According to Barve, “The best time for publishers was the period from 1978 to 1990 where there was financial stability as the other media had not penetrated and the only competition was between the publishers.” There were large number of libraries in Pune, Mumbai and Kolhapur, which led to a reading culture, but with the introduction of the colour TV, people began to look for colour in books and not just black and white, which raised a problem of creating or printing books in colour which was expensive and a setback for the publishers. The publishers also mentioned that a stream of good authors also made an impact. Authors like PL Deshpande, Shankar Patil, Suhas Shirwalkar and Baba Kadam helped publisher gain good margins and retain a steady income.
Borse said, “Every generation searched for their own Shakespeare. There is no such golden time in literature and every time an author was accepted became a golden moment. Some authors like the late Kavita Mahajan could in fact help visualise with her words so beautifully that boosted the sale of her books.”
According to Latkar, “The printing technology has changed a lot. In the recent times, publishers believe in minimum copies or print on demand, due to this many new writers took to printing agencies on their own instead of coming to the publishers.” What the publishers agreed upon is the point that youth need to be the ones to be targeted. “They are the missing link and with the new technology, social media, it doesn’t take long to make a book famous. It is like how people follow a star and watch everything that he does. Similarly, it is indeed a good time for publishers in regional language to adapt to the new ideas and create new ways to attract the reader,” said Rohan.