Online platforms give recognition to local authors

Arts & Culture Bangalore City

Panelists at Asia Pacific Literature Fest discussed how the online platforms have helped local authors.

Online mediums have revolutionized the book industry and are giving recognition to young writers, publishers said at the inaugural Asia Pacific Literature Fest, which was hosted at the Alliance University on Monday.

Book sales account for 10 percent of Amazon’s revenue today. Techtarget data show that , “In 2019, the number of self-published titles reached 1.7 million almost half of the more than four million titles published.” 

Neeta Gupta, the founder of Publisher’s Exchange mentioned how technology changed the life of independent writers. She added, “As much as we criticize platforms like Amazon, we cannot deny the fact that e-sellers have given recognition to independent writers.”

Acoording to statista, “revenue in the eBooks segment is projected to reach US$154.40M in 2022. The revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate (CAGR 2022-2027) of 4.35 percent, resulting in a projected market volume of US$191 million by 2027.”

Bitan Chakraborty, founder of Hawakal Publishers, highlighted how platforms such as Amazon indirectly help independent authors attract publishers. “To be even offered a chair by a publishing house is a privilege for independent authors. Lately it has started changing from last five to six years. Now at least, they consider publishing it and give it a read. They know platforms like Amazon will have buyers for them,” he said.

Mayank, a student of Alliance University, said online books are useful for the readers as well, because they are cheap and versatile. “I have always bought books online since they are much cheaper and you get all sorts of options as well. I order multiple books at a time and it’s a mixed bag of Indian and foreign authors. I did order a book this one time which had my friend’s poetry piece in it, apart from that I have always gone with recommendations from here and there,” he said.

Prof.  Ashwini Kumar who has translated multiple poems and essays over the last three decades said, “Maybe tomorrow Swiggy will be delivering poetry to your arms, that’s the effect of technology. All young writers have to do is write.”

“In my opinion, Amazon and other publishing houses are doing yeomen service in getting recognition to young and promising writers,” said English literature Professor, KC Belliapa who teaches at University of Mysore.

Neeta Gupta agreed with a reader who mentioned how low the self published books ranked, and said, “Yes, it’s true but it is making some difference. We publishers do play safe when it comes to publishing but I believe the new publishers also need to take some risk. Amish published his own work and took the risk with his first book and we all know where he is today.” She said writers should approach small publishing houses initially and then go for the bigger ones.