New Delhi: The Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Development of North-Eastern Region (DoNER), MoS PMO, Personnel, Public Grievances, Pensions, Atomic Energy and Space, Dr. Jitendra Singh has said that a publisher’s job does not end with printing a saleable book by a saleable and a known author but a publisher’s real job is to discover unknown authors and promote hidden talent. He was delivering the inaugural address at the week-long “Delhi Book Fair 2015” at Pragati Maidan, here today.
Citing from personal experience as an author and columnist, Dr. Jitendra Singh recalled how around early 1980s, he had piled up innumerable copies of regret letters for unpublished short-story manuscripts which he was regularly sending to the then popular “Illustrated Weekly of India” published from Mumbai but he said, he got his break when a Delhi-based News and Feature agency offered him an opportunity to publish his write-ups on trial basis to test their saleability and a Delhi-based English daily gave him one solitary chance to publish a middle write-up.
Perseverance, consistency and passion to write is what enables a writer to keep struggling for a break and in his own case too, Dr. Jitendra Singh recalled that after the initial struggle, he could associate himself with generous editors and publishers who readily published his writings and in addition to five books, three ”Elsvier” published medical monograms and exclusive chapters in over dozen postgraduate textbooks, his regular weekly column “Tales of Travesty” perhaps became the longest surviving weekly column with uninterrupted publication for over three decades. In the same spirit, he called upon the publishers to discover the potential new authors and give them a break which would also be a service to Generation Next of the 21st century India.
Referring to the advent of internet and social media, Dr. Jitendra Singh said, he personally did not see Net as a threat to writing, but rather an advantage in many ways. For example, he said, those of the young budding authors who are unable to find a publisher for themselves, now have the option of posting their writings, whether prose or poetry, on electronic media and seek worldwide readership.
India is an evolving society, said Dr. Jitendra Singh, and therefore overcoming certain existing practices and adapting to new realities is a challenge which also affects the field of writing and publishing. Moreover, in a country like India, the demands of readers are diverse and variable while another concern is to keep the book price at a purchasable level. In this context, he assured the publishers that the present government under Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi was keen to clear the bottlenecks that came in the way of creating literature which is conducive to the emerging global status of contemporary India.
Shri J.S. Deepak, CMD ITPO (India Trade Promotion Organization) and Dr. Ashok Gupta, President, Federation of Indian Publishers were also present on the occasion.
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