News and reviews about books, Comics, novels and authors | Educational Blog

Home > Blog > Indian Book Market Is Struggling But Why?
Indian Book Market Is Struggling But Why?

Indian Book Market Is Struggling But Why?

Indian Book Market Is Struggling But Why?

Indian Book Market Is Struggling But Why? – While the country is still recovering from the global pandemic caused by the COVID-19 virus, there are many industries that are finding it difficult to keep afloat after the past two years. Many of the struggling companies already faced the consequences of the total lockdown in early 2020 and shutdown. Many somehow managed to stick through the pandemic and the lockdown phase, and now are struggling to build their business back up.

However, being on the lockdown during the pandemic has made people conscious of the purchases they make. Everyone was only surviving through essential items for the entirety of two years. Entertainment especially paid entertainment material like books was the last item on people’s list of purchases to be made. So, in such a case, it is not much of a surprise to see the book market struggling.

Yet, books have resurfaced as a mainstream source of entertainment in the past few years. Social media platforms such as Tiktok, Instagram, Twitter, etc. have contributed to this immensely. There are subgroups within these platforms that are dedicated to just talking about books known as BookTok, Bookstagram, BookTWT, etc. So even when books are on such a rise in being read and consumed, why is India’s book market struggling?

The Cost of Raw Products

A simple reason behind any increase in the price of a product is the price of its raw products being increased. This directly affects the cost of the final, sellable product, and hence, in conclusion, ends up affecting the market of the product itself. The raw products required to make books are paper, ink, water, binding materials, and other printing essentials. In the pandemic, and even after it, the price of paper almost doubled. It cost about ₹60 per kilogram of paper before the pandemic. The price of paper currently for publishers is ₹110 per kilogram.

This has resulted in publishers printing fewer amounts of books to cover up their losses. Rajkamal Prakashan Group, a very well-established company known for publishing books in the Hindi language also struggled due to the drastic rise in the price of paper. The company that would publish around 200 to 250 books annually before the pandemic went to producing 80 to 100 books a year.

Indian Book Market Is Struggling But Why?
Indian Book Market Is Struggling But Why?

Transportation Costs

With the increasing fuel prices, it is no surprise that the cost of transportation has increased as well. Transportation plays a significant role in books being sold, as many readers do pick up books from bookstores and libraries, etc. The distribution will come to a halt if there is no proper transportation to reach these books to the shelves of the stories. Even if a book is purchased online, it requires to be shipped to the given address of the buyer. This also requires shipping and transporting, hence, ends up costing more money to the buyer.

Satabdi Mishra, co-founder of Walking BookFairs said that it has become significantly difficult and expensive to acquire books after the pandemic due to the publishers’ fees and the transportation costs. Many publishers, especially the smaller ones are also finding it difficult to keep afloat as they prefer keeping their costs lower so an average reader can be able to afford the books.

Decline in Readers of New Books

The managing director of Hachette India, one of the top publishing companies in the country, Thomas Abraham, has claimed that Indian readers tend to not pick up newly published books as compared to the readers in the United States of America and the United Kingdom.

The claim is based on the fact that books by classic authors, such as Agatha Christie, Dan Brown, Enid Blyton, etc. sell more than books published by newer authors. The Indian audience prefers older, established writers and books as compared to the newer ones. This has also led him to make a claim that the Indian audience tends to read ‘for utilitarian purposes and not for entertainment’.

Indian Book Market Is Struggling But Why?
Indian Book Market Is Struggling But Why?

Alternatives to Physical Books

As mentioned earlier, the pandemic has made people aware of their necessary spending, and the spending that can be avoided. Even if someone was willing to purchase a book, it became tough to get any due to the essential only restriction. Physical copies of books were not sold during the lockdown part of the pandemic, which was almost a year-long period.

Readers still loved to read during this time as many people had a lot of time to spare while being at home. And while they could not get their hands on physical books, they started opting for alternatives, such as audiobooks or e-books. Many readers after the pandemic have gone back to their roots of reading physical copies of books, there are still many who prefer e-books and audiobooks due to the convenience they have to offer, and for a lower cost.

Economy and Current Issues

As mentioned earlier, the country is still recovering from the pandemic, and the current situation of the world post-pandemic is not great either. The inflation in the country is at a new high at 7.79%. Everything is costing more than it has in the past ten years. Along with that, there are multiple international and national conflicts that are going on right now. All of this has directly or indirectly affected the sales of most industries, including that books.

Also Read: Books to Better Understand Men

More Reading

Post navigation

Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Top 10 Superhero Web Series

Best Asian Comic Book Publishers

10 Unstoppable Marvel Villains Who Keep Coming Back

Get Free Digital Marketing training With start-up funding 💰

10 Best Movie Ending Songs In DC Movies
10 Best Movie Ending Songs In DC Movies 15 Must-Read Books Starting With Letter B 20 Best Books For Silent Generation 10 Scientists Who Made Breakthrough Without Formal Education