Why did Rupa & Co decide to launch its children’s imprint in its 75th year, and not earlier?
We were hoping to launch this for a while now. We were in the process of identifying resources — editorial and otherwise, putting ideas into order. We thought that this would be a good time to commemorate the journey so far. It’s also got to do with the maturing of this market. We felt the time was right to enter. Besides, earlier, Indian children read only international titles. But now. with increasing readership, there is a serious audience to read Indian stories too. We felt that Rupa & Co would be able to do justice in providing the very best for Indian children readers.
What will separate titles from this stable, from the numerous children’s publications that are floating around in the books market?
Our catalogue is a fantastic mix of inspirational, innovative ideas — from illustration-based titles, to fantasy and history. Take, for example, Derek O’Brien’s title, Speak Up, Speak Out. It includes his favourite elocution pieces. Then, you have the story about Jim Corbett’s Khansama told by Ruskin Bond or the story of India’s Freedom Movement by Nayantara Sahgal. It’s important to package the right content for today’s kids.
The author list is impressive. How did you work around such a fine talent pool of names? Were there any challenges involved with it being a new imprint?
As long as you have good ideas, a strong entrepreneurial and editorial sense, it usually works out fine. It was easy roping in some of the finest writers from India and overseas.
At what stage is the children’s publishing industry in India, and how much do you believe will evolve/change in 2013?
It’s at an interesting stage. The Harry Potter phase is over, yet we have a wide range on hand. Kids, today, are conscious of what they read, and are far more experimentative. There is a greater hunger to read. The availability of innovative ideas is the trick. We understand this trend, and will publish 25-30 titles, every month.
Nova: New for young adults
Since its launch in 1997, Scholastic India has entered a new segment, called Nova meant for Young Adults, which will be introduced in the market with Rahul Srivastava’s murdern mystery, What Happened to Regina that Night, and two collections of short stories — Music of the Stars and other Love Stories and Saleen on Earth and Other Stories.
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