A Good book has no geographical boundaries” says Bikash D Niyogi, managing director, Niyogi Books in conversation with Varsha Verma.
Every book we produce is our baby, nurtured with lot of love and detail. A lot of efforts are taken to create a book so that its contents are fully-researched and easy to understand. We make sure that accompanying visuals are appropriate and create interest and curiosity in the mind of the readers. No wonder then that our books are available across geographical boundaries – not just through our own distribution channel but through other sources as well,” tells Bikash D Niyogi, managing director of Niyogi Books.
“Sometimes, after a manuscript a received, a book takes 3-4 years to complete, sometimes a book gets published in 6-8 months time,” he adds. Niyogi recited an interesting incident where he needed a picture of Kohinoor diamond to go in the book and he had to wait for more than six months to source it from the concerned authorities.
Niyogi Offset has already created a mark for itself in printing and Niyogi Books is a step ahead in the direction of publishing. “My love for books made me foray into book publishing. Books are undoubtedly the best friends for all,” tells Niyogi. They offer books in various categories like biographies of important personalities, culture, art, heritage, illustrated books, etc and more recently, they had forayed into fiction, focusing mainly on historical novels and novels on women written by women authors.
“Of these, illustrated books are my favourite. Lot of people in this country cannot afford books and those who can afford them, do not have the time to read it. So, we want to give value for money to our readers and so we make sure that they get the best content. We always try our best to ensure that readers can understand 50% of the book through looking at visuals and captions. Also, efforts are made to make each chapter complete in itself so that a person who does not have time to read the full book, can still gain from reading a specific chapter of the book,” tells Niyogi happily. A few of their bestsellers include Heavens in Earth, Lata Mangeshkar, Honest always stand alone and Himalayas.
“Initially the print run of our books used to be 1,000 copies but now we have an initial print run of 2,000-3,000 copies, depending on the book,” adds Niyogi. “We have a team of 10-12 editors and three designers, besides a sales team of 8-10 people and we are on an expansion drive soon.”
Most of the authors of their books are Indian authors, though they do have some foreign authors as well. “There are a lot of intellectuals and historians in our country and they understand the Indian culture better,” he adds.
So, how does Niyogi decides on the subject of their book? “Whenever we get a manuscript for publication, we first see how many competitive titles are available and what their contents are. We make sure that there are some additional contents in the proposed book, in the form of text, visuals and current news. Then, pricing is also a criterion for the selection,” tells Niyogi as a matter of fact.
Talking about the challenges in the Indian book publishing business, Niyogi opined that these include competition amongst publishers and increasing production costs. “But the major challenge is the publicity of the book. For this, we organize various book launch functions, where we and our authors connect with the readers. This is good, especially for new authors, who get a big moral boost to see their value for labour. And, it is an immense pleasure for us to see our new baby delivered. here is so much to write in India and we will continue to offer many such books to our readers,” concluded Niyogi, a core book lover.