From The Book Standard (alas, now defunct) on January 3, 2007:
“Following a year of getting noticed as one of the fastest-growing English-language markets in the world, including the country of honor position at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October, India is getting some new attention from Simon & Schuster. The publishing company will launch an Indian publishing program in early 2007, following up on the opening of an office in New Delhi in 2006.”
India is the biggest and newest expanding publishing market in the world; this is the third or fourth time in the last few months that I’ve heard something major and publishing related about it. As my previous post noted, it was only last week that we received our initial payment for licensing the foreign rights to one of our textbooks to a publisher in India. In addition–and also biomedical related–on Friday afternoon I was looking at a new biomedical textbook at our BET (biomedical equipment technology program) here at TSTC Waco written by an author in India but published by a major American textbook publisher. There seems–okay, it doesn’t seem, there just is— a big trend toward moving all aspects of book publishing to India.
This really hit home as I recalled a conversation I had last month with the president of a typesetting company that works primarily on university press and textbook projects in Austin, Texas. Recently his company merged with a much larger typesetting & composition company in India so we were chatting about how that had come about. He was telling me that the big North American textbook publishers have been making serious efforts to move all their set-up/prepress to India. (According to him doing that isn’t necessarily cheaper than doing it in the United States–yet–but it will be soon.) Given that, when the opportunity presented itself they seized upon the chance to make a direct business-to-business connection with an Indian service provider.
In terms of the global economy this is, of course, nothing new. But it does hit home in a very real sense once you see how it affects your own small corner of an industry. For anyone interested in the outsourcing phenomenon, I would suggest taking a long look at Thomas Friedman’s The World Is Flat [Updated and Expanded]: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century. Although there have been some pretty intense critiques of the particulars of his analysis and conclusions, Friedman does provide a solid overview of this historic “leveling” of the business playing field.
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