Thursday, November 24, 2011

In conversation with Mr. Kapish Mehra, Managing Director of Rupa Publications
Photograph by Zainab Akbarali

Meeting with a publisher is a rare opportunity. But at the Sharjah International Book Fair, Manipal Dubai Blog caught up with Mr. Kapish Mehra, Managing Director of Rupa Publications in India. Rupa Publications is known for churning out a variety of books by renowned writers like Chetan Bhagat and Ruskin Bond. Coming out with a variety of books in almost every genre, Rupa Publications has been around for more than 70 years.

Speaking with Mr. Mehra, the interview reveals the process that goes in publishing a book which ultimately leads us to the topic of e-books.

The publisher’s task is a long and often complicated one that requires producing a book from scratch till it reaches the reader’s hands.

As a publisher, the first and foremost job is to find a manuscript worth publishing. While many come and go finding the right one requires both time and effort. Mr. Mehra says getting your book published starts with sending a synopsis of your story to the publisher. Choosing or reviewing your synopsis may take up to 6weeks.

The second tricky part is to get an audience for the book. With a society that is slowly becoming dependent on the internet for its entertainment needs this could be a problem. 

Mr. Mehra believes that with the advent of e-books, the popularity of books will be on the rise. He sees e-books as an opportunity rather than a threat and as a publisher believes that with electronic books, barriers of time and space can be crossed. The challenge of a publisher is to reach as large an audience as possible and with the technological advancement, this goal is being furthered.

He is also enthusiastic about the writers and readers here in the UAE and sees great potential in the emerging writing scene in the region. As long as a writer knows what he is saying, its interesting and written well, any genre can sell. At the end of the day it is a good book that sells no matter what genre it belongs to.

So if you’re looking to see your name in print, get working and keep persevering, maybe one day your name will be on bookshelves across the world.

By Rabab Kazi