Sunday, November 28

Home delivery, release of e-books high on Boipara’s biz-recovery plan

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A new chapter has begun in Kolkata’s Boipara as booksellers and publishers are working out ways to continue their business in the ‘new normal’ situation. From home delivery of books, giving a virtual tour of the stores to the release of ebooks and audio books, College Street’s Boipara — the largest book market in India — is set to get modernized and go digital to cater to the needs of the book lovers.

Dev Sahitya Kutir, which has been in the publishing business since 1860, has started home delivery of books for the first time. Readers can place their orders over WhatsApp and the books would be delivered without any extra charge. A minimum order of Rs 600 is expected. Editor and director of the publishing house, Rupa Majumdar, said, “Sales through home delivery have been more than overthe-counter sales.” It is also planning to launch e-versions of its two iconic children’s magazines — ‘Shuktara’ and ‘Nabakallol’.

The century-old D M Library on Bidhan Sarani, which is also delivering books to homes for the first time, has been getting 20 orders daily on an average. Aritra Gopal Mazumdar of D M Library said “To tide over the crisis, every bookseller and publisher needs to explore digital platforms.”

The process of buying a book has undergone a change, said Sudipto Dey of Dey’s Publishing House. He has taken to sending pictures of books, video calls and virtual tours of the shelves. The publishing house will release e-books in July for the first time.

Iti Katha, a publishing house on Bankim Chatterjee Street, used the lockdown period to create and sell e-books for the first time. Shudrak Upadhyay from the firm said, “The pandemic has forced us to use technology, digital spaces for survival. It is necessary to break away from convention,but a balance between tradition and technology must be struck. We will soon release audio books too.”.

The stalls on College Street are also thinking of home delivery since footfall has been very low. Sharip Mullick of P T Book Stall beside Presidency University said, “During the lockdown, many students and teachers called me to ask if I was delivering books to doorsteps. Now that I have opened my stall, I am thinking of doing that.”

Akash Gangopadhyay from e-commerce platform Boighar.in, which is dedicated to Bengali books, said, “Online delivery has risen. Many textbook publishers have also approached us for delivery via our platform.”

 

Source:Times of India

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