Book news: Penguin's e-book gambit; Pan MacMillan's anniversary; DSC Prize jury

Peter Griffin
Updated: Jul 23, 2012 10:19:21 PM UTC

Penguin India is taking the big plunge into e-books. It will be releasing over 240 titles, including all its 2012 releases and a selection from its backlist. The ebooks will be sold through all the major international ebook retailers, including Amazon's Kindle store and Apple's iTunes. Among the titles you will see are a raft of Ruskin Bond favourites, Tagore classics, some by Khuswant Singh, as well as books by younger writers like Samit Basu, Sonia Faleiro and Sidin Vadakut, and our columnist, Subroto Bagchi. Penguin will bring the rest of its backlist into the e-stores soon, as well as simultaneously publishing new works in both print and electronic format. Penguin says that while currently Indian buyers will have to pay international prices for these e-editions, they plan to offer them at local prices "when the ebook industry develops further here." Sigh.

That disappointment apart, this is a big one for publishing in India. Where the 800-pound gorilla goes, the others must follow soon. And indeed we're seeing newer publishing imprints coming in with their e-offerings from the get-go, and some that are doing only e-books.

Meanwhile, Pan MacMillan India is celebrating its 40th anniversary worldwide. And they're releasing a number of special editions for the Indian reader. Titles include Naipaul's A House for Mr Biswas, Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, John Banville's The Sea, Cormac McCarthy's All the Pretty Horses, Don Delillo's White Noiseand Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones's Diary.

And the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature announced its jury for the 2013 prize. In the chair, poet K Satchidanandan, and with him, Muneeza Shamsie, Pakistani writer and critic, Rick Simonson, American literary entrepreneur, Suvani Singh, director of the Kathmandu Literary Jatra, and Eleanor O Keeffe, Irish/Canadian cultural entrepreneur. The short-list will be out in November, with the winner being announced at the Jaipur Literature Festival in January.

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