Get booked for life, become a publisher

May 24th, 2009 - 10:32 am ICT by IANS  

By Vaishali Bhambri
New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) Do you enjoy reading books and can you usually tell which book will click in the market? If yes, then a career as a book publisher might just be right for you.

These days book publishing courses have become one of the most sought after career options for youngsters, with many institutes and universities offering these, say experts.

“There is a lot of potential in book publishing as a career option. And that’s why these days the courses are very much in demand,” Piyush Kumar, director of the Delhi-based Prabhat Prakashan, told IANS. The publishing house comes out with educational books for both children and adults.

“In fact, this is the best time to get into this field as the government is putting a lot of resources in the education ministry and is promoting skilled education,” Kumar added.

Two-year courses are offered at Calcutta University, the Delhi-based National Book Trust, Annamalai University in Chennai, Delhi Univeristy’s College of Vocational Studies, Mahatma Gandhi University in Kerala and Indira Gandhi National Open University.

The Delhi-based Institute of Book Publishing also conducts short courses for graduates in proofreading and editing, besides publishing management.

Generally a publishing course includes editing, production, design and layout, sales and marketing, electronic publishing, book promotion and a lot more for one to explore.

Gulshan Rai, chairman of the famous Diamond Comics, feels such courses help in understanding the editorial aspects.

“In a publishing house, the editorial department is one of the most important departments as it deals with the making of a book from the manuscript stage to what finally appears on the book shelves in the market,” he said.

R.K. Bajaj, an administration official from the College of Vocational Studies in Delhi University, said its publishing course has become very popular.

“We offer a post-graduate diploma in book publishing and the response from students every year is overwhelming. We have 50 seats in all for this course and we also provide students with placement assistance with leading publishing houses in the country,” Bajaj added.

One such diploma holder is Ramanand Thakur, who is now chief editor with Ramesh Publishing House, which brings out educational books. After his graduation in physics, he did a two-year course in book publishing.

“After doing my graduation in physics, I realised my interest actually lies in the field of publishing, so I enrolled in the Delhi University course. I started the two-year diploma in 2005 and I specialised in editing. Soon after I passed I got the job,” Thakur told IANS.

But it’s not just editorial content that is taught in these courses. Some institutes also train students in advertising and design.

“The publishing industry today is much more vibrant; there are more readers and many more out there who are buying books. The advertising and graphic design course that we offer includes publishing as a subject,” said Deepti Baveja, national academic head in the advertising and graphic design department in Wigan and Leigh College India (WLCI), which has branches all over the country.

Darya Ganj, the old quarter of Delhi, houses over 500 small and big publishing houses. According to Sukumar Das, a veteran publisher, who used to work with the Federation of Indian publishers, there are 16,000 book publishers in India.

Usha Albuquerque, a career counsellor and former television presenter, said she has received many calls from students who want to pursue the course as prospects in publishing have increased in the past few years.

“The scope of a career in this field is great. This is not the most lucrative of careers but an entrant can expect a salary of around Rs.5,000-8,000 per month,” Albuquerque said.

“There is the idea of a book in everyone, it is said, and it is the ingenuity of a publisher to bring it out. So, those who love books and reading can turn their interest into a worthwhile career,” she added.

(Vaishali Bhambri can be contacted at

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