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'E-commerce has given book industry a boost'

IANS  |  New Delhi 

E-commerce has given the book industry a substantial boost by bringing books closer to rreaders, said an online retail portal that has been actively reaching out to an audience that demands Hindi translations of popular English books and classical Hindi novels.

"In the last six months, we have more than doubled the number of books we sell through our platform. Our experience has shown that customers keep buying books on our portal owing to vast selection, hundreds of genuine reader reviews and easy delivery at their doorsteps," Samir Kumar, director, category management, Amazon India, told IANS in an

email interview.

After understanding what the readers want, the online portal realised the challenges regional publishers face in distribution and marketing the books to a larger audience. Hence, to bridge the gap, they decided to broaden their category of books in Hindi and other Indian languages - and the gamble has paid off handsomely.

"Regional books used to face significant challenges in reaching their customers due to the highly fragmented publishing industry and its inability to reach all points of sales even within the states where they are published," Kumar said.

"E-commerce has played a key role in bridging this gap, taking books to their readers irrespective of their location and language. Due to the wide range of languages in India and the high levels of inter-state mobility, several readers were unable to buy books published in their mother tongue or language of their choice," he added, saying they are delivering across 19,000 pincodes in India.

One of the shinning examples of how well this online retail portal is faring comes from the amount of "pre-order" bookings it has managed to seal from publishers who are willing to first sell books by a prominent writers in this virtual space.

The latest example is Amish Tripathi's "Scion of Ikshvaku" which is available for pre-order in both Hindi and English.

"We are very excited at being the partner of choice for several brands who have launched their latest offering exclusively on our marketplace. This response from brands and sellers stands proof of the value that they see in associating with us," said Kumar, adding they have over 24,000 titles available in Hindi.

According to Kumar, around 80 percent of their top 20 bestselling Hindi books are translated versions of books originally written in English.

This contains a mix of international bestselling authors such as Rhonda Byrne and Dale Carnegie, and popular Indian authors such as Amish Tripathi and Ashwin Sanghi. Some of the most popular translated Hindi books are the "Shiva Trilogy" (Amish Tripathi), "Rahasya and Jaadu" (Rhonda Byrne), "Lokvyavahar" (Dale Carnegie) and "Chanakya Mantra"

(Ashwin Sanghi).

Among popular classics, "Madhushala" by Harivansh Rai Bachchan and books by Premchand and Amrita Pritam also witness a high degree of interest from online shoppers.

"Our vision for India is to build a destination where customers can find, discover and buy anything that they desire online. We endeavour to do build that by giving customers more of what they want vast selection available at competitive prices, fast and reliable delivery, and a trusted and convenient experience," he concluded.

(Shilpa Raina can be contacted at

First Published: Mon, April 27 2015. 18:46 IST