small and SIGNIFICANT

Today is a good day to celebrate the small publisher in India: one who makes a difference. Having just traversed Roppongi and Shibuya in Tokyo, dropping in on bookstores where size is not an issue ... oh what joy!... I thought it appropriate to talk about three publishers in India who do not have websites, who do not have a wide distribution network, and who are important enough, and should be taken seriously.

Manoo Pathipagam in Thanjavur. Less than 10 titles, but in the context, all important. They brought out the following books by Prof. N Rajan of Pondicherry University: Kalvettiyal (Epigraphy) in 2006, Excavations at Mayiladumparai - A preliminary report (2004) being somewhat earlier. Archaeology: Principles and Methods (2002), South Indian Memorial Stones (2000) which got us in touch with them, and Archaeological Gazetteer of Tamil Nadu (1997).

Banarsidass Bhanot in Jabalpur. We came across them very recently, but some of their titles are of high quality, and are among the only books in the area. At least from India... Another niche situation, but one that is not used well- getting in touch with them has not been the easiest thing we have done.

Bishen Singh, Mahendra Pal Singh in Dehra Dun are among the most prominent of our publishers in the area of plants and botany (in general). There is no major family of plants in India that they have not commissioned a book on, or published a book on. What would we do to preserve our biodiversity if it were not for people like them! But why do they not have a website?

The invisibility of Indian publshing is what SwB aims to address. So please let us know about the small publisher in your part of India. We'll be happy to give them space, and a place in the sun. No strings attached..

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