Books Of India Blog

The Motilal Mission

Posted by Ray McLennan on 15-Nov-2018 13:25:00

The Motilal Mission (1)

At Motilal Books we have made it our business to make Indian books more widely available to individuals and booksellers around the world. This is a very niche sector, so why have we done it?

Firstly, we are passionate about knowledge, India, and Indian culture. The country, its people and history fascinate us. India is the source of many of the world’s most influential religious and spiritual ideas, is home to breath-taking artistic and architectural visions and has a civilisation that stretches back to the dawn of agriculture.

Many of the ideas and concepts we take for granted in the West have their origin in India, whether directly or indirectly. In more recent times, India has had a huge impact on British culture. Not only is the UK now home to millions of people of Indian descent, but popular culture is hugely influenced by Indian cooking, music and cinema. The Indian publishing industry has a lot to say for itself as well, and we feel its voice needs to be better heard outside India on top of the traditional subjects.

Secondly, the Indian publishing industry is of enormous international importance, not least because the official language of publication is English. Indian books aren’t simply for Indian people living abroad – they cover a broad scope of topics that provide a source of knowledge for anyone who can read English.

Fiction, engineering, medical studies, narrative fiction and travel literature are all covered extensively by Indian authors. The problem is that until recently most of these books weren’t well known outside India itself.

Popularising Indian Publishing Around The World

For an outward looking, rapidly developing country of over 1 billion people, the Indian publishing industry is coming of age. India is home to thousands publishing companies: some home grown and others independent trading arms of Western household names, such as Harper Collins and Penguin. Some Indian publishers are huge, matching international publishers for output and diversity. Others are independent specialists releasing only a few imprints each year, and others are ashrams, Government departments, or self-publishing authors.

So our goal was – and remains – to popularise Indian publishing around the world. It surprised us the number of publishers we spoke to who never really promoted their products outside the Indian market.

We do this by acting as a wholesale partner to Indian publishers. We purchase books at source and liaise with partners through our team and distribution centre in New Delhi. Publications are then shipped to our warehouse and head office in the UK, as well as our USA base, from where we supply books to a variety of customers. These include:

  • Independent booksellers (including private sellers on Amazon and EBay)
  • Schools, colleges and universities
  • Public and private libraries
  • Specialist book distributors
  • Online through Amazon in the USA, UK and Australia

Encouraging Indian Authors & Publishers To Think Globally

Contemporary India is a self-confident culture with a global attitude to business, but Indian authors and publishers are less represented in the Western media than their Western counterparts on an equal footing. This isn’t through any lack of talent. Some of the best respected novelists of recent decades are Indian by birth, such as Arundhati Roy, Vikram Seth, Salman Rushdie and Aravind Adiga.

If Indian publishers cannot get foreign publishing contracts, we make their title a widely available as possible. Our goal is to provide our publishing partners with an outlet to the lucrative markets of the UK, USA, Australia and the rest of the world. This has the potential to create a virtuous cycle, with greater market exposure bringing the ability and capital to publish better known authors and encourage the next generation of Indian writing talent by giving them a world-wide audience. In 2017, we sold over 13,000 Indian books a month outside of India.

Explore The World Of Indian Books

With over 17,000 Indian titles in stock, added to each month, we are the world’s largest distributor of Indian publications outside India. To find out more, please download our free e-book: The Independent Book Sellers Guide To Books From India, or use our online stock checker to search by ISBN, publisher, author or book title. You can also search for any title or subject on Amazon.co.uk AND Amazon.com.

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