About the Author: Olivannan is an engineer with a post graduation in management runs his own publishing company. He served as Rotary District Governor with distinction. He is an acclaimed and most sought after speaker. He has addressed hundreds of meetings in and outside India. He is a great motivator, coach and has designed and conducted workshops for people at all levels. He has authored three books..
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20 long year journey as a publisher....
It was in the year1999 my father M.D. Gopalakrishnan passed away and I took over as CEO of Emerald Publishers. Untill then I was Managing Director of the printing unit. My father was particular that I take up publishing as a career than printing.
Immediately after taking over the publishing company, the first thing I did was to wind up the printing unit so as to give undivided attention. The second most important decision was to get Nallini to quit her job and join in the business.
The last 20 years has been an exciting experience for both Nallini and me at Emerald..
For us, these 20 years can be grouped as four- five year journeys. The first 5 year merely continued from where my father had left the legacy. Traditionally we are academic publishers catering to the needs of colleges and universities. But the market for academic books was volatile and profits were diminishing due to various factors such as increasing number of autonomous universities and colleges. Emergence of more and more local authors too posed a threat which absymally shrunk the market. We slowly moved towards publishing trade (general ) books.
The second five year was the best one, as Emerald published many number of general titles. Starting 2004 I was a regular trade visitor to the Frankfurt book fair. We scouted for liscenced works to publish in India. Authors and Publishers across the English publishing world, UK, USA, Australia offered their best works for reprint in India, through Emerald.
The third five year starting 2010 was disastrous. The advent of ebooks, the spread of kindle and availability of free contents via internet caused serious concern. At some point of time, we even decided to look at alternative business. Thankfully, ebooks didn't pose a big threat. Both formats of books coexist in their own sphere and we survived.
Things changed drastically when new forms of printing and new models of publishing emerged in the last five years. This helped us print fewer copies in a print run and reduce burden of a large inventory. Changes in printing technology helped us adopt the print on demand concept. We adopted a new model 'copublishing', a win-win concept for both authors and the publisher. This has proved to be successful and popular and helped us grow enormously. In the last two years, we have published 400 titles in various genres.
Also, copublishing helped us diversify into Tamil publishing. We have brought out close to 100 Tamil titles in this short span of time. Indeed it is a very proud confession.
As the next five-year project we have embarked upon an innovative strategy to engage readers with books; the emergence of digital technology and increasing use of smartphones compelled us to integrate them with the printed books.
We have joined hands with some of the best brains, experts in diverse fields to form a new entity to make our dreams into reality. We have created a new portal myauthorz.com which would help readers engage with their authors.
It is a small step yet would surely be a giant leap in revolutionising reading experiences for an individual.