Friday, April 10, 2009

Blowing Our Own Trumpet

Alright, i am trying to be not my usual self. To begin with, i will try and blow our own trumpet.

Wisdom Tree, since its inception ( or is it germination) has been involved in some pioneering and path-breaking work. Be it doing books in unconventional sizes based on unconventional themes or selling them through unconventional mediums, we are known to be the trendsetters. Don't believe it ? Alright then, here we go.

We brought Garfield books to India, priced them at Rs 50 and sold them though Barista coffee shops and really started the connection between coffee and books in India. The book cafes followed. ( For documentary evidence visit

Understanding that reading is a one way process, we started Wisdom Tree Interactive and Under the Wisdom Tree to bridge the gap between our authors and readers and made the process interactive.

We gave value addition to our books — adding a free magnetic compass to a vaastu book or a tulsi mala to a book on mantras; sold our books through pharmacies, restaurants, garment stores; sold rights to our books in more than a dozen countries and established a global distribution network.

We again did pioneering work in book marketing by distributing complimentary preview booklets for one of our books and are mentioned in the Limca Book of Records for being the first Indian publisher to do that.

Flying in authors from abroad for book events ( well before a certain Mr Archer decided to look up India) to organising a live conference with the much loved and my absolute favourite Paulo Coelho, we did it all and ahead of the rest of the publishing world.

Now I am told, our experiment with the genre of graphic novel, Indian by Choice, which we believe is again inherently unique and Indian — it is colourful and bright unlike the usual graphic novels, has got Indian publishing industry really excited and if my information is correct, you will see many graphic novels from India in the future. The credit for this one goes to our dear author Amit Dasgupta and artist Neelabh Banrjee.

And here is the latest. We are launching Indian by Choice on 19th April at India House and Indian Saris and Indian Birds in Focus at the Nehru Centre, London on 20th April coinciding with the London Book Fair. To add to it, we have placed a one page advertisement featuring our UK lead titles in the prestigious UK magazine The Bookseller.

Did you say another first? I did'nt.

Phew! That was taxing for me. Imagine you.