By Edward Nawotka
Last summer David Davidar was left his position as president of Penguin Group Canada following a sex scandal (a lawsuit was settled out of court earlier this year). He said to be working on a fictional publishing tell-all which was scheduled to be published in the fall of this year by McClelland & Stewart. Now comes the news that his efforts will be focused on Aleph Book Company, a new publishing house headquartered in New Delhi, India. His partner in the new endeavor is Rupa Publications, a leading Indian publisher and distributor, which this year celebrates its 75th anniversary. Rupa, in the past, is home to some of the country’s biggest authors including Chetan Bhagat, Anurag Mathur, Gulzar, Sunil Gavaskar, Rajmata Gayatri Devi, Ramesh Menon, Kishore Biyani, Mark Tully, RK Pachauri, Patwant Singh, Shiv Khera, Camellia Punjabi, Bharati Mukherjee, Samrat Upadhyay and Ruskin Bond.
For his part, Davidar is both a successful publisher and novelist. His first novel, The House of Blue Mangoes was translated into 16 languages and his second novel, 2007’s The Solitude of Emperors, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.
On news of the launch Davidar told the Times of India:
I’m thrilled to join hands with Rupa to launch this venture. We will be looking to ensure that each book we publish makes its mark and to that end any title that Aleph takes on will be distinctive, original and of outstanding literary quality. Our books will be creatively packaged and innovatively marketed through traditional retail and print outlets as well as digital and online channels. However, no matter how excellent the editorial and marketing capabilities of a publishing company, for any book to succeed in India, a deep understanding of the market and an effective distribution network are essential. Rupa has an excellent relationship with retailers nation-wide and its sales and distribution capabilities are unmatched. It has seven full-fledged sales offices around the country and reaches deeper into the market than any other distributor and so every Aleph book and author will have an excellent chance to succeed in this market.