Finally I saw the news I was waiting for sometime, Harper Collins the second largest English language publisher in the country has started an interesting experiment with the name “Harper 21” (I think they also completed 21 years hence the name). See the complete report here.
I got to know a little about Harper 21 through V.K. Karthika the publisher of Harper Collins India on the sidelines of Pune International Literary Festival (PILF). This is their foray into the e-book imprint and probably their little experiment in testing out if this does alter the reading habits of the readers and they ‘graduate’ to a better writings.
In short, Harper 21 available through amazon India is kindle version of e-books which will cost INR 21 only and will be less than 20 pages and will feature a range of genres from poetry to stories to graphic novels, sports, cinema etc. These e-books can be downloaded on Kindle device or Kindle software.
I am pretty excited about this experiment because I believe (and those who follow me know my take) that new-gen Indian writers are mostly writing trash and the population at large is exposed to sub-standard literature. One of the reasons why the so called ‘commercial fiction‘ books are doing well is probably the low cost and their sleek size.
So with Harper 21 both the issues are getting addressed and people will get to read quality writings and literature. And this initiative coming from Harper Collins makes it all the more exciting and has high chances of succeeding.
Now I do understand that this is an experiment by Harper Collins and may or may not work but I am happy that they are trying that and other publishing houses should follow suit so that the quality of reading can improve in our country.
I think much of the success of this experiment will depend upon how easily and on how many devices these e-books can be made available and what type of books are offered to the young adults who are always on the go.
Do checkout Harper 21 and I strongly suggest you buy a few books and try them out.