India is a “vibrant market”, Hachette UK c.e.o. Tim Hely Hutchinson has said on a visit to the country.
Talking to the Hindu Business Line newspaper, Hely Hutchinson spoke about the acquisition of cricketer Sachin Tendulkar’s book, and touched on the dispute between Hachette Book Group in the US and Amazon.
“We trade with Amazon in something like 28 countries in the world,” he said. “That was an isolated issue in America and none of us wanted it go on for so long.”
Heky Hutchinson told the newspaper that Hachette India would look to grow organically rather than acquire other businesses, and said “physical retailers will have to work harder” on making book shopping enjoyable, perhaps by mixing books with toys or providing a coffee shop in store.
“It may be the children’s book mix with some toys or if they can sit and have some coffee, or an interesting selection curated by somebody who really understands books,” he said.
Speaking about Tendulkar’s Playing it My Way (published by Hachette’s Hodder & Stoughton in the UK), Hely Hutchinson said: “We have a very good sports editor in Roddy Bloomfield who is a legend in himself and is deeply connected with the cricket world. He is friendly with Sachin and I think this was discussed for seven or eight years and that’s how good publishing sometimes happens. Sometimes it’s all over the media and there is an auction, we all just pay lots of money. This was a relationship built up over a good number of years.”
Hachette India will focus on non-fiction and quality commercial fiction books, with Hely Hutchinson saying: “On the trade side, the main thrust is to continue developing the Indian publishing list, both fiction and non-fiction. There are more people writing on current affairs and interested in contributing to the debate on Indian society. There is a lot of good journalism and good writing. The publishers need to bring it out to market quickly.”