The Indian Publishing Industry is set for a challenge. The challenge is to remain relevant to their upcoming target audiences. We are talking about Generation Alpha! Born beginning in 2010, the same year Apple debuted the iPad, Generation Alpha children are more comfortable swiping a tablet or speaking to a voice assistant than most of their adult relatives. This makes them a critical gateway for marketers who are looking to grow their business. The Indian publishing industry, in particular, can do some serious good if they don’t undermine this upcoming lot and promote books that are both intelligent and serves the evolving curiosity of these young minds.
Books, for the longest time, have been recognized as a powerful media for the expansion and promotion of human values. In fact, they work as synergists in the path of the progress of a community or nation. They report new ideas, conserve and communicate knowledge, render education plus values, and most importantly, help in the well-rounded development of a person. The influence of books on their readers could have a long-lasting effect on its readers, and in most cases, they quite literally do.
The most conspicuous impact of the books is on the young learners, who, fortunately, or otherwise, in their formative years end up investigating and discovering the world around them through these books. An aspect related to this phenomenon, which has garnered much attention in recent times, is that young children draw their career aspirations from the literature they get to read.
If we talk about Indian publishing giants, they generally, through their books lead the readers down the dreary and-conceived routes wherein boys are supposed to undertake certain jobs that are apparently different what women can do. While this is a path that is well-trodden by international publishers too, through their books, publishers had been successfully setting-up strong perceptions of gender stereotypes in the minds of young school children. This had been impacting their early-development of career choices. But off late, several publishers, selling their books in the Indian markets, are seeking to break these gender stereotypes, which they all had been creating over the years.
A great example has been set up by Penguin Publishers with its two books namely, My Mother is in the Indian Air Force and My Sister is in the Indian Navy, both written by Arthi Muthanna Singh. With children’s books like these, the publisher is clearly aiming to break a stereotypical notion, which dictates the role of women to be limited to the kitchen or jobs that do not require strenuous physical activity. Other publishers like Educate2empower publishing with their books like ‘No Difference Between Us‘ are trying to break these walls of ignorance that need to be shattered to ensure India is on its path toward prosperity.
Thanks to the flourishing publishing industry in India, our country is reckoned to be amongst the first seven publishing nations in the world. As per a report of PwC, there are more than 9,000 publishers in the country to cater to its approximately 1.3 billion people; additionally, a lot of books are imported. Thus, the younger generation of the country is exposed to a lot of literature in the form of books. Consequently, it is a great opportunity for the publishers who sell their books on the Indian soil to serve literature, which is free from any kind of stereotypes and doesn’t promote social issues/ stigmas that could get sown in the young minds of school children. A healthy form of literature would help young children perceive career options, without any prejudices.