New publishers unhappy with booth distribution

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Book publishing companies that are new to the industry and have brought their books for sale and distribution at the Amar Ekushey Book Fair for the first or second time have expressed dissatisfaction with the booth distribution process.

Some new publishers have complained that they have been assigned one-unit stalls and that the stalls are in such a position that they do not attract visitors.

Some publishers have even complained of being discriminated against in the distribution of stands on the fairgrounds.

The organizing committee of the Ekushey book fair distributed a stand of one unit to each of the 10 new companies that participated in the fair for the first time.

Eight of the new stalls were lined up at the entrance gate, opposite Ramna Park, in the Suhrawardy Udyan part of the fair, little used by visitors.

The other two publishing houses have their stands in the Children’s Corner.

Marry Khandaker, seller of Ujan Prakashan, said: “Very few visitors usually come to this part of the fair and we only sell a few books. We can sell more if we have stalls in other parts of the fair.

Rahim Rana, Publisher of Jagotik Publication, said, “Bangla Academy should encourage new and small publishers, but it has become a culture to keep news in a corner.

“The new publishing houses find it difficult to survive because they have to compete with the big houses. Expenses to publish quality books are also high for new publishers,” added Rahim Rana.

Najrul Haider, publisher of Kobita, said: “The new publishing houses mainly work with young writers. Young people are the source of new thoughts, and visitors should at least get a glimpse of what new writers are thinking.

Khaled Rahi, publisher of Chinnopotro, said: “The journey of a new publishing house is not smooth and we expect more support from the fair’s organizing committee. I hope they don’t assign booths to new publishers in such a remote area next year.

Jalal Ahmed, secretary member of the organizing committee of the Ekushey book fair, said: “There are different opinions on the booth distribution plan. Some of the publishers think that the important places should be distributed to the big publishing houses and another part wants the stalls to be distributed according to the lottery system.

‘Bangla Academy distributes booths as per the notice of publishing houses. We have done our best to distribute the booths taking into account the interests of all publishing houses,” added Jalal Ahmed.

The book fair authorities have allocated 142 units on the grounds of the Bangla Academy to 102 organizations and 634 on the Suhrawardy Udyan to 432 organizations.

Thirty-five pavilions were distributed among major publishers achieving massive sales each year.

A discussion on “Tribute: Mohammad Abdul Qayyum and Bashir Al Helal” took place on the main stage at the Bangla Academy premises on Thursday.

A total of 108 new books have been launched and the total number of new arrivals has reached 1,817 so far on the 17th day of the country’s annual book fair.

The fair will open at 11:00 a.m. on Friday.

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