By now, I am sure you’ll know that Westland, one of the oldest and biggest publishers is shutting down by end of March 2022. It came as a major shock to readers across the world when their favourite authors took to social media to share their rage and disappointment upon receiving official mail of confirmation from the Publisher.
Here are some facts about Westland:
- Set up in 1962 as East West Books, later partnered with Landmark.
- Owned by Tata for 10 years and later bought by Amazon in 2017, only to shut it down 5 years later (This is what Global Giants do!).
- With 9 imprints, Westand has not only published many bestsellers but also given an opportunity to budding talent.
- It ran imprints such as Tranquebar and Context (for literary fiction and narrative non-fiction), Eka (books in Indian languages and translations) and Red Panda (children’s books).The books under the “Context” imprint seemed promising.
Why did Amazon take such a drastic decision? Read this article by Mint.
As an author, I understand the consequences the authors face when something like this happens. While the bestselling authors might find other publishers who will be more than happy to republish the titles under their banner, the newbies and less-known authors may not get a similar opportunity.
The unsold copies in Westland warehouses will be pulped. And without a new home for these titles, some of our beloved books may never be available to readers again. Imagine this happening to your debut novel.
Many titles that were in the process of publication under Westland are now cancelled. The rights are transferred back to the authors who may or may not find another publisher for their manuscript.
Could we have stopped the legacy that is Westland from shutting down? Probably, yes.
How? By buying more books and reading them. Today it’s Westland, tomorrow there could be more.
The saddest part of all this is seeing some of my favourite authors requesting readers to buy their books before they are no longer available. Sharing their disappointment with readers and friends alike. While I have purchased many titles on my Amazon Kindle before, (I read over 25 books a year. Almost all of them are e-books), only this time paperbacks feel like the right thing to do.
Here are some books that I plan to buy this month (Sure to add more before the end of March)
- Bombay Balchao by Jane Borges
- Tongue in Cheek by Khyrunissa A
- Poonachi or the Story of a Black Goat by Perumal Murugan (Translated by N. Kalyan Raman)
- Milk Teeth by Amrita Mahale
- A Hundred Little Flames by Preeti Shenoy
Sometime back, titles 1 and 2 above along with 28 others were given away for free (ebooks) by Westland!
Do you have any suggestions for my March month purchase of Westland books? Tell me in the comments below.
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