When Amazon Inc announced the closure of Westland on February 1, 2022, there was deep despair in the Indian publishing industry. While Westland’s editors and authors worried about the books that they had assiduously worked on over the years, the closure posed serious questions about the future of the publishing industry and reading itself. However, soon enough, Westland found a taker. Ranjeet Pratap Singh, the co-founder and CEO of Pratilipi – an online platform where writers in as many as 12 Indian languages post their fiction for readers to read, rate, and discuss – sparked the initiative to enter book-publishing through this venture.
When asked about partnering with a traditional publisher like Westland, Singh said, “[they] publish in eight Indian languages, which is something we are greatly invested in. They believe in the power of translations, which we are aligned with.” The shared publishing ideals and love for the Indian languages make Westland and Pratilipi natural partners. It’s been a year since the collaboration and Westland has been in business. The publishing brand (and all its imprints) continues to thrive, and Pratilipi has also entered the publishing trade under its own brand with Pratilipi Paperbacks.
In a conversation with Scroll, Singh talked about this collaboration, the reading…