On completion of its 40th anniversary, Roli Books is embarking on an ambitious project whereby it is offering families to create their personal histories, both in terms of printed books and on a digital platform. Work on two or three books in the series has started and discussions on more are in progress.
"These are books that we start work on only after receiving the commission from the families. It's not necessary that the families are well-known. Whoever wants his family history recorded can approach us," says Pramod Kapoor, founder-publisher of Roli Books.
The publishing house will provide research, editorial, design, and production expertise to create the books.
"They may not be for sale. The family concerned will decide whether it wants to distribute among friends and family members or make it public," Kapoor told PTI.
Looking back at the 40-year journey, he says he wanted to be a publisher from the time he was in school and started Roli Books when he was barely 25 with a hired desk and a part-time assistant.
Among the achievements in his publishing life, he mentions bringing out primary school textbooks in colour; art and illustrated books using Indian authors, photographers, and designers but printing them overseas to get the international standard of production; and launching innovative retail store CMYK which now has nine branches throughout India.
Roli Books was formed on November 14, 1978, under a strategic alliance with MacGraw-Hill FEP Singapore. Kapoor is really excited about a biography of Dalai Lama written by the Tibetan spiritual leader's aide Tenzin Geyche Tethong which Roli is publishing soon.
"The book is being written by someone who has been his shadow and closest to him. And the most wonderful part is that the book is blessed by the Dalai Lama himself," he says.
According to Kapoor, there is no plan to foray into regional publishing.
"Though a lot of our books are translated in various regional languages, we do not have plans to publish these ourselves. We license the rights to regional language publishers," he says.