Friday, November 30, 2012

Karadi Apps for the iPad

Enter a new world with Karadi Tales. If you loved our books, you will love their new avatar! Four fantastic titles from the Karadi Tales Mythology series are now available on the iPad as digital apps. The stories are narrated by the Jnanpith award-winning playwright Girish Karnad, and set to music by 3 Brothers & A Violin. Listen, swipe, play, and be mesmerized by the Karadi magic!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Books or Apps?

Are publishers hesitant about moving on to the new medium or are they celebrating it? At the Frankfurt Book Fair, our Commissioning Editor Manasi Subramaniam and several other publishers weigh in on the question that's been plaguing us all - Books or Apps?!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Touching Hearts Everywhere!

With permission from Mr. Sastha Prakash, we are reproducing our correspondence with him (via Facebook) below. 

On 16 November, he wrote to us:

Dear Karadi Bear,

I have been reading a lot about the A Quiet Courage audio book. I read some of the articles in The Hindu site. The synopsis I could understand was about a person suffering from Retinitis Pigmentosa and his wife being invalid due to an accident, and how they continue with life with courage, determination, and dignity. It is quite inspiring. Why am I writing to you? I have RP, was diagnosed in 1997, am 41 years old, lost vision in my right eye…

Combined with this condition is another debilitating psychiatric condition called Bipolar Mood Disorder. Somehow, I am continuing with life with the knowledge that I might lose my sight in the other eye too. Praying to all the higher powers to keep my present vision intact and to live a dignified life. Wishing I can come over to meet Mr. Manohar and attend the event, but Chennai is too big a city for me to handle. I will try to get this audio book soon. My best wishes.


Sastha Prakash.

On the same day, we wrote back: 

Dear Sastha,

Thank you for your very kind words. It is a difficult condition indeed, but people like you and Manohar, who face these situations with courage, are very, very inspiring to us. We wish you could attend the event as well, but we understand your position. We do hope you listen to the audiobook soon.

Warmest regards,

The Karadi Tales Team

We were very touched by Sastha's email, as was Manohar Devadoss, and we decided to send Sastha a copy of the audiobook. On 21 November, Sastha received our little package and wrote to us:

Dear Karadi Tales Team,

I would like to thank you for your wonderful gesture of sending me a copy of the audio book “A Quiet Courage.” I am yet to listen to the audio, but the set of cards is just profoundly beautiful.
I am sure I will enjoy the story as well (going to start on the audio book immediately).
Once again thank you for this wonderful gift and I am sure this story will be an immense inspiration to me.

Warm Regards,

Sastha Prakash.

And once again, he wrote on 24 November:

Dear Karadi Tales Team,

Thank you for the wonderful audio book, which is a tribute to unconditional love, to dignity, to integrity, and to the exemplary art of giving.

I can truly relate to Manohar and his condition. RP is quite debilitating both mentally and physically. It takes extraordinary courage to take care of Mahema with her very unfortunate accident a long time back. More than anything I was moved by the unconditional love, which surpassed all physical conditions. The art they produced together and supporting Sankara Nethralaya with the proceeds was truly inspiring. (I have been to Sankara Nethralaya for my tests when I lost my vision in my right eye. First it was thought that I had cataract and was operated up on at Malar Hospitals, but it turned out to be a macular hole, diagnosed at Sankara Nethralaya. That is when I left Chennai for good.)

They say love and faith can move mountains. My belief in this phrase is reinforced. I never married, but I do have a girlfriend now, who supports me in all ways. We love to read, enjoy good music and movies, and she calls me Teddy. :)

This is my first experience of listening to an audio book. The music was haunting at times, then goes on to a lively pace, and again becomes poignant. The narrators gave life to their diction. It is overall a great effort and I hope more such audio books will be produced.

My warm regards to Manohar and to all at Karadi Tales.

Sastha Prakash.

This is exactly what we intended to do with our audiobook - touch hearts! Here's where you can find A Quiet Courage.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Fellowship Notes

The Frankfurt Book Fair Fellowship Programme was initiated in 1998 to celebrate the Frankfurt Book Fair’s 50th anniversary. Just as the Frankfurt Book Fair brings together publishing professionals from a large number of countries and builds long-term business relationships, this programme aims to help build networks among the younger generation in publishing and to create a community for the future. The programme is designed to provide participants with information about the German book trade, offer a behind-the-scenes view and facilitate professional dialogue.

The Frankfurt Fellowship programme is a really wonderful opportunity for exchange of ideas, knowledge, and insight. Every year, around 16 publishers from all over the world are chosen to come together for a rigourous fortnight of meetings and discussions across Germany, culminating in the Frankfurt Book Fair. 

This year, I was fortunate enough to be one of those 16 publishers. We travelled together through Frankfurt, Berlin, and Cologne, meeting publishers, booksellers, and agents, trying to understand and engage with the very complex changes that the publishing industry faces today. My colleagues in the fellowship were a diverse group – they hailed from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Romania, Russia, Spain, the UK, and the USA. Accompanying us were Niki Theron of the International Department at the Frankfurt Book Fair, Paul Whitlatch, a former Frankfurt Fellow, and Anastasia Milekhina of the German Book Office in Moscow. We were a very mixed group indeed!

We met in Frankfurt on 30 September as a group, and had a wonderful dinner reception with the tireless and wonderful people of the Frankfurt Book Fair office. 

From the next morning, it was straight to business! Over the course of the next ten days, we would have meetings through the day every single day. In Frankfurt, we met Fischer Verlag and Westend Verlag. Our lunch meeting at the Haus des Buches (the office of the Frankfurt Book Fair) introduced us to more members of the book fair team and was followed by a seminar and presentation by Libreka

In Cologne, we met Bastei Lubbe, Eichborn Verlag, Baumhaus Verlag, Boje Verlag, Bastei Entertainment, and Kiepenhauer & Witsch. Our dinner meetings tended to be more relaxed and informal. At the gorgeous Ludwig im Museum in Cologne, we had the pleasure of meeting publishers from Taschen Verlag, DuMont Buchverlag, Emons Verlag, Egmont Verlagsgesellschaften, and LYX Verlag

In Cologne, we also spent a really wonderful day making market presentations about our respective countries. Some of the information that was shared was fascinating. For example, in Romania, books are sometimes packaged along with daily newspapers and priced at around one Euro! The low prices become feasible because the newspapers are distributed to around 500,000 people. Efforts like these towards literacy are endless in various parts of Europe. In the UK, low-cost books are sold alongside groceries in supermarkets, in an attempt to target people who are not bookstore visitors. The situation on Egypt and Malaysia seemed quite similar to the one in India, whereas Germany and the USA were vastly different. 

From Cologne, we went on to Berlin, where we met Hanser Berlin, Suhrkamp Verlag, and Aufbau Verlag, and had a very, very animated discussion on e-publishing with the young entrepreneurs at Readmill and the relatively more experienced e-reading pioneers at Textunes. Our dinner meetings were with the French Embassy in Berlin, the Berlin wing of DuMont Buchverlag, the Michael Gaeb Literary Agency, and Wagenbach Verlag

One of our finest evenings in Berlin was spent at the home of Wolfgang Horner of Galiani Berlin Verlag. A wonderfully kind man, he invited us to a home-cooked meal at his apartment - a lovely little home overflowing with bookshelves. A great publisher and a very generous man, he cooked dinner for us, told us some amazing stories, and truly made us feel at home in a strange country. 

There was some free time in Berlin as well - but when there are 19 publishers with free time, what do you think they do? We visited bookstores, of course! We walked endlessly around the bookstores of Berlin, falling in love with books over and over again, until it was time to return to Frankfurt.

Back in Frankfurt, we attended seminars at the book fair and made preparations for a week of business exchanges and professional dialogues. One night, the book fair hosted a truly amazing dinner and dancing reception on a boat in the Main river. It was a night of music, dancing, and getting to know people. At this party, we were joined by the very talented and vibrant publishers of the Frankfurt Book Fair Invitation Programme, another programme of international and professional exchange organised by the Frankfurt Book Fair. This is another initiative that we have been a part of. My colleague, Shobha Viswanath, was chosen for the invitation programme more than once! She was fortunate enough to have been a part of it in the years 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006.

One night, we were special invitees of the Motovun Group of publishers. Another night was the Fellowship Cocktail Party, where we met the Frankfurt Fellows from all the previous years, followed by an informal dinner at a nearby restaurant. Of course, there were several impromptu gatherings, dinner receptions and parties every night, but we won't get into the details of those!

Back in Chennai now, I'm enriched not just by the knowledge that was shared during these 15 days, but also the many, many friendships that the fellowship created. Not a day goes by that I don't think of my Fellows and our warm, happy little family. We are constantly in touch with each other, of course, and are already making plans to meet whenever possible. 

So there you have it! That was my Frankfurt Fellowship experience. 

- Manasi Subramaniam, Commissioning Editor, Karadi Tales

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Saturday, November 17, 2012

A Picture Book A Day...

Publishing Director Shobha Viswanath shares her favourite picture books on the Snuggle with Picture Books blog. She writes:

I collect picture books. There is something so compelling about a 24 or 32 page fully illustrated, sparsely written story that conveys more than tomes of written text. It is like seeing the world in a grain of sand. My children have outgrown them but I on the other hand, seek them out in libraries and bookstores and sometimes hunt them down in online and used bookstores.

Read her entire post here!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Looking for Illustrators!

We have lots of projects lined up for the coming months and they're all very, very exciting indeed. We're very actively looking for illustrators for all of these projects. For all these projects, we're looking for artists who paint the old-fashioned way - with their hands and not their computers. If you’re interested, take a look at our Submissions Page and our Catalogue. If you feel that your style would suit our requirements, please write to us. Also, please help us by spreading the word!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Agency of hope, fun and laughter

In The Hindu Metro Plus Hyderabad edition, a review of 'Monkey Business', a Karadi Tales play that premiered at the Hyderabad Children's Theatre Festival writes:

The songs from Karadi Tales are so catchy that they get stuck in your head. And before you know it, you’re singing ‘Stitch me a cap to look witty and stitch me a cap to look pretty’; it’s a harsh realisation that you don’t have a ‘Taklu Topiwala’ ready to stitch a cap for you!

Read the entire article here!

And here are pictures from the play!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Do you want to be a Karadi Ambassador in the USA?

Do you love children’s books? Are you missing the grand and wonderful tales of India in the bookshelves you see around you? Do you miss the foot-tapping music of Indian cinema, the voices of your favourite Bollywood actors, and the colourful hues of Indian cities? Are you an inspired entrepreneur who longs for the children of the USA to experience India? Well, we want you to help us fill that gap! We’re looking for a part-time ambassador based in the USA to handle sales, marketing, publicity and promotion of Karadi Tales audiobooks. 

This is a position deeply rooted in the social and cultural milieu of India. This job primarily involves sales of all audio and video products of Karadi Tales in the USA. Karadi Tales audiobooks and DVDs are Indian stories and folktales narrated by stalwarts of Indian theatre and cinema such as Naseeruddin Shah, Nandita Das, Shekhar Kapur, Vidya Balan, and many more. We even have brilliant public personalities like Rahul Dravid, Mandira Bedi, and Usha Uthup lending their voices to these fantastic stories. These typically Indian tales are set to music in true Bollywood style with song and sound effects by some of the best-known names in the Indian music industry and are perfect for imbibing the vibrant and colourful ambience of India.

The ambassador will look for opportunities to make these products available to children in the USA and particularly tap into NRI networks and Indian communities. The job will involve direct and indirect sales. The work is part-time. The ideal candidate must be able to work from home. The location can be anywhere in the USA. Earnings will be commission-based. 

The ideal candidate will be a motivated self-starter willing to pursue and create opportunities. The candidate must have a genuine passion for books, especially children’s books, and must have an existing wide social network within the Indian community of the USA. More than anything else, we're looking for someone who is deeply committed to recreating the ethos and culture of India for children in the US.

If you're interested, write to us at!