Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Katha goes the e-book way

Divya Trivedi writes about Katha's vision to launch e-books in the Indian market. 

Using the technology plank, Katha, an organisation that has worked in the space of storytelling for the past 25 years, is about to take the first step towards making its entire collection available and affordable in the electronic format. 
To begin with, Katha will launch 30 e-books at the New Delhi World Book Fair this week in collaboration with Impelsys that may not be entirely free of cost but charge a minimal amount.
“There are 330 million children in the age group of zero to 17 in our country; more than 60 per cent of our country is young and more than 80 per cent is poor. These are huge numbers we are dealing with and if you ask me what is my ultimate aim, then it is to enable every child to read and make all the material available free of cost in open source format,” says Geeta Dharmarajan, Founder and executive director of Katha.  
Making use of advanced technology – cloud, internet, computer and mobile – the non-profit organisation plans to make books accessible at lower costs. It takes close to Rs one lakh to produce a book in print for children keeping in mind the aesthetic values, design specifications and art experiences, but producing an e-book will help lower these costs, while providing the same experience, says Geeta. 
Katha is essentially looking at releasing the books on pdf, epub3 and mobi formats to make them available on the phone, on kindle and make them disabled-friendly for the partially sighted.

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