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What publisher and writer have to say on Nepal’s first case of printing book for pre-orderers only

The cover of Kalpa Grantha

With the announcement for pre-order of the book ‘Kalpa Grantha’ by author Kumar Nagarkoti, a new trend has begun in the Nepali literature market. The publisher, Bookhill Publication, says it will only print as many books as it receives orders for.

If a reader pays for the book now, s/he will get the book on March 27, 2021. Nagarkoti’s book contains a collection of 63 experimental stories, informs the publisher.

In order to purchase the book, the readers will have to deposit Rs 2,021 in the publisher’s bank account by February 13, 2021. 

Onlinekhabar recently talked to the author Kumar Nagarkoti and the president of the Bookhill Publication, Bhupendra Khadka, about the new trend they are trying to set.

Excerpts:

Don’t you think that the general Nepali readers cannot afford to buy ‘Kalpa Grantha’ costing Rs 2,021?

Bhupendra Khadka: That is not the case. This work has not been done considering the status of Nepali readers. This is designed for special use. This is only for those who like Kumar Nagarkoti’s work. Only those who are ‘literary literate’ will understand the value of this book. We could also know how many of our readers have become literary literate via pre-ordering.

Bhupendra Khadka

Kumar Nagarkoti: In fact, we are just planning to publish just limited copies of the book. Likewise, Kalpa Grantha is also being made public in a different way than other books. This book has a special significance due to its exclusiveness. The size of the book (777 pages) is also large, and accordingly, special designs are being made for printing. We have paid more attention to the quality of the book.

Doesn’t this trend seem similar to booking night bus tickets?

Bhupendra Khadka: There have been and are many such experiments in the world. Whoever buys first, gets it. The ‘special’ thing is printed only once. It is like a practice to book a car by rich people.

Kumar Nagarkoti: Comments keep coming while practising new things. Again, everyone has their own ideas, which I respect.

Don’t you think dedicating a work to a select group of readers undermines the Nepali readers in general?

Khadka: This book is being published to respect, not to insult, the readers. This is a great thing for a person who knows the depth of Nagarkoti’s writing.

Nagarkoti: Suppose, you get Kalpa Grantha, at that time, your friend will say, “If only I had this book.” I am very sure that the reader who wants to read it will miss the book after it gets published.

Let those who get Kalpa Grantha be happy thinking they have a beautiful book in their cupboard. Many living writers abroad have used this practice.

Whose idea is this? Publisher’s or Kumar Nagarkoti’s?

Khadka: This idea is out of neither Nagarkoti’s insistence nor the publisher’s interest. Other publishers may also do specifications tomorrow. This idea came from my own mind only. A premium-edition book has not been released in Nepal yet. Again, there will remain no difference between me and other publishers if I am not willing to take this risk. Just today only, a writer from Birgunj telephoned me and said that he was happy to find a conscious publisher in Nepal. Perceptive people have supported our efforts.

Nagarkoti: I don’t only pay attention to story writing (content), but also to the design and layout of the book. I enjoy using different things. In the same process, this idea strikes my mind. My intention is just to publish the limited copies of this book.

File: Kumar Nagarkoti

As per my experience, a reader reading a memoir of ‘Akshargunj’ may not seem to understand anything while reading the novel ‘Mystica’. However, those who are interested in this genre will read. That’s why it (pre-ordering) is used for those who enjoy the ‘flavour’ of my self-imagination.

Is there no alternative to Kumar Nagarkoti?

Khadka: Can you show any writer who is the alternative to Nagarkoti? We also need other writers who do ‘specification’. I am starting this from Nagarkoti, and other writers will come tomorrow.

Nagarkoti: There is always an alternative to everything in the world. So, there are choices for everything even for a god. Therefore, there is an alternative to me as well.

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Rayamajhee is an Onlinekhabar correspondent covering art and literature. He is also an emerging poet.

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