ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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From 50 Years Ago: Authors Cooperative Pays Highest Royalty!

Editorial from Vol XIII, No 23, June 10, 1961

…Publishing has not hitherto been regarded as a field where cooperation could have much success. The business entails considerable risks and laying out of much capital and long wait for the returns. The selection of titles for publica-tion, printing and marketing of books through the retail trade which must have its margin, all these look too involved and too commercial to be successfully managed by a co-operative… From Kerala comes an astounding story of successful cooperative publishing. Kerala has been running a cooperative society of authors ever since 1945 which, from humble beginnings, has developed into a large sized publishing organisation, brings out nearly 3 books every week, pays the highest royalty paid by any publishers to any authors however well-known and has yet managed to pay a handsome dividend of 7½ per cent to the shareholders. …The cooperative part of the enterprise, it should be emphasised, is confined to the pub-lishing and retailing of books and not to the writing of them. The authors are entirely left free and write whatever they like… [T]he society pays 30 per cent royalty to authors which is just double or a little more than that of the royalty usually paid by pub-lishing firms...[because] it is able to cut out the discounts to the trade by marketing its own books. The society has now turned its at-tention to expanding its marketing network by setting up bookshops all over Kerala...

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