SIBF: where books take wings and volunteers develop them - GulfToday

SIBF: where books take wings and volunteers develop them


A book lover is happy with her find at SIBF.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

Wings Publication, the Dubai-based book publisher now showing at SIBF, was established by Dr. Kailash Pinjani, entrepreneur, angel investor and #1 Amazon bestselling author. He is also a book coach, someone who has trained 25,000+ national and international authors to write and publish their books. The UAE journey of Wings started in February 2023 and Pinjani, an author of three books, noted it was the first time for Wings at SIBF. “The aim at the fair is to explore the greater world of books, provide exposure to our authors so they get due credit,” he said. Wings’ CEO is Manika Singh, author and Pinjani’s wife. Wings has published 50 titles so far, and has a database of 700 authors, majorly Indian.

Pinjani also hosts workshops on book writing and has held 20 online Zoom meets, three of them offline, to date. The Chief Mentor of the company, it is his boast he can teach anyone to write a book in 30 days. Fifty aspirants have written books in 30 days under his guidance, to prove his point. The number is set to rise, seeing the queries at the Wings stall. “The mental barrier that book writing is difficult has to be broken,” Pinjani said. “Once the book is published, I also teach its author how to become a personal brand to promote his book.” “Many people have been telling me that printed books are out of market,” he said. “SIBF, on the contrary, affirms the opposite. 1.5 million titles have been brought here, out of which at least half a million will be sold. SIBF does not allow printed books to die.” He said that even without reading, people are affected by books. “Books choose you; you don’t choose books.”

SIBF 2  M. A. Shahanas is the owner of Macbeth Publications.

He said he was proud to note books lovers of many nationalities visiting and buying books at the fair. He mentioned he had seen a child lying on the floor, reading a book. His mother had left him there, and the child was still reading, even as his mother took time to return. Pinjani said he had taken a photo to immortalise the moment. His own life had been changed by books. He wanted to improve his English and his teacher told him to read books and newspapers. Pinjani did so diligently - and Wings has been one of the results. “Authors come to me,” he said, “and say they wrote their books in two days! They have gone far beyond what their teacher taught them!”

SIBF 3  Sunil Kumar, Deputy Director, Capexil.

Vasudevan Kidambi and Dr. Kumar Shankaran Aiyar have been with Wings. Kidambi has written three books and Aiyar’s book will soon be launched. “Wings is a bit unique,” Kidambi said. “I was scouting for publishers who would help me write books, when I found Wings. It taught me the three stages in publishing a book, namely, writing, making it available to the market and scaling it up to sell more copies.” He said that businesses around the book such as workshops, equip people tell a story. Aiyar was appreciative of the structured coaching offered by Wings, its basic plans for book writing, follow-ups and follow-throughs and the simple techniques it used to motivate aspiring writers.  

SIBF 4 Manika Singh (left) and Dr. Kailash Pinjani of Wings Publication. Photos: Kamal Kassim/Gulf Today

Macbeth Publications and Media LLP is a new platform owned by M A Shahanas, a young lady writer and publisher. It is based in Calicut, Kerala State, India, and promotes writing in languages such as Malayalam, English, Hindi and Arabic. Its media centre focuses on album songs, among others. “I have B.Ed and M.Com degrees and was teaching commerce and accountancy in M.M.H. School in Calicut,” Shahanas said. “I later worked with Basho Publications where I was handling books written by others. It motivated me to become an author and I wrote a women-focused novel titled Kaleidoscope in 2018. Litterateur M. Mukundan helped me publish it and later, Dr. M. K. Muneer of Olive Publications appointed me Executive Editor at Olive. The post had been earlier held by noted writers like Akbar Kakkattil and Arshad Bathery! I learnt my publishing lessons there and till 2022, brought out 150 titles of noted authors like Benyamin, M.N. Karaserry, Thanuja Bhattathiri, Veerankutty and Dr. B. Iqbal. I also got new writers published, including women writers and children’s books.” Macbeth has a branch in Sharjah and another in Calicut.

Sunil Kumar is the Deputy Director of Capexil, a body which is sponsored by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India. Its primary focus is to provide export assistance to its member exporters, who are around 5,000 today. “We have brought 25 members to SIBF,” Kumar said. “We provide financial support to them under the Market Access Initiative scheme.” He said that registered members are contacted, applications processed and more than fifty per cent of the cost is paid. A reverse buyer-seller meet is being organised February 6-9, 2024, where importers from all over India are being invited. Capexil acts as an intermediary in establishing business contacts between foreign importers and Indian exporters and is a two-way global facilitator. It briefs government so that favourable international trade policies can be formulated and executed. One must not forget to mention student volunteers here. Mohammad Abdulla, Aghila Jeyraj, Muhammad A.J. and Hoorul Safa are from Triumph College, Ajman. They are doing their BBA, specialising in Marketing. “It has been an exposure to the real world,” they said about their SIBF experience.

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