Leonard Fernandes Talks About Social Media And Publishing Next

Leonard Fernandes Talks About Social Media And Publishing Next


As businesses keep evolving with the times, we find many traditional industries getting out of their mould to not risk getting obsolete. The publishing industry in India is growing in leaps and bounds with the increased numbers in authors as well as readers. Coupled with the surge in Internet usage, Indian readers are now largely aware of new books available but expectations keep rising.

In an attempt to keep up with the rising expectations of readers, the publishing industry vision and fast technologies, CinnamomTeal Publishing, a print-on-demand publisher organized a two-day conference ‘PublishingNext’ in Goa. The conference addresses many of the concerns around the future of publishing but what caught our eyes is the ‘Social Media Marketing’ workshop. Being an avid book-lover and a social media believer myself, I got in touch with Leonard Fernandes, Co-Founder of CinnamomTeal to know more about it and the conference objectives in an email.


1. Leonard, how about telling a bit about yourself and CinnamonTeal Publishing.


My wife and I founded dogearsetc.com in May 2006. She has a Masters in Economics from the Gokhale Inst. of Politics and Economics, Pune while I am an MBA from The Ohio State University.


2. Thanks! Now you have organized India’s first publishing conference, Publishing Next on 16th September in Goa. Can you tell more about this initiative and what are the objectives of this conference?

Publishing Next was an idea that came when we saw that much of thought and technological leadership in the publishing industry came from the West. Here in India we have so many languages to boast about yet we do not think about what the future may hold and what changes need to be brought about so that we can actually leverage the changes that the future may hold. Publishing Next was thus developed, as a platform to set in motion serious dialogue and deliberation so that we can provide Indian solutions to Indian problems and challenges. That said, although the focus is India (and Indian publishing) this year, we plan to soon include other regions and conferences. We have already been able to do so and provide some international perspective. We hope to extend that in the years to come.


3. It is no more a secret that publishing industry is embracing social media with open hands. What are your thoughts and how do you see it?

It is interesting you say that because many publishers we have spoken too are still unaware of what social media is and what it could do for them. Perhaps the ones that do use social media are hogging the limelight while many other publishers remain unaware of its potential. What has also happened is that some publishers, mostly those publishing in Indian languages don’t quite have the tools that will allow them to use social media in the language of their choice. So the challenges are various, and like I said before, an answer has to come from within.


4. CinnamonTeal has a decent social media presence and it is also using the same for spreading the word about the conference. What has been the learning for you as a brand on social media?

Truth be told we haven’t quite mastered it. We are still unaware of what we must do if, for example, we need to build a buzz for a certain book we have published. We have learnt that what works for one campaign doesn’t quite work for another. And that social media marketing too must have its own metrics to determine its efficacy and returns on investment.


5. There is a social media marketing workshop that you are conducting in this conference. How do you see this and what are you emphasizing in the workshop, is it the WHY or HOW of social media marketing?

We are only trying to introduce the concept of social media to publishers through this workshop, a beginner’s workshop if you will. The audience will be told of the potential of social media and what it could achieve for them if seriously done. The workshop will be conducted in the context of the publishing industry, focusing on the needs of a publisher and author.


6. Finally, any words of wisdom to entrepreneurs.

That they need to persevere, no matter what the odds are.


Well, thanks Leonard for taking the time out from organizing such inspiring events and replying to our questions. It is a pleasure knowing the work you do given its unique nature and we are glad to have visionaries in the various Indian industries. Our best wishes for your growth.