2 years ago
Broadening the knowledge span
After two decades of experience as an Auxiliary Health Worker under the Ministry of Health, Rajendra Prasad Dhakal switched careers to printing and publication. Now, he’s been actively involved in this field since the past two decades. At present, he is the Manager at Makalu Publication House and Sopan Press Pvt. Ltd., Kalikasthan.
Along with handling the in-house mechanisms of his printing press, he has also co-authored myriad of collections including ‘First Aid for All’, ‘Epidemiology and Communicable Diseases’, ‘Health Entrance Preparation Guide’, ‘CMA Competition Guide’.
In an interview with My City’s Sonam Lama, Dhakal shared his experience of a two-decades-long journey in a publishing house.
What are the hurdles you experience as a publisher?
The convenience of trading businesses is that their finances are more secure. It is likely that the manufacturers take the liability of unsold products. However, it is not the case with running a publication house. Moreover, the interdependency between writers and other groups within the publication house can affect the whole process of work. For example, when writers smear their work by plagiarized content, they invite legal hassles. Due to such incidents, we recently introduced a set of regulation that mainly discourages plagiarism.
Additionally, there is a scarcity of technical human resources and professionalism in the sector and though we have progressive copyright laws, there are weaknesses in the process.
How diverse are the contents that publications provide to the readers?
We set curriculum and prepare books on health, engineering, lok-sewa preparations, government publications, etc. Moreover, we have been running a monthly administrative magazine called Sopan Monthly for the past 14 years. Sopan is a product of rigorous research that comprises political discourse on contemporary and pressing issues of Nepal. The magazine is prepared by experienced writers.
Also, we are involved in translating some popular works of international authors for Nepali readers. ‘Giving: How Each of Us Can Change the World’ and ‘My Life’ by Bill Clinton and books by Chinese entrepreneur Jack Ma are among many of our recent works of translation.
What are the salient factors of the publishing business?
Since publishing business highly involves the roles of writer, publisher, and readers, it is vital that commercial discipline between all groups is maintained. The acknowledgment of shared duty and responsibility plays a prime role in enhancing the ties between the involved parties. Although such practices have been carried out, one should be aware of the fact that a single book written by a particular author is not to be published by more than one publication. If an author wants to approach other publication to publish a new edition of the same book, it should be assigned to a single publication properly abiding the copyright laws.
How can your publishing house cater to the active participation of youths?
On work basis, we collaborate with a wide range of reliable and experienced Nepali writers. This gives an impression that we don’t include youths in our contributors’ panel. However, bear in mind that it is through the content of experienced writers that the readers are provided with refined and credible contents.
Since we serve intense and research oriented contents for readers preparing to get recruited in government jobs, it demands for much proficiency in the writer’s part. However, few sections including contemporary issue like IQ and GK can have effective participation of youths.