Credit publishers and readers for lively book scene

While the National Arts Council's grants for literary publishers have been useful, particularly in helping local publishers seek rights deals abroad, to credit the council's grant-making with "revitalising" our literary publishing is to focus too much on the role of the state.

This is what Akshita Nanda did in her Culture Vulture column, The Fear Of Funding Cuts (Life, Nov 24).

It is worth remembering that the $1 million in grants given each year by the council to support local book publishers pales in comparison to the $250 million the Government will dole out each year under its public service broadcast funds to support the creation of local content for television.

It would be more appropriate to credit the revitalisation of literary publishing to the work of publishers such as Edmund Wee, Fong Hoe Fang, Denon Lim, Kenny Leck and Phil Tatham, and the authors, illustrators and designers who work with them.

Credit is also due to Singapore's booksellers, operating in a competitive retail property market.

And the ultimate credit must go to Singapore's readers, with a shout-out to those who are patrons of local bookshops, for it is readers and book-buyers who are the reason for the entire enterprise.

Peter Schoppert

President, Singapore Book Publishers Association

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 05, 2015, with the headline 'Credit publishers and readers for lively book scene'. Print Edition | Subscribe