On the face of it, the fact that no Goods and Ser­vices Tax has been imposed on books – there was no excise either ear­li­er – should have been good news for pub­lish­ers and read­ers alike. The new tax sys­tem, which replaces the old­er, mul­ti-lay­ered ver­sion, envis­ages zero GST on books of all kinds. How­ev­er, there’s a catch. While books attract no GST, many of the com­po­nents of a book do. All along the val­ue chain, from paper to print­ing to author roy­al­ties, GST pay­ments have kicked in from July 1 onwards, which means that the cost of putting togeth­er a book will now be high­er. Ananth Pad­man­ab­han, CEO, Harper­Collins India, told Scroll​.in, “GST does have an impact on input costs.” And, to main­tain their mar­gins – which have already been under pres­sure – pub­lish­ers may have no choice but to increase prices. With most indi­vid­ual titles – bar­ring text­books and mass mar­ket best­sellers – already see­ing dwin­dling sales, high­er prices are not wel­come right now. Why prices will rise What goes into a book? The intel­lec­tu­al prop­er­ty comes from the writer, in the form of the man­u­script. The phys­i­cal com­po­nents include paper, ink, glue, etc., required for print­ing […]