Delhi Press has launched the literary magazine ‘The Caravan’ on December 2. Priced at Rs 35, the fortnightly magazine covers politics, culture, arts and literature. It may be recalled that ‘The Caravan’ was launched way back in 1940, but was renamed and molded into a different magazine called ‘Alive’ in 1988. ‘Alive’ still exists today and is more of a general entertainment magazine.
In its new avatar, ‘The Caravan’ will have a starting print run of 17,000 copies and will be available in all the major metros. Paresh Nath is the Editor-in-Chief, while Anant Nath is the Managing Editor and Paranjoy Guha Thakurta is the Consulting Editor for the magazine.
While in a broad way the content of the earlier ‘The Caravan’ and the new avatar remains more or less the same, the main differentiator is the writing style and more in depth articles with a strong narrative style.
Giving the reason for renaming and molding the magazine into ‘Alive’ in 1988, Anant Nath, Director, Delhi Press, and Managing Editor, The Caravan, explained, “The magazine was remolded from a literary magazine into a general interest magazine as the Editor at that time felt that was the need of the time. In 1988, ‘The Caravan’ was already a 38-year-old publication and it was felt that a new direction and life should be given to the magazine.”
Commenting on the reason to launch ‘The Caravan’ in a new avatar now, Nath said, “Even 20 after ‘The Caravan’ ceased to exist, the name continues to enjoy deep respect and popularity amongst the senior intellectuals and leaders of our country. For the readers, ‘The Caravan’ brings back fond memories of the magazine. Since the new magazine is also a literary publication that delves deeply into political, social and cultural fields, it was only natural to treat it as a continuation of the older ‘The Caravan’.”
He further said, “In terms of editorial style, besides its heavy literary bend on topics concerning politics, culture, the arts and literature, the new magazine will follow a strong narrative style. The articles will be much longer, running into thousands of words, which will be a break from the short style journalism that is mostly followed in India. We felt that there are no magazines in India that allow readers and writers alike to indulge in passion of words without the limitations of space. There are good news magazines in India like India Today and Outlook, but their accent is more on bringing news and information of the past one week.”
On how ‘The Caravan’ would differentiate itself, Nath said, “‘The Caravan’ will be different, we will not present news, but rather commentaries and longer stories that take an in depth look at the stories. Our focus will be on weaving a narrative structure, non-fiction with the elements of a fiction story. Our inspiration is the legendary ‘The New Yorker’ magazine. Our stories would be topical, but of longer shelf life, and there would be a more eclectic mix of topics going beyond politics and news. The idea is to engage readers with intricate and curious stories.”
The magazine would cater to the intellectual appetite of the politically, socially and culturally curious intelligentsia. Its readers would be active participants of the civil and political society.
Talking of the competition, Nath maintained, “As such there are no close competitors because the long narrative journalism is not widely followed by any of the current publications. India Today, Outlook and other news magazines would rather be complementary to our publication. A reader would turn to them for their weekly dose of news, and then to ‘The Caravan’ for longer and in depth reading.”
On the marketing and advertising plans, he added, “The magazine will be primarily promoted through the literary channel. This would include promotion through bookstores and various literary events. We have tied up with hundreds of bookstores across country to carry marketing collaterals of ‘The Caravan’. We have specifically targeted the bookstores for promotion as we feel our readers would be avid book readers. Apart from the bookstores, we plan to get associated with literary events and festivals that would be organised in the coming season.”
“We are also undertaking direct complimentary mailing of the first couple of issues of the magazine to opinion leaders, policy makers, business leaders, select academia, writers, and other influential persons in civil and political society. This introductory complimentary mailing is being done to around 3,000 recipients. There will be very select outdoor promotions of the magazine,” Nath added.
With the launch of ‘The Caravan’, Delhi Press now publishes 31 magazines in nine languages. Some of the leading magazines being published by Delhi Press include Grihshobha, Woman’s Era, Saras Salil, Sarita and Champak, among others.