The prices of newly printed books have increased exorbitantly at the Colombo International Book Fair being held at the Bandaranaike Memorial International Conference Hall, Colombo.
Sripali Perera, the Publishing Manager of Sarasavi Publishing Company, said the publishers had to increase the price of a book which was at Rs.500 in 2021 to Rs.1,500 today.
He said a book priced at Rs. 500 in 2021 has been priced at Rs.1,200 at Sarasavi this year.
Meanwhile, Suriya Publishing Chairman Athula Jayakodi said that the prices of imported raw materials such as paper, ink, and printing plates have increased by more than 300 percent.
He also said the profit of the publisher has been limited when deciding the price of books to sell them at the lowest possible price.
Many printing press owners claimed that importers who imported paper in bulk in the past are selling paper at a higher price resulting in black market prices.
Mr. Prem Dissanayake, the Chairman of Fast Publishing House, has told ‘Deshaya’ that the ream of paper which was priced at Rs. 4,500 has increased several times and the plate used to print books has increased from Rs.240 to Rs.1,250.
He said the cost of production has quadrupled due to the increase in the price of raw materials.
However, he said that although the price of newly printed books has gone up, books printed previously can be obtained at low prices and all books from local publishers at the fair will be given a 20 per cent discount.