ABOUT BOOK DEVELOPMENT
by Hedwig Anuar, former Chairman, National Book Development Council of Singapore
What does Book Development mean?
The term book development was coined by Unesco to cover the myriad range of people, processes and skills which go into
the making and reading of a book. At the start, the writer conceives and writes the book; the illustrator, book designer and
editor add their contribution before the work goes to the printer who produces the physical object; the publisher provides the
capital and the expertise for all these stages and is also responsible for the marketing and promotion of the book through
advertisements, book reviews and other means. The book is distributed mainly through the bookseller who sells it in his
bookshop or to institutional buyers such as libraries and schools in order that it reaches its final destination - the individual
Unesco Promotion of National Book Development Councils
In the mid-1960s, Unesco held a series of regional meetings in Asia, Africa, the Arab States and Latin America to assess
long-term book needs and assist in working out national policies and strategies to overcome the book hunger in these areas.
It was at these meetings that Unesco also encouraged the formation of national book development councils which could play
a key role in promoting and coordinating all areas of book development activity in harmony with overall national
Inauguration of the National Book Development Council of Singapore
Educationalists, publishers, printers, booksellers, librarians and authors, together with the government officials from the
Ministries of Education and Culture, met for the first time in November 1966 to discuss the problem of book development in
A major outcome was a recommendation urging the Ministry of Culture to take the lead in establishing a National Book
Development Council. Another was the formation of the Singapore Book Publishers' Association (SBPA) in May 1968.
Headed by Donald Moore, it started with