About Shalimar Books

Shalimar Books – Indian books in the UK

Shalimar Books is the leading distributor of Indian books in the UK.  We supply books from Indian publishers to schools, libraries and bookshops. We also sell direct to the public at our Indian bookshop in London, and through our online shop.

Our long association with Indian publishers and distributors in India enables us to provide an extensive range of Indian books on all subjects, and from a wide range of publishers, in the UK.

Our range includes books on Indian politics and human rights, Indian history, humanities and children’s books, novels and fiction by Indian authors, and much, much more.

History of Shalimar Books and Soma Books

Soma Books was born in the 1980s, when we were given the franchise to open a shop in the Commonwealth Institute.

Prior to that, we traded under the name of Independent Publishing Company, and started importing Indian books in the late 1960s. As Soma Books, the sale of children’s books, with the focus on cultural diversity, became our main line of business. So we incorporated Independent Publishing Company into Soma Books. We have, however, co-published a number of books with Indian publishers under the Soma Books imprint.

Over the years we have seen the standard of Indian publishing rise significantly, and have been proud to play a large role in the promotion and distribution of these books in the UK and Europe.

This has included supplying titles to public and university libraries, children’s books to schools and schools library services, representing many Indian publishers on the UK market and supplying to trade outlets here and in Europe.

We have also collaborated with authors and publishers in launching titles here, and have been involved in exhibitions and book fairs for many years. (It was the success of our Indian Book Fairs at the Commonwealth Institute that resulted in our being invited to open a branch as Soma Books at the Commonwealth Institute in the 1980s).

We are also proud of our participation as major children’s book stockists in the early NAME (National Association of Multicultural Education) conferences in the 1970s, at a time when books covering cultural diversity were virtually non-existent. The work done by NAME and Teachers Against Racism has had a huge impact on education in the UK.

Soma Books also held the very first Black Book Fair, at St. Matthews in Brixton – another achievement of which we are justifiably proud.

The birth of Shalimar Books

At the beginning of 2012, we decided to revert to our origins, just dealing with the sale and distribution of Indian books.  To differentiate from Soma, we launched Shalimar Books.