The Bhaktivedanta Book Trust
The world's largest publisher of Vedic and Gaudiya-Vaishnava literature, with 6 divisions and 40 titles in over 70 languages.
Srila Prabhupada structured the economic management of the BBT when he founded the organization in 1970. His guiding principle was that 50% of the income should be used to reprint books and 50% to construct temples throughout the world. In reality, the percentages were different during Srila Prabhupada's lifetime, and now, considering inflation, stocking requirements, and the gradual increase of distribution, a little more than 50% of the income is used to reprint books, 25% for construction of temples in India, and the rest for loans, expansion of facilities, and donations for causes compatible with the goals of the BBT.
Srila Prabhupada stated when founding the Trust that it could have between three and seven trustees. Now there are seven: His Holiness Jayadvaita Swami (BBT chairman until 1998), His Holiness Isvara Swami, His Holiness Gopal Krishna Goswami, His Holiness Harikesa Swami, Naresvara das, Svavas das and Madhusevita das. The permanent secretary of the Trust is Brahma Muhurta das, the manager of the North European BBT division. Madhava Puri das is the managing director of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust International, based in Malmö, Sweden, which deals with all legal affairs such as contracts, copyright protection, and so on.
The particular areas of concern and head office of each Trustee are as follows:
Gopal Krishna Goswami
The BBT maintains archives of all tapes, photographs, letters, books, music recordings, films, and so on, made during Srila Prabhupada's lifetime. The Bhaktivedanta Archives has transcribed all the writings of Srila Prabhupada and has produced a CD-ROM version with a packaged software to read and search through the data. The Archives has also produced audio CDs of Srila Prabhupada singing devotional music. They are presently preserving the most important of the tens of thousands of photos in digital format. The lectures of Srila Prabhupada have been signal processed, recorded on R-DAT format, and stored in different locations throughout the world. The Archives regularly offers compilations of the most important instructions of Srila Prabhupada and makes them available to the ISKCON devotees at a reasonable price.
The BBT produces all materials required for the publication of its books, magazines, audio products, posters, and so on, itself. Srila Prabhupada dictated the books using a dictaphone, someone transcribed the tapes, and Sanskrit and English editors reviewed the work. After editing, the books were typeset, laid out, proofread, corrected, and photographed for sending to the printer.
Nowadays the BBT does its work electronically. The books are translated directly on computer using a proprietary program produced for the BBT's book-publication needs. Editing and proofreading are all done on computer, as well as layout and graphic design. The BBT uses the most modern graphics programs available.
All books are illustrated by paintings done by BBT artists. The BBT photographs the paintings, scans the transparencies, and outputs directly to high-resolution image-setters. The color proofs are being done on Cromalin machines, and the printers receive complete final page film for all books and magazines. Devotional and modern CDs and tapes are also produced by the BBT. Removable drives store the covers and inserts, and the printer, who has compatible software, receives them in the mail and prints directly from the digital media.
Although the technology for producing books has changed dramatically since Srila Prabhupada's time, the purpose of the BBT remains the same: to present to people Srila Prabhupada's books and the books of his followers in all the languages of the world. The BBT now prints in over 60 languages, and the number increases yearly.
The worldwide BBT mail order departments are ready to supply you with books, tapes, videos, posters, CDs, and other devotional paraphernalia.
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