I was thrilled to read that Katha, an Indian publishing house dedicated to culture and literature as a means of empowering the poor, was launching a book club -- and better, an online book club, which I'll be able to track regardless of the hemisphere I'm in. I particularly covet their collections of short stories translated from the panopoly of India's mother tongues -- I can't read Malayalam or understand Bengali, but these books take me to people and places I would otherwise remain ignorant of.
The only problem with the book club? Although they've apparently written a press release for it (which The Hindu, the Press Trust of India, The Times of India, and Zee News have faithfully transcribed), there is no mention of the club on their Web site. I know my initial five-year membership will cost Rs 500, and I know my money will benefit slum children in Delhi and Arunachal Pradesh, but I have no idea to whom I give the money or how to transfer it to them.
The only site that even broaches the question of how to get involved (why would anyone want contact information if a story is about a service being provided or an event being held?) is TOI, which directs readers to e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for membership information.
If you're trying to stimulate interest in a new program, isn't it of the utmost importance to eliminate every possible entry barrier? I'll still probably find a way to sign up, but if the goal is to bring the best of translated India to the masses, shouldn't it be ... a little easier to participate? And if it's really an online book club, shouldn't priority No. 1 be creating online infrastructure?