By Hannah Johnson
According to an article in the Wall Street Journal by Tanuj Khosla yesterday, Indian readers prefer local authors over international bestsellers. This means publishers in India are shifting their focus away from international authors toward finding local talent — a strategy which will surely affect global publishers like Penguin, HarperCollins, Macmillan and others with branches in India.
According to the article, Indian publishers are focusing also on first-time authors and fiction for the younger generation:
Publishers have changed their mandate to mass-market fiction. It is books written by the young for the young, in a language they understand, and in a setting they connect with. Consequently, book houses now want well-written novels with a local flavor. Rupa Publications (which published Chetan Bhagat’s novels) started the trend, and others such as Srishti Publishers, Westland and Grey Oak Publishers have encouraged first-time writers, many of whom have become best-selling authors.
Khosla also reported that improvements in book distribution, combined with the right price (around 100 rupees, or $2.22) are helping local authors reach more readers in more cities.