According to industry body FICCI, the Indian publishing industry, which is worth Rs 12,000 crore, is currently growing at a compound annual growth rate of 25 per cent. Writers such as Chetan Bhagat, whose books Five Point Someone and 2 States have been very successful, and Amish Tripathi, with his 'Shiva trilogy', have helped keep the industry ticking by bringing in an entirely new set of readers, who enjoy a quick and light read.
"There is a growth in first-generation readers, who may not have grown up reading, but have taken to authors such as Chetan Bhagat," says Amrita Chowdhury, Country Head & Publishing Director Harlequin India, adding that regional content is also quite popular.
Adds Sanjana Roy Choudhury, Publisher, Hay House Publishers: "Increased author participation in marketing their titles has also gained ground that goes a long way in helping a book gain in numbers. Authors create Facebook pages of their titles, and tweet and talk about their books at every given platform, which is so very crucial."
FICCI's Secretary General, Dr. A Didar Singh, states that the Indian publishing industry produces over 100,000 titles every year. "There was a time 10 years back, when one used to be happy if one printed 3,000 copies of a book and it sold out. But, today you're looking at books which are routinely crossing 10,000 to 20,000, and in some cases 100,000 or even a million copies in sales," says Gautam Padmanabhan, CEO of Westland Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Tata Group's retail arm Trent.
Publishers have also taken a different route to reach out to readers, such as e-books and digital content. The number, though small, is growing, say experts, who place the current e-book market at about two to three per cent. "Digital content cuts through the distribution problems," says Malcolm Neil, Director of Content Acquisition for APAC region, Kobo.