Non-fiction books make it to the hit list

By SiliconIndia   |   Thursday, 28 September 2006, 07:00 Hrs
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New Delhi: the Indian publishing industry is taking a turn. It is observed that nowadays readers prefer facts than fiction. This can be noticed as more non-fiction books are making their way into the best-sellers’ list.

In the last few months some special books became successful calling for wider attention. In India, Amartya Sen’s, 'The Argumentative Indian' sold 80,000 copies while Thomas Friedman’s, 'The World is Flat' sold 75,000 copies. India did well compared to the UK markets, which sold just 20,000 and 35,000 copies respectively. Jaswant Singh’s, 'Call To Honour' sold 30,000 copies, while Mani Bhaumik’s, 'Code Name God' and Vikram Seth’s, 'Two Lives' sold 25,000 and 20,000 copies, respectively.

Bimal Jalan’s, 'Future of India' sold over 10,000 and 'Being Indian' by Pawan Verma managed to sell 15,000 copies. Other books, 'In The Line of Fire', Pervez Musharraf’s autobiography, tipped to sell at least 15,000 copies in India, soon to join the ranks of this year’s non-fiction best-sellers.

Not surprisingly, nearly half of the forthcoming launches by publishers like Penguin and Rupa are non-fiction books.
“There is a whole new class of readers emerging out of the Indian economic boom. This genre strikes a chord with their concerns,” said Thomas Abraham, Penguin’s president and chief executive officer.

According to an industry analyst, the trend to read non-fiction books gave it a scholarly appeal creating a ‘fashion’ statement. Also the world’s fascination with anything India-centric can be cited as a driver for the non-fiction books. Globally there is lot of interest in Indian culture and rising economy increasing the sales of such books. The average sale of non-fiction books has vaulted to 10,000-15,000 copies, which was only 2,000-3,000 five years ago.

But this trend does not the end of the fiction writing. Kapish Mehra, publisher, Rupa and Co. feels, that the reading population is currently moving towards non-fiction, but serious and good fiction is still sells on the stands.

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