India Book Publishing and Storytelling: Top 10 Trends

Anish Chandy is a leading literary agent, and Founder at Labyrinth Literary Agency. He has earlier worked as Head of Digital Business Development with Juggernaut Books and as Senior Commissioning Editor with Penguin. Here he highlights the top 10 trends in India’s book publishing and storytelling industries, which he witnessed in 2022.

1. Most major publishers enjoyed their highest ever print book sales in a year.

2. Books by online influencers pushing hustle culture really took off. This created a hype bubble and now sales are beginning to flatten.

3. General Indian fiction and short stories struggled. Some imported fiction (Coleen Hoover) did massive numbers.

4. Book to screen adaptation deals are being planned better by producers instead of random mass buying like previous years.

5. Book piracy moved from street corners to Instagram.

6. There was significant growth in Indian language audio content sales.

7. Quite a few NFT and Blockchain ideas were pitched. Mostly targeted at a fund raise rather than a revenue model.

8. Podcasters continue to search for monetisation models outside of barter and exposure deals.

9. Paper prices have hit cyclical record highs due to various global factors (Ukraine, China). This made publishing of small, interesting books unviable.

10. The movie industry got a post-Covid reality check with all stars failing to deliver numbers. Cross-geography hits like Kantara might be the rule rather than the exception going forward.

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