India Market Storytelling Business Trends for 2023-24

Based in Delhi, Anish Chandy is a leading literary agent who places authors and books with publishers, filmmakers and other digital platforms. He is also the founder of Labyrinth Literary Agency. Anish recently identified some storytelling business trends for 2023-24, for the Indian market, which we present here with his kind permission. He says: ‘I did a couple of panels with industry colleagues about the business of all storytelling formats at the Jaipur Lit Fest and Times Lit Fest. Some blended insights from these:’

1. Offline bookstores are seeing a resurgence in the post-Covid world. People went back to reading classics.

2. Social media influencers writing books is causing a lot of frustration within the audience but their sales are an undeniable fact.

3. Audio will continue to grow with most of it coming from tier-2 cities in regional languages. Listeners will continue to increase, pricing won’t.

4. Most books that are acquired for OTT adaptation don’t get made for creative or financial reasons. Social media announcements by authors, agents and filmmakers can mislead.

5. Producers are now acquiring books more selectively so the ratio of acquisition to production should improve.

6. Book piracy on e-commerce sites is a hard problem to solve. Appointing authorized sellers might help.

7. Authors in the audience expressed unhappiness that they are expected to actively market their books after writing them. This won’t change.

8. Short story writing might find it easier to be published in audio platforms instead of print books.

9. Offline and online publicity campaigns have replaced the traditional method of the publisher’s regional sales people personally pitching books to bookstores. This means everyone’s selling the same books.

10. Unsure if using provocative titles help sell books. All inspired by The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*CK.

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