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Random Tales of Total Geekery

Devil in the details, ebooks in India..publishers, wakey wakey!!

Posted by Q on February 2, 2009

Top 15 Fiction Bestsellers for upto Oct 2008  in India – take a look

sony-reader-copy

1. Solve Your Problems The Birbal Way  – Anita S R {2005}
2. 3 Mistakes Of My Life – Chetan Bhagat {2008}
3. One Night @ The Call Center  – Chetan Bhagat {2005}
4. Five Point Someone – Chetan Bhagat {2004}
5. Inheritance 3: Brisingr  – Christopher Paolini {2008}
6. Story Of My Experiments With Truth – Gandhi M K {forever}
7. A Prisoner Of Birth  – Jeffrey Archer {2008}
8. Kite Runner  – Khaled Hosseini {2003}
9. Creation Of Wealth  – Lala R M {2006}
10. Wordpower Made Easy  – Norman Lewis {forever}
11. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho {1993}
12. Brida  – Paulo Coelho {1990}
13. Secret – Rhonda Byrne {2006}
14. Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – Robin S Sharma {2003}
15. The Greatness Guide 2  – Robin S Sharma {2002}

Any name in that list that you havent been seeing for ages. Now, compare that with the NYT lot…

PAPERBACK MASS-MARKET FICTION
Top 5 at a Glance

1. MURDER GAME, by Christine Feehan
2. THE APPEAL, by John Grisham
3. THE PAGAN STONE, by Nora Roberts
4. GLITTER BABY, by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
5. MARRIED IN SEATTLE, by Debbie Macomber

PAPERBACK ADVICE
Top 5 at a Glance

1. SUZE ORMAN’S 2009 ACTION PLAN, by Suze Orman
2. TWILIGHT, by Mark Cotta Vaz
3. THE LOVE DARE, by Stephen and Alex Kendrick with Lawrence Kimbrough
4. SKINNY BITCH, by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin
5. WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU’RE EXPECTING, by Heidi Murkoff and Sharon Mazel

PAPERBACK NONFICTION
Top 5 at a Glance

1. MARLEY & ME, by John Grogan
2. DREAMS FROM MY FATHER, by Barack Obama
3. THE AUDACITY OF HOPE, by Barack Obama
4. THREE CUPS OF TEA, by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin
5. TEAM OF RIVALS, by Doris Kearns Goodwin

Clearly, there is a huge sync gap between what we read in India compared to what is being read in an English country. Barring a few major ups and downs, I don’t see this list changing drastically for any other country apart from US. Which is really weird because in all places where English is not native, you’d expect ethnic literature selling; which does not seem to be happening in India either. We seem to have been caught in some sort of time bubble as far as new book releases are concerned
Maybe we are less willing to spend that much amount of money on an activity as frivolous as fiction reading. As the table clearly shows, we tend to buy things that are cheaper and known VFM {Value for Moneys}. I’d hate to be a newly published author here. Here’s the pricing table

1. Solve Your Problems The Birbal Way  – Anita S R –> INR 80
2. 3 Mistakes Of My Life – Chetan Bhagat –> INR 95
3. One Night @ The Call Center  – Chetan Bhagat –> INR 95
4. Five Point Someone – Chetan Bhagat –> INR 95
5. Inheritance 3: Brisingr  – Christopher Paolini –> INR 600
6. Story Of My Experiments With Truth – Gandhi M K –> INR 30
7. A Prisoner Of Birth  – Jeffrey Archer –> INR 180
8. Kite Runner  – Khaled Hosseini –> INR 300
9. Creation Of Wealth  – Lala R M –> INR 295
10. Wordpower Made Easy  – Norman Lewis –> INR 95
11. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho –> INR 195
12. Brida  – Paulo Coelho –> INR 295
13. Secret – Rhonda Byrne –> INR 550
14. Monk Who Sold His Ferrari – Robin S Sharma –> INR 185
15. The Greatness Guide 2  – Robin S Sharma –> INR 185

Note: 50 INR= 1 USD

Well, I suppose book publishers do have a business case for churning out reprints after reprints of back catalog instead of putting out newer authors. Which means that for a reader like me, who unlike the rest of the countrymen is abreast of what is happening around the world, has only one way of getting hold of a Pat Rothfuss or a Joe Abercrombie – and that’s ebooks. Sadly, no marketing/BTL push has been happening on the book front here. It still is very much a second-hand/pirate market than anything else. And we ALL know how many titles are available as ebooks 😛 So, if I say I’ve read all of Scott Lynch’s/Tobias Buckell books, you know where I got them from.

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3 Responses to “Devil in the details, ebooks in India..publishers, wakey wakey!!”

  1. […] the whole shebang about new authors and any such interwebs obsession. So, we have Brisngr as the bringr of good news in India, topping at #5. However, some time spent stateside and a favorable exchange rate ensured […]

  2. raghavr24 said

    chetan the saviour of Indian writing?! there is def a lotta scope for us now 😉 I cant even recall 1 from ur TBR list..wth did u get it?!!!11

  3. free plrs said

    Thanks, this is easily the best blog I’ve seen in a while. Mind telling me where the subcribe button is? 🙂

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