When markets commission

Even as numerous infrastructural challenges remain to be surmounted, India's already booming books industry looks poised to cross new frontiers.

The publishing industry in Southasia as a whole, and India in particular, has never seen better times. There has been an astounding increase in the number of titles originating from and being produced in the region, in addition to large-scale investment in retail, fresher marketing tools and increasing standards of book production. The Indian scenario is particularly unique. With a whopping 550 million people below the age of 30, and with a significant and consumerist middle class, book sales in the country could well surpass all expectations.

That said, there is hardly any reliable source of data on the market. The entry of Nielsen Bookscan last October goes some way towards filling this gap, but the group is currently only providing data from a few major bookstore chains in India, which is arguably not representative. In addition, there are numerous associations, representing an estimated 19,000 publishers, although no single association has more than 1000 members. This indicates a vibrant yet scattered industry.

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Himal Southasian