Tracking the boom

English-language publishing in India has come of age.

About five months ago, Nielsen Bookscan, the international data-tracking service for book sales, arrived in India. This is of course, good news for us Indian publishers (particularly trade publishing in the English language) – Bookscan will provide the first properly audited sales figures for Indian titles, something that is much needed. But it is also a sign that the industry is mature enough for English-language general books, and has sales that are significant enough, for Bookscan to enter.

India is currently the third-largest publisher of English language books in the world after the US and the UK in terms of volume. There are over 17,000 publishers in India who either publish trade (ie, books for the general audience) or academic books. It is estimated that over half of these publishers are in English-language publishing. The entry of Bookscan will help this industry to mature further by providing proper data about the books published in India – although I should mention that Bookscan at the moment only covers the major book chains, circumventing the small bookshops across the country out of which you get a vast amount of sales.

Loading content, please wait...
Himal Southasian