Print Acre High
It’s been an extraordinary year for Indian publishing. While publishers in the West are feeling the effects of the downturn, publishers here are buying almost anything— fiction, non-fiction, translations, young adult, chicklit, campus lit, mythologicals, historicals, art, short stories, poetry. So great is the demand that fledgling literary agencies like Siyahi and Writer’s Side are holding auctions, getting rival houses to outbid each other for manuscripts by unknown authors, some of them as young as a 15-year-old schoolgirl whose debut YA title was bid for by five leading publishers. As a result, the signing amount for newcomers has risen to anywhere from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh. Even works by poets are fetching offers of Rs 30,000 as advance royalty.