23 October, 2020

John Makinson

The chief of Penguin worldwide on twenty years of publishing in India

John Makinson
From seven titles in 1987 to Asia’s leader in general publishing—how come?

It’s a reflection of India’s intellectual and economic confidence and energy.

How important is Penguin India to your international operations?

Right now, Penguin’s letterhead lists three publishing centres—London, New York and Melbourne. I hope to put Delhi up there.

But the market for books here is relatively small compared to the West...

It’s still small, but growing very fast. Our sales for this year have doubled from last year’s.

Are the authors sharing in the good fortune?

Certainly, increased visibility and sales is good for everyone, including authors.

But authors’ advances here haven’t kept pace with advances abroad.

Advances have gone up, but it can’t keep pace with advances in the US because both the volume and price of books are lower here.

Writers complain you have a caste system where big writers get all the publicity and the others get none?

It is true. Authors who...



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