Thursday, March 4, 2010

Mills and Boon answer call of India's new middle class for English novels

Publishers predict India will become the world's biggest market for books in the English language within a decade

In among the slightly decrepit halls and the rubbish strewn grass of New Delhi's Pragati Maidan conference halls is a stand decked in pink and powder blue.Beneath the posters for Ruthless Magnate, Convenient Wife, and Accidentally Expecting, Manish Singh, Mills & Boon's country manager for India, is doing brisk business.

The popular romantic novels were launched in India exactly two years ago and doubled their sales in the past year. "We are looking to expand still further in 2010," Singh says.The publisher, Harlequin Mills & Boon, is far from the only beneficiary of a boom in book sales that is sweeping India. Dan Brown's sequel to The Da Vinci Code, The Lost Symbol, has already sold 100,000 in hardback alone.

Aravind Adiga's Man Booker winner The White Tiger has sold more than 200,000 copies since its publication in 2008. Driving the demand is the country's continuing economic boom – 6.7% growth in 2009 despite the global crisis – and the tastes of the new Indian middle class.

"It is a forward looking generation," said Singh. "The low hanging fruit for us is the single working woman who has money in her hands, the liberty to read, no responsibilities yet, no husband, children and so on."

Full report here Guardian

No comments:

Post a Comment