The World Book Fair in Delhi, which concluded on Feb 6, is gaining an immense stature with business worth crores being transacted. There were many orders pouring in for Indian religious texts, mostly from African countries. It is a fair devoted mostly to business and authors do not take centre-stage here.
Though Chetan Bhagat visited the Rupa stall (total sales of all his books touched 3.5 million, according to Rupa’s R K Mehra) there were not many launches or signing sessions. The reason is the masses cannot distinguish an author from a salesman and many authors have sat in stalls for hours hoping that someone will ask for an autograph.
That could be the reason why none of the authors who were at the Jaipur festival and washed ashore in the capital, stopped by. The Penguin stall did phenomenally well with sales of over five lakh on the first Sunday itself. But the Penguin strategy of countering the Chetan Bhagat phenomenon with a new imprint called Metro Reads does not seem to have taken off. In the long time I spent at the stall talking to some of the Penguin editors, I didn’t see anyone showing any interest in those stories of, cheap romance, urban love, longing and lust.
Full report here Express Buzz