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Not Published by the Big Wigs

7 December 2017

From Publishing Perspectives:

There was a time when few people at India’s large publishing houses were interested in Hindi pulp fiction—that is, until publisher Minakshi Thakur turned pulp author Surender Pathak into India’s bestselling crime fiction author.

Earlier this year, at the StoryDrive Asia conference in Singapore, Thakur told the audience of how she saw potential in the Hindi pulp market while she was the managing editor of HarperCollins India’s literary division and brought national attention to one of the genre’s leading authors.

There are 22 major languages listed in the constitution of India, Thakur told her audience in Singapore. “They are written in 13 different scripts, with more than 720 dialects,” she said. “The official Indian languages are Hindi and English, which is also widely spoken.”

Thakur knows what she’s talking about. She’s the publisher of the languages division of the Amazon-owned Westland Publications, the largest Indian publisher in the English trade industry.

. . . .

Despite the fact that Hindi pulp fiction was “incredibly popular and sold in hundreds and thousands of stores—mostly out of bus and railway stations—they were considered ‘non-books’ by mainstream publishers,” Thakur said, “not to be reviewed, not to be read by people who read high-brow literature.”

That, she decided, could be changed, and profitably.

. . . .

Now 77 years old, Surender Pathak is the bestselling crime fiction writer in India. He has averaged four to five novels per year, for 55 years. Within six months of its release, each Pathak book will sell more than 25,000 copies.

. . . .

“We told him we’d make him the Agatha Christie of India,” Thakur said.

Link to the rest at Publishing Perspectives

PG notes that Amazon’s US site offers several titles (in English and Hindi) by Surender Mohan Pathak

Surender Pathak has written almost 500 books, making James Patterson (who has written 147 books) look like a layabout.

Non-US

2 Comments to “Not Published by the Big Wigs”

  1. I recently read a Nora Roberts novel; she’s written 213 according to wikipedia and unlike Patterson does not appear to have a stable of other people doing the writing who she oversees.

    But yes, Surender Pathak (one of the all time very best author names) makes even Roberts look like she’s phoning it in.

    I’m always happy when popular fiction gets taken seriously so that people make more money. (<— not sarcastic, if you were wondering). I particularly like it when popular fiction, taken seriously, makes a ton of money and causes more “literary” fiction to be ignored even more.

  2. Nice. Make me look dumb.

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