It’s not such good news, however, for other writers on the HarperCollins’ list. Dumped with over Rs 1 crore stock of unsold books, the new owners of HarperCollins, the India Today group, is resorting to the age-old publishing tradition of telling its authors that you either buy back your books or we’ll pulp them.
Shifting loyalties are a luxury that Indian authors are just discovering, thanks to the spurt of publishing houses that have sprung up in the last few years. Picador lost one of its star novelists to Penguin India: Gita Hariharan’s latest novel set in the academic world and its battles over textbook history will be a Penguin production. Instead, Picador gained I. Allan Sealy, who has deserted IndiaInk after Everest Hotel. His third novel will be brought out by Picador soon. And in its turn, IndiaInk won over a Penguin author, Manju Kapur, whose latest A Married Woman they launched last month. Even HarperCollins stole a march on its rival by bagging the rights to eight books by one of Penguin’s biggest star authors, Khushwant Singh. Watch out for these old books in six-coloured new jackets that will be launched with a bang by the publisher later this year.