Tanuj Khosla writes how some unscrupulous individuals in India have established dubious literary agencies and how they are taking some unaware aspiring writers for a ride.
Followers of Indian publishing world are only too aware of the boom that has taken place in the industry, especially in mass market fiction, since investment banker Chetan Bhagat churned out a bestseller on his days in college in 2004. The book captured the imagination of almost every age group and catapulted Bhagat into instant stardom. It made every second English-educated person in India believe that he/she has a best-seller in him/her. Since then over a hundred such first time authors who had full-time jobs have gone on to write their debut novel on anything from school days to college life to experiences at workplace. Many of these books have been resounding commercial successes thereby inspiring thousands more.
However, while all this is a good news for aspiring authors, publishers and readers, the trend has had one negative side-effect – birth of shady literary agents in India.