February 9, 2023


Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Literary News- BOUND releases a path-breaking Industry Research Report: Bound’s Ultimate Publishing Toolkit

7 min read
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Based in Mumbai, India, Bound was founded by Tara Khandelwal as a company that creates stories.

They work with individuals and companies to help them share their stories. They also offer online writing workshops, host writing retreats, and also other services like mentorship, manuscript evaluation, and editing. In addition to this, they host the popular literary podcast called Books & Beyond which gives us a glimpse of the writerly life as shared by some famous writers – up, close and personal.


In the last few years, Indian Publishing has undergone some major changes. With new publishers entering the market, options like Amazon KDP and self-publishing companies are becoming more acceptable, the readers are suddenly flooded with a lot of choices to pick from. Translations and regional literature have also been slowly but steadily picking up. However, amidst all this, the aspiring Indian writer is still in the dark when it comes to the process of publishing.

While we do have Chetan Bhagat to thank for two things – One is the way he introduced reading as a habit to the masses in India, which till then was considered a hobby only for the classes. Secondly, he gave the dream of becoming a writer to many Indians. Somehow, he made it seem possible. Following in his footsteps were names like Durjoy Dutta, Preeti Shenoy, Nikita Singh, Ravinder Singh, etc. who further fueled the desire to tell their stories.

Despite the growth in Indian publishing and the various avenues which have opened up for the writers in India, transparency with regard to the process is still missing.


Observing this gap, Bound decided to release a path-breaking project, Bound’s Ultimate Publishing Toolkit consisting of ‘The Book People‘ podcast and ‘Demystifying Indian Publishing: Bound’s Industry Insights and Predictions 2021‘ report on 18 March 2021.

‘Demystifying Indian Publishing: Bound’s Industry Insights And Predictions 2021’ is a comprehensive research report based on the team’s experience and inputs from leading professionals such as publishers, editors, authors, and bookstore owners. It aims to highlight industry trends of the last decade, the significant changes during the pandemic and predictions for the future. The research was led and authored by Megha Jha, with Tara Khandelwal and Aishwarya Javalgekar as co-authors.


Tara Khandelwal is an editor and the founder of Bound. With over 9 years of experience in publishing, she has worked at companies such as BloombergQuint, HarperCollins, Penguin India and SheThePeople.TV. She has graduated with a degree in Economic History from Barnard College, Columbia University, an MSc in Management from Imperial College and is an alumna of the Columbia University Publishing Course.

Aishwarya Javalgekar is the Head of Content at Bound. She has a Masters in English (Public Texts) and a Certificate in Book Publishing. She is a writer and editor with internships at Simon and Schuster Canada and Zubaan Books, India under her belt. She loves reading genre-bending stories and running her feminist zine, ang(st).

Megha Jha is a writer, researcher and the Head of Brand Strategy and Communication at Bound. She has a Bachelors in Journalism and Mass Communication from Amity University, Mumbai. She has pursued internships at Penguin Random House India, Juggernaut Books, DSSC Idea Labs and Verve Magazine in the past.

Bringing together their experiences and observations of the Indian publishing industry this report is a brilliant resource for anyone who wishes to understand the existing and rapidly changing industry trends in the Indian publishing industry. The report is backed by immense research and the findings are something everyone can use ranging from writers, editors to publishers, and book marketers.

Tara Khandelwal announcing these initiatives said,

“I started Bound because I noticed a lack of infrastructure for creative people to learn and form communities in India. Creative and artistic fields like writing, podcasting, etc. have always struggled to be taken seriously, but with a growing audience waiting to consume content across platforms, writers and storytellers of all kinds are more important than ever before. Our interactions with writers during our retreat, classes, and services revealed the sheer lack of information available about books and publishing in India.”

Tara Khandelwal (Founder, bound)

In the last 6 months, we have combined our experience and extensive primary and secondary research to create two comprehensive projects that make publishing transparent and accessible to everyone: content creators, curators, and consumers. With ‘Demystifying Indian Publishing: Bound’s Industry Insights and Predictions 2021’, a guidebook to publishing: including a step-by-step breakdown of the publishing process, we analyze the latest industry trends and developments and offer predictions about the future. With ‘The Book People’, they can get to know the people working behind the scenes, and understand their roles and opinions about the industry. We hope that together these projects will demystify publishing for writers, readers, aspiring professionals, and people and organizations working in and around publishing”, she added.


1. Executive Summary + Note from the Authors + Introduction  

These sections will summarize the report, talk about the research problem (the gap in the publishing industry and lack of data) and the methodology used to study the problem. They will also give an insight into the authors of the report and their motivation behind writing this research report. 

2. Publishing Industry in The Last Decade (Till 2019) 

This section will deep-dive into the trends that have surfaced in the past decade including the rise of bookstagrams, literature festivals, campus novels, the rise of e-commerce platforms like Amazon and their impact on book sales, the changes in the commissioning process of books, the challenges faced by authors, how the book market has grown in lieu of rising literacy levels and changing reading habits. 

3. Publishing Industry in 2020: What Happened in the Pandemic? This section will explore how the pandemic affected the publishing industry in terms of reading, writing, publishing, and sales. It will analyze the reading trends, book sales,  and writing that emerged during the pandemic. It will also study a broader analysis of the market in terms of bookstores shutting down and others expanding (eg. Bahrisons).  It will also cover the rising popularity of ebooks and audiobooks.  

4. Statistics // Insights  

➢ Where does the Indian publishing industry stand in the context of the global  publishing industry? 

➢ Reading statistics 

➢ Book publishing statistics 

➢ Annual book sales 

➢ How much time do Indians spend reading in a week? Which genres are popular  among Indian readers? 

➢ Number of books commissioned in a year 

➢ Literature festivals

5. Indian Publishing Houses 

This section will include a list of Indian publishing houses in India. It will also record a conversation with an independent publisher to discuss their position in the industry.  What kind of books are they publishing? How is their commissioning process different  from that of bigger publishing houses? 

6. Indian Literary Agencies 

This section will include a list of Indian publishing houses in India. It will also record a conversation with a literary agency about how do they work with authors, what do they bring to the table and why should writers consider commissioning a literary agent?  It will also include an info box about the top things to check when you speak to a literary agent. 

7. A Look into the Future of Publishing in India 

This section will peek into where the industry is headed in 2021 and the coming years.  It will include an analysis of trends and expert opinions to make predictions about the industry, the expected popularity of diverse literature, controversial books, upcoming genres, and the rise of book-to-screen. The segment will include 5 trends that Bound suggests to watch out for! 

8. Prize Lists 

This section contains a list of the different prize lists that are available for Indian authors, including details like the criteria for selection and the prize money, etc.  

9. Getting Published 

The section will cover everything that an aspiring author needs to know. It will talk about what publishers look for in a novel, what does an author need to do beyond writing their manuscript, how are books commissioned, what should non-fiction authors keep in mind when writing a book, what should fiction authors keep in mind while writing a book and the structure of a publishing house. It will also explain the life cycle of a book and the difference between self-publishing and vanity publishing. The segment will also include a commissioning editor’s guide to writing a book proposal! 


‘The Book People’ is a 13-episode podcast exploring Indian publishing through the eyes of the people who work in it. Each episode will include series-host Aishwarya Javalgekar in a conversation with an industry expert about their role, experience, and opinions about the industry and its future. Prominent guests include Ishani Butalia (Zubaan Books), Sayantan Ghosh (S&S India), Harshad Marathe (Designer), to name a few. Packed with industry insights and fun book conversations, each episode in the series will be released every Thursday, starting 18 March 2021.

You can watch the first episode of the podcast featuring Sayantan Ghosh (Commissioning Editor at Simon & Schuster India) here: