“According to a 2018 Author’s Guild Study the median income of all published authors for all writing related activity was $6,080 in 2017, down from $10,500 in 2009; while the median income for all published authors based solely on book-related activities went from $3,900 to $3,100, down 21%. Roughly 25% of authors earned $0 in income in 2017.”
And yet we choose to write!
Perhaps, a secondary source of income would help writers fend for themselves. Rabindranath Tagore had parental wealth. Despite that, his wife, Mrinalini, gave him her jewellery to sell for achieving his dreams. Of course, this was long before he got the Nobel Prize for literature. Kazi Nazrul Islam was neither a rich man. These are both writers who made dreams happen. Read more
Much like the American best-selling author Dan Brown, the Indian writer Ashwin Sanghi doesn’t shy away from controversial topics – in fact, his thrillers depend on it.
His first, self-published English novel The Rozabal Line (2007) promoted the idea that Christ survived the crucifixion, while his upcoming book Sialkot Saga is steeped in the tumultuous 1947 partition of India and Pakistan.
The 46-year-old businessman-turned-author says the “tantalising possibility of an overlap between history and mythology provides an adrenalin rush”. Read more
Dan Brown talks to Ashwin Sanghi about his books, inspiration, writing schedule, his critics, his fans, his love for numbers… and God. Part of the Annual Penguin Random House Lecture held at the NCPA, Mumbai, India, on November 12, 2014.
Readers increasingly swapping Agatha Christie and Dan Brown for compatriots with a focus on fast plots and happy endings: The Guardian
At the Om bookshop in a mall in southern Delhi, Prabeen Kumar has been watching the browsers for years. There are the young people who usually head directly for the love stories. There are the “mature” readers who go to the classics. And now a new category has arrived, in search of India’s new wave of thriller writers. “It is a big thing now. There are more and more liking. All sorts of people … gentlemen and ladies,” Kumar enthused.
The new wave of homegrown writers are climbing the country’s bestseller lists, challenging the dominance of international heavyweights such as Dan Brown, John Grisham and Tom Clancy, and even affecting the tenacious local taste for Agatha Christie. Read more
Mai Jia, sometimes called the “Dan Brown” of Chinese literature, is a hit with readers in China. Now his debut novel “Decoded” is available in English in the U.S. for the first time. Anna Russell reports on Lunch Break. Photo: Li Xiaoliang.
Chetan Bhagat’s critics though carp about his characters, his language (more Hinglish than English), the plots, and what have you. “Thankfully the number of people who like my work far outnumber those who don’t, even though the former may be less ‘vocal’ than the haters,” Bhagat says. Mehra recounts with much nostalgia the Saturday evening his parents went out for dinner and he picked up the manuscript of Bhagat’s Five Point Someone. “I was reading till midnight. I couldn’t put it down.”
Bhagat’s contemporaries, however, are cagey about talking about him. The constant sniping over his Hinglish prompted Bhagat to tweet recently: “I don’t write in Hinglish. Simple English yes. Hinglish, no.” Possibly, Bhagat himself is unconsciously at war with his own success story, aspiring to be more India than Bharat, unaware of the bridge he’s inadvertently been building between the two Indias.
One can’t blame him; in the right classes in India English is still spoken with proper accent and intonation. Anyone who can’t is an upstart, a wannabe. Something that Bhagat, with his middle-class upbringing and his aspirational career graph, is clearly uncomfortable with. He’s no small-town boy and he did go to IIT and IIM, picked up a well-paid bank job to give it all up for writing. But his unprecedented success may change things. It has already spawned a million copycats.