If you attend the Jaipur Literature Festival—in whatever capacity, as author, journalist or star-struck reader—you expect to pick up lots of quotable quotes: Erudite, highbrow ones, certainly, but a few ear-popping ones too. I didn’t have to venture far this year. During a session I was moderating, the words came at me from just two feet away. The other people on the panel were saying them, and most of the audience was cheering in response.

manu josephJerry Pinto’s “Em and The Big Hoom”, Manu Joseph’s “The Illicit Happiness of Other People” and Rahul Pandita’s “Our Moon has Blood Clots” have been shortlisted for the Crossword Book Award 2013.

This was announced Wednesday by a panel comprising publishing consultant Jaya Bhattacharji Rose, authors Ravinder Singh, Anuja Chauhan and Vishwajyoti Ghosh and senior commissioning editor Vaishali Mathur.

HE TOO HAS A MARKETING MIND: Ravinder Singh sees his books as his ‘babies’ and refuses to abandon them after the writing process (Photo: RAUL IRANI)

It’s possible you’ve never heard of Ravinder Singh. Till a month ago, I hadn’t either. It might surprise you, as it did me, to know that he is Penguin India’s topselling fiction writer, with combined sales across all titles exceeding half a million. According to Anand Padmanabhan, vice-president, sales, Penguin India, pre-orders for Singh’s latest book, Like It Happened Yesterday, released just this month, were upwards of 200,000 copies. Unsurprising, since his second, Can Love Happen Twice?, sold more than 250,000 copies in its first year of publication, becoming one of Penguin’s topselling titles, second only to APJ Abdul Kalam’s Ignited Minds. Singh’s first book, I Too Had A Love Story, was published in 2008 by a small Delhi press, Srishti Publications, and re-released in 2012 by Penguin. Five years after its publication, it is still among the most popular on Flipkart.