Hello, India: do you REALLY like what we write?

Could this be good news for us English language native speakers to expand beyond our horizons?

According to this article on the BBC News website, India is on course to become the world’s most lucrative market for English booksThird only to the USA and Britain, it’s set to become the biggest in the world as India’s middle class continues to expand rapidly over the next 10 years.

But why English?

I have never been to India – and that’s something that, providing my health holds out, I fully intend to rectify as it’s a country and cultures I admire hugely. It humbles me when I think that the Indian culture has been civilized for hundreds if not thousands of years before my own, and I would be glad of the opportunity to immerse myself in it for a while, if only as a tourist.

As I understand it a number of different languages are spoken there which must make life quite difficult for national communication. That’s why I assume (and PLEASE correct me, Indian folks, if I’m wrong) that English is a useful common linguistic denominator and obviously is taught – and learned – at an early age.

The BBC article would appear to back this theory up.  India has a demographic profile very different to the US or Britain, with more than a third of its population under 30 ... With literacy on the rise and a fiercely competitive education and work environment, English has become established as the language of the new middle class.

Fiction, obviously, is the Big One

Yes, and we western writers should be grateful for that. According to the BBC Jeffrey Archer is the most successful foreign author in India. He now launches his books in India before anywhere else and his book-signing tours are big crowd-pullers. He puts his success down to the nature of his protagonists.

According to the article, Jeffrey Archer maintains that “The Indian race is an aspiring race, and my books so often are about someone coming from nowhere and achieving something, which is what every Indian believes will happen to them – and that’s a wonderful thing.”

And what about non-fiction?

Being a non-fiction author that’s what interests me most, selfishly, and it would appear that … Book sales are demonstrating that these young urban Indians, with more disposable income than ever before, are hungry for books that will develop their English and help them to succeed on college campuses and in the globalised offices of corporate India … Business books, self-help books are all selling well.

Never mind all this, how do you Indians feel about it?

I would love to know whether this press interest is the result of some hype or other, or if you people in India actually agree (or disagree) with it.

Just what would you, in India, appreciate and find useful in terms of books, eBooks and other information from those of us in native English language cultures? Is it true that you like our fiction? Our self-help and business books?

Please let us know!

Now, let’s get you  prepared for writing internationally:

“English to English: the A to Z of British-American translations”…more than 2,000 business and social terms from the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand

“Business Writing Made Easy”…everything you need to know about writing for business in English

“How To Write Winning Non-fiction”…all you need to know to write a good non-fiction book and get it published

Comments

comments

Thoughts

  1. Being a fiction writer, I am obviously thrilled to read this! The Indian market has been growing steadily in many artistic fields — aside from literature, the indie film business has sky-rocketed.
    Great post. Very informative.

    • Yes, the Indian film industry is huge, isn’t it, Sandra? I hoping that India will provide lots of new opportunities for good writers, both fiction and nonfiction.

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