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A Scrapbook of Memories

Ashok Chopra
HarperCollins Publishers India
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From Amazon: A rollercoaster ride through Indian publishing For nearly forty years, Ashok Chopra has been responsible for publishing some of the biggest names in India: Khushwant Singh, Shobhaa De, Dom Moraes, Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins are part of his illustrious list. In this candid and colourful memoir, Chopra brings his long experience to explain what works and what doesn't in the Indian market: Why do some books last when others don't? Is there a winning formula for publishers and writers? What do readers in India want? How does one commission textbooks and reference guides? What should one do about bans and censorship? And how is the market holding up in the age of e-books and digital readers? While going into the commercial aspects of publishing, he does not forget the human stories. Be it sourcing manuscripts, chasing celebrity authors like Dilip Kumar and Anupam Kher, scoring historic deals in the cut-throat world of publishing or managing egotists, eccentrics and windbags, Chopra's adventures and ordeals are unfailingly entertaining. If he celebrates the hits (the runaway success of Freedom at Midnight, for instance), he does not leave out the misses (such as Shalimar, the book based on the movie, one of the biggest flops of Indian publishing). Along the way, he recounts scandalous episodes, stories of wild parties and lavish book events on warships and boats. Filled with rip-roaring revelations and honest reminiscences, this is the definitive story of English-language book publishing in India -- tracing its journey from the winding lanes of Daryaganj in New Delhi to the glamour of high-profile book launches.