Rochak Athavaninchi Pane

“A unique, intimate  and  provocative  account  that  reveals, for the  first  time, the  real  face  of  Indian book publishing- warts and all!” ~ Khushwant Singh


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6.0 in x 9.0 in



About The Author

Ashok Chopra

Ashok Chopra

Ashok Chopra began his journalistic career in 1973 as a sub-editor with The Tribune in Chandigarh. In June 1975, he joined the Indian Express group as its Himachal Pradesh correspondent based in Shimla. He left journalism for book publishing in April 1978.

Over the years Chopra kept a foot in both camps writing book reviews, features and opinion pieces regularly for India Today, The Times of India and Indian Express as also some Western newspapers and journals.

During the course of his publishing career, he has published an illustrious list comprising some of the biggest and most distinguished authors including Louise Hay, Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre,  Deepak Chopra, Dr Wayne Dyer, Doreen Virtue, Dr Brian Weiss, Robin Sharma, Sylvia Brown, Wilbur Smith, Patrick French, Christopher Krammer, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Rajiv Mehrotra, Nani  A. Palkhivala, Fali S. Nariman, Khushwant Singh, Shobhaa Dé, Dom Moraes, Salman Khusrshid, Mani Shankar Aiyar, as also the legendary Indian actors Dilip Kumar and Anupam Kher.

Chopra is the co-chairman and director, Khushwant Singh Literary Festival, held annually at Kasauli.

For nearly forty years Ashok Chopra has been responsible for publishing some of the biggest names in India: Khushwant Singh, Shobhaa Dé, 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 and others don’t? Is there a winning formula for publishers and writers? What do readers in India want? How to go about commissioning 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 while sourcing manuscripts, chasing celebrity authors like Dilip Kumar, Raaj 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 the fiasco over Shalimar, the movie tie-in, one of the historic flops in Indian publishing).

Scandalous episodes, wild parties, and lavish book launches on warships and boats add a distinctive flavour. Filled with rip-roaring revelations and honest reminiscences, this is the definitive story of English book publishing in India—tracing its journey from the winding lanes of Daryaganj in New Delhi to glamour of high-profile launches.


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