Indian authors write their way to the bank

Manoj Sharma

New Delhi, Feb. 24 -- Gone are the days when writers needed a day job to make ends meet. Today, Indian authors are quitting cushy jobs and still earning enough to live decently.

In a country where the benchmark for a bestseller is a mere 5,000 copies, people who never set out to become writers are crossing the one lakh-mark, thanks to young readers who find their work 'relatable'.

Earlier this month, Ravinder Singh left his job with Microsoft in Hyderabad and moved to Delhi to pursue writing full-time.

His first book, I Too Had A Love Story, became a bestseller in 2008. "I never thought my book would change my life and career," he says.

While Chetan Bhagat's rise to fame has been well-documented, authors such as Singh, Amish Tripathi and Ashwin Sanghi figure alongside him in the Forbes India Celebrity 100 list, which ranked people based on money and fame earned between October 2011 and September 2012.

In one year, Tripathi made about Rs. 10 crore, Bhagat Rs. 3.29 crore, Sanghi Rs. 98 lakh and Singh Rs. 42 lakh.

So lucrative is the profession that Ravi Subramanian, a Mumbai-based banker and author of If God Was A Banker, managed to buy a BMW with his royalty money alone.

Published by HT Syndication with permission from Hindustan Times.