Readersforum's Blog

March 18, 2013

Indian writer wins record $1m advance for epic trilogy

Amish Tripathi, whose first three books were a 're-imagined' account of the life of Shiva.

Amish Tripathi, whose first three books were a ‘re-imagined’ account of the life of Shiva.

Amish Tripathi, whose advance is thought to be largest paid by Indian publisher, taps into resurgence of interest in Hindu myths

By Jason Burke

An epic story of men, gods, lost tribes, battles and kingdoms, loaded with ancient and modern religious philosophy, has won its author the first million-dollar advance to be paid to an Indian writer by an Indian publisher.

So far without a name, the work is a trilogy that Amish Tripathi, a former banker turned bestselling novelist, will write when the marketing campaign for his most recent work, Oath of the Vayaputras, is over.

News of the deal broke in India at the weekend, days after the 600-page Oath of the Vayaputras was launched. “I have four or five ideas and I’m not sure which one I’ll develop. But my first three works have now sold over 1.5m copies and brought in more than 400m rupees in sales (£5m), which I’m told is pretty good,” said Tripathi, 38.

Gautam Padmanabhan, Tripathi’s publisher, admitted the advance, which has prompted front page headlines in India, was large by Indian standards but said it was “based on [Tripathi’s] past record and what we anticipate the works to be about”. He said: “The advance we have paid is the largest by an Indian publisher for south Asian rights alone.”

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