According to industry sources the deal sacked by Chetan Bhagat is the highest signing amount ever given to an Indian fiction writer.
Bhagat’s deal with Westland Publications, an Amazon-owned publishing firm, is for five books, three of which are to be novels. When contacted, Amazon said it could not make any official statement. The writer and publisher are, however, expected to make an announcement by April 27.
The author’s shift to Westland will effectively end his 14-year association with Rupa & Co, which published his seven novels and two collections of essays. He is considered to be the publishing firm’s highest selling author, and sources say that Rupa did make a counter offer to retain Bhagat.
Westland, which has only recently made a foray into literary fiction with its new imprint Context, concentrates 70% of its list on commercial fiction and popular non-fiction titles, according to CEO Gautam Padmanabhan. Amish, author of the ‘Shiva’ trilogy, has been their most bankable writer till now, selling 4 million units.