Top Book Publishers in India

Let’s explore top book publishers in India who have helped shape the country’s literary landscape and beyond. its rich history, legacy, and variety, India is also home to some of the world’s most influential book publishers. These publishing giants are more than just printing words on paper; they are dream architects, knowledge gatekeepers, and storytellers for our day.

This investigation of India’s top five book publishers takes us on a fascinating journey into the heart of the Indian literary world.

From the busy streets of Delhi to the lively metropolis of Mumbai, these publishers have carved out a space in an ever-changing landscape, influencing how we read, learn, and grow.

Join us as we look into the stories behind these publishing giants, learn the secrets to their success, and celebrate the enigma of books in all their beauty.

Whether you are a seasoned bibliophile or just starting in the world of reading, there is something for everyone to admire and appreciate. So, let’s turn the page and dive into the captivating world of India’s 5 top book publishers.

Top Book Publishers in India: The Best Five

The publishing industry in India has undergone rapid growth and massive changes in recent years.

Top Book Publishers in India: The Best Five

With a burgeoning young population, increasing literacy rates, and growing disposable incomes, India is positioned to become one of the world’s largest book and journal markets. Let’s take a look at the top 5 publishers leading the way in 2024:

Penguin Random House India

Penguin Random House India (PRHI) continues its dominance as the number one publisher in the country. PRHI was formed in 2013 after the merger of Penguin Books India and Random House India, combining two powerhouse publishers.

Penguin Random House India
Parent CompanyPenguin Random House
Formation2013 (after the merger between Penguin and Random House)
SubsidiaryYes (of Penguin Random House)
HeadquartersNot specified (but part of Penguin Random House, which has headquarters in New York City, United States)
OwnershipBertelsmann (sole owner since 2020)
Languages PublishedEnglish and Hindi; partners with regional publishing houses for various Indian languages including Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Bengali, Gujarati, and Kannada
Genre FocusVarious genres, with a commitment to publishing quality literature
Geographic FocusPrimarily India, but also has a global presence through Penguin Random House

Headquartered in New Delhi, PRHI has branch offices in 11 cities and publishes over 250 new titles a year.

PRHI’s success stems from its diversity of authors, breadth of titles, and strategic local partnerships. It boasts bestselling Indian fiction from authors like Chetan Bhagat as well as international authors like John Green and JK Rowling.

In non-fiction, PRHI publishes everything from memoirs to self-help to business titles. It has particularly capitalized on the youth market, understanding the reading preferences of young Indians.

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S. Chand Publishing

S. Chand Publishing maintains its stronghold as one of the leading educational publishers in India. Founded in 1939, the Delhi-based company remains family-run, with a 75% market share of India’s K-12 educational books. 

S. Chand Publishing
Company NameS. Chand Group
LocationNew Delhi, India
IndustryPublishing and Education Services
CertificationFirst company in India to receive ISO 9001:2000 certification
DistributionAcross India, South Asia, South-East Asia, the Middle East, and Africa
Offices/BranchesApproximately 25 offices and branches
WorkforceOver 2000 employees
RecognitionForbes India named it the fastest-growing player in the education sector in 2013.

Beyond textbooks, S. Chand has expanded into test prep guides, children’s books, and even digital publishing. It acquired the printing company Vikas Publishing House in 2021, further cementing its publishing dominance.

With its deep distribution network in small towns and emphasis on regional language publishing, S. Chand has carved out a highly profitable niche.

Westland Books

Owned by Amazon, Westland is not only one of the largest English trade publishers in India but also one of the fastest growing. Renowned for its stellar commercial fiction, Westland debuted on the publishing scene in 1962.

Westland Books
Company NameWestland Books
Parent CompanyNasadiya Technologies Pvt. Ltd.
PredecessorTata, Amazon
FounderPadmanabhan family
Country of OriginIndia
ImprintsContext, East West Books, Eka, Pratilipi Paperbacks, Red Panda, Tranquebar Press, Westland Business, Westland Classics, Westland Non-Fiction, Westland Sport
Ownership History– Co-founded by the Padmanabhan family in 1962, initially as East West Books
– Owned by Tata from 2008 as a subsidiary under Trent (Westside)
– Owned by Amazon under Amazon Eurasia Holdings SARL from 2017 until 2022
Closure– In February 2022, Amazon announced the shutdown of Westland Books after a thorough review
Partnership– In April 2022, the Westland team entered a partnership with Indian online digital platform Pratilipi to continue publishing books

After Amazon’s acquisition in 2017, the Mumbai-headquartered company infused digital technologies into every aspect of publishing.

This allowed Westland to achieve unprecedented scale and identify upcoming writers.

Westland has an enviable fiction roster including bestselling authors like Amish Tripathi and Ashwin Sanghi.

Riding high on Amazon’s distribution and marketing muscle, Westland is predicted to become the top trade publisher in India within the next five years. 

Bloomsbury India

Bloomsbury made its entry into India in 1998, within a decade establishing itself as one of the most respected literary publishing brands.

Bloomsbury India

True to its UK heritage, Bloomsbury India publishes prestigious fiction, quality non-fiction, and academic books. Its local divisions can publish authors and writing from the Indian subcontinent across genres and languages.

In 2022, Bloomsbury India made headlines by acquiring the works of novelist Geetanjali Shree, whose book Tomb of Sand (Ret Samadhi) won the prestigious International Booker Prize – a first for any Indian language work of fiction.

This surprise win is expected to open up world readership for Indian language authors published under the Bloomsbury banner.

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Pan Macmillan India

Pan Macmillan came to India in 2010 and has demonstrated impressive growth in just over a decade. It has quickly built its portfolio through both strategic acquisitions and nurturing young debut talent.

Pan Macmillan India

Best recognized for its international authors like Jeffrey Archer and titles across commercial fiction, business, and memoirs, Pan Macmillan is now aggressively acquiring Indian writers.

One recent homegrown star is Megha Majumdar whose debut novel A Burning tackling class, gender, and politics in India, was an instant New York Times bestseller.

With offices in New Delhi and over 50 employees, Pan Macmillan is predicted to shake up the ranks of the top trade publishers, riding high on the shoulders of its Indian authors and their breakout potential.

The Way Forward

While literacy rates continue rising, India is still home to the largest illiterate adult population in the world at over 200 million. Therefore, the biggest growth opportunity lies in Indian language publishing across vernacular scripts.

However, English remains the aspirational language for emerging middle-class readers. India’s rich literary history married with a young demographic also makes it a writer’s paradise waiting to be tapped by prescient publishers.

The top publishers ruling the Indian market share in 2024 have proven that success lies in understanding both local nuance and global outlook.

Blending international titles and authors along with promoting Indian voices to the world is the future of publishing in one of the largest book markets.

The companies that continue catering to India’s diverse tastes across demographic and regional preferences are destined to emerge as publishing giants not only in India but on the world stage.


To summarise, the Top Book Publishers in India are the unsung heroes of our favorite novels. From educational pioneers like S. Chand Publishing to literary behemoths like Bloomsbury India, every publisher has played an important role in shaping our reading experiences.

As we commemorate their accomplishments, let us continue to encourage and accept the varied voices that enhance our literary world. Together, we can ensure that the magic of storytelling lives on for future generations.


Does S. Chand Publishing only publish educational textbooks?

While S. Chand is best known as a leading publisher of K-12 textbooks with a 75% textbook market share, it has diversified into test prep books, children’s books, and digital publishing in recent years through strategic acquisitions.

Does literacy growth mean vernacular language publishing is the most lucrative in India?

Yes, with over 200 million illiterate adults in India, vernacular language publishing has the biggest potential. But English remains aspirational for the rising middle class. Top publishers need to straddle both local and global markets.

Has digital transformation impacted book publishing in India?

Yes, India’s tech-savvy young demographics have led publishers to rapidly adopt digital tools across editing, design, marketing, and distribution aspects, leading to great efficiencies in scale and reach.

Which Indian regional languages are under-served by top publishers today?

Vernacular language publishing outside Hindi markets remains an under-tapped opportunity. Top publishers need to diversify into Marathi, Bengali, Malayalam, and Telugu markets based on literacy rates.

How important are book fairs to the Indian publishing industry today?

Domestic book fairs remain vital for publishers to generate cost-effective B2B and B2C sales. Top fairs include the World Book Fair, Bangalore Book Festival, and Kolkata Book Fair in terms of footfall.

Has genre fiction gained prominence on Indian bestseller lists recently?

Yes, fiction genres like historical fiction, mythology, fantasy, sci-fi, and romance have seen breakout success indicating changing reader tastes beyond just commercial fiction.

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