Kanishka Gupta

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Kanishka Gupta is a literary agent, author, consultant[1][2] and publishing commentator. He is the founder of Writer's Side, the largest literary agency and consultancy in South Asia.[3] In less than seven years since forming Writer's Side, he has represented more than 400 authors.[1][4] In fact, according to Publishersmarketplace rankings, he is currently one of the highest individual dealmakers in the world for English books. He is also the youngest literary agent in South Asia.

His first novel, History of Hate, was long-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2009.[5][6]

Writer's Side[edit]

In 2009, Kanishka Gupta founded a manuscript assessment agency – India's first – called Writer's Side[1] In March 2010, he expanded its operations to agenting. Since then, he has secured well over 500 book deals for his clients. As of 2016, he represents over 400 authors to mainstream publishers in Indian and overseas markets.

Kanishka has provided services like editing, agenting, and mentorship, and his network has brought publishers such as Penguin, Random House, and Harper Collins to some authors. He has stated that his goal is to systematise the growing Indian publishing industry.[7][8] Kanishka was responsible for the publication[9] of Ravinder Singh's I Too Had a Love Story which has sold over a million copies.

In 2012, Kanishka brought to the attention of the Editorial Director of Vintage India the out-of-print works of Padma Bhushan winner and one of India's most respected poets Shiv K. Kumar resulting in Vintage reissuing three of his works including a translation of Faiz under their Classics imprint. Kumar was 92 at the time of this publication. In the same year his author Navneet Jagannathan made it to the shortlist of the Shakti Bhatt award for his comic novel Tamasha in Bandargaon. Many of his titles have featured on the best-selling charts of online portals and Nielsen Scan. Two of his business titles GameChangers: 20 Extraordinary Stories from Entrepreneurs of IIT Kharagpur, and Dhanda: How Gujaratis Do Business were among the highest selling business titles of 2011 and 2013 respectively. His first author Anees Salim has won India's two most prestigious literary prizes, The Crossword Book Award and The Hindu Literary Prize.

In media[edit]

Kanishka Gupta's story was recently featured in Publishers' Weekly - the world's biggest and most prestigious site for publishing-related news. He is the first South Asian agent and one of only a handful of South Asian publishing professionals whose publishing journey has been featured in it.

Publishing Perspectives singled him out as the only agent making an impact in India[10] TheNewsMinute, a popular news portal, called him a top dealmaker[11] in the Indian publishing world, while the Sunday Tribune called him a y-brigade innovator.[12] Business Insider called him one of the key players in the Indian publishing market.[13] Dainik Bhaskar Post called him South Asia's "top literary agent."[14] A blog on the Times of India website called him South Asia's "intrepid literary agent."[15] The Quint called him India's top literary agent.[16]

Swarajya magazine described him as South Asia's most successful literary agent.[17] The Asian Age called him India's top literary agent,[18] while Foreword described him as a redoubtable, no-nonsense agent.[19] The Times of India called him a key player in Indian publishing.[20] The Hindustan Times called him a big name Indian publishing.[21] The Pioneer called him the most successful agent in South Asia and the one person who is changing the course of authorship in India.[22]

The Hindu[23] and Outlook Magazine have referred to Writer's Side as India's premier agency. Kanishka represents more than 25 authors from Pakistan and has been covered extensively in Pakistani mainstream media,[24][25][26] including interviews in The News on Sunday[27] and The Friday Times.[28] Sri Lanka's Sunday Observer called him a path breaker.[29] The Hans called him "India’s numero uno literary agent, who has almost singularly pioneered professional representation in the Indian sub-continent writing world."[30] In the Hindustan Times, columnist Malavika Sangghvi dubbed him the "publishing industry's golden boy."[31]

Print Week India credited him for popularizing agenting in India[32]


  1. ^ a b c "South Asia's Leading Literary Agency and Consulting Service". www.writersside.com. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  2. ^ Hold the writer's hand
  3. ^ Gupta, Kanishka. "How to win your literary agent over (and it's not just about writing a great book)". Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  4. ^ Anjum, Zafar (6 August 2016). "There is still a lot of room for debut writing: Interview with Indian literary agent Kanishka Gupta". Retrieved 31 August 2016.
  5. ^ IBN Live News
  6. ^ Man Asian Prize Long List Archived 24 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine, 2009
  7. ^ "Publish a book like you would stitch a suit - Times of India". Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  8. ^ "My USP has always been promptness and aggression: Kanishka Gupta, literary agent | The Thumb Print - A magazine from the East". www.thethumbprintmag.com. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  9. ^ "The Tribune (India)". 20 July 2016. Retrieved 21 August 2016.
  10. ^ "Literary Agents in India: Not Your Traditional Gatekeepers". 10 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  11. ^ "Meet Kanishka Gupta, a top deal maker in the Indian publishing world". The News Minute. 3 February 2017. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  12. ^ Verma, Deepthi (26 February 2017). "Agent of change in pen drive". Tribune India.
  13. ^ "In future digital and print in India will go hand in hand!". Business Insider. Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  14. ^ "Mar 12, 2017 ePaper Bhopal: DB Post English Newspaper, Online News Paper". dbpost epaper (in Hindi). Retrieved 13 March 2017.
  15. ^ "Death tales paint grim reminder". Times of India Blog. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  16. ^ "How to Write a Bestseller for Youngsters: Book Pundits Tell You". The Quint. Retrieved 20 April 2017.
  17. ^ "The Expanding Empire Of A Literary Agent". Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  18. ^ "Mush ado about lad lit | The Asian Age". Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  19. ^ "Kanishka Gupta, Writer's Side: "All my authors know that I give my 100 per cent"". www.foreword.in. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  20. ^ Times of India news article
  21. ^ "Writing a book? Well, there's a literary agent waiting for you". 17 September 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2016.
  22. ^ "Agents of change". www.dailypioneer.com. Retrieved 25 September 2016.
  23. ^ The Hindu news article
  24. ^ ""The publishing scene in Pakistan is pathetic to non-existent" | TNS - The News on Sunday". tns.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  25. ^ Diplomat, Sonya Rehman, The. "Pakistani Authors Find a Market in India". The Diplomat. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
  26. ^ "The last frontier". Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  27. ^ ""The publishing scene in Pakistan is pathetic to non-existent" | TNS - The News on Sunday". tns.thenews.com.pk. Retrieved 4 April 2017.
  28. ^ ""Pakistani writers have come of age" ‹ The Friday Times". www.thefridaytimes.com. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  29. ^ "Dealmaker and path-breaker for many a writer". Sunday Observer. 18 August 2017. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
  30. ^ "Biography The Buzzword". The Hans India. Retrieved 31 August 2017.
  31. ^ "Malavika's Mumbaistan: A Goal?". Hindustan Times. 8 April 2019. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  32. ^ "Trade publishing is like Bollywood". 14 September 2016. Retrieved 18 September 2016.