Kanishka Gupta is a literary agent, author and consultant. He is the founder of Writer’s Side, the largest literary agency and consultancy in South Asia. In less than seven years since forming Writer’s Side, he has represented more than 400 authors. 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, 2009.
In 2009, Kanishka Gupta founded a manuscript assessment agency – India’s first – called Writer’s Side 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 been acclaimed in media to be a key player in publishing in South Asia. He has made much-needed services like editing, agenting and mentorship accessible to all, and his vast network has brought prominent publishers like Penguin, Random House and Harper Collins to the doorstep of the deserving author. He has stated that his goal is to systematise the growing Indian publishing industry. Kanishka was responsible for the publication of Ravinder Singh‘s smash hit I Too Had a Love Story which has sold over a million copies till date.
In 2012, Kanishka brought to the attention of the Editorial Director of Vintage India the landmark and 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. Mr. Kumar was 92 at the time of this publication. In the same year his author Navneet Jagannathan made it to the shortlist of the coveted 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.
One of the most talked-about agents in this field
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, a leading trade journal for the international book publishing industry, singled him out as the only agent making an impact in India
Swarajya magazine described him as South Asia‘s most successful literary agent. The Asian Age called him India’s top literary agent, while Foreword described him as a redoubtable, no-nonsense agent. The Times of India called him a key player in Indian publishing. The Hindustan Times called him a big name Indian publishing. The Pioneer called him the most successful agent in South Asia and the one person who is changing the course of authorship in India.
Print Week India credited him for popularizing agenting in India.