International Corner: Interview with Gaurav Sabharwal, Publisher, Prakash Books

Gaurav Sabharwal is the Publisher and CEO of Prakash Books. Under his leadership, Prakash Books has become the largest distribution company in South Asia and the largest publishing company in India. Additionally, Gaurav has played a key role in establishing Prakash Books as the largest e-commerce retailer in India.

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With over 24 years of experience in the industry, Gaurav has successfully built Wonder House Books, one of the fastest-growing children's book publishers in the English-speaking world.

Gaurav holds a bachelor's degree in finance and initially worked in the finance industry before joining the book publishing and distribution business started by his grandfather. His financial background and passion for books have contributed to his success in managing Prakash Books and expanding its reach in the market.

What was your path to publishing?

I was fortunate to be born into a family deeply rooted in book publishing and distribution for over three generations. Prior to my involvement in the book publishing industry, I worked as a financial analyst on Wall Street. In 2001, I transitioned to Prakash Books and have had the honor of spearheading the company's growth to become the largest distribution company in South Asia.

Our foray into publishing started approximately 12 years ago, leading to the creation of three major imprints: Prakash Books, Wonder House Books, and Fingerprint Publishing. We take great pride in being recognized as one of the fastest-growing publishing companies globally.

What kinds of books does Wonder House publish, and in which markets (countries)?

Wonder House primarily publishes books for the early learning age group. We have the capability to simultaneously publish and distribute books to all major English-speaking countries, including the US, UK, Canada, Australia, India, UAE, and Singapore. Additionally, we have co-edition partners in major European and South American countries.

When you read a submission, what are the elements that make you say, 'I have to acquire this now?'

When reviewing a submission, there are three essential elements that we are looking for:

Shareability: Does the book have the potential to be shared and recommended by readers? We consider whether the story or message is compelling and has the ability to resonate with a wide audience.

Emotional Impact: Does the submission evoke strong emotions such as love, sadness, happiness, or empathy? We believe that a book that elicits genuine emotional responses has the power to connect deeply with readers.

Humor: Does the book have an element of humor that can make a child laugh? We value the ability to bring joy and laughter to young readers through humorous and engaging storytelling.

If a submission satisfies at least one of these three criteria, it captures our attention and we would be excited to publish it.

Where do you typically find manuscripts?

We typically receive manuscripts from a wide range of sources. These include submissions through our website (, as well as through social media platforms. We also work closely with literary agents who represent authors and their work. Additionally, we greatly value recommendations from already published authors.

Once you acquire a manuscript, what can the author expect when working with you?

Once we acquire a manuscript, we strive to collaborate closely with the author. Our excellent editorial and design teams work diligently to ensure that the book meets exceptional standards. We invest significantly in marketing books across various e-commerce platforms worldwide and leverage our global distribution network to maximize the book's reach and exposure.

What's on your manuscript wish list?

Our manuscript wish list primarily focuses on publishing imaginative and engaging books for children aged 12 and under. We are open to receiving a variety of genres, including picture, board, novelty, chapter, and non-fiction books. Our top priority is to provide emotionally compelling and entertaining content that will capture the attention of early learners and leave a lasting impact on their development, we are always looking for up-and-coming talent in the industry.