Mr. G. Asokhan is a well known figure amongst Tamil readers, who know him as the King of Tamil Pulp fiction! He has been in business for the last thirty years, and has the credit of introducing such best selling and prolific authors as Rajesh Kumar, Pattukotai Prabhakar and Indra Sounderrajan to Tamil readers. Excellent, entertaining and informative reading at really affordable costs has always been his motto. Even today his Tamil pocket books sell for as little as Rs 10, or 25 cents. He runs GA publications and eight other publishing houses including Crime Novel, Pocket Books, Family Novel, Astrological, Mythological, and Self help Series.
All great things in life happen due to accidents, and it was an accident that S. Namonarayanan, a practicing advocate, specializing in criminal law, was arrested during a lawyer’s agitation and imprisoned in Chennai Central Prison, where he shared a common block with Dr L.Prakash; India’s most prolific author. He has an opportunity to read some of Dr Prakash’s books in draft stage, and was really impressed. So much so, that on his release, he waxed eloquently about Dr L.Prakash’s writings to his friend, N.P. Rajesh, a bibliophile.
Rajesh suggested to Mr. Asokhan that he should publish these books as low cost paperbacks, because he had just completed reading a few books and had been thoroughly impressed. To test the waters, Mr. Asokhan translated one of Dr Prakash’s books; Behind the bars – A prison diary into Tamil and issued a low cost pocket edition which went on to sell 150,000 copies! Though Mr. Asokhan had enough experience in publishing Tamil books, he had none in publishing in English.
The success of Prison Diaries stimulated him to start Banana Books, and in December 2008 he published the first set of four books. A four volume Mahabharata soon followed, and then as we say, history was created.