The Amazon bestseller list for books in India is usually dominated by a combination of educational guides, self-help and spirituality manuals, and, when it's released, a Chetan Bhagat novel. On the morning of May 29, the No. 2 book on the list is a surprise by those standards.

But that Rana Ayyub's extraordinary self-published book, Gujarat Files: Anatomy Of A Cover Up, is now in that No. 2 spot is not a surprise. A detailed account of the contents of her conversations with a number of top officials in Gujarat in connection with the 2002 riots, the book is one that many people clearly want to read.

Turned down by corporate publishers for obvious reasons – potential lawsuits, accusations of libel, political backlash – the book had to be self-published on both the physical and the digital platforms. On the Kindle Unlimited platform – free to subscribers – it is the No. 1 title.

This reader response, despite the surge of negative troll comments in the reviews area, is a case study for both journalism and publishing.