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How to get published in India
14-08-2011, 03:44 PM (This post was last modified: 14-08-2011 03:46 PM by avi.)
Post: #1
How to get published in India
Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those, who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear, which is inherent in a human condition” – Graham Greene

Don’t take editing lightly:

So you have written a book and are ready to be nominated for Booker and Pulitzer. Before you do that, take a deep breath. Try pranayama instead, for you’ll need loads of patience. A writer, especially a first time author, needs to edit the book fiercely. This helps to wash out the redundant stuff, those kooky lines, silly grammatical mistakes (didn’t went) that you think your editor can do with. At best, edit after short intervals. Just like your best film that gives you new insights every time you watch it, this exercise will make you notice the stuff that isn’t needed and help you polish the ones that affects a reader to the extremes. Also, ask your friends (only the ones who are well read) to read your book just as they would read any other book. Ask them to not have any pre conceived notions which would lead them to mix your personality with your work and ultimately give you a blurred picture. For example, don’t we love that ugly cousin of ours just because he is clean hearted? The same can happen from the judgments of friends. They can sugar coat, just because they love you. Tell them to be straight, to be opinionated. At best, add authors to your facebook profile and ask them their judgments. There can’t be anything better than this. If it worked for me, it would work for you too.

Finding a publisher:

There are many in the industry. As the reading rate increased leaps and bounds in India, publishers are jamming up. Right from Penguin, Harper Collins, Rupa and Co, Hachette, Westland, Random house, Roli books to Shrishti; there is no dearth of publishers in India. Go though their websites and give them what they want, which generally includes a detailed synopsis, genre, word count, author’s bio and three sample chapters. However, this is when you need to do pranayama, for reviewing your work can take six to eight months. After months of waiting, this is what an email you dread look like:

Thank you for your sending us your book proposal. Your work is par excellence; our editors read it with much interest, and deliberated over it, but did not ultimately feel that your work would be quite right for our list. We must add that the sheer volume of proposals that a publisher receives make the selection process very rigorous indeed, and we can only hope that writers whom we are unable to publish will not feel disheartened. We wish you the very best for finding a home for your work.

Warm regards

The Editors

Again, there is nothing sissy about approaching new publishers (distributors who have taken into publishing) as long as you don’t hound for a brand name, as long as you are convinced that their distribution system is at par with the big names. You can try Indialog publications, GBD books, Katha, Indiaink, Mahaveer publishers, Prakash books, Grey Oak publishers, Cedar books, Amaryllis and Orient paperpacks. They are quick in replies and won’t keep you waiting for years even after your proposal is accepted. A book by a smaller publisher can sell a lakh copies while a book by a mammoth publisher might not be able to sell a few thousand copies. Though, a lot depends upon the content. Of Course I love you….by Durjoy Dutta ( Shristi publications, when it was new in the market) sold over a lakh copies while Mediocre but Arrogant by Ahijeet Bhaduri (Indialog publications) sold more than twenty five thousand copies.

Time taken to write a novel:

Arundhati Roy took six years to write A god of small things while Arvind Adiga packed himself in a room for a month and came out with A white Tiger. The quirky part is the fact that both of them are Booker winners.

The time taken to write a book goes by a clichéd saying – to each his own.

While Bhagat completed Five Point Someone in three years, Vikas Swarup of Q & A (Slumdog millionaire) fame worked out his book in a month or so.

The point is, writing doesn’t take time – thinking does.

Once you are clear in your head, once the characters and plot appear evident, it becomes all the easier. The best method is to assign yourself a fixed number of pages everyday or create a deadline for your work. Sometimes, the characters shape up as you write. Sometimes, they have been in your head since you were in eighth standard. Don’t wait for enlightenment, pen them down.

Does one become royal after royalty?

A big joke indeed. Bhagat left his investment job in Hong Kong and came to India , only after writing three books in a row, only after becoming a national phenomenon, only after he felt convinced that he could feed his family through his pen and paper. Likewise, Arundhati Roy, a lady who taught yoga at five star hotels to sustain her created history after earning a crore through one book. The question is how many of them exist. Barely a few. A first time author gets nothing more than ten percent of royalty. At worse, a few publishers even ask for some ‘crucial investment’ of about thirty to forty thousands. I feel it’s best to maintain some dignity and vouch for the ones who favor at least a little amount than asking for a big amount. Like any shopkeeper whose profit depends upon the number of items sold, authors earn through a number of their copies sold.

The advances, if given, range from 50,000 to a lakh or two, which is usually in favor of the few primary print runs.

Is it worth doing?

Yes, it is. Time and again, people have said to have their lives altered to a few lines that they read in some book. Literature has a higher purpose indeed, higher than mere entertainment. There is no power as great as the as the power to influence someone’s thought process , the power that you can transmute via your book; the power to acquaint a mass about a cause, the power to unburden people’s soul of guilt.

Like films, literature too is an art. I started reading when I was nineteen and couldn’t help take my eyes off something that I never got to see in Hindi cinema. Films like Peepli Live, Dev D, Page 3, No one killed Jessica and LSD broke that syndrome recently.

Thank lord; making love is no more a violently shaking bush on screen. It’s become more real and therefore, more interesting.

Although, you don’t get paid much, the sheer pleasure of reaching out to the world is worth it. Go on, make a folder, ‘My book’ on your computer and do write to me when you get published. No, I won’t ask for a share in royalty. Wish you tons of luck!

What a lot we lost when we stopped writing letters. You can’t reread a memorable phone conversation. Can you?

source -

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Krow, Nikhil Mukhija, pahzeb, Tenzin Jamyang, XORGate
14-08-2011, 05:17 PM
Post: #2
RE: How to get published in India
Very useful post. I was wondering how to get published some time ago. Approaching publishers is not a very good first step I think. Of course that is the only way out if one has written a novel. But if one writes short stories, one should try and get published in well-known magazines like The Caravan, etc.

Once you get published in several publications, take the plunge and publish your collection. Biggrin
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14-08-2011, 05:21 PM
Post: #3
RE: How to get published in India
Yes, but in India you don't find much agents unlike abroad. One directly has to contact publishers.

be it short stories [or even novel], publishing them in magazine surely gets attention. but in today's world how many are really reading such magazines ?

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14-08-2011, 05:36 PM
Post: #4
RE: How to get published in India
You never know, you might reach someone who really matters. :-) Many great authors of today found a publisher after being published in a reputed magazine or two. It certainly helps catch a publisher's eye.

The first post should have added, never give up hope. Wink
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14-08-2011, 05:40 PM
Post: #5
RE: How to get published in India
Yes, that's there Smile

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24-08-2011, 07:18 PM
Post: #6
RE: How to get published in India
Excellent post.

Author of general fiction novel Dream's Sake

Dream's Sake on Reader's Enclave:
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25-08-2011, 07:20 PM
Post: #7
RE: How to get published in India
Informative thread. repped. Smile

Of course there’s a lot of knowledge in universities: the freshers bring a little in; the seniors don’t take much away, so knowledge sort of accumulates…. Big Grin
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