Submissions completed (or so one thinks)!

It has been over a month since my last post and my apologies for that..The whole process of identifying the publishers, researching their submission process, formatting requirements, and other minute details took much longer than I had imagined. It was a tedious exercise but a wonderful learning opportunity.

When one scans the universe of publishers in India, one realizes that it is very difficult to find specific information on them. Some have great websites but accept manuscripts only through literary agents. Others correspond via email only, some others still believe in receiving hard copies of the manuscript, the old fashioned way.

Out of a total of 22 odd English language publishers in India that I could get some information on, I have developed a short table of their publishing requirements, which I shall post separately in a later blog. In the meantime, I am adding a preview of what this table looks like.

What publishers look for
What publishers look for

In particular, I would like to draw your attention to “Other Information” part. Some publishers like to see how much homework you have done to identify the marketing potential for the book. They want to know who is the target audience, are there similar published books on the topic/ theme you are writing about, what is the book’s value proposition, etc. Even though many publishers do not ask for this information, I would recommend first time authors to include this information in their cover letter. This will achieve the following results:

a. Push you, the author, to start thinking about the marketing aspects of the book. It has been said time and again on multiple forums that marketing of the book is just as important (maybe more important!) than its content.

b. You will be able to show to the publishers that you are genuinely interested in seeing your book getting published, and are willing to take the extra efforts required in that direction.

In my case, I used to maintain an online diary that received over 70,000 views over a two year period. That, and long hours of internet search, visit to bookstores, talking to people, and also reading the books’ reviews gave me an idea on books that were written on the same theme as the category I was writing in. Not that doing so has worked wonders so far..

The results of the submissions have started arriving. I had approached a total of 12 publishers in the first go, and I have received two rejection letters and one shortlist over the past month. As a finalize my manuscript, looks like it is a long period of wait and watch…

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4 thoughts on “Submissions completed (or so one thinks)!

  1. Looks a bit stressful! But definitely worth it. Hopefully you hear some positive news soon.

    I’ve read a lot about Amazon self-publishing have you ever thought about that? I think that’s the route I may go myself!

  2. @ Hidden Life,

    Thanks for your comments- but the experience has been quite useful, and far from being stressful. I have learnt a lot about what publishers look for when they consider a new book proposal from a first time author. Particularly in India, the system of submission through literary agencies is not very well established, so an author might have to do the background work themselves.

    I have thought about self- publishing, and am also exploring that options. But my focus for now would remain on traditional publishing because I find that more challenging …

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