Publishing In India

All the credit for the information goes to fine people from the desilit newsgroups including:
Ahmad Saidullah (ahmad at spectranet.ca)
Jaya Bhattacharji (jaya.bhattacharji at gmail.com)
Sameer Siruguri (siruguri at gmail.com)

 

Who are the agents, publishers?

 

  • Aside from the big houses, there are quite a few new publishers (RoliBooks, Unisun) whom you may want to approach. Below are some links, including a directory of publishers which may be slightly out of date.
    • Biblio India Biblio is a highly reputable review magazine published from New Delhi and they would not put together a list without checking the credentials of the publisher. If you are keen to be published in India, this list is be a good place to begin scouting websites/lists etc.
    • Penguin India
    • RoliBooks
  • The Penguin Books India website gives adequate information about submissions. I'm sure other publishing houses in India, like Harper Collins and Picador, have similar websites. The relevant Penguin link is Penguin India
  • There are very few literary agents in India, in the same sense that we have agents in the States. Those who advertise themselves as such, usually represent a single publisher.
  • There are several publishing houses in India and most of them are quite small, so in that sense, they can be more approachable than US publishing houses.
  • There is quite a boom in the publishing houses - homegrown as well as MNCs. Recently, many foreign companies have opened editorial offices in India. Once again, choosing the publishing company depends very much on the kind of mss you have prepared.
  • Academic Lists Social Sciences - Tulika, Zubaan Books, Leftword, Social Science Press, Stree, Sage etc Science - Elsevier, Orient Longman etc
  • School textbooks OUP, Frank and Bros, Ratna Sagar, Orient Longman, Pustak Mahal etc
  • Fiction Penguin, Zubaan Books, Rupa adn Co, Harper Collins, Picador, Orient Longman, OUP, MapinLit, Seagull, Katha, Stree etc
  • Drama Seagull
  • Poetry Penguin, Rupa and Co, Mapin Lit etc
  • Children's Books Young Zubaan Books, Puffin, Scholastic, Frank and Bros, Ratna Sagar, Tulika in Chennai, Tara Books, Karadi Tales (Audio cassettes), OUP, Rupa and co, Picador, etc.
  • Review journals Biblio, Indian Literature, The Book Review etc

 

How to Submit

 

  • Usually it is prefered that you send the editorial department of the concerned company a synopsis of your mss as well as a few sample chapters. If their interest is kindled, then they will ask for the entire mss, which does not necessarily mean that they are confirming it for publication. Even after this stage, it may get trashed and the entire process may begin all over again.
  • Who-you-know or author's references generally work well.
  • Regarding publishing in India - it depends what exactly you wish to do. Are you a first time author who wishes to publish first in India and then take the book to the States or vice versa. Both routes are possible, but most Indian publishers prefer the former option.

 

What works

 

  • Fiction (usually novels) and some kinds of non-fiction certainly have a market, but poetry, short stories and drama are usually harder to have published.
  • And yes, the publishing industry in India, as I guess in any other industry in any corner of the world, will have its share of the bad guys.... but there are some good guys as well, guaranteed :-)