Getting published in India is like reaching at the top of Mount Everest that too without oxygen masks! Well yeah! That is how it feels to most new authors who eventually manage to get published. It’s tough. Really tough for the new authors who are out there looking for a publisher with powers to turn their dreams into reality by printing those manuscripts in their hands in paperbacks.But dude hold on there,writing a story is one thing, getting it published is another and then selling it into the market is different thing altogether. You might be successful doctor,engineer or anyone but publishing world could be harsh on you.Be mentally prepared for it. I have just been published in April 2017 with my debut book ‘Soldier’s Girl’ and I share some first hand informations about Indian Publishing Houses. This single blog-post have thousands of hits alone,so I know some aspiring authors are reading and it might just help you. Here is list of book publishers in India for fiction books for fresh authors as well as published authors.
HarperCollins is one of the top notch publishing house in India (and the world) but when you look upto them as first time author, they are different leagues altogether. Yes, we have Anuja Chauhan, Amitabh Bagchi or Karan Bajaj as first time authors published through them but seriously it’s a different story altogether when it comes to masses. Until and unless you are some pass out from Oxford or Harvard you hardly cut a deal here. But yeah where there is life there is hope so here is the link to their submission guidelines. Do try your luck too as they accept unsolicited queries into consideration.
Hachette is another legendary name among the book publishing giants in India and chances are very sleek to be published through them. Also they don’t accept unsolicited queries and accept manuscripts only through literary agents. Here are the links to their submission guideline.
Penguin is that publishing house in India whose every third book would have been your childhood favourite but again cracking here is tough. They have entire panel of editors who take their jobs rather seriously. Also considering the facts that they are focusing major on publishing Bollywood celebrities recently,chances for a first time author get really sleek here and there are high chances that your emailed smaple chapters would never be read by them. But still if there’s one publishing giant which bothers to read unsolicited queries of a first time author it’s Penguin. The best plan? Approach someone known to Penguins who could at least push them to read your manuscript. So begin your submission journey by emailing your queries to this link
Random house is now Penguin Random House after their merger with Penguin publishers.It publishes adult and Children’s fiction, nonfiction print and digital trade books and chances are really high that your manuscript would be in their slush pile forever and also they don’t accept unsolicited queries so it means you need to get noticed by a literary agent first. Though it’s all the same you submit to Penguin or Random House,if you are good you will published by either of them.
Westland has lept into entirely another horizon after Amazon acquisition which provide amazing opportunity to it’s authors to grow,sell and expand their market. They only accept queries through literary agents now. They are highly active on Facebook and reply within hours. Ping them there first regarding any info. Their site is under maintenance currently.Ping them on their Facebook account instead.
Rupa Publication is famously known as ‘house of bestsellers’ with huge list of mass sellers associated with them. Namely Chetan Bhagat! Also there’s a whole list of Indian celebrities like Pranab Mukherjee,Chidambaram, Abdul Kalam who were published by this eighty year old publishing house. The good news for the struggling writers is that they accept unsolicited queries through hard copies and emails both. You might stand a chance with them (if you are lucky)
Fingerprint publishers tagline says ‘the paperback publishers of interesting books’ and one of the India’s youngest publishing houses owned by the publishing cell of Prakash books which has a huge distribution cell. If you are good and can catch their attention then the chances are, you’d be published and get an amazing launch platform. Key is to find a good literary agent. Here is Fingerprinting submission guideline.
Roli publications accept a huge range of unsolicited queries and here with this publication, you stand a chance to get published as a first timer. They have some popular books in their kitty and they also promise the new comers a break through. So if you tend to submit your queries to Roli Books then ping them on their Facebook page as their website is currently under maintenance.
Srishti Publishers work with the motto that ‘every reader can be an author’ so you stand the strongest chance to be published with Srishti publishing house as an aspiring author. They may demand money too,which in my opinion is not advisable. Indian authors like Durjoy Dutta, Nikita Singh who now write for Penguin and Harper after some five six years of getting published by Srishti publications. The author of ‘you are my best wife‘ Ajay Kumar became a National best-selling author after getting published by them.But then these authors put huge efforts from their sides. Here is the submission guideline of Srishti.
Leadstart publishers are mostly famous for Ajaya series and more inclined towards self publishing. Though they also do this traditional publishing. They are quick to respond to the first time authors unlike other publishing houses but they insist on self publishing which I personally would never recommend. But it might be a good option if you are willing to spend around a lakh through an authenticated publishing house and you are desperate. Here is the leadstart publishing house submission guidelines.
Pirates have recently created some buzz in the publishing industry but the paperback quality is extremely poor and they focus mainly on self publishing. Though you might stand a fair chance to be published by them if you catch the attention of these IItian turned to publisher guys. Here is the link for some more information.
Juggernaut is a mobile publishing house which do not publish in paperback (they only published Twinkle Khanna on paper back) and proving to be an amazing platform to new authors and they actually pay some good amount to the first timers once the contract is done. If you have lost all your hopes or you simply don’t bother about the whole paperback thing then Juggernaut is a platform which will provide you the reach to 100thousand of its readers on the digital platform. Considering you are a first time author and nobody wants to invest on you and self publishing is not an option for you Juggernaut is ‘Maseeha‘ for you. Go for it(if they choose you , silly!). The team at Juggernaut is mainly the old team of Penguin publishing house, Infact the once Penguin editor Chikki Sarkar is the founder of this amazing initiative. It’s authenticated,gives you good money and also promote their authors a lot. What else do you want?
Mahaveer Publishers are mainly into educational books but they also publish a few fiction books in a year. So you can actually send the query and try your luck here too.
Genuine publishers and my first book ‘Soldier’s Girl: love story of a Para Commando’ was published by them in April 2017. They are extreamly transparent and genuine publishers. They fall in medium tier of publishers along with Srishti, Leadstart etc but you can rely them more with their dealings with the authors. I had a very nice experience working with them. Here is the link to their newly constructed website.
At the end it’s just the story and marketting skills of the author that matter the most and sell the book eventually. And bigger the publication house better it is but still if you ask my personal opinion for best publishing houses.
Second best advise I give you today is to increase your social media presence if you are serious about getting published.
When you approach the publishers it’s very important that you know the difference between traditional publishing and self publishing. Then you should know only fraudulent publishing houses try to make money out of you. One simple rule ‘whoever ask you money to publish your book might be a fraud.’ Yes,you do need to spend money on editing and I will write all about manuscript submission into the next post. There are many other publishing houses apart not included in the list but only those which are authenticated traditional publishing houses for fiction and also publish the first time authors.
See getting published for the first time (especially) might be a painful stuff as it takes months and years (sometimes decades too) and the real battles start once you are published. So my last advice to you before I close this post would be ‘Start meditating,do yoga and increase the patience quotient in you‘ before you start sending your manuscript to the publishing house. Just kidding! Actually the last advise is to build an extremely influential social media presence and preferably start blogging. My social media channels and blog helped me tremendously at every step.
All the best!
Here are some more useful links