how to submit manuscript to book publishing houses

How to submit a manuscript in India

Manuscript submission can be a tricky situation when you are a new author and approaching book publishers. The Publishers in India are very particular about their manuscript submission guidelines and different publishing houses might have different requirements. But overall the book publishers in India demands almost similar documents from new authors or the published authors when you approach them for submitting the manuscript. So here are the list of documents needed for manuscript submission. You should have all these documents prepared along with the manuscript before you start sending it to book publishing houses.  Remember you only get one chance to make an impression.


Manuscript is essentially the earliest draft of the book which you submit to literary agents or publishers. It is obviously unpublished and I guess 50-60k words are always balanced number of words for first time authors for general category manuscript formats. By general category I mean genres like romance(most popular ),chick lit,humour etc. Normally the manuscript format comprise of microsoft word doc, times new roman,font size 12-14,double spaced,margined draft. Will talk about it in detail into some other post.


Synopsis of a novel is the second most important part after manuscript. The new authors or even the published authors should always pay extra attention to the synopsis of their book. After all it’s the first thing that any editor or agent would open. Synopsis is basically summary of your story written in one or maximum two pages. It should be extremely attention seeking to be your lottery among those piles and piles of synopsis that any editor has in his inbox.

Sample Chapters

Sample chapters just mean the first three chapters of your story and sometimes some publishers may ask four to six sample chapters too which you send to a publishing house. You should never send the full manuscript into the initial stages itself. It is a very bad practice.

Cover Letter

Cover letter for a manuscript submission is a very neglected part but holds great values. It’s basically one page letter which provide insight about your story,your marketing strategies,your credentials as an author and the reasons why publishers should choose you over others. Be very clear about what you want to say than trying to be fancy.

Query Letter

Usually cover letter and query letter are all the same but sometimes few publishers demand for separate query letter and cover letter. Then you should treat your query letter as the first proposal you are sending to the publisher. It will be more fleshier than the one page cover letter but should not extend beyond two page. Otherwise in most cases you can use cover letter as query letter.

Book Author Resume

The CV of the author is universally asked document by the book publishing houses or the book agents in India. It should be one page resume which talks more about your writing endeavours,marketing influence and other writing credentials. You should avoid writing excerpts from your personal life. The already work loaded literary editors are just interested in knowing how much aid your persona can provide for marketing the book or helps in validating your story.


I have came across that a very few publishers demands even plot of the story. And it is nothing but just a paragraph about your entire story.

These documents (as asked by the publishers) are to be submitted via email or in hard copy via post to the publishers or agents. Like the Penguin India or leadstart ask for electronics submission only but Harpercollins and Rupa prefer manuscript submission by post. It depends on publishers to publishers. Almost all the literary agents ask for submission through emails only.

Meanwhile as you look like a reader while browsing through this type of post on how to submit a manuscript in India then you should know that my book ‘Soldier’s Girl : Love story of a para commando’ is getting published in April 2017 by Petals Publishers & Distributors. Be sure of grabbing a copy and know more about me and my journey of becoming an author from a blogger.

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