If you want to publish a book then don’t miss out on these exclusive tips from the book HOW TO GET PUBLISHED IN INDIA where industry experts from Jeffrey Archer to Shobhaa De cover everything from how to edit to how to market a bestseller.

1. Be disciplined. For example, I write from 6-8am, 10-12, 2-4pm, 6-8pm. I keep that routine up for 40-50 days and handwrite every word. I then take a break and go back to it again a month later. 
Jeffrey Archer

2. Programme your mind to read all the time and everywhere— even in the bathroom, skim through the lines printed on the back of shampoo bottles and sanitary napkin packets. Twinkle Khanna

3. Most people do not know that once a manuscript is complete, and a publisher is chosen, it takes a minimum of 4-6 months for the book to be out. Preeti Shenoy

4. Do not write with ‘goals’ in mind. Do not write for the ‘audience’. There is one reason—and only one reason—why you should be writing. Because there’s a song in your soul, waiting to be sung. Rashmi Bansal

Also Read: Want To Get Published? Essentials From Penguin’s Milee Ashwarya

5. The impulse for story-making often comes from overhearing the conversations of strangers. Today I see young people on trains, buses and airports with their earphones plugged in. This way you’re shutting out the life that’s happening spontaneously around you. Kunal Basu

Be disciplined. For example, I write from 6-8am, 10-12, 2-4pm, 6-8pm. I keep that routine up for 40-50 days and handwrite every word. I then take a break and go back to it again a month later. 
- Jeffrey Archer

6. Novelists will often display a predilection for a particular narrative point of view. Some seem to favor the strength and immediacy of a first-person “I.” Others like the intimacy of a second-person “you.” Most popular, perhaps, is the objectivity of the third-person “he/she/they.” Which option is best? Manil Suri

7. Fear and creativity cannot co-exist. Creativity demands courage. Challenges stimulate creativity. If we are continuously self-censoring, we cannot give play to our imagination and write effectively. Namita Gokhale

8. For every book that becomes a bestseller, there are thousands in which readers don’t make it past the second or third chapter. So, get frank advice from someone who has no stake in promoting you to realize the true worth of what you’ve created. Vikas Swarup

9. Do not waste a moment worrying about your precious book’s fate. It is not in your hands. Remember: it is not in your publisher’s hands, either. There is just one pair of hands that matters—the readers. Shobhaa De

10. An agent works with the author from the book’s conception until the time the book is in stores, and hopefully on a bestseller list. Sherna Khambatta

11. Being an agent in India is not a business whopper. It is, in fact, quite the opposite. There are times when the commission is just enough to pay the monthly phone bill. Mita Kapur

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12. The Indian publishing industry is thriving with self-publishing estimated to be approximately 35% of all business. Genres such as translations, women’s writing and children’s literature, that were barely considered earlier, are now strong focus areas for publishers. Jaya Bhattacharji Rose

13. Invest your work in the small presses. Yes, the advances might not be great (they may not even exist)—but think of the small press publication as a necessary educational step—like going to school. You will learn things, and you will come out wiser. Meena Kandasamy

14. Books with a dedicated readership and market are being turned down because they are no longer able to justify all the monetary efforts that go into publishing. This somewhat explains the move to publish celebrity or celebrity-driven books, and mass-market books. Kanishka Gupta

2. Programme your mind to read all the time and everywhere— even in the bathroom, skim through the lines printed on the back of shampoo bottles and sanitary napkin packets. Twinkle Khanna

15. Advances in India are typically low, like Rs 10,000 for a new author, and rarely high, a few lakhs for a bestselling author. Royalties are typically 7.5% or more. E-books tend to pay at 15-25% of the MRP. Milee Ashwarya

16. Be inventive. Create your own hype. No one else will do it for you as a debut novelist. Karan Bajaj

17. Traditionally, a book is declared a bestseller in an Indian language if it sells over 5000 copies. Neeta Gupta

18. If an author wants to ensure that their book is in each store, one way is to create awareness among readers with the help of promotions and print media support. When a bookseller sees the demand for a book arising, they will not want to lose out on sales and will therefore keep a good quantity of that book title on their shelves. Santosh Pandey

Also Read: Duh, Books Have ALWAYS Been A Hot Accessory…

19. Self-publishing is not only for authors who are rejected by traditional publishers. There are many reasons that authors choose to self-publish. Anup Jerajani

20. There are possibly thousands of exceptional manuscripts that never became bestsellers. Why? Simply because their authors did not have the patience or persistence to market them. Ashwin Sanghi

21. If you’re a new author you can expect to have a first print run of 2000 copies. This means that you can expect to get paid an advance between Rs 20,000-40,000. Therefore, almost 90% of new authors cannot expect to make more than Rs 50,000 in total from their first book! Durjoy Datta

22. It is important for a successful author to be seen and heard throughout the year and not just around the time of release of a book. In short, being an author is a full time job, even when you are not writing a book. Ravi Subramanian

There are possibly thousands of exceptional manuscripts that never became bestsellers. Why? Simply because their authors did not have the patience or persistence to market them. – Ashwin Sanghi

23. All the marketing means nothing if people don’t genuinely have good things to say about your book. Invest more time and effort in writing your book than promoting it. Kiran Manral

24. Finding book reviews in newspapers today is literally like searching for a needle in a haystack. Online, on the other hand, there are a dime a dozen reviews, most of which don’t even whet the appetite. Vivek Tejuja

25. If you nurse dreams of owning a corpulent bank balance and posing for selfie-gatherers and autograph hunters, don’t be a poet. Or turn to fiction. Or better still, turn Bollywood lyricist. Arundhathi Subramaniam

26. Translations disrupt existing structures, expectations, cultural constructs, narrative experiences and even the economics of publishing in a way that big presses, intent on monetising formulaic books, not only abhor but also resent. Arunava Sinha

27. Writing for children is as easy or difficult as writing for adults, with one added complication: you are writing for and about a group of people that you’re not a part of. Anushka Ravishankar

28. To be able to edit all the fluff even though it came from your genius head, but to still be able to discard it, is a hard but useful skill to grow as a writer. Anuj Gosalia

29. Ghostwriters are elves to the shoemaker, the secret sauce that few readers know about. Gayatri Pahlajani

30. The freedom a novelist enjoys is lost in writing for TV. Anand Neelakantan

Picture Credit:  Bloomsbury/ Meghna Pant

MEGHNA PANT is a multiple award-winning author, columnist, speaker and journalist, most recently of the Amazon #1 bestseller HOW TO GET PUBLISHED IN INDIA (Bloomsbury, 2019), India’s first and only comprehensive book on how to write, publish and sell a book.

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