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How to Approach publishers in India

So on 28th October this year, I went to the Bangalore Literature Festival, more commonly known as the Litmart. It was an eye opener for me as there I learnt a lot about pitching, approaching the publishers in India, and how the publishing world really works.

I admit there was not much that I knew about the publishing world, except the fact that there are lot of rejections that happen when any new and sometimes older authors provide their books. I mean, if you take for example, Mr Amish Tripathi, the writer of the famous Siva triology, he had been rejected by 20 publishers. Same way, J. K. Rowling, the writer of the famous Harry Potter series, got rejected by 12 publishers.

So what to do???

After the pitch event in the Litmart, I got a chance to actually speak to one of the most famous people in the Publishing Industry. Formerly working in Harper-Collins, Mr Santanu Raychoudhury has now joined the famous Penguin RandomHouse. And I was able to get some good advice from him regarding how to approach the publishers in India. Please read on the following points for the process of approaching the publishers in India :

1. A good Synopsis

As always, for approaching any publisher, the first and the foremost thing needed is a good synopsis. This doesn't mean that you need to include all the different kind of fancy words, a highly catchy name etc. 

For the publisher, the most important thing is to understand the storyline, and if it will be able to catch the readers. Now, the only way you can make them curious about your story is to give a good synopsis. 

So here are a few pointers for a good synopsis which I got to know from the publishing team themselves :

i. The synopsis should be precise and concrete.

ii. It should include the whole storyline, not just a part. The publishers need to know what the ending looks like.

iii. No questions. Questions like : ''What will happen after Mr A found out about Mr B?' are for the back covers of your book, not for the publishers.

iv. The synopsis should be somewhere between 1000 - 1500 words with all the elements in the book. It should give the publisher an idea of the whole book itself, starting from where your book starts, what happens next and how the ending happens.

v. The synopsis should be as simple as possible, but at the same time should be able to make the publisher interested. So use spellcheck to make your spellings correct.

2. Chapter Inclusion 

The second important thing to include is your 3 most catchy and important chapters in your approaching mail to the publishers. These chapters can be from anywhere and not necessarily one after the other. For example: the first chapter that you want to include might be the prologue or chapter 1 of your story, the next can be chapter 30 or 40 and the third once can be your epilogue as well.

But, the most important thing is that you should edit those chapters as best as you can so that it doesn't create a bad impression for the publishers.

Keep the 3 chapters in a word file and send the same in an attachment to the publisher in your mail.

3. Short details of chapters

The last but not the least, is the inclusion of short details of each chapter of your book.

The publishers sometimes see that a novel has been started brilliantly, but after maybe chapter 20, things don't add up correctly. So, their choice is to have a short synopsis of each chapter of your book in your mail.

For example you can include like this as below :

Chapter 1 : The murder of Mr C happens when he was watching TV.

Chapter 2 : The police comes up and checks for evidence.

Chapter 3 : Mr C's nephew is suspected.

And so on......

Well, I hope I have been able to help you with your query on how to approach the publishers in India. My next post will be about why so many rejections happen when submitting to the publishing houses.

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