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How to Publish a Book in India: Part 1

To help you publish your book, I’ve put together all I know about the process. So here’s the first part of the blog series. In this piece, I’ll cover the main steps involved in publishing a book.

  • Write: You have to finish writing your book. Your book could be a work of  fiction — short story, novel/novella and poems. Or it could be non-fiction(writing which is informative or factual).
  • Edit: Once you’ve finished writing. Edit. And edit well. You could even get a professional to edit your book for a fee, of course. I think it’s best to get someone else to look at your book, once you’ve done the preliminary edit.
  • Publish: Then, you got to approach traditional publishers. There are some big and small names who can help publish your book. Do note, if you’re a debut writer, writing on a rather different (and hence non-saleable subject or genre) then you may have to sit for months in the hope of getting published.
  • Self publish: In that case, or if you’ve been turned down by publishers, you may choose to self publish. Don’t feel bad about having to self publish your book. Everyone has a story by Savi Sharma and Amish Tripathi’s The Immortals of Meluha (which was rejected by 20 publishers) were self published too.  And both became bestsellers through some really powerful marketing techniques and through the stories narrated.  Anyway, my point is, you can publish your book as an ebook. And if you want to have hard copies of your book printed, you will need to spend from your pocket for the production, cover design, editing and marketing of your book.
  • Market: Once your book is published, you’ll have to market it aggressively on social media and on e-tail sites like amazon.

Now let me elaborate on each of the aforementioned points.

Write: This is the first step and comprises one-third of the work. And it requires discipline. So no matter what you do or don’t, you must take time out to write. You may do it early in the morning, when no one is up or there to distract you. Or you may do it late at night, after you’ve wrapped up on your day’s business. Any which way, you’ll need to get your ideas on paper.

Taking an hour or so out to write is important. You can even set a word limit and adhere to it on a daily basis. Some of us can write anywhere. If you’re one of those lucky ones, then write whenever and wherever you can. That is, if you want to be a writer. Otherwise, let it go.

Write First
Write — that’s the first step

Writer’s community: You can join one. You’ll meet people just like you who will propel you to write and write better. A nanowrimo ( national novel writing month) can help you to write every day and finish your novel in a month.

However, some of us work best in isolation. I most certainly do.

So if you’re someone who flowers, when left on your devices, then keep it that way. But don’t forget to punch in those words on your laptop or scribble on your notebook. Daily.

Edit: This requires looking at your book indifferently. Forgetting for a while you’ve written it. Checking on grammar, flow, plots, plot twists, dialogues, information mismatch, loose ends and most importantly, the introduction and conclusion.  I think the first chapter of a book sells a book so does a tightly written book which has interesting and well-written characters and sub plots.

Edit -- next
Editing is the next step

And yes, if you want someone else to look at your book, go for professional help. Who can you go to? No, not your friends, relatives and well-wishers. Instead, Google editing services. Or get literary agents like Writer’s Side  to edit it for you. They have edited You’re the Best Wife by Ajay Pandey and Ravinder Singh’s I Too Had a Love Story , both bestsellers. Hiring their services may not turn your book into an instant bestseller but it sure can enhance your manuscript in a positive way.

Book edited by Writer's side
This book was edited by Writer’s side

Once  you’re done with writing and editing, you will have to approach publishers. I’ll elaborate on the publishing side of the writing business in my next blog.

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