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Seven Ways to Earn Money through Writing in India

Introduction

Writers write for many reasons. Writers – both seasoned and green – come to the Himalayan Writing Retreat Workshops with many aspirations and dreams.

Everyone wants to be a better writer. Some dream of fame. Some have a deeply personal story to share. Some simply need to get something out of their system.  Some seek riches through their writing. Everyone is driven by these forces, or some combination thereof.  And many want to earn money from their writing, which is a natural outcome of all of the above. They want to turn their hobby of writing into their career and earn from writing. They want to become professional writers. “Is there any way we can make a living from writing and earn money through writing online?” is one question that we encounter often. 

 Professional writers come in many shapes and forms in India. Choosing the right avatar is a critical first step to make it work.

People ask us if they should quit their jobs and switch to writing as their career. They dream of a job where they only write books, short stories, and poems and earn money through writing. “No!” We always tell them. Writing is a great hobby, but it can be a tough profession to earn money from. Besides, you must be exceptionally good at writing to make a living from it.

However, if you really enjoy writing, and are determined to earn money online through writing and make it your career, there is a midway path. Writers get better by writing a lot. So instead of aiming for a “full-time author” straight off the bat, pick a job or work as a writer in other shapes and forms. Let’s call this commercial writing. With your commercial writing, you can pay the bills, while you also get better at writing and can consider turning your writing hobby into a full-time career.

Below is a list of possible roles you can consider as a commercial writer in India. Most of them are writing jobs while some are administrative in nature and belong to the realm of the publishing industry. Please note that we have also highlighted the risk quotient in each of these roles along with the broad pay scale one can expect from these roles. In keeping with the purpose and scope of this article, the risk here is purely the predictability of earning an income from these roles. The overall understanding is that the risk is low in a full-time job, and higher with freelancing opportunities. 

Creative writing course

Since this is India-specific, the “Naukri.com Index” indicates the number of jobs available on Naukri.com for each particular profile/role. The scale for this index is 1 to 10 where 10 is the highest (most jobs on offer) and 1 is the lowest (no jobs on offer).   ‘Work from home’ jobs that allow the flexibility of working from home or remote locations are tagged as remote.

Hours have been segregated as “fixed” and “Flexi”.  In “fixed” roles, the timings for the work (e.g. 9 a.m.- 5, p.m. or 10 a.m.- 6) are fixed, or a specific number of hours are stipulated on a daily/ weekly basis. In “Flexi” roles, the work itself is stipulated and the hours are not. These Flexi roles tend to be contractual and/or freelancing in nature, wherein you are only required to meet the deadline with the correct deliverables, and the time spent on the work is not a parameter for the pay. 

Seven Ways to Earn Money through Writing in India

1. Literary Magazine

There are many literary magazines and ezines in India. These consist of a team of editors, readers (who choose which submissions will be accepted), content designers, and social media managers. Working with a literary magazine helps one understand the minute nuances of writing and the art of literary criticism. Working with them at the backend would also enable you to write for them.

Some of the magazines also pay for write-ups in the form of essays and book reviews on trending news and other important topics which need coverage. As they say, a pen is mightier than a sword. Writing an op-ed is an opportunity to write about the things you truly care for – try to be the change you want to see in the world.

We have shared a list of India’s top Literary Magazines to submit short-stories, non-fiction and poetry. Some of these pay for the write-ups.

  • Monthly earning from writing: (Range) Rs. 5000-Rs. 8000/-
  • Hours (fixed Vs Flexi) : 15-20 hours/ week (Flexi)
  • Location: Remote
  • Risk level : Low
  • Where to start: Start by identifying your niche. Is it literary criticism, book reviews, author interviews, or writing in general? Make a portfolio on this basis. Start by writing for smaller magazines or websites and add to your portfolio. Gradually start looking for active jobs on LinkedIn, Twitter (#Litmag , #LiteraryMagazines ), or even Times Jobs. Facebook Groups are also a great place to network amongst literary circles and work with literary magazines. Some of the groups recommended by us are:

Literary Magazines

Literary Voice

Literature or Language jobs

Guest Posting and Article Writing

  • Naukri.com Index: 6
  • Size / Competitiveness: Competitiveness is relatively high, so building a strong profile in your niche will help you stand out.

2. Creative Writer / Contributor to magazines  / Content Creation Websites

This is one way to write articles and earn money in India. This also helps you build credibility as a writer because when you finally pitch your work to a publisher, you will have lots of writing visible online with your name on it.

Due to the recent surge in online reading apps, the content preferences of audiences have also seen a shift from straitjacketed news to more eccentric and trending news.  Online platforms like LBB, BPB, What’s up Life, Buzzfeed, Scroll, Huffington Post, etc. have a huge demand for write-ups on current topics which are not limited to political news and extend to news surrounding a recent movie, a new bestseller, or a controversy that erupted on a social media platform. Entertaining and engaging content is always in demand in various forms.  Gradually you can identify a niche and build a portfolio that revolves around it. If your goal is to be a non-fiction writer whose books are based on a specific area of expertise, then a portfolio that focuses on this area of expertise could help you bag a much-coveted publishing deal for it. You must now be wondering where to find online article writing jobs for beginners in India.

You will be glad to know that a lot of magazines and online portals share their call for pitches online, and also mention the appropriate pay that can be expected. This work is possible for Indian as well as international platforms. Here is a curated list of Twitter handles and newsletters which regularly share such opportunities. 

  1. Meher Mirza
  2.  Joanna

  3. It’s all write ( This is a newsletter by Joanna where she shares writing opportunities and tips from leading industry experts. It has both paid and free options. And I say this from my own experience – the paid option is worth the money spent on it!)

  4. Job Opportunities – Started by noted journalist Rituparna Chatterjee as a sisterhood thread to share more opportunities for women, this thread is open for all and has some extremely interesting freelancing opportunities for content writers and creators.

  5. Call for pitches  – A curated list by a well-respected journalist who shares various freelancing writing opportunities from time to time.

  6. Opportunities of the Week – Started in 2018 by Sonia Weiser, a freelancer herself, she shares the latest call for pitches every week on this newsletter which is priced at $3.

  • Monthly earning from writing : (Range) Rs. 15-20,000/-
  • Hours (fixed Vs Flexi) : 20-30 hours / week -Flexi
  • Location: Remote
  • Risk: Medium
  • Where to start: For any content writing job, a portfolio is a must. So, the first priority should be to make a portfolio. If not a portfolio, create a simple WordPress website where you can host some of your writing samples. Avoid a common mistake, and remember to highlight write-ups on a range of topics so that you do not appear to be someone who can write on one topic only.

Social media also continues to be an effective tool in finding such job opportunities. There are a lot of Facebook groups that are extremely active in terms of sharing job openings. These groups not only help in finding a job but also help in making contacts. This is a list of some of the Facebook Groups we solemnly swear by:

Media jobs/requirements

Media and Communication Professionals in India

Media Jobs

Journalism and Media vacancies

Media Jobs Daily

Media Jobs PR Freelance co-ordination

  • Naukri.com Index: 4
  • Size / Competitiveness: Content writing jobs are high in demand but there is also a lot of scope owing to the high amount of content that is being generated on a daily basis across various platforms. Competition is medium. If you develop a niche, you can cut through competition very effectively.

3.  Content Writer

This is different from a Creative Writer (Point 2 above) but is another lucrative way to write articles and make money in India. As a content writer, your writing may not get published in your name. It’s a great way to learn, but a Google search of your name will not throw up a ton of results. So while this may be a good place to start, try to get at least a few pieces published in your name as you get better.

If you are still confused about the difference between a creative writer and a content writer, then let’s decipher that first.

A creative writer for magazines or online portals is credited and given a byline. You tend to have the ability to pick topics of your choice and are expected to send a pitch before sending the complete article. In most cases, you can also demand a price for the articles. Whereas in content writing, you cannot choose the topic or the pay. And there are high chances that you will not be credited as the writer of these write-ups. However, as long as you have strong research skills, a basic understanding of SEO (Search Engine Optimization, which is like the God of the internet), and are able to write on a topic on the basis of your research, you can be a good content writer and earn money by writing articles.

In this line of work, your borders go beyond India, and if you are comfortable writing for, say, the American or the European market, you can even earn in dollars / Euros.

There are dedicated sites (shared below) with various job listings for short-term projects ranging from translation, transcription, typing, and drafting emails to writing articles, research reports, and listicles. The subject of writing also varies from programming and marketing to business and finance. On some platforms like Problogger, Freelancer, and Freelance Writing, you also get listings for ghostwriting novels. You can bid for any project that interests you and if your bid is the best, the project is yours.

  • Monthly earning from writing: (Range)  Newbie Rs.8-10,000/-

                                                                                                Experienced Rs. 30-45,000/-

  • Hours: Flexi
  • Location: Remote
  • Risk level: Medium
  • Where to start: Start with websites where you can apply for freelancing projects. Some options for such International sites are:

Fiverr

PeopleperHour

Freeup

WorknHire

Problogger

Freelancer

Guru

Writer’s Labs

Thoughtful Minds Web Services Pvt Ltd

Outsource2India

My Writing Master.in

Assignment India

Project Guru.in

SEO Content Online

Content Writing Jaipur

Get Projects

Content Writers Needed

Freelance Digital Marketing, Content Writing, SEO

Content Writing (International)

Content Writers

  • Naukri.com Index: 9
  • Size / Competitiveness: High. As mentioned before, all one needs to do this job is a good command of English, a decent internet connection, and a laptop/computer. It is imperative that one creates a niche to demand exclusivity in both work and payment.
Click on the image given above to check out our B2B freelance writing workshop!

4.  Publishing House

A publishing house comprises many people. There are editors, sub-editors, cover designers, the marketing and PR team, the acquisition team, etc. Each one of these departments has an important role to play in the making of a book. Depending upon your area of interest, you could consider working for any of these departments in a publishing house. 

A job in publishing can be a great learning experience. I started my career by briefly working at a hybrid publishing house.  For a writer, rejections or silence from a publishing house might seem excruciating. But it is only when you work at a publishing house that you realise the reason for it. I learnt the meaning of the slush piles (industry jargon for manuscripts submitted by first-time authors which need to be read) while working with this Indian publisher, and understood how most manuscripts may not get more than ten minutes. I understood the importance of editing, designing, making the layout, and most importantly, marketing a book. Writing a great book isn’t enough today. One has to ensure that all the departments do their share to make the book reach the readers.

There are many editors of leading Indian publishing houses who have published authors themselves, like Siddhesh Inamdar (The Story of a long-distance marriage, 2018) and Anant (Play with me, 2014) to quote a few. Toni Morrison also began her publishing career as an editor at Random House’s textbook division in Syracuse while Margaret Atwood briefly worked with a Canadian publishing house, Anansi, as an editor.

The tips and tricks of the trade you learn in a publishing house could prove to be helpful once your book is ready. You can then transform your dream of being a published author into reality and best utilize this information. 

  • Monthly earning from writing : (Range) Newbie Rs. 10-15,000/-

                                                                           Experienced Rs. 25-40,000/-

  • Hours: Fixed
  • Location: Office
  • Risk level: Low
  • Where to start: An ideal candidate would be someone with prior experience in literature, preferably someone who also holds the relevant qualifications. However, you can always explore this possibility as a beginner so long as your language skills are par excellence and you have a keen interest in literature. The best place to start would be the official sites of these publishing houses which have a “Work with us” segment where they regularly post job vacancies in their organizations. Apart from that, you can also try looking up Twitter (#JobsinPublishing).
  • Naukri.com Index : 3
  • Size / Competitiveness:  From being an assistant editor to being the acquisition editor, the roles one can play in a publishing house are many and varied. Competition is medium.

5. Create your own blog and monetize it

Are you – or do you want to be recognized as – a subject matter expert in a niche area? Then blogging could be a great place to start while you work on your book on the side. This is the third way to write articles and earn money in India.

Consider an example where you were working on a book on the different forms of storytelling that are prevalent in India since ancient times. Your blog could then talk about adapting storytelling as a form of communication in various walks of life, and you could even consider hosting a workshop on storytelling.

Such blogs add value to your brand as an author and become a place to display your expertise on the subject. This in turn helps you create a loyal reader base, which could help push book sales as and when you publish. Bloggers can earn good money and choose specific markets: they may focus on India, or look at non-Indian markets.

However, blogging goes beyond writing. Bloggers need to understand how pages rank on Google and ensure their blog is in a strong niche so that it ranks high on search engines and is able to generate money. It is more like running a small business with writing as one of the operational components than sole writing. In fact, many bloggers land up outsourcing the writing bit.

Brazen Self Plugin: Himalayan Writing Retreat offers a Blogging Workshop with Sumit Bansal which covers all the aspects of how to make money from blogging and creating a passive income through it. Sumit Bansal leads the Blogging workshop at the Himalayan Writing Retreat. Sumit has been blogging since 2013 and started doing it full-time in 2015. The first blog that Sumit started was called, “Trumpexcel” and is on Excel Spreadsheets.

Trumpexcel has become amongst the best Excel blogs in the world and enabled Sumit to quit his full-time job at IBM and live a life of freedom he always wanted. Sumit’s fascinating story was covered by Problogger podcastIndieHackerIdeamenschSide Hustle School Podcast, and many other sites and publications.  In 2018, CEO Magazine featured Trumpexcel as one of the “50 Emerging Startups to Watch in 2018”.

  • Monthly earning from blogging: Zero – multi-lakhs.
  • Hours: Flexi
  • Location: WFH
  • Risk level : High

Professional Blogging is entrepreneurship. It contains all the risk that comes with any start-up. Even if you are driven and really at the top of your game, there is the chance of failing because of systemic things – like Google changing its algorithm, Amazon reducing its affiliate fees, etc. Besides, if you immerse yourself in this full-time, you may not have the time to write the book you dream of.

A blog can take many years to make money, and even that comes with a question mark. Whichever niche you choose, you will need to master the skill, invest in tools (which are often priced in US dollars), and put in a lot of time and effort. Take this – the Himalayan Writing Retreat blog – for example. It has taken us many years of consistent and relentless work for us to become sufficiently visible on Google for you to have found us.

  • Where to start: Study professional blogging and understand it from Google Uncle. Sumit Bansal’s website https://craftofblogging.com/ is also a great place to start. Of course, you can attend the course we have so subtly marketed above. Details of the next workshop are at https://www.himalayanwritingretreat.com/blogging/ .
  • Naukri.com Index :  0
  • Size/competitiveness: You can blog about a lot of things. People blog and make money about bizarre things like Aquarium accessories and balcony gardens, so you can choose a niche but it takes a lot of skill and perseverance. It is a highly competitive space.
Click on the image given above to check out this workshop!

6. Author Assistant

As we know, writing is a lonely profession. However, as you grow as a writer, there are many other jobs apart from writing that need your attention. These include research, responding to emails, handling social media accounts, coordinating administrative jobs like printouts, sourcing books for research, transcription of notes, etc. And an author needs an assistant to handle these many tasks. A competent assistant enables an author to do what they love the most- write. Working as an author’s assistant has its own perks – you not only get to closely watch the publishing world, but you also get to make your own contacts along with a list of tried and tested dos and don’ts. This is one job that has many perks to offer even after you quit it.

I have been a virtual assistant to quite a few authors since 2013– both from India and abroad, and I can tell you from my experience that this is one job where there isn’t a single dull moment on any given day. The job allows you to witness the making of a book as closely as possible and as a bonus, you get to be a part of the post-release process too.

  • Monthly earning from writing: Rs. 30-45,000/-
  • Hours: Fixed and Flexi (Depending on job role)
  • Location: Office and remote (Both are possible, depending on the author’s requirements)
  • Risk level: Low
  • Where to start: You can always start with well-known authors whose work you admire and whose work falls in line with the work you intend to do. In case you wish to be a mythology writer, it makes sense to work with a renowned mythology writer to gain experience. You can write to them directly expressing your interest to work with them or get in touch with them through social media. If you are following them on social media already, chances are you will see their requirements for assistants from time to time.
  • Naukri.com Index : 0
  • Size / Competitiveness: Very few openings, highly competitive.

7. Writer-in-making

Last but definitely not least, you can try and make it as a writer. In all of the above, you’ll have to write what other people want but you can write from your heart and to your heart’s content as a writer. For this, you can consider what some aspiring authors have done, which we have detailed below.

For starters move to a smaller city or town, which will drastically bring down your cost of living. Thereafter, consider offering your services part-time in a manner in which you earn a sustainable income while using the other half of the day for writing and research. Your services could include conducting writing workshops, tutoring students and aspiring writers, writing literary thought-pieces for prominent websites, using your skills as a writer to provide critique to budding writers’ manuscripts, and mentoring young and aspiring writers.

In the words of an aspiring writer who has been practicing this for the last five years, “It is advisable only if you are willing to become a minimalist in every aspect of your life. From socializing to spending habits, everything needs to be realigned to match your goal which is to write.”

  • Monthly earning from writing: Rs. 5-25000/- (for most except Ashwin, Amish & Co)
  • Hours: Flexi
  • Location: WFH
  • Risk level: High

Some of the most prominent authors in India are not full-time career writers. Twinkle Khanna is a successful interior designer apart from being a best-selling writer. Chitra Divakaruni Banerjee and Elif Shafak teach creative writing at leading universities while continuing to conjure heart-warming stories. Sudha Murthy is an engineering teacher along with being the chairperson for Infosys Foundation.

Kiran Manral was a journalist previously and is now an independent research and media consultant. While Anita Desai is the Emerita John E. Burchard Professor of Humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, another prominent author who shares her name, Anita Nair, hosts an annual writing workshop at the famous “Anita’s Attic” in Bengaluru. See our list of writing workshops in India to know more.

Ravi Subramaniam is a banker who writes. Ravinder Singh has a publishing house of his own, which he runs apart from mentoring entrepreneurs and start-ups. On the other hand, we also have authors like Chetan Bhagat, Durjoy Dutta, and Sudeep Nagarkar who have managed to make a full-time career out of writing and earn well.

While Chetan Bhagat needs no introduction, bestselling author Durjoy Dutta is also a screenplay writer with many critically acclaimed television shows and series to his credit, in addition to his best-selling titles. A software engineer by qualification, Sudeep Nagarkar has recently made the shift to being a full-time writer and is currently working on his next book while some of his screenplays are also in the pipeline. Internationally acclaimed award-winning authors like Neel Mukherjee and Amit Chaudhuri opted for academia while continuing to write on the side.

Click on the image given above to check out our Non-fiction Writing Workshop!

Writing as a career

Choosing writing as a career and being a full-time author is a tough proposition. Let me share some simple math about how writers (don’t) make money.

1. Books published traditionally

Traditional Publishers give a royalty of 8% to a writer. Let’s assume that you write a book, and a publisher like Penguin Random-House or some such gives you a book deal. This in itself is a big deal if you’re a first-timer, as the industry has a rejection rate of 95% for manuscripts.

But let’s assume your manuscript is accepted. Further, let’s assume your book sells 5000 copies (which is higher than the industry average of 3000) and is priced at 250 rupees.

You would then make 8% of 250, which is equivalent to 20 rupees per book. You sell 5000 copies, which only gets you 100,000 rupees (5000 X 20) for your book. If your book took about a year to write and publish (most take longer), that works out to a monthly salary of approximately 8350 rupees per month (100,000/12). This puts you in the same income category as your building security guard. In today’s India he may hold a Ph.D., but let’s not tackle that subject here.

If you are estimating the advances given to authors for their books, then here’s a perspective on that as well.

Meena Kandaswamy is the author of When I hit you (Shortlisted for the 2018 Women’s Prize for Fiction). Exquisite Cadavers is her second book.

Preti Taneja is the award-winning author of We are that young

You can try looking up the hashtag #PublishingPaidMe  on Twitter to get a rough idea of how publishing works. Although the trend was started for black authors, the high number of confessions that have poured in from all corners of the world is a harsh reality check for all authors, irrespective of color. And this state of authors is true in most parts of the globe.

Yes, there are those few famous exceptions who make crores from writing, but we’re talking about the average author here. If you’re convinced you’re exceptional, the above math doesn’t apply to you.  Go for it.

2. Film and web-series rights

This is a big area where writers can cash in. Film rights, or even selling the option to convert your book can earn hefty monies. Take the example of Karan Bajaj. Karan is a successful published author whose books have been published in both India and the US, and have sold over 1,80,000 copies. Despite this, over 58% of his income from writing has been through film contracts. (Source: Karan Bajaj’s blog).

Despite making money from writing books, he argues against quitting your full-time job. He says that quite unlike the security of a monthly pay cheque, “the muse doesn’t follow a yearly schedule!”  So remember that there is always an element of risk in trying to be a full-time author.

3. Professional speaking

A few writers who aggressively pursue the professional speaking space make money in that way too. This comes with fame, or from developing a niche area to speak. Chetan Bhagat is reputed to charge between Rs. 5 to 10 Lakhs for a one-hour talk, and other authors like Devdutt Patnaik are in the same league. Our co-founder Chetan Mahajan has also done some professional speaking, and his very first (and discounted) speaking gig earned him more money than the entire royalty from his book “The Bad Boys of Bokaro Jail” (Penguin, 2014).

We spoke to Kiruba Shankar, the founder and President of the Professional Speakers Association of India (PSAI). He is a highly paid speaker himself and the author of five books. Kiruba says, “both writing and speaking are strongly correlated” and that, “both are ways to express ideas and thoughts. Speaking gives you an extra platform to spread the word about writing and gives you an extra audience. Also, speaking is certainly a good source of income. That’s what we specialise in at the Professional Speakers Association of India.”

We further asked Kiruba if writing a book had any impact on a speaker’s fees. “Huge impact. Authoring a book on a topic immediately conveys one’s authority and keenness on the subject. When conference organizers look for professional speakers they always look for a speaker who has authored a book on that subject. The book lends so much credibility to the speaker.” And while this might largely be true for non-fiction, it can also be relevant for some fiction genres.

Kiruba also talked to us about how picking a niche area of expertise, and positioning yourself as a speaker-writer with expertise in that specific field will help in obtaining speaking gigs. We will soon publish an article on speaking as a source of income for writers.

4. Become a KDP (Kindle Direct Publishing) Author

In the last few years, Kindle publishing has been a preferred mode of publishing for a lot of debut authors who are looking to earn money in India. There are many reasons for it – one is of course the ease of access, and another is the ‘instant publication’ it offers. Login into KDP, upload a cover with the manuscript, enter a few basic details, and at the click of a button, your book is now available across the world. Isn’t that simply wonderful? In a world where everything from our food to messaging apps is instant, such a publishing option is definitely a hot favourite. The cherry on the top is that KDP offers a royalty of up to 70% to an author which is directly credited to your bank account every month.

KPD authors tend to be very prolific, and you need an endless supply of ideas/storylines along with a good editor, cover designer, and a strong marketing plan. Popular authors on KDP in India include Sundari Venkatraman,  Aarti V Raman, Laxmi Hariharan, Saravana Kumar Murugan, etc. who publish a new book on KDP every 3-4 months and earn a sizable income from their royalty. The key to their success is consistency. They have been consistent in everything – from writing to marketing. They are now career writers, thanks to Kindle.

Do watch this informative video by Sundari Venkataraman done in collaboration with KDP where she talks about the ‘art of self-publishing’.

Even popular author Preeti Shenoy who publishes one book a year regularly releases short novellas on Kindle. These Kindle releases are spaced in between the publishing of her books. According to her, this helps her stay on a reader’s mind for a long time. Traditional publishing can take time and sometimes if the book is delayed for long, the gap between one book to the next allows a reader to forget you and move on to the next popular author. It is imperative for an author to stay on a reader’s mind as long as possible, either through regular book releases or through social media posts.

On the other hand, we also have Indian authors like Savi Sharma, Neil D’Silva, and Pankaj Giri who have managed to bag traditional deals after making a debut on Kindle.

It is also a good choice if your chosen genre is extremely niche and traditional publishing seems too risky. Like the author, Neil D’silva says, “I opted for KDP because I did not want to go through the long pitching process that traditional publishing entails. Amazon KDP looked very promising to me as it was an instant publication. Also, my first book was horror and the content was quite hard-hitting. I was almost sure that no traditional publisher would publish such bold content. Ten books later, I am published with major traditional houses such as Penguin, Rupa, and Hachette, but I still publish a few books with Amazon KDP just because I love the experience.”

Apart from the instant gratification, it brings to authors, KDP also gives a lot of freedom and control to authors. D’silva further adds, ”Amazon KDP gives the author full control over copyright and you can keep tweaking your pricing and marketing strategies, which can be a great learning ground for new authors as well as established authors who want to keep control of their books with themselves.“

Good writing seldom goes unnoticed. It is only a matter of time before a good publishing house notices your ability to write and sell stories to readers, before offering you a traditional deal. The essential word that needs to be noticed here is “sell”. Authors who manage to sell their books on Kindle are immediately noticed by publishers. For example, Savi Sharma sold 5000 ebooks of her debut novel on Kindle after which she received various publishing offers from a lot of leading traditional publishing houses. She finally chose to go with Westland and has been consistently delivering one bestseller after another thereafter.

To conclude

As you can see, the information here is varied and rich. It has taken prolonged research and insight. A lot of this information also emanates from deep personal struggle and discovery. It was a difficult decision to publish it here, but we decided that we want to offer a helping hand to the newbie writer.

This list is as permanent as our fickle world – and so we promise to update it from time to time. Currently, we have listed here some tried and tested options by various authors. The money these options generate might not be huge, to begin with, but is sufficient for decent survival. Although you may need to scale down your lifestyle a bit, the hope is that this won’t be required for too long. As you get better and move from “novice” to “experienced” categories, you will be able to earn more. 

Of course, there must also be many other ways to earn as a writer that are waiting to be explored in the bylines. If you know of any such ways through which a writer can earn in India while continuing to chase their dream of publishing a book, do share it with us in the comments below and we will add them to this list.

Disclaimer: The above is our opinion based on our worldview. It could be completely accurate or complete bunkum. Please do not base any career decisions solely on this, but treat this as one of many sources. We take no legal responsibility if you don’t make it as a writer. Too many writers are discovered and celebrated only late in life, or not celebrated in their lifetimes at all. On that happy note, cheerio!

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62 Responses

  1. One of very genuine info sharing article I have read in a long time. Thanks loads for sharing this whole heartedly 🙏

  2. Superb! Chapeau for doing such a fabulous, exhaustive piece, with a priceless collation of information.

    It is the result of an honest intent coupled with the passion for writing as a vocation.

    Despite the Disclaimer, it becomes the lone oil lamp lighting up the dark and dusty path which a debut author must tread.

    Well done!

  3. Fantastic article. The information is like an encyclopedia. You are a gem Namrata. I am sure the Universe will bless you for what you have shared. Thanks a million !!!

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  6. Hello! I just saw you Article this on social media, and I glad to read it, it an awesome write-up for a newbie to start up this. Nice article, very informative, Thanks for sharing.

  7. Excellent crystal clear information, no hide and seek game…. sincerely guides one. Heartfelt Thanks.

  8. This was a good one. I finally found an article that shows the real picture of the Indian publishing scene. Especially the traditional publishing bit was too good. I wish I could look at a list of commissioning editors who are working across India. I realized that most of them are hidden from the digital world, though I have tracked down a few on Twitter.

  9. it is a really enriching experience going through the article. I can`t even form proper sentences but my feelings are truly aligned to be the best content writer. i shall improve and start scribbling.
    Thanks

  10. So much useful information. A lot of practical tips and a great bibliography for any writer, Thank you. I am saving this content as a reference throughout my career.

  11. This is an amazing collation of all the answers writers need at various points in life. Thank you for putting it together so well.

  12. This is just awesome. Much needed, informative and links given are superb .Thanks a lot

  13. I really appreciate thisarticle thanks for sharing. very helpful to. keep sharing and to know more click future of blogging

  14. Really this post is so much great having usefull information and to help to write good blogger . A lot of thanks for giving such type of information by that post

  15. Thank you so much for compiling all the information and presenting it on a single page. It has cleared a lot of doubts and explained everything in practical terms … from the actual writing to publishing and the income from that writing.

  16. A great research. Now I understood the new writers should not exceed their expectations. I considered I would be able to make decent money through writing. But I came to know now that I have to work hard for that purpose.

  17. मैं 1पत्रकार हु ,मुझे समाज में ब्याप्त बुराइयों को लिखना दिखना अच्छा लगता है।

  18. I am continuing my new job as a content writer for a website. I am totally new to this site. Therefore finding your blog about this topic is really inspiring me. Thanks a lot to encourages us.

  19. Diarying is one of the best sources of information, reviews, & troubleshooting guides for streaming media and software over different platforms. Whenever you will get stuck, Diarying will be one of the informational guides that will tell you step-to-step solutions and always helps you to overcome the situations.

  20. Hi AUTHOR, I can’t thank you enough for all of your guides and tips on BLOG NICHE. They are like a goldmine for me, keep rocking on, you are helping so many.

  21. AUTHOR, yet another fantastic value based article based on research, and I think all the tips are the result of learning through experience, that’s why they are so much valuable for the readers.

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