Does ‘Write a book’ feature in your list for Things-to-do in 2021? Are you dreaming of getting published in India soon?
I don’t blame you for answering yes to that one. I am guilty of it too!
After all, it’s that time of the year. Despite all the negativity of 2020, nothing stops hope. We still create wish lists. Dream of bigger and better things for 2021. Getting published in India is on the top of my list for 2021.
There are many things to share the moment I hear someone say, ‘I am planning to write a book!” But I like to keep it simple.
So here’s my checklist on how to get published in India.
Plan your story
Irrespective of whether you are a plotter or a pantser, you need to have some idea about your story. To begin with, it has to be a basic outline about the characters and the story plot.
You can decide whether to flesh it out at length before beginning to write your book or not. A plan, however brief, is a must.
Next step is of course, WRITE. (Duh!) Getting published in India means we need to have a book on hand. So write. Write. And then write some more.
Depending on the genre, you can decide the word count you want for your book. Keep writing to chase that goal. While word counts can always change , a broader range always helps to start with.
Do not worry about the grammatical mistakes, the typos or any other aspect of writing. The sole aim of the first draft is to get the story out on paper.
Congratulations, you now have a first draft ready!
Now comes the mammoth task of self-editing it. An idea always looks impressive when you start with it. Staying true to that idea and keeping a narrative engaging through 50000 or one lakh words is not easy.
Self-editing helps a writer polish their writing and make it presentable. You verify the facts shared by you in the story. You flesh out the story more. Add layers. Carve the characters in detail to make them relatable and add life to the story.
Now that we have the second draft ready, it is time to seek feedback. This feedback can be from family members, friends, loved ones or fellow writers. Usually they are the first readers for any writers’ work.
You can also consider hiring a Beta Reader. Beta readers are qualified book critics. They give you critical feedback on your manuscript and help you make it better.
Gathering all the feedback received, we now embark on the journey of rewriting.
Write. Rewrite. Edit. Write. Repeat.
This exercise will finally lead us to our final draft. (Hopefully!)
Once you have the final draft ready, it is time to get it edited. You can use different apps and software to do this. Grammarly, Hemingway App etc. are some of the popular sites used by writers for this purpose. You can also hire professional editors to do this for you.
Before that you need to be sure what kind of editing you are looking for:
- Developmental Editing
- Line Editing
- Copy Editing
I am including this step before choosing the kind of publishing for a reason. Some of the traditional publishers do not provide in-house editorial services. They insist on authors presenting a well edited work to them, ready to-be-published. Hence, this step is crucial for writers irrespective of how they are getting published in India.
Choose from various book-editors in India who provide editorial services for both, fiction and non-fiction.
We reach one of the most crucial decisions to made by any writer.
Get Published: Choose between traditional and self publishing
Getting published in India is a dream for every writer. With the options available in the market to get published, it is no longer a difficult journey to make.
Traditional publishing is one way of getting published in India where the writer doesn’t pay anything. The manuscript is chosen by a publishing house to be published. The Publisher takes care of everything like cover design, Typesetting and also offers strong distribution.
The other option for getting published in India is self publishing. Here the author may have to pay to get her book published, especially if vanity-publishing. Many options ranging from Amazon KDP, Juggernaut, Pencil, vanity-publishing houses like Notion Press, Print-on-Demand service providers like Pothi etc.
For traditional publishing:
Prepare a Submission kit.
A submission kit consists of:
- A pitch
- Author Bio
- Sample Chapters.
A pitch is a letter usually shared in the body of the email with the agent / publishing house. It highlights why should they represent your work. It also highlights the strengths of the manuscript at length.
A synopsis is a brief outline about the book.
An author bio is an introduction about you. It is usually written in third person and emphasizes on your credentials as a writer.
Research your agent / publishing house
You cannot and should not send your manuscript to all publishing houses or literary agents. You need to know the right fit for your book . The key to this is RESEARCH. Getting published is the ultimate goal, but it needs a patient approach.
Read about their genres-in-focus for the year. Check their previously released work to get an idea about the type of books they are considering. Note the marketing support they can provide if you decide to go ahead with them.
You now have a list of the literary agents and the publishing houses you wish to approach. It is time to start querying. In simpler terms, you can start sending your manuscript (submission kits).
And pray the heavens come together to make it happen for you!
Choose the platform to self-publish your book
Nowadays, there are so many options for authors to getting published through the self-publishing model. It is but natural to find it difficult to decide which is a better option.
You can choose from the following platforms for getting published. You can self-publish your book:
By opting for Amazon KDP, Juggernaut or other digital platforms, you have chosen the DIY publishing route. This basically means you will be doing most of things on your own. You will need the following things in place:
You can hire a designer to create a customized book cover for you. Or, you can try doing it yourself. Some free sites like Canva etc. provide templates for book covers.
If you have opted for Amazon KDP, you will have to typeset your book. It is a basic layout of your book to ensure it is reader friendly. Typesetters work on presentation and ease of readability.
Author bio and Blurb
Blurb is crucial give the reader an idea about what to expect in your book. It needs to be gripping and at the same time, should tease a reader enough to want to read the book.
Your bio defines your work in more than one ways. It has to be short, crisp and to the point. It has to be promising.
Design a marketing plan / launch strategy
This step is important irrespective of the type of publishing you opt for. In today’s world when everything is instant, visibility is crucial. And who better than you to create this visibility for your book! There are many ways to promote your book on social media.
After getting published, the next immediate question to answer is How to sell your book in India.
Release your book
Hurray! You have done it. You have managed to create a book from scratch. Now, it is time to send it out in the world and wait, with bated breath for their reactions.