Quick Jump

Meet the Top 13 Literary Agents in India

In part one we explained what a literary agent does. In this part, we talk about who are the best literary agents in India. In part three we will cover how to select good agent(s) and sign one up. 

Know the literary agents in India

For this list of the best Literary Agents in India, we’ve gone beyond just checking their websites and compiling all the information. Instead we reached out to every single one and interviewed almost all of them. We also spoke to quite a few authors about their experiences working with Literary agents in India. That way we got first-hand insight and understanding about who they are and what they do. 

The outcome of these interviews was a renewed respect for the agent community. I think literary agents in India work hard, are very passionate, and the good ones care deeply about their authors. They may vary in attitude and in their business models, but most seem to have an impressive work ethic and come across as highly professional. However, this opinion is based on our interviews, email interaction & research. Many of our readers have also commented on this post and shared their real-life experiences with these agencies. Please review those too. And if you have personal experience with any agent, please feel free to share it as a comment.

Meet the Literary Agents in India

Given the size of our country, we have very few Literary. Agents. Further, most literary agents in India only work with English language manuscripts. While this is a pity, it is not a judgement of the agents. This is simply driven by the state of language publishing in India. Except for a handful of strong regional languages like Bengali, Tamil, Kannada & Marathi, the publishing scene for most other languages is pretty dismal. 

Literary agents in India – and everywhere – are very picky. They have to be. As explained in part 1, they have a lot of credibility with the publishers. This credibility comes from their ability to pick out good writing, develop it further and push it through to publishers. This means they also set high standards for themselves – ergo their pickiness.

We debated how to list these literary agents in India. We considered listing them by the number of business deals but found that number hard to establish in many cases. Besides, as we interviewed agents we realized that the best agents aren’t necessarily the ones doing the most deals. Often the opposite can be true. Agencies working closely with a few select authors may add a lot more value. Listing them alphabetically didn’t really offer any insight either.  

The industry has been around since 1997. Since then many literary agencies in India have grown and thrived, but a few haven’t. While new literary agencies have opened in India, some such as Osian and Boxwallahs have folded. Kadalu and SBI Impresario – both listed on the Hachette India website – seem to be non-functional.  Purple Folio’s Facebook page says,

“Purple Folio was founded in 2012 as a premier literary agency. But currently we are not working as book agents. We are undergoing changes and will update when possible.”

We finally decided that the age of an agency is definitely a sign of stability and credibility. As mentioned earlier, the oldest agents aren’t necessarily the largest, but in talking to these ladies (they are mostly women) we realized what amazing work they did. The below list of agents is chronological, based on when each agency was started. Wherever two agencies started in the same year, we’ve gone alphabetical.

Please don’t rush into the very first agency you find worthwhile. Picking an agent who is a good fit is critical. In part three of this series, we talk about how to select and sign on a good agent.

The best literary agents in India are as follows:    

Jacaranda Literary Agency- 1997

The oldest literary agency in India, Jacaranda was founded in 1997, which makes the “industry” 23 years old. The founder of Jacaranda is Jayapriya Vasudevan. A true pioneer, she started the agency when none existed in India. She was mentored by Paul Marsh of the renowned Marsh agency of the U.K. in her early days. She has lived in various parts of the world – Bangalore, Singapore, and Africa. 

Today the agency also has a partner – Helen Mangham – based in London. The Jacaranda Literary Agency is registered in Singapore and represents authors from all over the world. In addition, they also work closely with literary agencies from all over the world, Jacaranda is amongst the most globally well-connected literary agencies in India today. It is an international agency with roots in India. So if you believe your book has potential beyond India, Jacaranda would be a great one to talk to.

They represent 60 authors including the likes of Trisha Das, Tiffany Tsao, Kubra Sait, and Lisa Ray. They have translated and published Sapiens in many Indian languages, and also have done 15 translations of Mitch Albom’s work. Notable recent books include “The Deoliwallahs” by Joy Ma and Dilip D’Souza and “The Quarter” by Naguib Mahfouz.

Their preference in terms of genres is non-fiction, and while they do accept fiction, it is much less. Fiction requires the full and final manuscript, while non-fiction works with a concept note and the first fifty pages as a writing sample. 

They seem to enjoy a really deep relationship with their authors. They are everything from a therapist to the go-to person for their writers. They try and support their writers in every way possible, and also sent out a letter of “Encouragement and Calmness” to their writers when the pandemic broke. This short excerpt from their letter to their authors says a lot:

“Helen and I wanted you all to know that we are thinking of you – our writing family – at this difficult time.  We know only too well that this is not easy and that there will be more challenges ahead.  Some of you will be coping with having young children at home or worrying about an elderly relative.  Some of you will be finding it difficult to focus on your writing or other work.  Some of you will be enjoying the peace and quiet, some will be fighting cabin fever. All of us will be trying to stay healthy, care for our families and remain sane! We are both trying our very best to stay positive! 💕  So with that in mind, we have been trying to think of small ways that we at Jacaranda can help us all to come together and lift our spirits collectively.  What we have come up with is an idea to celebrate our shared love of books and writing.”

  • Acceptance Rate: Jacaranda has a very low acceptance rate. They work on very select titles and are picky about the quality of writing. 

  • Editorial Services: They have offered editorial services in the past under the “Write Advice” page on their website, but it currently seems to be suspended.

  • Terms of Engagement: The agency charges 20% of royalties. They do not charge anything upfront.

  • Submissions: The agency now accepts manuscripts only through reference, and does not accept direct submissions. 

  • Website: You can learn more about Jacaranda at their beautifully designed and very impressive website at http://jacarandalit.com/

Sherna Khambatta Literary Agency- 2007

Bombay-based Sherna Khambatta founded her eponymous literary Agency back in 2007 and has worked independently ever since. Sherna holds a Master’s Degree in Publishing, probably the only agent in India to do so. She likes to understand a writer’s motivations before she signs one on.

Why is the person writing? Ego? Brand Building? Understand the motivation. If it’s just an ego trip, you can self-publish and give it to your five friends,” She says and continues,  “But some books really just need to go out in the world.” 

  • Acceptance Rate: She is picky. With a submission rate of 80-100 manuscripts a week, she has her hands full. Her acceptance rate is well below 4%.

To be honest, the problem may not be with the book, but with me. I often pass on stuff that is really good, but which I am not comfortable handling. Women’s abuse is one such example.

Sherna prefers non-fiction including genres like travel and food. She stays away from poetry, sci-fi, thrillers, and kids’ books. “I stick to what I understand,” she emphasizes.

  • Editorial Services: NIL

  • Terms of Engagement: She has requested us not to share specific percentages. She does not charge anything upfront.  

The number of deals she does is not large but that is because she wants to stick with the few projects she cares about. She isn’t interested in scaling but prefers to stick with the projects she believes in. 

  • Submissions: Sherna also gets her submissions through references and her network.
  • Website: Her site landing page looks nice but doesn’t work because it requires Flash, which is outdated. It goes to say that she’s at a point where she doesn’t need to / care to advertise herself as a literary agent anymore. Her reputation precedes her. Her website is at http://www.shernakhambatta.com/ but her Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/shernakhambatta/ has better information. 


Siyahi, a literary consultancy – 2007

Mita Kapur started Siyahi and has been running it since. One of the older firms in the business, Siyahi is unique in that it is based in Jaipur and not a large metro. In addition to running Siyahi, Mita has also been involved with the Jaipur Literature Festival, the Noir Literature Festival and many others. She is herself an author published with Harper Collins. 

One of the larger Literary agencies in India, Siyahi has a busy roster of Authors which includes authors such as  Devdutt Pattanaik, Gulzar, and Gurcharan Das.  They also do a lot of translation work. Siyahi is one of only two agencies that accept manuscripts in Hindi.  

If we sign on a book, we have to place it. Failure is not an option. I am very idealistic in that sense, and once I take something on I don’t give up.” She says.       

Through the pandemic, the advice Siyahi is giving to their writers is to keep writing and also to read a lot. 

An established name, Siyahi currently is keen on non-fiction, although they aren’t closed to fiction. They prefer stuff like memoirs and Biography but stay away from poetry and short stories. 

  • Acceptance rate: Low at 5% or less.  

  • Editorial services: Yes. Siyahi does offer editorial support but keeps it very distinct from its literary agent services. Using their editorial services does not mean Siyahi will represent you as an author. 

  • Terms of Engagement: The agency charges 20% of royalties. They do not charge anything upfront.

  • Submissions: The agency accepts manuscripts through its submissions page. 

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

Red Ink Literary and Film Agency- 2008

They do limited work in poetry and short stories. Right now (this is July 2020) they mentioned having 70 active authors and a substantial backlist.  

  • Acceptance Rate: As like other leading literary agents, Red Ink also has a very low acceptance rate. All shortlisted manuscripts are read by four staffers, and only if at least three of them approve of it does it move forward. So only 1-2% of manuscripts submitted to them are selected.

  • Editorial Services: They do not offer editorial services separately, and feel strongly about reading fees / editorial services.

Reading the manuscripts is the Agent’s job. After I read it, I decide whether I believe in the manuscript or not. If I don’t believe in the manuscript, and I don’t want to represent you, then why would I work on something I don’t believe in?” Anuj says.

  • Terms of Engagement : Their terms are 20% of royalties. They do not take any advance or fixed upfront payment.
  • Submissions: They, along with Siyahi, are one of only two literary agencies which accepts Hindi Manuscripts. If you know of more, please mention it in the comments.

Writer’s Side Literary Agency- 2010

Writers’ Side claims to be South Asia’s largest literary agency. From all accounts, it has had a meteoric rise. They have a comprehensive website with good information, and Kanishka Gupta, the founder, writes prolifically across various media channels. We were in touch with them via email but they were unable to answer our questions over the phone or via email, so we have little insight to offer on them in terms of quality and nature of work.

We did speak to Arjun Raj Gaind, a writer who works with the Writer’s Side Literary Agency. He says

The draft of my first book, A Very Pukka Murder, spent more than a year moldering in slush piles until I was introduced to Kanishka Gupta at Writer’s Side. After a three-hour phone call where he explained, in excruciating detail, what was wrong with my writing, he proceeded to get me a three-book deal in less than 48 hours.

That was four years ago. Since then, he has become a close friend, and our relationship has evolved into something more complex, where he serves not just as my agent, but also as a confidante, a sounding board for new ideas, and occasionally, as my therapist.” 

While that is the view of an individual writer and not a larger picture, it does give us a sense of at least one relationship.  

Shruti Debi – 2011

Shruti was the editor at Picador India for seven years before she became a literary agent in 2011. She is Delhi-based and works as an independent agent with a colleague selling language rights out of London. Her website is a cryptic one-page affair with just basic contact information. There is a reason. 

She is not accepting any new manuscripts at this time because she has her hands full with her current authors. She expects a second wave of books from her existing clients, leaving her with little or no time for new authors. 

She prefers to do a few books at a time, but very good ones. Further, they endeavor to do a fair number of deals for every book. Shruti is clear of her likes and dislikes. She sticks with her own preferred genres. She feels a strong affinity for more literary work. One genre she completely avoids is Mythology and historical fiction. 

I am interested in literary techniques,” she says. “Over the length of a chapter of a manuscript, one can usually see where the author is in terms of material and mastery. I am attracted first to the material and with good writers, one gets a sense of whether the mastery will follow when one has considered a sentence or three.“ 

She is attracted to books with a “long shelf life”.  She likes political writing, journalism, memoir, sports, and biography. She works with authors such as Tavleen Singh who has written “Durbar”, “India’s Broken Tryst” and most recently, “Messiah Modi: a tale of great expectations”.

She was also the agent for Samanth Subramanian’s book “A Dominant Character: The Radical Science and Restless Politics of J. B. S. Haldane ” and authors like Namita Devidayal, Jahnavi Barua, Aruni Kashyap, Akshaya Mukul, Neyaz Farooquee, 2020 Graetin Prize winner Andrew Fidel Fernando. She is currently handling Girish Karnad’s autobiography and a new translation of U R Ananthmurthy’s third novel “Avasthe”.

She does a lot of novels and a few short story collections too. These include Ghachar Ghochar by Vivek Shanbag & Leila by Prayaag Akbar. Leila was made into a Netflix series.  Her upcoming works include a book by Karuna Ezara Parekh, an Instagram star. Her novel “The heart asks pleasure first” has been in the works for ten years.

I like books like that which have been worked on for a long time,” Shruti says “It is unlikely that someone who has not written much will turn up with something great. So I prefer writers who have been writing for some time.

  • Editorial Services: NIL

  • Terms of Engagement: Shruti has asked us not to share commercial details of how she works. She does not charge anything upfront and does not offer editorial services separately.

Every author doesn’t need an agent. In the UK and the US publishers and publications do not open submissions to all but in India where it is still possible to be published directly I’ll sometimes advise a writer that being agented might lower the chances of being published,” says Shruti.

Lotus Lane Literary Agency – 2013

Based in New Jersey, the Lotus Lane Literary agency was founded by Priya Doraswamy in 2013. Priya was a practicing lawyer in the US before she set up Lotus Lane. 

Priya’s journey as a literary agent began with Jacaranda in Singapore. She has deep experience working with Indian authors. They have a strong India focus for a US-based agency “I have a very diverse list of authors, and a substantial number of authors are American.  I also have a strong list in India, and some of my Indian authors are published in the U.S. and U.K., as well.   Depending on the author’s provenance and genre, I sell to specific territories to suit such provenance.”

On asking if she also does India-only deals, she adds, “Yes, I’ve done many India-only deals.  Perhaps 15% to 20% of my deals are India-only deals. Really depends on what’s in my stable and therefore fluctuates in percentage terms.”

We noticed that they weren’t accepting any submissions at the time of going to press. She said “I usually close submissions once or twice a year depending on how overworked I am!

The Lotus Lane Agency currently represents some 55 authors. They did some 30 book deals and about half a dozen book adaptation deals in 2019. 

  • Submissions: Lotus Lane is open to both fiction as well as non-fiction titles, but stays away from horror, sci-fi, and academic publishing. Lotus Lane works with many well-known authors such as Arshia Sattar and Farrukh Dhondy. 

Labyrinth Literary Agency – 2014

The Labyrinth Literary agency was founded by Anish Chandy, probably the only literary agent with an MBA degree. His seems a classic case of someone following his passion, and his unlikely choice of setting up a Literary agency has been a good one for the industry. He is well spoken of in the community. He set up Labyrinth after stints at Penguin and Juggernaut. He’s tried his hand at many other lines of work before he got to publishing.

Labyrinth handles some very well-known authors including Anita Nair, Nikita Singh, children’s book writer Roopa Pai (Taranaut series), and cricketer-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar.

  • Submissions: Labyrinth is most open to narrative nonfiction, general nonfiction & literary fiction. Anish doesn’t want to touch poetry at this time.
  • Acceptance Rate: Labyrinth has an acceptance rate of just 1%, so you would have to be lucky to sign Anish up as your agent. 

  • Terms of Engagement: Labyrinth charges a 20% commission on author royalty and has done 120 deals in 2019.

Anish’s time – similar to that of most top-notch literary agents – is valuable. He uses this precious resource for a good cause. Anytime someone who isn’t a client wants to have a general chat about books, Anish offers them some time if they donate a wheelchair via www.wheelsforlife.in

Preeti Gill – 2014

Preeti Gill has a strong background in feminist writing and has worked at organizations like Kali for women and then Zubaan. She is Delhi-based but she also founded Majha House, a literary center in Amritsar, where she travels often. Majha House does great work and offers many programs in the literary space, and also a residency for writers. You can learn more about Majha House at http://www.majhahouse.com/ .

  • Submission: Driven by passion, she prefers to stay away from mainstream and commercial writing and is very selective in the books she takes on. She likes to encourage new thinking and voices.
  • Acceptance Rate: Her acceptance rate is <5%.

Speaking to her was enlightening. She is steeped in recognizing and encouraging the craft. The motivation for her work clearly seems to be passion and not money.

  • Terms of Engagement: Her terms are 20% of royalty, but she makes exceptions based on the kind of book.  

The Book Bakers Literary Consultancy- 2014

The Book Bakers website is a free one-pager on BlogSpot with rather sketchy information and hadn’t been updated since 2013 when we went to press. So it was with some trepidation that I spoke with the founder, Suhail Mathur. 

Suhail turned out to be an affable, charming fellow. A lawyer by training he entered the literary scene after he observed the industry in late 2014. “The unanimous consensus that I reached was that publishers and literary agents were not very keen on working with young, first-time authors. So the focus of The Book Bakers has been to give first-time authors a break,” he says.

He proudly spoke of an 8-day literary festival conducted online during the pandemic, which saw the participation of 600+ authors.  

  • Acceptance Rate: Since their goal is to encourage first-time authors, they have a high acceptance rate of about 60%, which means they reject less than half of the manuscripts that come their way.

Some established authors  – such as Neil D’Silva – speak highly of the Book Bakers. Another well-known author – Kulpreet Yadav – walked away from a more established agency.  “My current agent is Suhail Mathur of Book Bakers. He’s got me deals with Bloomsbury, Penguin, and Rupa. Deals are the most important thing for a writer,” says Kulpreet.

However, some negative press floats around about them where folks mention being charged upfront, and also about promises being made but not kept. The conflicting views can be confusing, and we hope that the bad press is a thing of the past.

  • Submissions: The Book Bakers is open to all genres and all kinds of writing. They believe poetry and short stories can also be published, but having them streamlined and linked to a single theme helps.

Suhail gave the example of “The Deadly Dozen” by Anirban Bhattacharya. It is an anthology of non-fiction crime stories about serial killers in India. Another example he cited was “The greatest folk tales of Bihar” by Nalin Verma.  

  • Editorial Services: Apart from editing services, they also offer a range of other services on their website such as editing, proof-reading, cover-designing, etc. which can be useful for an author, individually or as a package.

They also offer these services to publishing houses separately.

  • Terms of Engagement: Suhail was not comfortable sharing the amount of the upfront fees or the % of royalty they charge as fees. He said that each deal can vary depending upon the genre and the quality of the writing.
  • Website: While the Book Bakers’ website is rather basic (http://thebookbakers.blogspot.com/ ), their Facebook page is active and you can learn more about them at https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheBookBakers/ .

Word Famous – 2015

Dipti Patel comes from the corporate world without any literary background when she started Word Famous. “In the early days, I used to accept everything including kid’s books, sci-fi, etc. Over the years I have been working more on well-researched mytho-fiction, romance, thrillers, etc. I find short stories, poetry, and Muslim stories really hard to place.”

Dipti seems to have a penchant for working with older writers. She has placed many books written by writers in their 70s and 80s with A-list publishers. She has done well over 50 deals so far including 12 deals in 2019.

  • Terms of Engagement: She initially charged a fee of 15% of royalty, but now charges a flat fee of INR 15000 on signing a deal.
  • Website: http://www.wordfamous.in/

First Forays – 2018

Lalitha Ravindran founded First Forays after a career in Financial Services and IT. She never planned to become a Literary Agent, but a book review she wrote followed by a chance meeting with an author at the Pune Lit fest in 2018 led her to this new calling.

She works mostly with debut writers. While she did four deals in 2019, she has already signed another 4 in 2020, despite the pandemic. Her preferred genre is non-fiction, and in fiction, she prefers drama, romance, and historical fiction. She stays away from sci-fi, poetry, fantasy, and erotica.   

  • Terms of Engagement: She charges a fee of 15% of royalties, and a fee of 5-10k on the signing of the contract. 
  • Website: http://firstforays.com/

write that book
Click on the image given above to check out our Creative Writing Workshop!

While “A Suitable Agency” is the youngest Literary Agency in India, it is an impressive set of people.

The founder Hemali Sodhi spent over two decades at Penguin Random House. The team includes Ambar and Smriti who have significant Publishing and Marketing experience. Varun, who consults with them, has deep expertise in book marketing and also helped market my book “The Bad Boys of Bokaro Jail” from Penguin.

The agency is inspired by the abiding love for books. It intends to work mainly in adult fiction and non-fiction, although it may be open to compelling books in other genres as well. Hemali Sodhi says “I think we are fortunate that publishing in India is a very vibrant space and we see so many new voices and debuts both in fiction and non-fiction. I think there are many more voices waiting to be discovered though, and we’d love to be a part of that very exciting space and make some of that happen. Like I said I love working with authors and with books, and I had told myself that when I step away from a full-time role I would start an agency.”

The one big differentiator this agency offers is a strong Marketing capability. Hemali consults as head of communications for the Centre for Policy Research and advises them on communication strategy. The agency also consults on marketing for the New India Foundation and takes on select projects where it can add value in marketing or communications.

  • Acceptance Rate: They are too new for an acceptance rate yet, but we expect they will be quite picky.
  • Terms of Engagement: They haven’t shared specifics of the fee structure, but mentioned that they will follow global terms of engagement.

You will notice that all agencies are really about a single person. Two at best. This is not just an Indian phenomenon, but true worldwide. Agencies are rarely large organizations. Mostly they tend to be very niche and run by passionate individuals who care about specific genres. In the west agencies often work only in a specific, narrow genre. In India, it is not that specialized yet as agents work across multiple genres, but they still have personal likes and dislikes.

With this comprehensive introduction to the literary agents in India, you now face the task of choosing the right one for yourself. For that check out our post on how to pick the right agent and sign one up.

[su_note note_color=”#faec24″][su_highlight background=”#eaf63d”]Note: If you find any factual errors, or if you know of other Literary agencies in India which we may have missed out, please drop a line in the comments with specific information. Thanks![/su_highlight][/su_note]

Please note: As a matter of policy, we do not share the personal contact details of any literary agent or publisher. Also, we do not provide any recommendation for representation to either of them.

Quick Jump

66 Responses

  1. Hi – Yes, I loved reading your article. Good stuff in terms of presenting the factual information as I was already aware of most of it. Certainly helpful for the authors who have no clue as to how the literary agency scene runs in India.

  2. Chetan – this is an excellent resource. Many thanks for the incredible effort you have done in collecting this information.

  3. A powerhouse of information and yet, it all seems daunting to someone seeking to send a newly written first-book manuscript. Will it even be read? Will it be good enough? So many mines in an uncleared field. Thank you, Chetan, for all the details. This series is proving to be as good as a novel.

  4. Publishing a list of literary agents and how to work with them is phenomenal help to budding authors. Bow down!!!

  5. This is a great reference piece for getting the latest info and an honest review about Lit. Agents in India, especially for new and budding writers. Thank you!

  6. Very detailed and informative write-up. I had contacted several of them for my debut novel back in 2015. The Book Bakers Literary agency called me up within 2 days of receiving my pitch and signed me up within a week.

    1. That’s great !
      With which publishing house did they sign you up with?

      And did you send the sample chapters or the entire manuscript !

      1. We have not worked with any of them personally – only interviewed them. More information on which Publishers they represent is on each agents website. Their website links are provided in this post.

  7. Loved each and every story behind the birth of a literary agency, some by chance and others, merely by a trigger of a meeting with someone worthy. It was interesting to note how they work, and with what genres. As an author seeking to publish her second book, this is gold. Thank you so much for doing this. What makes it special is that you’ve connected with them, and we know for sure what’s being said here is authentic. Thanks Chetan and team!

  8. Very informative. It’s great that all of them are run by a single person or two at most, it indicates a lot of passion and gives you a person to person connect. That’s so important for something as intense as writing. Thank you.

  9. The Book Bakers and Suhail Mathur is fraud. He has setup a family owned publishing company for himself and cheats innocent writers who approach him.
    Mentioning this here to tell fellow writers to be careful of such cheats in the future.

    1. I agree with this. He also offered me a contract within a day which obviously came with a price. The price is usually equivalent to what it would cost them for getting the book printed. But they obviously hide this fact behind various other promises. It is sad. They don’t really see how a writers builds his dream around his written words.
      That was a few years ago though. I hope he has evolved since then as an agent and is much more passionate about helping writers than just earning money.

    2. I would say that this is not true completely. Maybe a family member is a part of a publishing house, but if one’s manuscript is strong enough, it will definitely win a deal with a leading publisher and not depend on a relatively new publisher. And as always, the author can always say “YES” or “NO” to a deal offered. I have got so many deals with leading publishers just due to the credence of my work and the efforts of Suhail Mathur and “The Book Bakers”

  10. Mr Chetan Mahajan ,
    I have been looking for ways to promote my English novel which has been published and is already on sale on Amazon.in and other platforms. Somehow, I find that despite the fact that it has been lauded for originality and style of writing , it has not reached the hands where it could have found its real good readers.
    After going through your detailed note about literary agents , I am sure you can guide me as an author of a book which needs a little push and can then do wonders.
    I will write further if you have time for me.

  11. Mr. Chetan Mahajan,
    I have a manuscript of a novel based on the Mala Aryan tribe of Kerala. Most of them have converted to Christianity but the tribe is known for their claim to the Sabarimala temple and its deity Lord Ayyappan. The book is pure fiction but have some chapters are based on historical facts and myths.
    Can you suggest a literary agent who would be interested in taking up this kind of work.

    1. Hi. I don’t have any specific recommendation. You can choose agents based on the information provided. Some research on the agents website might help. Anyone accepting fiction manuscripts and more interested in Indian themes would be a good fit.

  12. You should reconsider the list. Keeping Bookbakers and Suhail Mathur with some of the best means demeaning the good literary agents. Suhail isnt a literary agent. He is a cheat. He initially started asking authors signing amount, irrespective whether they find a good publisher or not. Then he changed his business strategy and opened a publishing company. He takes number commitment from author in the agreement, charges for Editing, which is done by his father, charges for cover which he himself makes, publishes book where the publishing firm is owned his mother, and once the book is published he dumps the authors. The books are published in POD basis, where he doesnt suffer any loss even if the book doesn’t sale even a single copy.
    It is a advise to authors to look for self-publishing platforms (there are some good one) rather than falling in trap of Suhail Mathur and bookbaker.

    Chetan ji, humble request, reconsider this list. Such touts shouldn’t find a place with other esteemed personalities. Think again.

    1. I don’t agree to this notion. The Book Bakers have represented more than 800 authors till date and I personally a few dozen of them individually. Perhaps an individual experience can go wrong but I myself can vouch that Suhail Mathur had been a credible and helpful professional while he handled my works with leading publishers within the country. To be honest, every Literary Agency need to charge some fee to keep their financials moving. However, “The Book Bakers” have always delivered their commitments and I myself have signed deals even in the pandemic years with publishers like Rupa Publications, Vitasta Publishers and Srishti Publishers

  13. Completely agree with the comment about Book Bakers – worst agency. Especially new authors – never go for them.

  14. Mr. Chetan Mahajan,

    I would like to point out that the information about the literary agency Siyahi is incorrect. Based on their reputation and the various articles I had read about them, I too approached them in June 2019 with my book proposal. They agreed to represent my work. Needless to say, knowing that their acceptance rate was lower than 5%, I felt elated and excited about the prospects of my book.

    In your article, you have written that “They (Siyahi) do not charge anything upfront.” However, in addition to the 20% royalty charged by the them, Siyahi also charges a one-time (no-guarantee) fee, at the time they accept to represent a manuscript. In my case, I was asked to pay Rs 20,000, which I did. I do not know if this is a common practice by Siyahi, or they request this fee only from debut & unestablished authors.

    Another misleading statement is Mita Kapur’s quote: “If we sign on a book, we have to place it. Failure is not an option. I am very idealistic in that sense, and once I take something on I don’t give up.” In my case, the agency failed to place my book with any Indian or international publishers for almost a year. In their communication (especially the last couple of e-mails), there was nothing indicative of their determination to place my book.

    Of course, they blamed the disruptions in the publishing sector due to the pandemics. They also wished me ‘the best of luck in finding a home’ for my book. They shared a long list of publishers that had either rejected my book, or hadn’t responded to their pitch. I was left with no other option but to terminate my contract with Siyahi.

    I am sharing my personal experience, so that prospective authors know what to expect when they approach this literary agency.

  15. Lidija, thanks for sharing your experience.
    The article is helpful, and I reached out to few publishers based on the list.

  16. A very comprehensive article and details on each agency is helpful especially after reading the comments. I, however, would like to enquire or rather put it out there is… are there no agents/agency for sci-fi, love story, or a war novel? Most of the agencies covered in your article either do not touch sci-fi or are not accepting new submissions…where does one go?

  17. Sadly, “staying away from poetry” is what most of the estd. literary agents do. What do we do if some of us end up writing poetry and finding solace in it? What if, we too want to be read and get our share of smiles?
    History has it, in all critical times, but for the poets the world would have fallen apart, and then look at how they are the most shunned!
    Would request the author to assist us with approachable literary agents for obstinate people practising poetry writing!

    1. We deeply value poetry ourselves. Sorry if it is bad news for you. We’re just sharing the reality of literary agents. And literary agents, in turn, are just reflecting the reality of what people pay to buy.

    1. Hi Shadiq. You will find much useful information about how to publish on our website. Just type the topics you need in the search bar on top in every page. Thanks.

  18. Very nice write up. I have been represented The Book Bakers and Suhail Mathur, who has been a friend, philosopher & guide and a brother who always helped me explore unchartered territories across genres.

    Hence, within such a short span, I have been able to bag a whopping 7 fabulous deals from top rated publishers like Rupa Publications (3 deals), Srishti Publishers (3 deals) and Vitasta Publishing (1 deal).
    Both my released books have done very well and I was able to get 4 deals on a commissioned basis through him. Plus, I was invited to several lit fests like PILF, AILF, Yayavar too.

    And we are collaborating on 3 more books. It has been a wonderful experience working with Suhail and The Book Bakers and I strongly recommend them.

    1. We have listed all the top literary agents in India in this post. Since the time we wrote this post, there are many new and upcoming literary agents in India who will be added as soon as we have spoken to them.

  19. Very comprehensive and useful list, especially for budding writers like me. Thank you Chetan

    1. The list includes all credible agents including the new ones. The youngest lit agent in this list is the Suitable agency, which started in 2020. If you know of any other new literary agents, please let us know.

  20. My name is Jay Alani, I am a paranormal investigator with over 10 years of experience, investigated more than 200 Indian haunted locations. A popular podcaster, a prominent TEDx speaker, a filmmaker, and an entrepreneur who initiated India’s only paranormal helpline.
    I am also an Author of India’s first non-fiction horror book “Haunted” published by Penguin and all the credits of the book go to Mr. Suhail Mathur and The Book Bakers. Suhail not only gave me the idea of doing this book but he also made sure that the entire process goes seamless and soft for me. He is the one who got a publisher like Penguin for us. I mean the very first book that too being published by India’s leading publication house, I never imagined that but the dream came true and it was all Suhail’s effort.
    I am also coming up with my next book “The Paranormal Boy” that is being published by Rupa publications and the deal is again being cracked by Suhail Mathur and The Book Bakers. My experience with Suhail was totally extraordinary. The way he values, respects, and presented my work to publishers has been a dream come true.
    I can surely say that Mr. Suhail Mathur and The Book Bakers is the best literary agency in India. The best part is that he doesn’t only perform his duty as a literary agent really well but he also makes sure to pull out the best from the author and the publisher.

    1. Hello Jay, My name is Luna Frank, my husband Mark Frank channeled letters from renowned Holocaust diarist Anne Frank. I must say at first I thought he had lost his mind. This happened in 2012 . I realized with information he obtained from Anne that this was real. Since you are a paranormal researcher I figured this would be of interest to you. Anne wanted her letters published in a book and so we id publish in Amazon years later as my whole family was against him publishing this work and tinting the reputation of the family.
      I would like to find the literary agent that could make this book a best seller. How can we reach Suhail Mathur?
      My email is lunafranklcsw@yahoo.com, my phone number is 917-676-5145.

    1. You can choose to approach agents from all over the world. It is not necessary to approach literary agents from India only.

  21. Very good information. But the Book Baker is a cheat. I recommended my friend’s award winning best seller Hindi Novel to him. But he took money first then manuscript. He did not give him any deal for more than 8 months. Now we has taken the manuscript back. Pl mention this also in your article.

  22. At the very outset, Suhail had told me that this wasn’t the greatest time for the publishing industry and short stories weren’t welcomed easily by most publishers. I liked that he spoke to me at length about the process and guided me through the forms I needed to fill and how I could help with the process as a writer myself. I liked that he was clear and candid about where we stood with my book.
    Yes, it took over a year to find me a publisher- and Suhail kept me apprised every time a publisher rejected my work. He kept at it. This year he has gotten my book a home- among the best I would say, Om Books International. I’m thoroughly pleased and kudos to Suhail and The Book Bakers for continuing to work tirelessly for all their authors.

    What I have enjoyed are my interactions with Suhail, his guidance and his patience with my innumerable questions and often impatience with – ‘what’s happening? I hope I find a good publisher!” He has always responded, whether it was a basic query or a question that needed a far longer response. I’m glad to be associated with The Book Bakers, and I would recommend them highly. They do handhold you through every step and I absolutely love their artwork (my book cover is so on point).
    Thank you Chetan, because I found them through you.

  23. In a still emerging literary agency scene in India, bumping into Suhail Mathur from Book bakers was a very pleasant surprise. As an award-winning author himself, Suhail empathizes with the authors, analyzes their style and makes some great recommendations. Besides this site, I had gotten Suhail’s information from Hachette India’s website (they recommend a handful of literary agents and Book Bakers is one of them). I am a published author of two non-fiction/business books (Sage Publishing) and yet it was difficult for me to navigate the fiction market in India. Suhail is extremely well connected and understands the needs of the industry very well! He helped me get a contract with Om Books International recently. I am very happy that I met Suhail – I haven’t had such a wonderful experience with a literary agent ever!

    Wish you all the best!

    Best Regards,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.