4 Steps to Cover Before Approaching a Book Publisher


Most writers, whether big or small, dream of having their works published. They want their words and manuscripts bound in glossy books, sitting on book shelves in stores around the world and topping the best seller charts. They want great success, recognition and yes, immense personal satisfaction as well.

Once you think you have a suitable manuscript in hand or even an idea of one, many writers start looking for publishing companies and agents and hope to strike it out of the ball park as soon as they show their works. However, if you plan to approach the best book publishers in India, or anywhere in the world for that matter, there are certain steps you should follow in order to have a good shot at landing a great publishing deal.

Let us take a look at a few of them –

Finish your book – Although this seems like a given, many writers send half finished manuscripts or drafts and even just idea sketches to agents and publishers and hope to hear back from them. However, amazing your work may be make sure you finish the entire work before you start sending out feelers to book publishing companies, even if they have asked only for a small sample. Nothing seems unprofessional like hearing back from someone and then having to say you aren’t done yet. Another very important aspect is to make sure your manuscript is polished and well laid out. Even if you are done writing it, edit , edit and edit it some more till you are sure you have the best version of it as as is possible.

Find the best publisher for the job – Once you properly assess the genre of your work and who your target audience is only then can you find a book publishing company to send your work to. Say for example you have completed or are working on a crime fiction novel, look for publishers that specialise in your chosen genre. Check what titles have been published under their banner and where those books stand on the popularity scales. When it comes to making a list of potential publishers check out literary websites, publications and more that give you lists and information about various publishers based on genre as well as location like romance fiction book publishers in India and the like. Also check for what allied services they offer like editing, marketting, book distribution etc.

Follow procedures and protocol – When you have narrowed in on a few book publishing companies you would ideally like to send your manuscript to, make sure you check what kind of submission process and guidelines they adhere to. Some may want a rough of the entire book, whereas another might want just a couple of completed chapters and a synopsis. Send them exactly what they have asked for and in a format that they have specified. Publishers can find it extremely off putting when you do not follow specific instructions and submission requests.

Prepare yourself for a wait – Remember, just as you have excitedly planned to send in your work, chances are so have thousands of other aspirants. Publishing your book or even getting the initial foot in the door can take a while. It can also take a few rejections till you get that much awaited nod of approval. Keep calm, stay patient and be focussed on your work. Keep on trying and write for the love of the craft and not with just this end goal in mind. Remember even authors who we celebrate today have faced numerous rejections in the past.


Jacob Cherian is a publishing agent who has worked with numerous book publishers in India over his 15 year long career. He also has his own blog filled with writing advice and his take on the latest offerings.

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