Literary Agencies in India

Literary Agency Purplefolio


Note: This is not a review, just an unprofessional and unethical experience I had with this agency. This post is intended for the aspiring authors who are looking forward to get published and might get an interest shown by this agency.

So, here I am sitting at my laptop, typing these words with a feeling of perfidy in my heart and the pain of the hopes shattered. I am pretty sure all the aspiring authors out there would connect with this. The blissful moment when you complete your story and finally have some peace of mind for yourself, you marvel at the words you have written, the plot which has been beautifully weaved by you, the characters which you have so dearly created and nurtured throughout the story. You literally become a god of a small world created by you! A sense of accomplishment sinks in, but not for too long, because in front of you lies a daunting task of getting your story published which will make all the hard work you did for writing your story look like a cakewalk. Considering you have written a genuinely novel story and not the usual and umpteen number of books written on ‘love story’, ‘love triangles’ ‘story of my marriage’ ‘story of my divorce’ and myriad of books written on the topic of relationships, you sure will grab attention of a few publishing houses and agents. So, you start approaching the  publishing houses, some ask you for upfront payment of Rs. 1,00,000 – Rs. 1,50,000 ( in the name of vanity publishing or partnered publishing. Please don’t go with them. They sure will publish your book but it will be no better than the hordes of other books flowing into the market and your story will get lost into the crowd way before you will know it.) Some will tell you about the different *packages* they have to offer. These packages generally start from Rs.20,000 an can go up to Rs.1,00,000. These are basically self-publishing packages and you can decide to go with some of them but then you are majorly on your own.(sure thing that in these packages the line that 100% profit will be yours looks lucrative, but for a new author it is very uncertain of how much profit he/she will be able to make). So, after self publishing and vanity publishing programs, you try your luck with some big publishing houses, like, penguin, westland, harper collins. But your mail is rarely replied by these big houses and your story gets deposited beneath the pile of stories of numerous other aspiring authors. These are all traditional publishing houses, meaning, they will invest their money in your story. Now, when someone is going to invest their money in you, you gotta be good! You have to have online presence, you should have followers, works published or some literary credibility to your name. All these things are not mandatory for your works to be considered by traditional publishers but these things matter because if these big publishing houses are going to invest their money in you, they will surely look for returns out of you and your work. It doesn’t mean that if you don’t have all the things mentioned above, you won’t get published by these big and traditional publishers.For the latter case your story needs to exceptionally good and unique, like Amish Tripathi got published by westland. He was a new author and his books did marvel for him and his publishers. But the credit of his success doesn’t go entirely to him, it also goes to his agent, Anuj from Red Ink literary agency.  Now, this bring us to the role of literally agents and my experience with 2 of them.

Literary agents are not a mandatory thing in India but many traditional publishers prefer the stories coming from literary agents, because it acts like a kind of a screening process. Like if Mr.X is a literary agent, he will have a reputation and rapport with editors of various publishing houses. Now, if your story gets the support of Mr.X and goes to a publishing house Y, it won’t get stocked under the pile of stories of numerous other authors, in the mail box of submissions@Y.com, it will straight go the mailbox of editor@Y.com. The editor will consider your story more carefully as it comes with the endorsement of Mr.X who has good rapport and relations with the editor.  So, literary agents do play a considerable role in the publishing industry.

So, now that we know about various publishing methods and the role of literary agents, let’s come to my experience with two of them. I contacted many literary agents, from some I received a straight forward negative response for my story and from some, namely “The book bakers” and “purplefolio literary agency”, I received a positive response. “The book bakers” charge upfront amount as per their company policy and I am pretty sure they are gaining momentum as many aspiring authors are getting published with them. I received an enthusiastic response from Suhail Mathur of “The book bakers” team. Meanwhile I had also sent my manuscript to Urmila Dasgupta of “Purplefolio literary agency”. As I received positive response from Suhail (The book bakers), I asked Urmila to provide her views on my story, whether she is interested, needs more time, or couldn’t read more than one page of my story, she didn’t reply to my mail. I didn’t say anything as she had asked for a 4 weeks time to evaluate my manuscript. Slowly, 4 weeks passed, she didn’t reply. So, I signed a contract with “The book bakers” and paid the fees of their agency. 5 days later, Urmila from prurplefolio, replies to me that “We have read you and we would like to represent you” This message took me to the cloud nine. I was very happy. Grabbing the attention of a good literary agent is as difficult as grabbing the attention of a traditional publisher. But there was one problem, I had already signed a contract and paid a fees. When I told Urmila about this, she said, “she can’t work with me if I have already signed a contract” Fair enough to say this. I was in a dilemma. Urmila has a beautiful website, authors she has represented and testimonials from them, while “the book bakers” don’t have a website, nor the list of authors they have represented or the testimonials. So, I took a risk. Even after paying the fees and signing a contract with “The book bakers” I cancelled the contract. The good thing with Urmila was that she was not charging any upfront fees. She was working like a literary agent should work, she was taking commissions from the advance and royalty which I would get for my book, if published via her. I told her “I understand that working with you doesn’t guarantee a top publisher as you can’t force someone to publish my book but can you assure me that in the worst case your negotiation skills will be the savior.” She replied, “Of course, if I can’t sell you then it will be a huge loss for me too. And please have a look at your previous contract.” So, trusting her I cancelled my previous contract as her credentials and background are good, but later I realized that all this was glitter.

2 months after cancelling my contract, I didn’t have a signed contract from her side. I kept insisting, she kept postponing it. She kept saying, “this week I am not in town, I will get back to you next week” and to silly reasons like “My internet is not working in my home, someone hacked it” (oh! come on, everybody has internet access on their mobile and when your mail contains “replied from my iPhone” at the bottom, it is hard to believe that you might not have internet access on your phone and didn’t get the time to read my mails) So, almost 3 months passed, every time I used to call her she replied, “I am currently busy, can’t talk right now, I will get back to you” (She never did) So, rare replies to my mail, no returned calls, no response to whatsapp messages and no enthusiasm or update on my story from her side and 3 months passed. I didn’t contact any other publisher as I trusted her. A total waste of 3 months. After 3 months when I started sending some strict warnings in my mails and messages, her reply was, “I think I changed my mind”. Now, take a moment to analyze this response. After 3 months, after your insistence that “I want to work with you, I like your work” and after your assurance of “get on board and let’s start working” this is not the response the other person is expecting. I mean what kind of professionalism are you trying to display?  These are your ethics? In her defense, she replied, “If there isn’t much response from publishers then even agents loose interest. I think you should work a little more on making this more gripping.” Getting a response from publishers in your damn responsibility and if you think that my story needed a little more work then why did you even said yes to it? The sequence of events describe the following things about purplefolio:

  1. Urmila didn’t sign a contract with me for 3 months because she was waiting for a publisher to say yes to it. Now, when even after 3 months a publisher didn’t reply positively, she CHANGED HER MIND.! So, you wanted a win-win situation for yourself. But for me, you made me cancel my previous contract which could have published my book by saying that “I want to work with you but I can’t work with you if you already have a singed contract with someone else.” These are the ethics of these literary agents who are looking for nothing but trying to earn money just based on their contacts with publishers and earn from your hard work. They don’t have a passion for books nor are they interested in really providing a platform to authors.
  2. When she replied that “Maybe you should work a little more in your book” this means that when you read my book and agreed to work with me, you thought it was in a good shape and needed no improvements. Considering the 10+ years of experience you boast of on your website, I think you would have known it at the time of reading if my story needed improvement or not. This means 2 things, either you didn’t read my story and didn’t invest time in thoroughly analyzing and you just wanted to make some quick money by sending a good story to publishers or your experience is not worthy of boasting.

So, all this said, I have asked her to give me in written that my story will be totally discarded from your side and will not be used for any further purposes, she has not replied and not given me any assurances for that. (Nothing new, now I am kind of habitual of no response from her side)

The crux of this story is : Some people might have got benefited by working with her, but from the internet comments and from my own experience I feel that this is not an agency which new authors should look forward to. There is no transparency and honesty in their work. And as the internet tells you so less about these agents and how it is like working with them, I think this post needed to be written. Their website and all the testimonials might seem promising but I just want to say that, “ALL THAT GLITTERS IS NOT GOLD”.

Hope this helps someone in making their decision and all the best for the rest 🙂

P.S. If anyone wants proof, I would be happy to give.

 

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84 thoughts on “Literary Agency Purplefolio

  1. pawan says:

    I wish if you could have given some more info about book bakers and are they of some use or not but really thankful that you shared your experience here for sure not going to contact such non sense morons

    • Hi Pawan,
      My experience with “The book bakers” was quite okay. The reason why I cancelled my contract with book bakers was that urmila from purplefolio was not asking for any upfront payment. So, chances were that she would give her best to get me the best deal (as her income depends on that, i.e. via her commission). Also, she had demanded some time to go through my work. If someone has written a novel, they are passionate about their story, it is their hard work and it would be great to find someone, an agent or a publisher who is as passionate about the story as the author is! So, when Urmila demanded time and replied positively, I assumed that she had gone through it and loved it. On the other hand, “The book bakers” replied the very next day that they are willing to help in publishing the book (after reading few sample chapters, which I personally didn’t like, I would have loved if they would have gone through the whole story) but charge an upfront fee. If you would take a look at the books published via them, MOSTLY are getting published by new publishing houses, like “Locksley Hall publishing” , “Story mirror” and various new publishing houses. Now, as a new author, it is everybody’s dream to get launched by the big names like Rupa or Westland, as far as I have seen the recent books published by them, mostly have gone to the new publishing houses and in very few cases I saw that someone’s book is getting published by renowned publisher like “Bloomsbury”. So, it basically comes down to truly knowing the potential of your book. If a person thinks that they basically need a starting platform to publish their book then I think “The book bakers” will do that, they will charge a fee but I think they will get the story published. But if a person wants to get launched by the big names in the industry, then I personally feel “The book bakers” won’t be of much help. Of course if the story is not up to the mark then there is only so much any agent can do to convince the publisher, but an agent should see a potential in the story of an author and would commit to get the best publisher for the author. Even when I cancelled the contract, I was told by “The book bakers” that they believed in my story and that was a good thing.
      Suhail Mathur, who runs the book baker is an author himself and he along with his father Sanjeev Mathur would help you in publishing. My personal experience is that Suhail was honest about what he was doing, more helpful than Urmila and more receptive to the concerns of the author.

  2. Malathi says:

    Hi Kevin, I too had a bad experience with Urmila of Purple Folio three years back. She’s very unprofessional, but very street smart in getting her pound of flesh! First she insisted that the book needed ‘more work’, and charged me Rs 100 per page for reading and critiquing. Of course she did eventually get me a publisher for my novel, but everything in the agreement was tuned to her advantage (For eg, every subsequent book of mine would go only through her AND she would get her commission of movie rights if any!!) I did not agree and we lost the publishing contract! I later published without her help.
    I am now looking at an agent for my next manuscript and wondering what you mean by ‘upfront payment’ from The Book Bakers…. can you explain? Thanks.

    • Hi Malathi,
      Thanks a lot for sharing your experience. There is a dearth of such elaborate information available on the internet. People like you and me might have been saved from going through all this if we would have read such things. You are right, she is quite clever and knows how to get her pound of flesh. I am sorry that you had to go through all that with her and cancelling the contract even after getting a publisher but happy that you finally made it without her!
      Now, ‘upfront payment’ from book bakers means that they charge some amount from the aspiring authors. In my case, I was charged Rs. 15,000 as per their ‘agency policy’. I was told that I am being charged for and all the work an agent would do of approaching and accosting other publishers and pitching my story. Professionally, agents should not be paid any upfront payment as they have not done anything till that time to receive the payment. I am new to the industry and after making decisions of not going with publishers charging 1,00,000 and above I felt that this was quite a reasonable amount. I couldn’t have been more wrong. No upfront amount, whatsoever be the amount, is reasonable to be paid to an agent before your work gets published. Agents should take commissions from the advance and royalty an author earns. That and only that is the right way to work. I had talked regarding this ‘upfront payment’ with the book bakers and asked them if they can work by taking commissions from the royalty and advance I would get but they denied. So, although I suffered monetary losses but I am sure I won’t let this happen to myself the next time and hopefully it will help someone else too.

    • Hi Malathi,

      Can you please tell how you published your debut novel? Which agency or publisher signed the contract? I have just written a novel and trying my luck to put it in the market.

    • It is tough out there buddy. The only thing you should do is to not give up and approach as many publishers and agents as possible. I am sorry but I won’t be able to give you a definite list of publishers or agents. The objective of my post was to tell people about the various money-devouring schemes some publishing houses apply to get the advantage of the dreams of an aspiring author and some agencies like purplefolio who can’t be trusted. Rest assured, if your story is genuinely good, it will somehow see the light of the day someday. Best of luck! 🙂

  3. Dhirendra Singh says:

    I have penned down poetry in english and kavita ,upanyas in hindi. kindly advise me about publishing these works at the earliest.

  4. Dhirendra Singh says:

    I am writing since 1985, five books in english on science,philosophy,history ,art, culture,psychology,personality development etc and four books of hindi story already stand published from delhi .want bigger publishers now. kindly help.

    • Hi Dhirendra,
      You have an impressive work by your side. I think you should try to contact specific publishing houses which focus on non-fiction as per the books you have already published.
      This link might help :
      https://www.quora.com/What-are-some-of-the-best-publishers-in-India
      Also, since you have already published books, why don’t you try for self-publishing if you are unable to get bigger publishers. Ashwin Sanghi published his first book via self publishing (The Rozabel Line) It was later bought by Westland and thereafter they struck a deal with him.

  5. RighteousOne says:

    I can understand what you must have been through. The problem is that most of these agencies have under qualifies (if at all qualified ) editors, and themselves operate on a weak network rather than analyzing and giving every manuscript, they take up, the fairest shot. Writing and publishing a book is sort of an expensive affair now. In India, there might be 5 editors who are truly qualified and talented to assess and edit a manuscript without damaging the manuscript – rest of them are page 3 socialites who happen to converse in English, read a few books, and call themselves literary (lol). They charge a hefty sum and give us editors a bad name and deplorable market conditions.

    It is a sad state of affairs, where knowing English or any language is equated to handling the language and the message it would send.

    I’ll make another point: editing and editors (the good ones) are always trained by some of the best bodies, are members of prestigious associations, and follow certain practices. Now, this is not a guarantee that one might not encounter an unprofessional agent/editor – but the risk is several notches down. These people are serious about their professions, are committed to their work, invest time and money to learn more, and are responsive!

    I’m so glad that you have posted this. You didn’t get a reply for three months! Three months! Weathers change in three months, governments are overthrown in three months, newborns are three months older (bad one, but true), hell, you could have self-published and sold at least 30 copies in three months. Unfortunately, the self-adulating societies will keep mutually praising each other and ranking one another as the best in the country, while their unprofessional-ism, absolute depravity of talent and sham for knowledge will be lost.

    • Hi,
      Thank you so much for your empathetic comment. I gather you are an editor yourself as you wrote “They charge a hefty sum and give us editors a bad name and deplorable market conditions.”

      And this comment, “Writing and publishing a book is sort of an expensive affair now. In India, there might be 5 editors who are truly qualified and talented to assess and edit a manuscript without damaging the manuscript – rest of them are page 3 socialites who happen to converse in English, read a few books, and call themselves literary (lol). ” – coming from you gives it a lot of credibility. It also provides a good insight into the current market scenario and how good editors suffer due to this. So,
      Thank you once again for sharing your views.

      As you said, “These people are serious about their professions, are committed to their work, invest time and money to learn more, and are responsive!”
      I think this is what every aspiring author should look for and is looking for. In contrast to people, who call themselves “agents” who are nothing more than a middleman trying to make some easy money and mostly are unprofessional. It would be of immense help to me and someone else who is reading this blog post if you would name a few professional editors (if you happen to know).

      The writing fever has caught the nation. It is a craze to be a writer now and the agents and publishing houses take the benefit of that.Genuine literature, genuine stories are close to brink of extinction, so it seems by the romantic fiction flooding the market. If you are wealthy, throw a sum of 1-2 Lakh rupees and get published, no matter what you have written.

      Anyway, this status quo needs to be changed. I was so frustrated and angry when I went through all this. But I think this experience has made me wiser and hope it will help anyone else too.

  6. RighteousOne says:

    Hello,

    Yes, I’m an editor. Rightly said, they are middlemen, or worse really – be a middleman, if you can get the work done – but the truth is that most of them cannot get the job done.

    However, a good agent can get your book published, and if not, he/she can tell you whether your book has a potential market (or not).

    But before reaching out to an agent – especially credible ones, the writer’s manuscript needs to be in the best possible shape for it to be considered by top agents.

    So what is the process? Once a writer is done with his writings, he/she should consult people for feedback. If on a stringent budget, contact free Beta Readers (people who read your book, and give their feedback) there are several websites which offer free Beta Reading.

    And yes, do not be afraid to be criticized.

    Prepare a budget for the book – how much are you willing to invest – think about it and only then plan ahead.

    A writer can (should) contact an editor, again a talented one. Someone who is skilled. A good editor can help your book by leaps and bounds. There are some, note – very, very few agents do the editing (with years of experience, this is a rarity because a literary agency sells the book, they spend their time negotiating).
    But, if you’re willing to invest in your book – an editor can be of great value. Also, there are several types of editing (which is way more than adding or removing a comma), so it would be really helpful if an author can get a grasp of what he is looking for. Even if lost, an editor can guide the writer to the kind of editing required.
    Proofreading is also as important to make sure that the script is good enough to go to the agent or the publisher.

    There are a few editors who are truly qualified to vet a manuscript – I know a couple. I can inbox you their names. Now, editors specialize too. For example I love to edit fiction, and commercial non-fiction, and I also edit academic writings. But I hate to edit a cooking book, or say (as you pointed out) the gutter sleaze fiction flooding the Indian market ever since that idiot sold millions.

    Then, find an agent. I’d say there are a couple of good ones in India, namely: Aitken Anderson Associates, Jacaranda (they entertain fewer Indian manuscripts now), and may be Siyahi.

    By the time you reach the agent, you will have a clearer picture of the book – owing to the feedback of readers and experts.

    In the meanwhile, another set of Beta Readers may throw some light on the story.

    You can also contact publishers, and be prepared: you might not get a response from them (nepotism, the friends and daughters and sons being preferred). Keep your options open, look beyond the big houses, there are many self-published books which eventually landed bigger publishers because they succeeded.

    The writing process and writers have been glamorized now. But really, one needs to look through the glass. While people with networks and moolah seem to seal the deal, there are several parallel platforms now which must be made use of.

    “I was so frustrated and angry when I went through all this. But I think this experience has made me wiser and hope it will help anyone else too.”
    These people prey on unsuspecting newbies, which is shameful. I hope you didn’t lose a lot of money.
    I read somewhere in this blog that the Purple Folio person asked 100 Rupees a page for editing – what kind? And I would not choose to edit for 100 Rupees a page! I mean, unless shifting commas is called editing. Intensive editing is much more an involvement than 100 Rupees a page! And agents do not really edit, that’s not their goal. And if they’re so ‘western’ with the literary facade, they should know that the agent does not charge for editing or critiquing the mss, for the simple reason that it’s in one’s interest; one will only put in time if one sees the potential in the manuscript, and not you know just pass the time (what sort of agent is that?!)
    End of story.

    • Hi,
      I really appreciate you for your honest and to the point analysis of the market situation. It is very strange that we talk about Literary Agents all the time but we rarely talk about editors.

      You have given me a whole new perspective about this publishing process. I thank you for that. In my journey of publishing, I lost some money but not much. As they say, once bitten, twice shy. I hope anyone reading your comments would be benefited as much as I did. Yes, aitken alexandar and jacranda are among a few prestigious agents. It has been quite some time since Jacranda has stopped accepting any submission, I contacted them recently and they told that they won’t be accepting any submission till March. So, those who are prestigious are either busy or very selective and in such cases people take some wrong steps by reaching out to someone they should not.

      Anyway, after your comments I think that in such cases when people are unable to find agents, they should go for good editors. I am so glad that you stumbled upon this post and took out some time to write your honest opinions.
      My email id is : kevin_ansh@yahoo.in
      You can inbox me the names of editors. I am really looking forward to working with them and I will make sure that I write a blog post about the hard working and passionate editors who do the real job of polishing and refining a manuscript unlike the agents who just believe in pitching the story to the publisher. People should know about the editors and minimize the nonsense middleman “agent” crap. More power to editors! 🙂

      • Righteousone says:

        Hello,

        I think posting a link on the form will be more helpful.
        Here’s a link with the names of some of the editors one may want to contact. Although not complete in nature, and most of them might not be good enough, this list will be a good place to start.

        https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/14Y35xysvvyMaxACo4qWPUjDyCkvpNF-Cb_774Eum7Yc/edit#gid=0

        Also, my advise to every ‘writer’ who wants to get that book out in the market, research the market first. And I cannot believe how lightly editing, typesetting, and designing is taken in this country (when it comes to books). Research is your best friend.

        So there you go.

  7. Hi,
    Really glad I came across your blog. Will be crossing Purplefolio off my list. Had a bad experience with Partridge with my first book. Anyone reading this comment, DO NOT GO TO PARTRIDGE! Anyway. You’ve been really specific and helpful. Thanks.

    • Hi Varun,
      I am glad to be of help 🙂 Thank you for adding another name in the list “Partridge”. I was contacted by them and they have quite costly ‘packages’. Publishers with packages are worst. Anyway, you have a great talent for writing buddy! Writing a book at 16 is a big achievement. I read about “Operation blazing snow” on goodreads. All the best for your future endeavors!

  8. Hi Kevin,
    Thank you and Righteousone and others for showing me light in a thunderstorm. I researched and found the only way to make my debut is in a romance fiction. It was not my cake, but I somehow managed to do so. My actual novel was shoved aside for future because it is a amalgamation of scifi mythology and fantasy. The trend showed, actually pointed me bluntly that readers will not take that genre seriously. Take code of manavas for instance. That book is genuinely good but a few know about it. “Since the idiot sold millions” . In this point, after finishing my 1st english novel(it is a romance, but not a cliché one on my defense), i was seriously considering perplefolio as a choice. Her website is so… Misguiding!! Thank you for your blog. Also, i would like to read more on these kinda topics from you.

    • Hi Soham,
      I am glad to be of help! 🙂 I think Righteousone has the best point of view regarding the whole matter and you should really consider the comments posted by her/him.
      As you said, “I researched and found the only way to make my debut is in a romance fiction”. The market is flooded with romantic fictions and I think that is what people want to read! if you visit the website of any goddamn publisher you would find a new romantic fiction novel on the shelves or highlighted on their website. People would know Durjoy Dutta for “Of Course I love you…till I find someone better” but people won’t know or care to know (pun intended) Arpit Bakshi for “Code of manavas” There is nothing wrong in writing romantic fiction but a bit of novelty and ingenuity in that won’t hurt.

      Anyway, we are all learning. You my try your luck with purpleforlio for your actual novel, Urmila Dasgupta might be able to help you in publishing it but don’t rely on her completely,from what I have read in the comments and other elsewhere on the internet is that even if you sign a contract with her, her terms and conditions are like that which would keep you in loss. I would suggest to keep your options open with other publishers and agents too, this is a barbaric industry where people are ready to exploit other people’s dreams for their own monetary benefits. But then, so is life! I wish the very best for your actual novel 🙂

  9. Hi Kevin… Very informative …

    Why didn’t you go back with the book bakers after purple folio backed out? Did you try your luck with Srishti publishers ? They are very receptive to debut authors…
    Did you find a publisher or an agent yet?

    • Hello,
      I have thought of going back to the book bakers but since I have cancelled my previous contract with them, I was not sure of the response I would receive so I didn’t contact them again. Srishti publishers is on my list, Thank you for mentioning this, I will be contacting them soon. 🙂 I did find an agent but if you read previous comments on this blog you will discover the importance of an editor. So, my new agent has requested me to get my book edited by a professional editor and then send the book to him again. Right now I am thinking of contacting the editors. I did find publishers, but then they say the same thing, like, “Rs.50,000 as a deposit,if you want to go for traditional publishing else select one of our packages”. So, the publishers I found were asking for money. I have not found a traditional publisher yet mostly because on my part I have slowed down a bit and started focusing on other things. If you have any questions about any other publishers, do let me know, if I would be aware of them, I will share my honest experience with you.:)

    • “Sometimes I wish it could have been easier but if it would have been everyone could have done it and I don’t want to be everyone.”

      Yes, this industry is full of sick people ready to suck out your money for your ambitions. But, the truth is that if you are willing to get published you must have some cash to invest, it comes handy. I am a working professional so I was able to handle all the losses by myself but those aspiring authors who tell their parents that I want to write and then mention exorbitant amounts of packages like Rs.50,000 and upto Rs.1,00,000, is of no use in 99% of the cases. You would surely get your book published but who is going to read it? It would be just like any other book that comes into the market​ every other day.

      So, the bottom line is: Write a good story first of all, the struggle is real, be hopeful, be patient, be aware of the pitfalls and also be aware of your capabilities, be aware that investments would be required, if not for anything then at least for the promotions of your own book and lastly, stay positive.
      “Good thing comes to those who wait” 🙂

  10. RighteousOne says:

    Hello

    I’m happy that some of my inputs were of help.

    The way I see it is: the problem in the Indian publishing scene is that we’re not willing to grow. Most of ‘writers’ are in this to make quick and good money and for fame. Good writing is lost. The big publishers are in this for money and profit maximization – which is fine – because they run massive businesses. But in India their publications (fiction) focus on the dim-witted, self-styled funky, wrong mix of Indian and the Western, and self-proclaimed, shitty, disgusting, disgraceful, nauseating romance. I’d rather watch grass grow than ‘read’ that tripe.

    Anyway, the writers should opt for independent houses even more. Look at the UK, the USA, the whole of Europe. Some of these independent presses are gems. We should do the same in India. Because the reader (and writer) has never been exposed to such possibilities, publishing has this been such a tough market in India. But it does not have to be so forever,

    Also, please look up for the difference between vanity publishing and self-publishing. It will help you. Immensely. You can thank me later 😀

    Anyway, an editor, a proofreader, and a book cover designer are essential for anyone’s book/s. I’m glad you found an agent who offered you a sane advise. Which brings me to the question, did you find an editor? I guess you wrote fiction, so you ought to look for an editor who specializes in fiction editing.

    • Hi @RighteousOne,
      I couldn’t agree with you more 🙂 Surely your inputs were of great help! It would be very nice if you can tell people a bit more about independent publishing house, like which are some upcoming/good independent publishing houses.

      I have been busy with other things, so there has been a bit of delay in this but I have found one publisher who has asked me to get my story edited by a professional editor since my story is a historical fiction and I am no expert in that, hence I have been asked to get it edited. I would start looking for editors soon 🙂

  11. RighteousOne says:

    Hello KevinJ73

    Well, I meant that some of those foreign presses are absolute gems. There are a few really good Indian presses too. But they are really few. I’ll name a few. Now not all these presses release books that are a challenge to the present market, and unfortunately we are looking at an even lesser number when talking about presses releasing book to serve readership – selflessly.
    Okay, that’s enough! Names: Mapin Publishing, Seagull, Amaryllis, Alchemy, Bloomsbury India is accepting submissions directly (a big name, yet worth trying), Fingerprint!, Tara Books (not sure what kind of submissions they accept, one will have to enquire), Yoda Press is picking up well, Aleph (but I think they are a celebrity charisma stricken press, but may be, just may be it works out),and Speaking Tiger – these are some I can think of.

    Hopefully you’ll find one of these worthwhile enough.

    Can I market my editorial skills, just a bit? 😀
    You haven’t got your manuscript edited even once, have you?

  12. RighteousOne says:

    That’d be great! Because I haven’t had a look at your manuscript I will not be able to say what kind of editing is required, but I can safely assume developmental editing is what is needed.
    And I must inform you that my editing charges are a bit on the higher side – but that’s because I put in time and effort in the writer’s manuscript, and I want to see the writer achieve the his/her ambition with the writing.

    You did give your email id, should I mail you the details there?

    With my edit, you’ll gain a new perspective on your story. The review works as a constructive tool to not just improve one’s current writing but also spurs one’s writing skills for future works.
    🙂

  13. sanjeet says:

    hi kevin,
    I am really thankful, you posted such useful information. You have helped a lot of new authors, kudos to you.
    I need some help in the similar issue.
    I have been approached by bookbakers agency and I find it odd they charge an upfront fee. they dont even have a website. It’s like trusting a man off the internet.
    Should I trust them? How could I do more research about them? How can find the books he has pitched? can I talk to the authors he has helped become published?
    Please help me.

    • Hello Sanjeet,
      I am glad to help 🙂 Yes, they don’t have a website and charge an upfront fee, I also found this odd. They say that it is as per their company policy and they charge it for the efforts the agent is going to put to pitch your book to the publishers. Did the bookbaker guys told you that they really like your story and are ready to pitch it even before they had read it completely?

      Yes, it is like putting a blind faith in them, if you try to question them on their credibility they might get angry (happened in my case) Anyway, I personally feel that they will get your book published but I can’t guarantee about the kind of publisher they will get you, they have contacts with lots of new publishers and sometimes you might get a well established traditional publisher too.

      How can you do research about them: What I did was visit the guys Facebook page, search for “Suhail Mathur The BookBakers” on Facebook and you will find him, on his Facebook page you can see what are some recent authors who got published and who have tagged him in a post sharing their happiness, you can also see the publisher’s name. Some might call it stalking, I call it research 😉

      “Can I talk to the authors..” : I doubt they would reply, You can try your luck but I highly doubt that they would reply.

      Conclusion: If you really have had no luck with better agents who don’t ask for upfront payment and you really think that you have approached as many publishers as you can on your own and have had only negative response from them and now only an agent can pitch you, go for it. Else, I would suggest to try for better agents, who don’t ask for upfront payment or maybe try contacting the editors, there is a list of them in the comments above and work upon improving your story, if your story is different and good you will get a good publisher, sooner or later 🙂

  14. Reema M. says:

    I was thinking to approach purple folio but after reading this, I have changed my mind. So I have written a portal fantasy and there is this new publisher who is interested to publish me. Please share your thoughts about new publishers.

    • Hi Reema,
      The thing with new publishers is that most of them will try to extract some money from you. It may be some kind of publishing package or editing charges or you would have to buy back some copies or something like that. If a publisher is new but believes in your story and is willing to invest some money from his side too then I believe you should go for it. But if it is all about you investing in your book and you don’t see substantial contributions from his side, like efforts in marketing, designing and editing, then I think you should skip it. If you believe in your story and think that it is in the best form possible, you may go for self-publishing. Authors like Ashwin Sanghi had their first book self-published which was later bought by big shots like Westland.
      Hope that helps, I wish you all the best for your book! 🙂

      • Singh says:

        Hello Kevin,
        Thanks for the info.
        I have written one fantasy novel and one horror novel but as already said in the comments, Indians love to read romance only.
        So, i am confused as how to publish my different genre books. I have received interest of Notion press but they are charging with packages. I also received an email from Suhail Mathur that they liked my sample chapters. But after reading your blog i am uncertain now. Can you please suggest me what should i do? Wait for bigger publishers or go for Notion Press?

      • Well. romantic fiction does work in India but that doesn’t mean other genre won’t. I would certainly not suggest to go with notion press. As far as Book bakers is concerned, if you have exhausted all your resources, like got rejections from all the big publishers or if you really feel you have given your best but still couldn’t find anyone else than Book Bakers, I suggest you go with them. Basically I am saying that keep Book Bakers as a last resort. I understand it is an important decision and that’s why there is no straightforward solution, but be assured if your story is really good, all the solutions lead to the same destination, success 🙂

      • singh says:

        Hi kevin,
        Many thanks for the info.
        I have recieved an interest from Leadstart Publishers. Is it a good start for a fresh auther like me, who is just publishing her first book?
        Also should i opt for traditional publishing or partnered publishing? They have asked me to choose an option.

      • singh says:

        Hi kevin,
        Many thanks for the info.
        I have recieved an interest from Leadstart Publishers. Is it a good start for a fresh auther like me, who is just publishing her first book?
        Also should i opt for traditional publishing or partnered publishing? They have asked me to choose an option.

      • Congratulations for the response to your story 🙂 I would suggest to go for traditional publishing always. As far as I know Leadstart doesn’t offer traditional publishing package. Not sure if they have started offering now. You might have received a mail stating interest from a child company or a new venture of Leadstart publishers which is designed to support and encourage new authors for traditional publishing. I received a similar mail long back, so I am just guessing. I remember thinking that I would have considered the offer if I didn’t have another contract with me. So, if that is the offer you are talking about, I think it is a good deal. Just go through everything they mention in contract, don’t get into weird deals of buy-backs and all. I think you would be in good hands 🙂

  15. Iqbal Ahmad says:

    So this was happened, now have you been writing? How many novels you have written yet? Is Suhail Mathur reliable? Can you list some agent on whom we can trust?

    • Hi Iqbal, yes I have been writing. I have written one so far. Working on my 2nd. A person’s reliability depends on what your expectations are. As I have mentioned before in the blog post too, that he will most probably get your book published but can you get a traditional publisher via him is the question. If you just want to get published for the start and publisher doesn’t matter that much then yes, he is reliable. If not, then not so much.

      The whole idea is that a person whether an agent or a publisher should believe in your story, that person should really feel that the story is worth publishing. He/She shouldn’t be there just for extracting money from you.

      I wish I could list some agent, but so far I haven’t found any. But you can always go with the well known ones like Red Ink Literary Agency, Jacaranda, Siyahi.
      Hope that helps!

  16. Vardhanam Daga says:

    Thanks a lot. I have read many such negative reviews about Purple Folio that even I have changed my mind of contacting them.

  17. Aakash Suresh Shah says:

    Hi. First of all, thank you very much for this blog!
    Secondly, i wanted to ask about manuscript security. As in she already had your manuscript, she could just submitted it as HER book. How did you made sure she would not steal it?

    Thanks

    • Hi Aakash,
      Sorry for late reply. Been caught up with things lately. I asked her the same question, she replied by saying that she receives several manuscripts and she can’t just pitch whatever she likes as her own book. It is because there has to be trust involved at some point or other. If she keeps doing that then sooner or later people would get to her. Personally, I started writing my story in parts. I wrote one part, which was complete in itself and pitched it to the publishers. I wrote the story in such a way that even though the book will be complete but the story won’t. So, even if someone steals it, that won’t help them much 🙂

  18. Anonymous says:

    Hi, thanks for the advice. The bottom line is, publishers and literary agents expect the best of ethics from you (like you cannot send simultaneous submissions, simultaneous proposals even; you should wait for 6 months even to get a query for full manuscript, or simply rejection), but they themselves will be just doing anything they feel like…. I have a few questions, I would be glad if you can help-

    1. I have received a response on my initial proposal from Jaico, Lifi, Leadstart and RumourBooks, asking for the full manuscript; this was within a few days of my sending them the proposal one after the other. does that mean something hopeful?

    2. Can I send a proposal with sample chapters, to more than one publisher at a time, if not the full manuscript??

    • Hi,
      Well, I wish I could say otherwise but it is what it is. Publishers have an upper hand and we don’t have much choice initially than to play by their rules.
      Coming to your questions:
      1. That is a tremendous response! Like I have mentioned in my previous comments and in my blog post that you should try for traditional publishers. Among the ones you have mentioned, I am not aware about Lifi. I googled it and they seem nice. I would suggest you to keep leadstart as your last option. Response from RumourBooks is awesome and from jaico is great! You should be hopeful and proud 🙂
      2. Yes you can. If they ask for full manuscript, which they would, you can send that too. Until and unless a contract binds you from doing so, you can reach out to as many publishers you like.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hi Kevin,

        That was real help… I was so occupied thinking about what I should do and what I should not, hence was not being able to focus on my writing. Even one of my school friends warned me against Leadstart. She got published with Lifi and shared quite a good experience with them; as for Leadstart she had heard negative statements as well. I thought they were good, as they had published ‘Asura’, which was a bestseller and a couple of more, but now I will hold back from it. Moreover they told me to wait till 2019; now I am not sure what they mean actually. They had asked for a date when my full manuscript will be done, I replied, but ever since then they are not responding…

        One more question- Do publishers take a long time to reply to follow up mails? I mean if I do not receive a reply over a query or generic mail for long, what should I assume? they aren’t interested anymore?

        and thanks for encouraging me as well 🙂

      • Hi,
        I understand your situation, I have been there and since I didn’t want others to suffer like I did, I wrote the blog post 🙂 I am not sure what they meant when they asked you to wait, but I think that publishers release books as per the market situation. Or maybe they had other titles lined up before yours.

        The answer to your questions depends upon how you are contacting them. If you are sending them an email on editorial@blah-blah.com they will take quite some time to respond. Publishers are loaded up lots and lots of manuscripts, emails and queries. It is better if you know someone personally, like some editor on the team who has expressed an interest in your story. If you contact him directly, there is a better chance of getting a faster reply.

        Long time depends on how you define it, I have had to wait 3-4 months to get a reply. But if you are not receiving a reply for generic email or query even after waiting for months, like 1-2 months, then chances are slim that they are interested. Or worse they have not seen your manuscript yet. I remember sending my manuscript to penguin but never heard back from them, not even a rejection. It has been 2 years now 😀
        I am just curious, given the terrific response to your story, what is the genre?

  19. Anonymous says:

    My current work is a Literary Fiction (well I safely say so, though my initial intent was to call it a Creative Non-Fiction) based on Hindu epic.
    I have published my first book last year, (genre-Non-fiction; Psychological attributes behind Demonic possession, and the religio-cultural practices)but that was with an international publisher. Now the difference is, that time, I (and my co-author) were approached by the publishers (and not other way round), based on the merits of one of my scholarly scientific publications in one of the international journals. They gave the proposal; I wrote the book; submitted…. That’s all I had to do. The process was fast and my book distributed over Amazon and other retailers. Writing was always there with me. But when I discovered last year that I could actually write and finish a book, I started working on the second, on a subject which I have been studying for about 2 and half years now, i.e. Ramayana. I have finished few chapters, hence I have given out the proposals; this time to Indian publishers having a wider market.
    As I said, the above houses, have responded, asking for the full manuscript, within a week’s time. So I was hopeful, but after reading so many blogs across the web that publishing in India is next to impossible, I am really anxious; I am really new to this industry and barely know the rules. I have sent to Penguin as well, but I do not expect they will reply… 🙂 they are too busy as always!

    As for Leadstart, this conversation happened 4-5 days back; after that no-reply. Its not been months yet. I have only one mail i.d. given by them, so I sent my reply there itself.

    • Hi,
      Wow! You are already an author. That will definitely work in your favor and give your story more credibility.

      ” So I was hopeful, but after reading so many blogs across the web that publishing in India is next to impossible, I am really anxious; I am really new to this industry and barely know the rules. I have sent to Penguin as well, but I do not expect they will reply… 🙂 they are too busy as always!” – Well, it is not next to impossible. I am the proof of that, after going through everything I have a contract from Rupa Publications, a traditional publisher. I understand your anxiety, been there. The best thing you can do is focus on your work and try to make it better. Remember, कर्मण्येवाधिकारस्ते मा फलेषु कदाचन । : “You have the right to perform your actions, but you are not entitled to the fruits of the actions. ” Be hopeful, work hard, you will surely get success 🙂

      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you so much…. I am doing the same… focusing on my work….and hopingfor the best…

        That’s great you have a contract with Rupa!!!! Congrats… I will surely let you know, if something good happens to this project

  20. Himadri Roy says:

    Dear Kevin,
    I read your post, comments and views of all those who wrote here. Dreaming to be an author is a gigantic task. Its almost like jumping into the ocean and looking for a pearl.
    My debut novel — Travails of Entrapment — did get publish by Leadstart Publishing House of Mumbai in collaboration with Frog Books of the US. The editing was horrible, but I was so excited about seeing my first baby on my hand. But the first review opened my eyes, and saw my baby has not been edited well. I was emotionally shattered. Soon had to contact reviewers myself and tell them to overlook the errors in my book, (Always thought it was the job of an editor to rectify those and make the book more flawless and marketable) I wanted the comments on my story. Soon got recognition as an author of gay romance.
    But then things turn out sour, my next manuscript is ready. But the first review created a hindrance there, too. Approached many traditional publishers, and as expected all denied. Some showed interest but wanted the book to be restructured accordingly. My new novel opened with male rape and gradually the story unfolds.I didn’t want that whole chronology to restructure. Two of the publishers said it will take almost two years to consider my manuscript. Some publishers were reluctant to take it, one of them commented we can’t take risks of publishing such controversial story.
    Since last two years, my second novel is looking to be handled by a good doctor ( @Righteousone thanks for your comments on editors). I didn’t want to go back to my first publisher who already damaged my aspirations. Friends suggested me self-publishing, some about literary agents. While going through them, saw your comments of Purplefolio, it made me reconsider my thoughts. Although I didn’t stop writing, the third novel is in progress. Really don’t know when and how my second child will see the day of the light. Struggling still.
    @Righteousone thanks for all the names of the publishers. But most of them don’t explore all genres. They are reputed for few genres only. Wish all of us (struggling authors) best of luck.

    • Jai Nagpal says:

      Hi Himadri

      I recently got an email from Leadstart regarding submissionof manuscript after submission of sample chapters and synopsis for my book. Wanted to ask whether leadstart is a trustworthy publishing house or just a vanity publisher who just charge us for publishing. I tried their numbers but it goes on voicemail. Also written to the email but no response. Could you help me with this. You can email your reply at cajainagpal@gmail.com

  21. Hi Himadri,
    First of all kudos to you for taking the road less traveled.It takes courage and an unwavering belief to publish an uncommon story. Even though section 377 has been recently decriminalized but it would still take some time for people to get comfortable with stories relating to it.
    I understand your struggle but I believe it is just the market and demand for the genre which is at play. But the most important thing is that we keep writing 🙂

    I am saddened to learn that your editing was done poorly for the first book and I truly believe that it wouldn’t have been the case if it was a traditional publisher. I recently got editing of my book done from a traditional publisher and I can tell you that they do a lot of changes! Some times they are structural, other times semantic and other times they would ask you to simply delete a portion.
    I believe whatever happens, happens for the good, you might not realize it at that point of time but it will eventually lead you to a much better place. 🙂

    I really appreciate the fact that you didn’t give up on your dreams, even J.K.Rowling had so many rejections but the most important thing is to not lose hope.

    https://www.theguardian.com/books/2015/mar/24/jk-rowling-tells-fans-twitter-loads-rejections-before-harry-potter-success

    To conclude, I would like to quote J.K.Rowling, “Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.” Best of luck to all the struggling authors!

  22. Hello Kevin,

    Thank You very much for this information.
    I just finished my manuscript and was looking to publish it when I came across your blog. Your disdain of the genre crap caught my eye and so I thought to comment

    My book is a literary fiction – on the theme of creativity and madness, balancing of art and family and the affect of childhood bullying

    Finding an editor for such a niche genre is very difficult. I am working with a few freelance editors (Fiverr.com and Upwork.com) and still not 100% happy.

    I wanted to know how your book is doing and where you stand.

    Thank You
    Sandeep

    • Hi Sandeep,
      Congratulations on completing your manuscript! I am glad that you are trying out niche genre, more and more authors need to do that.

      As they say, authors feel that writing a book is tough but once you have finished writing, then comes an uphill task of finding a good publisher.

      The current state of publishing industry in India is not so good. Many great stories don’t get the right platform and good publishers.

      I think one way to overcome this is to approach new publishers and try your luck with literary agents too. In my research one such publisher I recently found out about was http://gloryburg.com/
      One of the books they published, Inkredia, has received great reviews. So, I think they can be counted on.

      If you plan to go with literary agents, be aware that getting a literary agent isn’t a panacea to your problems, in my experience 🙂

      I am not sure why you are not happy with the editing but if you aren’t then you should try at more places, explore more options and do some more research.
      But before you do that, edit the book to be the best version from your side.
      Usually, if you get a good publisher, they will take care of editing at their own cost. Editing changes the book in so many ways but not every change they make is good. So, you need to be aware of what would look good for the story and be confident about what would click with the audiences and for that you first need to edit the book to the best of your ability.

      My book released recently, to be precise, yesterday 😀 I am glad to have support of family, so many friends and hopefully the audiences too. I am hoping for the best while also preparing myself for the worst. 🙂 It is a great feeling when your book gets published and it will take you to cloud nine but the important thing is to keep your feet on the ground while your head is in the clouds and always keep doing your best work while staying humble.

      Please let me know if you have any other queries or is there any way I can help. I would be more than happy to do that. 🙂

  23. Singh says:

    Hi Kevin, congratulations on your book being published. 😊😊. So, who is your publisher? And name of your book? I will surely buy it.

    • Hi! Thank you for your interest in my book. My publisher is Rupa Publications and my book’s name is “Ashok and The Nine Unknown.” It’s a historical fiction and takes the reader on an adventure involving mythology, love, magic and thriller.
      If that interests you, I would be glad to hear your review 🙂

  24. Karthick Hemabushanam says:

    Hi Kevin, I read this blog with interest. I understood the other side of the publishing industry along with the fellow authors. I am glad that you have published your work through a great name like Rupa publications. I congratulate you for this great achievement after facing so many challenges with the agents and some of the publishing houses. I would like to know what made your manuscript champion with Rupa (of course I knew you would have come with a better story). Is there something with the author bio? Is there something with the query letter? or Marking plan? I am curious to know about it. If you can share about the way you had queried with them would be a great thing for us.

    • Hi Karthick,
      Thank you for your kind words.
      I believe that luck is a big factor in life. I also believe that hard work will payoff, if not immediately, but definitely. There is always this moment in life when hard work and luck work together and that’s when success happens.

      I believe many great stories don’t receive the platform they deserve and from my end I am working on some ideas to streamline this issue
      Lack of transparency, unethical behavior and milking aspiring authors for money, isn’t how this industry is supposed to work, in my opinion.

      Coming to my story, the luck factor that worked in my favor was this.
      When I was pitching my book, around 2015-2016, Rupa didn’t accept submission by email. I sent them three sample chapters, synopsis and author bio by post.
      To this day, I have no clue what happened to my manuscript, did they receive it? Did the look into it? Did they even open my envelope? I received no communication from their side about that. Honestly, I don’t blame them. They must have been inundated by manuscripts from aspiring authors from all over the India.
      Now, if you think about this scenario from their (not specifically Rupa, but any traditional publisher like Penguin, Harper Collins, Westland, etc) perspective, there could be many factors, they could be running short of man power, i.e. talented people who would filter good stories. There could be a case that they might not want to look earnestly into the heaps of submissions they are receiving and might be relying on literary agents like Siyahi to bring them good stories. So, you see, there could be a lot of factors involved.

      Around early 2017, Rupa revamped their website and started accepting email submissions. There website was down for quite some time and I used to check their website everyday because I wanted to know why their website was down. It was highly unlikely that they have shut their business. So, one day as soon as I checked their website, it was up and I could see an email submission option there. I submitted my manuscript ASAP. This was January 2017 and I received a positive response from them in July 2017.

      What worked for me? Luck, my story didn’t get lost into the multitude of submissions big publishing houses receive everyday as many people were not aware of the email submission feature from Rupa and also my hard work that when my story did reach to them, it was in the best possible form and they could see its market value.

      As I said, there is always a moment in life when hard work and luck work together and that’s when success happens.
      Hope this helps 🙂

      • Sandeep Sengupta says:

        Thank you Kevin.
        You are helping aspiring authors by sharing your experience.
        I have two questions
        One. If publishers accept direct submissions, why approach a literal agency?
        Two. How did you ensure that your novel was in best shape before sending out? I have done multiple self revisions and currently approaching free Lance editors but still didn’t get the right person. Reason- niche genre (literary) and I have an antihero,a negative protagonist.

      • I am glad to help Sandeep 🙂
        Here are the answers to your questions:
        1. Let’s say you go to buy potatoes in a market. On one end you see some potatoes lying on the ground, most of them look dirty because they have been lying on the ground waiting for someone to brush away the dirt from them and on the other end there are some nice potatoes, already filtered from the heap of potatoes lying on the ground and bagged in a nice bag for you. Assuming you are financially stable, which potatoes would you buy?
        I think many of us would chose to buy the filtered, bagged ones.
        You could for sure find some good, clean potatoes among the ones lying on the ground but that’s a lot of extra effort and chances of a clean potato getting ignored in the heap of potatoes covered with dirt is very high.

        I hope the analogy is clear, the potatoes lying on the ground in this case is the multitude of submissions received by the big publishers every day. I believe, to them, most of the submissions look like potatoes covered with dirt. I don’t intend to say that they are bad stories, it’s just that they might not see a market value in them,
        The bagged potatoes are the ones already filtered by literary agencies. Those have the backing and support of well established agencies. And since big publishing houses are financially stable, they buy the bag of clean potatoes.

        2. I think for that you need to follow your intuition. Having negative protagonist can make a wonderful story, like Marvel’s Deadpool. Getting the novel to the best shape possible from my end means being completely honest with myself. Of course we would definitely like what we have written but then we need to think, be really honest with ourselves and ask some questions to ourselves, “Is it really good? Is it really something different? Would I enjoy reading it if someone else would have written it? Why am I writing what I am writing.”

        I think if we are honest to ourselves and answer these questions truly, we can mold our story in the best form possible from our end.

        I would like to give you one advice, if you feel that you have done as much as you could do from your end, give the book to your friends and family, ask them their honest opinion. If not, try sharing sample chapters on wattpad, see how the response is. If that also doesn’t work, keep researching and approaching new publishers. When you approach them, make sure to market your story in the best possible way, i.e. make the synopsis and sample chapters intriguing enough, make them relevant, bring your words to life and try to take your story to that level that when someone reads it, they should forget that they are reading fiction, it should almost appear to be real, a part of their life. And as I said, hard work will pay off, if not immediately, but definitely.
        Hope that helps 🙂

  25. Sandeep Sengupta says:

    Kevin,

    Thank you so much. You are a very good person and that is why you are successful with your book and I am sure, life too.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words Sandeep 🙂
      My personal success is ephemeral but if I can somehow contribute in success of others, that would be permanent.
      With that, I wish you the very best for your book and I hope my blog somehow helped you in your journey.
      Best Wishes!

  26. Oh God!! U saved me! I was planning to approach purplefolio after seeing their amazing website 😦
    I have just written my first novel, have no experience in writing fiction. Can u please suggest me how can I get my book published without giving money. Kalamos is asking for 1.5 lakh !! I wouldn’t even give 10K let alone a lakh! It’s my hard work, my blood and sweat in this book. Why should I pay for getting my book published, it makes no sense 😦

    • Hi Sneha, I am glad that the my article helped you. Apologies for the late response.
      I totally understand your situation, been there 🙂
      I am not sure what deal Kalamos is providing but check if they are including marketing services in that. If they are then it’s a decent deal. I used to think that if I get published with the big guns, all I would have to do is earn royalty from my book sales but books don’t sell by themselves, you have to market them and to do so properly, you need at least 1 Lakh. So, if Kalmos is including marketing in their services, it sounds like a decent deal.
      You are right, it doesn’t make sense to pay for your hard work but then this is a dog-eat-dog world, especially many people in publishing industry are like vultures, prying on writer’s dreams to get published. These publishing houses want to be secure their profits, no matter your book sells or not and hence they quote such high prices.
      The only way to get your book published without paying for it is to reach out to a traditional publisher. There are two ways to reach them:
      1. Send your manuscript to editorial@xyz.com (xyz being the name of the publishing company)
      2. Get an agent.
      I would suggest you to go with option 2 as it is more likely to work. You should reach out to purplefolio, there is no harm in doing that as they don’t charge any upfront fees. But what you shouldn’t do is stop reaching out to other publishing houses or agents. Don’t rely on them, you might be disappointed like me in the end. 🙂

      • Thanks for your help. Yes , kalamos package includes marketing too. Actually , I m not looking for Print on demand books. I want my books to be available in bookstores, whether traditionally published or self published. But I m not looKing for POD only.

        That being said, I will go with your suggestion of approaching a literary agent. I guess this would work better.

        Thanks a lot. U have been a great help. Also do u know any editor who could edit my book (without charging huge fees), before I send the script go agent .

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