The first and most important thing about finding a publisher for your book is – finding the right one! Often people talk about finding a ‘home’ for their book, and it is a little like that. It’s not just finding someone to print or sell the thing, but finding a list that will give your book the kind of support it needs, and where you, too, feel ‘at home’.
Spend some time on the net trawling around on different publishers’ sites, but often the best and easiest way to find a publisher whose list would be just right for you is to find a book that you think your book would sit happily next to on a bookshelf, and just see who published that.
Publishers respond far better to someone who has clearly done their homework, and who knows what the publisher is about, and who else is on the list. You’re far more likely to get a happy outcome from this approach than just wildly firing off submissions to all and sundry.
Going the self-publishing route
More and more people these days are opting to publish their own books. Opting to go with a publishing service means that you retain creative and financial control over your project. Not only this, but some of the most successful books of recent times, started out as self-published projects.
So, if you have a manuscript which you would like to turn into a book - either a physical book or an eBook - email us to find out more about Zubaan Publishing Services.
Formatting your Manuscript
Choose a standard font – Times New Roman is good – and an easy readable size (11, or 12) and line-spacing at 1.5, and a standard A4 page. Avoid any fancy formatting at the submissions stage – it just gets in the way, and can cause technical glitches. In short, don’t give your editor, or agent, a harder time getting to the ‘meat’ of your submission than you need to!
You need not submit a printout, but always check your publishers website for their submissions guidelines and follow them exactly. If they ask for a synopsis and three sample chapters in the first instance, send them just that.
Always make sure that your manuscript – heck, and also your covering letter – are cleanly formatted and not full of spelling mistakes and careless typos. Nothing puts a publisher off an author quicker than spotting someone who is slapdash about the words on the page (or screen, for that matter).
Choosing a literary agent is as important as choosing a publisher. After all, this is someone that you’re going to have to work with, to be represented by, not just for one book but – hopefully – for the many that you will write! You need to be ‘on the same page’ (sorry), so finding someone who likes your work is just step one. Check out their credentials, find and talk to others on their client list, read their profiles online, see what makes them tick, and if it’s what makes you tick too, then go ahead and submit.
In India, it’s not so necessary or usual to have an agent, and most publishers are more than happy to accept non-agented manuscripts. Don’t think that because you don’t have an agent that publishers won’t be interested in selling rights abroad: they are, and will.
Zubaan is an independent feminist publishing house based in New Delhi. We publish academic books, fiction, memoirs and popular nonfiction, as well as books for children and young adults under our Young Zubaan imprint, aiming always to be pioneering, cutting-edge, progressive and inclusive. Find out more.