Sunday, April 13, 2014

Chronicles of publishing: Guest Post by Harsh Agarwal

An entrepreneur by profession, Mr. Harsh Agarwal is an author and editor. Recently, I got an opportunity to read his nice novel Nazaqat. You can read my review HERE.

I'm glad to share his insight about 'writing and getting published', on my blog!

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Getting published is the new cool among people from all age groups. Is it bad? Not at all! It’s a great feeling to see your words taking form with ink and paper. It’s beautiful and of course prestigious. No one can be called a real author unless he/she is published. And e-book doesn't really count.

So, let’s talk about how one can get published because I have been myself asked the same question repeatedly. It is the second last phase of your journey to become a published author and the most painful one. Wondering what’s the last? Well, it’s marketing – just as daunting as getting your stuff published. I have never been able to decide which of two I hate most. I guess it’s a tie.

Now, before you pledge to get published, let’s get a few things straight. Be it a short story, a full length novel or a part of epic series. Are you sure your work that you want to get published at the moment is complete? Does it need any more editing? You sure there are no more changes from your side? If your answer is no or uncertain, work on your piece again. Polish it more.

Only when it’s done, you need to sort out a few elements like sample chapters, synopsis, blurb, author bio, your lovely photograph and the complete script of course. Each of these elements has their own significance and by compiling all these elements, you make a thing called ‘proposal’. Proposal is a medium to sell yourself and your product. Yes, your product alone is not sufficient. You need to know your thing in and out. What are your target readers? What is your marketing plan? Which kind of cities the book will target? How efficiently you will be able to market the book?

Once you are done with the proposal, you can start approaching publishers. Plenty of fishes in the sea actually. Fishes of all kind. The first attempt is usually to opt for traditional publishing where you don’t need to invest a penny in publishing. If that doesn’t work out, the other option is self publishing. Both have their own pros and cons so choose judiciously. It usually depends on your own caliber to promote and sell the book.

If you are completely new, you can participate in numerous competitions for anthologies. A number of publisher – old and new – regularly organize competitions for short stories. So you can mark your presence by getting few stories published and then do a full length book.

How to find a publisher for your book in particular? Go to flipkart and see which publishers are releasing books of your genre or category. Go to their websites and find the submission guidelines. Act accordingly. Word of caution – don’t be disheartened by rejections. There would be so many of them. Brace yourself and be immune to all such heart breaks. Have faith in your work and keep working.

If they ask for complete manuscript, don’t start dancing because you still haven’t reached anywhere. It just means they want to read the complete script and decide. Also, it can take from weeks to years for publishers to reply and hence you have to be really patient with the entire procedure.

If you ask me the best part of being an author, it would be the experience. Becoming an author is a complete learning experience. You are not merely an author! You are your own critic, your own editor, a marketer, a salesman and pretty much what so ever you are required to do in the journey. It helps you have new perspectives about everything. You get to deal with a lot of new people and make new friends.

Well, this is just a brief insight about getting published. There is definitely lot more going and there is lot more to deal with once you embark your journey of getting published! Feel free to contact if you need any help.


  1. Insightful... and mostly true. Great post!

  2. Nice. The easiest and most interesting part of writing is writing. Wish there was someone else to do the fishing and marketing.

  3. Writing is always lovely :)
    Nice :D
    Visit my page sometime too :)