You’re an aspiring novelist. You’ve worked hard at writing your book. Now what? It’s time to approach a publishing house to get it published. But, it’s essential to know what to do and more importantly, what not to do when you send your book proposal and draft to the publishers.
Who better to approach about these questions other than a publishing company itself? We spoke to Srishti Publishers, who have been in the business for two decades, helping to publish books by Durjoy Dutta, Ravinder Singh, and Sudeep Nagarkar, for some advice for aspiring novelists.
1)What should a writer keep in mind when choosing a publishing house for their novel?
Firstly, a writer should choose the right book to send across to the publisher. They should delve a bit into the past books published, successful titles and authors published by the publisher before taking a decision.
Also, how the publisher reacts and their confidence about the book could be a key factor in choosing a publisher.
2)What’s the difference between publishing and self-publishing houses?
The main difference is the level of involvement & investment. A publisher is involved in each and every activity and invests from his side, both monetary wise and effort wise, into the book. While a self-publishing house will provide services limited to exactly what they are paid for and contracted to do.
3)Is there anything you should submit alongside your work?
A lot of authors submit their marketing plans for the book, promotional ideas and also concepts for the cover design along with their work. Anything which can help your proposal stand out works the best and should be encouraged.
However, it’s better to read the submission guidelines of a publishing house before you submit the manuscript or else you might run the risk of instant dismissal.
4)What should a first-time author keep in mind while sending over the proposal or manuscript to a publishing house? Are there any do’s and don’ts?
A first-time author should keep a few simple do’s and don’ts in mind while sending their proposal. The few simple do’s would be to read the submission guidelines, research on the preferences of the publishing house (for eg: do not send a poetry proposal to someone who publishes prose or an academic one to a trade publisher) and run a basic spelling and grammar check on the content at least.
Also, one should try to be a bit polite with their approach and very patient. Lastly, present your content in a lucid and coherent manner which would definitely give you an edge over others.
The biggest don’ts would be to disregard the submission guidelines, send a rude and demanding proposal or constant follow-ups. Also, one must be careful about sending the right content and addressing it to the right people while sending the proposal.
5)How important is it to get a literary agent?
We accept unsolicited work so it is not too important to have a literary agent as far as approaching us is concerned.
6)How long does the process – from getting the green light to receiving the printed book- take?
It would take at least 8-9 months to over 12 months from signing up with a publisher to actually getting published. However, this is a general idea of the timeline and it may vary across publishers and also depend upon the author.
So, keep all these details in consideration before you approach any publishing company. It will definitely help you be better prepared for the process and better equipped to deal with challenges that come your way. Do you have any other questions about publishing a novel? Do let us know in the comments below.
Featured image courtesy: Reshma Krishnan
Written by: Disha Mukherjee