How to Publish a Book in India in 2020
Are you an aspiring author looking out to publish your book in India? Are you not sure of how to get your manuscript designed and published? The article will guide you with each step involved in the process of getting your book out into the Indian market.
The Indian market is thriving, with thousands of authors getting their books published. According to the India Market Report (2016), India is the world’s sixth-largest book publisher in the world. A study called the Nielsen India Book Market Report 2015: Understanding the India Book Market, claims that India ranks second-largest English-language book publisher in the world. It has around “9000 publishers” and that over 70% of Indian publishers have “digitized their content to produce ebook versions.”
It is no doubt that the Indian market is booming. So, if you want to publish your book, it is high time you take the essential steps for it.
Types of Publishing in India
Probably you are ready with a book idea, or you have your manuscript written and edited. Still, there is a confusion regarding which route to choose for publication. You mostly have three options ahead of you; shop it out to literary agents, submit to publishers accepting unsolicited manuscripts (without an agent), or self-publish. All of these are viable options for any author.
If you need to publish your book in India, you need to choose a route between the three:
- Traditional publishing
Traditional Publishing in India
Traditional book publishing is when a publisher offers an author a contract to publish the book. The publisher buys the rights of your book so they can do anything they want with it right from editing to removing whatever they feel like it.
Traditional publishing is always sought after, but not everyone can traditionally publish. Meaning, the publisher gets to decide if your book will get published or not after reading it. A traditional publisher always has the upper hand and takes decisions regarding editing, design, and marketing.
Once you complete your manuscript, and you decide to publish, it roughly takes about 1-3 months for your book idea to transform into a book proposal to your literary agent. From the agent to the editor and for the book contract offer, it takes another 2- 5 months.
The total amount of time from the idea of your book to publishing it might even take up to 2 years!
The list of a few traditional publishers in India include:
Self-publishing in India
If you’re not aware of what self-publishing is, it is where the author pays money to a self-publishing house to publish their book. With that said, everyone started penning down stories, poems, etc., and have been self-publishing so that they become published authors. Self-Publishing is currently taking over the publishing industry.
Thanks to the rest of the Gutenberg Press in the 15th century, most authors fund the publishing of their books. Still, it was not until the existence of eBooks, and Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing, the domination of indie authors, became possible. Many authors are choosing to publish their book through KDP.
Apart from printing the author’s manuscript, a self-publishing company consists of in-house designers, typesetters who design your book cover, typeset your manuscript, and take care of everything till your book’s distribution.
Many authors nowadays prefer self-publishing to traditional publishing because:
- You keep 100% rights to your book.
- You have direct support where the websites list a phone no/email, which you can directly contact to start publishing.
- You can publish whenever you want to without any rules.
- You have a short wait time: a month, minimum.
- Although the professionals help by pitching ideas, you can go ahead only if you want to. In other words, you get to be the boss of your entire publishing process.
- You have the non-exclusive agreement. You can self-publish with other companies and go ahead with traditional publishing too.
- The Marketing and distribution of the book are handled.
Finding an agent easily
published in less than 3 months
PR and marketing should be done by you
NO, included according to package
Non- exclusive contract
Full control on the outcome of your book
You keep full rights to your book
Control of the number of books published
Read further our article self-publishing vs. traditional publishing to know more about both types of publishing.
Here is a list of a few popular self-publishers in India:
DIY publishing is when you prefer to do everything yourself with the help of many software. In this method, the author can self-publish their book without any help. They need to have a complete skill-set to design for designing and publishing a book.
Some authors also hire freelancers for a few tasks they can’t do themselves or hire some companies like Pothi and Pen2publishing that focus only on services that start from editing, designing, print-on-demand, publishing, and marketing your book.
Steps to Self-publish a Book
Many aspiring authors are confused about the whole process of self-publishing. The step-by-step guide would help you with the process right from finding a good book idea, writing the book, editing, designing, and selling your book.
The various steps in the process of self-publishing include:
1. Find the Right Idea to Write your Book
The most crucial part of self-publishing a book is finding the right idea to write the book. As an author, you need to know what topic you want to write about, and also why you want to write it.
You need to brainstorm and find the right idea or topic to write the book. Here are a few questions that will help you with brainstorming ideas for your book:
- Are you a coach or speaker who wants to establish their skill by writing a book?
- Do you have an idea for a novel or fiction, and want more creative prompts to explore ideas?
- Are you an entrepreneur looking to expand your business by writing a book?
Use these questions to start brainstorming ideas for your book.
2. Write your Book
Once you find an idea to write about, you need to start writing the first draft. You need to have a writing routine and plan in place to initiate the writing process. Depending on the book genre you choose, the writing plan changes accordingly.
Non-fiction: If you are planning to write a memoir, self-help book, or writing a book to grow your business or any other non-fiction book, your plan will include research and then writing. Research becomes an integral part of writing a non-fiction book since it makes the book more authentic and credible.
Fiction: If you intend to write a novel or a book of fiction, you need to create a memorable story. Your fiction should include well-formed characters and have a setting that is believable and enticing for the readers.
Create an outline: Whether you are writing fiction or non-fiction, it is essential to create an outline that provides directions to develop your story or book. The outline helps you write the book faster and better.
Develop a writing routine: It is essential to have a routine to write the book. Once you decide the topic and ideas to write the book about, plan a routine for writing. Find a perfect time of day and an ideal place to write where you can sit and write your book without any distractions.
3. Editing the Manuscript
You have finished writing your book, and have got through the very first roadblock. You have either written a couple of pages or completed your book. It is an achievement, both ways. So, what next? Every book needs proper editing to eliminate the mistakes or errors made in the writing process.
The moral is that your book needs to be read and re-read. If there are obvious mistakes in your book, then your credibility as an author is lost. So, the importance of editing cannot be overlooked.
There are different types of editing available, and you need to employ these while reviewing the manuscript. It is vital to hire a professional to edit your manuscript since they will have a fresh perspective, which will help in identifying the content gaps and errors in the book.
4. Choosing a Perfect Title for the Book
A good book title can go a long way since it helps boost your sales. A perfect title captivates the reader’s attention and instills curiosity in them.
There is no fixed rule to arrive at the perfect title for your book.
Look at the titles in the genre you’ve selected. You will get an idea about the titles in that genre and the expectations associated with the genre. Think about what your book is about and narrow down to the basic ideas, and try finding the titles.
Keep in mind that a good book title:
- Grabs the reader’s attention
- Is memorable & informative
- Has an emotional appeal
- Creates an impact
- Easy to remember
5. Get Feedback for your Manuscript
Before you dive into publishing your book, it is essential to get feedback about your book. Good feedback will only enhance the quality of your writing and book. You can start by asking for feedback from family and friends. Give them a finished manuscript and take the feedback with a healthy attitude. If there are constructive criticisms, incorporate it in your book.
You can find beta readers who will give feedback regarding the book. Beta readers are a group of people who will read your book and give feedback regarding it and let you know if it is enjoyable or not. You find them in places like Goodreads Beta Reader Group.
6. Format the Manuscript
Once you have proofread and edited the manuscript thoroughly, the next crucial step is to get the manuscript formatted properly. Formatting is essential since the readability of your book is dependent on it. A well-formatted book ensures that the reader has an enjoyable reading experience.
While formatting a print book, you need to ensure if the interior is well-formatted according to the genre of the book, and also design the book. You need to choose the trim size, do the typesetting to get the book printed and published. There are numerous tools available to format your manuscript, but it is always beneficial to hire professionals to do it. They would ensure that you get a professional paperback ready for publication.
The same holds true for formatting an eBook. It is better to ask professionals to do it. Since they will format it properly, and also make sure the eBook can be read in all platforms and eReaders.
7. Designing the Cover
When you self-publish a book, cover design becomes the most crucial factor. A good book cover design boosts your book sales. The cover is the first impression that a reader forms about the book. It is the factor that influences the decision of whether or not to buy the book.
You need to design a book cover that is professional and grabs the reader’s attention. There are many tools available that you would design the book cover. There are numerous templates available online for you to choose from. But it is advisable to hire a professional cover designer for it.
A professional designer would know the expectations associated with the genre you have selected. The design requirements for fiction is different from that of cover design for non-fiction.
8. Choose your Self-publishing Options
Once you have the book formatted and designed, you need to consider self-publishing your book. You need to think about the self-publishing options available for it. You also need to make a choice if you want to self-publish print books, eBooks, or both.
Print books: When you want to self-publish a book, earlier, you had to print books and wait until the readers place an order to buy the book. Now, you have an option for print-on-demand. Here, you upload your finished book as a file to a printing service. The service prints books as and when buyers buy a book. Each book might cost more than the ones published via the traditional publishing method, but here there is no risk of unsold books.
eBooks: Many authors choose to self-publish an eBook since it is cheaper to create and sell it. You can choose the format of an eBook, depending on the platform you choose for self-publishing.
9. Pricing the Book
The important step in the self-publishing process is to decide the pricing of a book. The common question that aspiring authors have while self-publishing the book is how much to price it.
Choosing the price of a book is a tricky business. You need to select a price that is not too high or very low. It is natural for first-time authors to get confused in the process because if you price it too low, people might think it is cheap and not credible. If you price it high, people might not be ready to give that price for a first-time author.
So, it is a challenging task to price the book while self-publishing your book.
10. Market the Book
A good book with a bad promotional strategy leads to low book sales. You need good marketing strategies to promote your book. There are thousands of books getting published in India every year, so you need to invest time and effort in promoting your book.
You also need to build an author website to establish your credibility, attract more readers, and also leverage it for book marketing.
With the Indian publishing market thriving, it is the best time to get your book published and fulfill your dreams of becoming an author. You also need to have an idea about the cost to self-publish a book in India, so that the process becomes easier for you, and allows you to make well- informed choices. Before you go, let us also look at the mistakes you need to avoid while you self-publish your book.
Mistake to Avoid while Self-publishing your Book
When you decide to self-publish your book, it is significant to understand that it takes more time and effort. It is a challenging process, and many aspiring authors make mistakes while getting their books published.
They invest much time in writing, but they miss paying attention to the crucial steps that ensure the success of the book. You need to put in the effort and have effective planning when to take the route of self-publishing.
Many authors make the mistake of choosing a bad title for the book, have an amateur cover design, bad marketing strategies, etc. Read our blog on self-publishing mistakes to avoid to know more and avoid these mistakes to make your book a bestseller.