On writing and getting published

. 'The Hindu' carried an interview with me, there were mentions about my third book in 'The Indian Express', New Indian Express as well as India Today. (see slide show) And in the Hindustan Times today, two of my books are in the Top 10, as per the Nielsen scan.

These days, there is this flood of mails I get. I do reply to all, even if it takes a lot of my time.(If you have written to me and not got a reply, I have probably overlooked, please resend)

But of late, I seem to be getting a whole load of mails from people who want to be published. They want me to read their work and tell them if I think they are good enough. I have time constraints due to my paid assigments (Writers have bills to pay too, folks!). I am flooded with requests from people who send me stuff they have written and some send me whole manuscripts even. Even though I would love to help, my current commitments leave me with no time to read stuff (let alone edit and assess) which readers send in.

 A whole lot of people also ask how to go about getting published. So I thought I would write a post which addresses all the questions people ask, so that next time I get a mail like this, I can simply point them to this particular post.

Here are the FAQs on getting published

1. How does one get published in India? Do you need an agent?

No, you really do not need an agent in India.
Chikki Sarkar (who was Editor in Chief of Random House India at the time) who is now with Penguin, has answered a whole lot of questions on getting published in this link.
Please read it thoroughly if you are an aspiring author.
Also check out this link:

Both the above links would answer almost all questions you have about getting published in India.

2. A publisher has agreed to publish my book, but he wants me to pay X amount. Is this how it works?

No! A traditional publisher will never ask you to pay any amount! If a publisher is asking you to pay, then it is probably 'Vanity publishing'. It's really not worth it, in my opinion.

3. I have been rejected by all the top publishing houses, now I am thinking of publishing my book myself. What do you think about self-publishing?

 Here is a Superb article by Harold Underdown which tells you exactly what I think about self publishing.

4. I want to write a book. Where do I start?

Join a creative writing course.  If you are outside India, just google it and many colleges and universities offer you courses. If you are in India, this link may be useful.

5. I really appreciate your writing. Can you offer me tips on how to write better? Can you be my mentor?

For me to offer you tips on how to better your writing, I will have to study your writing in detail. For me to be your mentor, would take a whole lot of time from my daily schedule. My current commitments simply do not leave me with any time for critiquing or mentoring. I suggest you join a writers group like Caferati who have a facebook group too.

 6. I have a flair for writing and I enjoy it. What do I do next?

If you are in college, start taking part in every creative writing opportunity that comes your way. You can contribute to your college or school magazine.
If you are working, look at  your company newsletters if they have one.
Offer to write for local newspapers and magazines. (Study first what kind of articles they publish and see if your writing fits in their style.)
If you write as a hobby and want a wider audience for your work or want to see your work published consider taking part in short story competitions like this one.

7. I have been 'inspired' by ___________ and have written a similar book. What do you feel?

I truly believe that writing has to be original. You have to find your voice, your style.I am somehow against a 'copy' or a 'similar style'. Be original! Be brave! Be proud of who YOU are!

Here is a superb video which captures some hard hitting truths in a humorous way on writing a novel.

So, here you have it. I have given you all the information and all the details. Good luck with your writing! ____________________________________________________________________________________ Ps: You can interact with me on my FB page too.


  1. Thanks once again! That is something, I am sure most of us want to know.

    I think you can read minds too! ;) :P

  2. Scream about your book from the top of roofs for if you can't celebrate your achievements then no one will :)

    And THANK YOU SO much for the publishing advice, you have no idea how much it has helped me:)

  3. I can just say this post is truly helpful. Thanks for posting :)

  4. Anonymous8:27 PM

    The thing that makes you special Preeti, is that you care...even if you can't help each and every person that writes to you...you try. And that is what makes you stand apart.

  5. Congrats on "Being the news". Being popular, getting recognised by the public is such a proud moment and one should cherish them.
    I haven't seen any author or 'getting-famous-personalities' spending so much time in reading the comments, replying back to each and every mail and suggesting people about writing/publishing. Your commitment and care is amazing preeti. Becoming an published writer is a distant dream for me now...but I will try and register with a creative writing course first..Thanks for these tips..

  6. Being popular as a writer and getting recognition for it is such an important milestone in the life of an aspiring writer. You are already there and hope more successes come your way as God's blessings.

    Your tips for aspiring writers is definitely indicative of the warm, humane person that you are. Keep blogging too no matter how busy you become. We look forward to your posts.

  7. Thank you so much Preeti for the wonderful post! This shows how good you are as a human being.
    Thank You for the tips :-)

    Wishing you the very best, Preeti!

  8. thank you so much for the links :) and congratulations on your new book :D

  9. So its Popular Preeti:)
    M so happy for you..!!!

    The other day two ladies in the train were talking about you and your books. I was sitting beside them...One of them was reading Life is what you make it...and the other 34 Bubblegums.

    God bless you Preeti...for sharing these links with us:)

    They are very useful.

  10. Gayu: Thanks! Good to hear that :)

    Rajlakskmi: Thanks!

    Uma: Thanks :) best of luck to you too!

    Swapna: Will never stop blogging.Thanks!

  11. Vaish: Thanks a lot :) Best of luck with your writing!

    Nilu: Am happy to help!

    Ashan: Glad! Thanks :)

    Peevee: I dont believe in screaming :) would rather let my work speak for itself! Happy to help!

    Purnima; maybe i can! :)

  12. Anonymous10:07 PM

    This post seems custom-made according to the questions I had in mind.. Extremely helpful..

  13. Oh thank God!! Would like to be writing a book and get published and known in future, but how? This has been one thing bothering me all these days. Thanks Preeti for this one post. :)

  14. Superb post Preeti.

    Deep within all of us here want to pursue writing professionally and reach to a bigger audience.This post will help.Thanks a ton :)

  15. Anonymous9:08 PM

    Thank you for sharing Preeti. I feel utterly silly as I found out about your blog and books so late. I haven't read your work yet but from the post I believe it is nothing less than stellar. You inspire, aspiring writers like me to keep it together.
    I wish you all the best for the future

  16. Wonderful information...and this is probably the reason why you haven't replied to my email.

    No problem.. thanks and all the best! :)

    Please do take some time out to visit my blog, if not for anything else, just to read my stories as time pass :)

  17. thanks preeti for all d info... jus ven i was bout to mail u i came across this link n all my queries were answered...m kind of ready with my book but i still dont know whom should i contact to gt it published. n if they wud also help me editing it....

  18. jus ven i was bout to mail u, i gt all my queries replied here.... thanks a ton preeti for all d info... bt i still dnt kw whom to contact for gettin my work published after i am done wid my writing , a fictiton novel... n wud they also help me edit it..

  19. this has helped me a lot.. thank you :) u rock!

  20. this has helped me a lot . Thank you :) u rock!

  21. Lots of useful information... thanks a lot!

  22. Lots of useful information... thanks a lot!

  23. Thanks..its helpful for new writers..


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