If you believe you have what it takes to write a book, then you need to figure a plan of action.
Your first step should be to find a publisher. To make your book stand out among the millions of books out there, you need the right publishing house.
You can have a great idea, amazing content but if the execution is botched up, it will never make it to the best sellers list.
As a first time writer, it can be a bit daunting to pick from well established publishing houses to self-publishing companies or boutique publishers. The Association of Publishers in India states that almost 9037 publishers exist in the country, so how do you know to pick the right one?
Let us help you by listing 21 top Indian book publishers.
Established in 1946, Jaico was India’s first publisher of paperback books in the English language. Founded by Jaman Shah, it was initially a book distribution company. He saw a demand for affordable books and initiated Jaico’s publishing program. Headquartered in Mumbai, Jaico is known for its self-help, religion and philosophy, mind/body/spirit and business titles. It also publishes travel, current affairs, biography and popular science books. Jaico has a translation division that translates English into nine Indian languages. Some of its famous authors are Robin Sharma, Deepak Chopra, Khushwant Singh, Brian Tracy and John Maxwell. One of Jaico’s well known titles is ‘The Monk who Sold His Ferrari’ by Robin Sharma. Jaico publishes around 125 new titles every year. While they primarily focus on fiction, non-fiction, and business titles, the company has an educational department that accepts some selected manuscripts in management and engineering. You can send your book proposals to Preeti Sao, the Editorial Coordinator of the company. Reach out to her on this page.
Headquartered in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh, Arihant Books is a popular publisher of educational and scholarly materials. The company was established in 1997, and since then they’ve published more than 3000 titles in engineering, medical studies, general school curriculum, ITI, and polytechnic. Arihant Books also publishes selected books for general and government entrance examinations. Their titles are extensively researched and well-aligned with the latest of syllabus of the concerned curriculum. The company currently has 23 sales and support offices across the nation, and you’ll find them on every leading online platform. Arihant Books follows an open submission policy and you can send your educational manuscript with a short book proposal. Check this page for more information about the submission process.
Penguin Random House India, earlier known as Penguin India is a subsidiary of the global publishing house, Penguin Random House. Formed as Penguin India in 1985, it is the largest English language trade publisher in the continent. Penguin Random House India publishes classic fiction, modern fiction, biographies, sports, travel, business and illustrated children’s books. The books are available in Hindi, Tamil, Marathi, Gujarati, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Bengali and Urdu. The publication has also embraced the digital age with almost 2200 e-books being contributed every year by them. The list of books by Penguin includes critically acclaimed titles such as ‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy and ‘The Inheritance of Loss’ by Kiran Desai. While the head office is based in Gurgaon, you can download the Penguin app and celebrate your love of reading. Penguin Random House follows an open submission policy. They accept both fiction and non-fiction titles. For fiction, you can send novels, novellas, short-stories, and poetries. For non-fiction, they accept works exploring current affairs, travel, business, cooking, religion, and self-help. You can also send your narrative non-fiction books, quiz books, reference books, biographies, and memoirs. For more details about the submission process, check this page.
4. Roli Books
A mid-sized publication firm founded by Pramod Kapoor in 1978, Roli Books is known for beautifully crafted books on Indian art, photography and cuisines. Pramod Kapoor was conferred with France’s highest civilian award ‘Knight of the Legion of Honor’ in 2016 for his lifelong commitment to promoting Indian heritage through books. If you are looking to create a rich coffee table book that is a mixture of art and literature, Roli Books is your publisher. The company follows an open submission policy and you can reach out to them with your book proposals featuring a synopsis, a table of contents, three sample chapters, and a short author bio. For more details about the submission guidelines, refer to this link.
Rupa Publications was started in 1936 by D. Mehra. Over 95% of the Rupa catalogue is converted into e-books, a strategy that effectively helps reach a wider audience. The Delhi based Rupa Publications has an eclectic mix of fiction, non-fiction and children’s books. They have titles in history, business, politics and a host of memoirs. Authors at this distinguished publishing house consist of Ruskin Bond, APJ Abdul Kalam, Pranab Mukherjee and Chetan Bhagat. Rupa Publications accepts submissions in both fiction and non-fiction. You can send a hard copy of your submission to their Delhi based Editorial office. You’ll find more details about the submission process here.
Hachette India is the Indian arm of Hachette UK. A relatively young publishing presence, it was launched in 2009. Situated in Gurgaon, Hachette India publishes general, literary and commercial fiction, children’s and reference books as well as non-fiction, covering memoirs, self help, travel, history, business, popular culture, lifestyle and sport. Successful titles at the house are ‘Turbulence’ by Samit Basu, ‘Durbar’ by Tavleen Singh and Amit Varma’s ‘My Friend Sancho.’ While Hachette India is open to submissions, they will only consider your work if it is represented by a literary agent. They accept adult and business books and some selected titles in general fiction, non-fiction, and translations. Check this page for more details about their submission policy.
A newbie in the Indian publishing scene, Aleph Book Company was founded in May 2011 by David Davidar with R.K. Mehra and Kapish Mehra of Rupa Publications India. Working out of Delhi, Aleph is a selective publishing house focusing on quality rather than quantity with around 40 titles published annually in areas like fiction, history, autobiography, travel, business, popular culture and non-fiction. The author list at Aleph has names like Shashi Tharoor, Devdutt Patnaik, Valmik Thapar, Vikram Seth and Khushwant Singh. Note that Aleph Book Company doesn’t accept unsolicited submissions and there aren’t any exceptions to this policy. Check their submission policy here.
No publishing list is complete without mentioning HarperCollins. HarperCollins Publishers India is a wholly owned subsidiary of HarperCollins Worldwide. It was launched in 1992 in Noida. The company dazzles with authors like Kiran Nagarkar, Tarun Tejpal and Arvind Adiga. Adiga also won the Man Booker Prize in 2008 for ‘The White Tiger.’ They are one of the few publishers who are interested in publishing poetry. Other than poems, they also publish on a range of topics both fiction and non-fiction. They also are keen to have a growing list of writers for their Harper Hindi program. Harper Collins India is open to new submissions and you can email your book proposals with a brief synopsis and the first three chapters of your manuscript. The body of the email should contain your name, contact number, and email id. For more details about the entire process, check this link.
Pan Macmillan India is a part of Macmillan Publishers, a global trade publishing group. Another new kid in the Indian publishing bunch, Pan Macmillan started publishing operations in August 2010. Pan Macmillan India covers genres like fiction and non-fiction across various sub genres. One of its most famous books was ‘India after Gandhi’ by Ramachandra Guha. Pan Macmillan India has, until recently, been publishing only under the Picador imprint. The company has now added Pan and Macmillan, two new imprints to cover its local commercial fiction and non-fiction publishing. Pan Macmillan India is currently accepting manuscripts for their Picador India, Pan, and Macmillan imprints. The Picador India imprint is entirely dedicated towards literary fiction and nonfiction, the Pan imprint is tailored for general fiction and nonfiction, and their Macmillan imprint is designed for commercial fiction and nonfiction. While the company accepts unsolicited submissions, manuscripts represented by a literary agent receive greater priority. You can check the entire submission policy on this page.
10. Scholastic India
If you are writing an academic or children’s illustrated book, Scholastic India is the publisher you should go to. Started in 1997, Scholastic India is a publisher and distributor of children’s books. A famous title from Scholastic India is ‘The Hunger Games’ by Suzanne Collins. The Gurgaon based publishing house publishes books on educational technology, educational services and children’s media. They print in 45 languages and reach more than 150 countries. Gulzar, Paro Anand and Anushka Ravishankar are some of their renowned authors. Scholastic India accepts unsolicited manuscripts in children’s fiction, young-adult fiction, nonfiction, and biographies. They also accept activity, quiz, self-help and puzzle books. You can refer to this page for a better idea about their submission guidelines.
The traditional route of sending your manuscript to a publishing house may not be everyone’s cup of tea. So if that is the case, you can always opt for self-publishing. Self-publishing is when the author of any book chooses to publish his work without the involvement of a third party publisher. You can create your own cover, book and control your content without any interference. 24by7Publishing is one of India’s famous self -publishing companies. This Kolkata based company lets you in the driver seat for various packages where you decide how to package your book. You can find details about uploading your manuscript here.
Pothi is another self-publishing platform available for all writers in India. It allows writers to publish and sell their books, even e-books without having to go through the hassle of waiting for your manuscript to be approved. It can be used by individual publishers or NGOs. Pothi has already published almost 7000 books. Check this page to know more about their author services.
Founded in 2007, Cinnamon Teal is a self-publishing company that has strict standards which gives their books a certain quality that other platforms might lack. Their publishing philosophy is unique and has helped them achieved the ‘Young Creative Entrepreneur Award’ in the field of self-publishing in 2010. Note that Cinnamon Teal Publishing is a self-publishing company. That means, you need to pay a small fee to get your manuscript published. You can find more details about their publishing process on this page.
Become Shakespeare is a self-publishing brand situated in Bombay. They have extensive packages suitable for different needs and budget. They have published nearly 1050 books till date. They offer a host of services like getting your books in retail stores, public relations and handling social media. They even set up a team dedicated to you that ensures it is getting marketed and promoted well. Check this page for complete details about their publishing packages.
Leadstart Publishing is a progressive company with titles in health, biography, travel, fiction, religion, health and children’s books. They have Digital Leadstart to reach the readers online. This Mumbai based publishing house also has a literary agency that works for writers either looking to publish or resell or pitch content to other mediums. The most recent bestseller of Leadstart is Asura by Anand Neelakanthan. The author is also writing the prequel to fantasy fiction super hit Baahubali. Leadstart Publishing is currently open to submissions in non-fiction. Some of their accepted sub-genres include biography, health and fitness, politics, spirituality and more. Leadstart Publishing also accepts some selected works in fiction and poetry. Although the company follows a traditional publishing model, they have a dedicated self-publishing arm. Details about their submission process can be found here.
Operating for over five decades, Om Books International is one of the biggest publishers of trade books in India. The company is headquartered in Noida, and over the years, they’ve worked with leading authors like Khalid Mohamed, Bi Feiyu, Kamala Das, Vinod Nair, and Prabhat Shunglu. Om Books publishes fiction, non-fiction and children’s titles. Some of their top genres are self-help, art, architecture, culture, health, business, and wildlife. They also have a children’s imprint called Om Kidz where they focus on mind-boggling books for early readers, middle graders, and young adults. Om Books International is currently open to editorial submissions. Check this page for more details about the process.
Started by Harpreet Makkar in 2013, Petals is a multi-faceted publishing house that provides access to digital marketing, editing and distribution for all writers. With its office in Ludhiana, Petals is looking to blur lines by offering the option of self-publishing along with traditional publishing depending on the needs of the author. They may not have any big names as their authors but they have a solid collection across genres like romance, fantasy and mystery. When it comes to manuscript submission approach, Petal follows both the traditional and self-publishing models. Check this page for more details.
Srishti was founded in Delhi 18 years ago with the idea of giving a platform to first time writers and this company should definitely be on your list if you are considering sending a manuscript to a publisher. Publishing almost 350 titles annually including translations of works in languages like Oriya, Malayalam, Bengali, Punjabi, Urdu, Tamil and Hindi, Srishti has genres like fantasy fiction, self help, philosophy, astrology, espionage thrillers and culture. Srishti has been the debut platform for authors like Preeti Shenoy, Durjoy Datta and Sudeep Nagarkar. ‘Life is What You Make It’ by Preeti Shenoy was ranked No 1 in 2014 by Nielsen Book Scan. Srishti is currently open to submissions in fiction and non-fiction. You can refer to this link for more details about their submission policies.
19. APK Publishers
APK Publishers was started because it was essential to give first time writers the opportunity to share their stories. Located in Pune, this ‘truly English’ publishing house has a mission to help first time writers. Launched in 2008 by Prashant and Anagha Karhade, APK has published 50 books till date. Their top sellers are ‘Ripples’ an anthology of 48 short stories by 26 Indian women writers, ‘Alice’ series by Megha Rao and ‘Moonstone: The Incredible One Hour’ by Atul Gupta. APK Publishers is open to submissions in fiction and non-fiction for adults, young adults, and children. You need to send three sample chapters if you’ve written a novel, and three sample stories if your manuscript is a collection of short stories. Check this page for more details about the submission process.
20. Pustak Mahal
Formed in 1974, Pustak Mahal is the pioneer for language learning and supplementary books for children. With nearly 1500 titles and 50 on the bestseller’s lists, the company produces books on general information, children, language, education, career guidance and self-management. The company was one of India’s first to digitalize its publications.
Formed by Shyam Lal Gupta in 1939 in Delhi, S. Chand has now become the second largest education publisher in India. Joining the digital bandwagon, S. Chand is offering online platforms for exam preparations, designing activities for children and a home tutoring service. If you are interested in writing for higher education, competitive and children’s books then submit a manuscript to S. Chand. They publish books in almost all regional languages. S. Chand Publishing follows an open submission policy. However, before sending your manuscript, you need to fill out their book proposal form and send a short manuscript query. Check this page for more details about the process.
That’s our extensive list of 21 top book publishers in India, which are suitable for a variety of genres. Before you decide anything, do give it a thought if you should go for a traditional publisher or self-publish. Every side has its pros and cons, but it is for you to know what meets your needs and choose accordingly.
What did you think of the book publishing houses in India featured in this post? Are there any others we should add to the list? Please tell us in the comments box below!
Shikha Pandey is a creative, content and script writer based in Mumbai, India.