Literary agencies located in India

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Image: India Post via Wikimedia Commons


When I started my agency almost five years ago, there were very few literary agencies in India. Times have changed. People suddenly took notice of the fact that South Asia is an enormous market with a growing demand for books.

If an author’s primary publisher will be in his or her country of residence, then there can be advantages to being represented by an agent located in the same country. I’ve compiled the following list of literary agencies in India so I can link to it whenever the question arises. I’ll try to remember to add to this list whenever I learn of a new agency.

Aitken Alexander Associates – Shruti Debi

The Boxwallah Literary Agency – Renuka Chatterjee

CAA KWAN

HMA Literary Agency – Mike Bryan and Heather Adams

Jacaranda (now located in Singapore, but its advisory board member remains in India) – Jayapriya Vasudevan, Helen Mangham, and Andrea Pasion-Flores

Kadalu – Geraldine Rose and Sridhar Gowda

Labyrinth Literary Agency – Anish Chandy

Purple Folio – Urmila Dasgupta

Red Ink – Anuj Bahri, Sharvani Pandit, and Sanya Sagar

Sherna Khambatta Literary Agency – Sherna Khambatta

Siyahi – Mita Kapur

WordFamous – Dipti and Rushabh Patel

Writer’s Side – Kanishka Gupta and Rahul Soni

In India, it’s still very common for authors to submit their manuscripts directly to publishers without the involvement of literary agents.

40 thoughts on “Literary agencies located in India

  1. manny steinberg

    I am looking for an agent or a publisher in india ., to read my book outcry , you can find it on the internet ,the story is about the holocaust during the second world war in Europe
    to receive a synopsis please write to wsdesi@aol.com
    attention many steinberg

  2. Robin Mizell Post author

    Manny, Manny, Manny… I posted links to these Indian agencies so you and others like you can write to the agencies directly. They’ll never find you here in the comments section of my blog.

  3. Dheerja Rathore

    Whosoever it may concern ,
    I would like to offer myself as reader for any literary agency.

  4. Robin Mizell Post author

    Dheerja, did you happen to notice my reply to Manny just above your comment? You’ll need to send a letter expressing your interest along with your résumé to each literary agency to which you’d like to offer your services. You will find their contact information on their websites.

  5. Dr. (Ms)Raj K Dhar

    Hello Robin
    I had my first novel “From the Pages of a Diary” published by Partridge Publishers UK .The book received a good response from the readers. It is also sold through filipcart.com. amazon.com. I did my own distribution . Now I am ready with second novel. This time I am looking for an Indian Publishing company . Can you help?time

  6. Robin Mizell Post author

    Greetings, Dr. Dhar. On my agency’s website, RobinMizell.com, you’ll find a list of the information I would need in order to answer your question. You might be better served by an agency located in India, so your royalties would not need to be transferred across international borders twice, which can be costly.

  7. Anonymous

    Thank you for your prompt reply. I am looking for a genuine agent who will help me to publish and market my book,and get me a good deal
    Dr Raj Dhar

  8. Manny steinberg

    Thank you Robin, for trying to help me a literary agent for my book outcry about the holocaust ,
    manny Steinberg

  9. felis

    Dear Robin,
    Thank you for this post. In few of the websites of literary agents it says “we do not accept unsolicited manuscripts” well it is kinda confusing isn’t that why we are looking for literary agents in the first place? Even the Aitken Alexander Associates’ site say the same regarding Indian office. Is it possible to obtain Ms. Shruti Debi’s email for submission purpose? Or do we submit to the UK address?

  10. Robin Mizell Post author

    “We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts” merely means “do not send your manuscript to us unless we ask you to.” Your query should be designed to persuade someone at the agency to ask to read your manuscript. If the agency announces that it’s not accepting new clients or queries, then it’s pointless to send a query. It’s not uncommon for agencies to fail to update their posted guidelines. Occasionally you’ll be wasting your time and postage despite your best intentions.

  11. felis

    oh! ok, thank you for the clarification. Writing a book seems easier than writing a query letter or a synopsis! no wonder the literary agents doesn’t want to represent some of us lost souls.

  12. Dr. Raj Dhar

    I had my first novel “From the Pages of a Diary” published by Partridge Publishers UK .The book received a good response from the readers. It is also sold through filipcart.com. amazon.com. I did my own distribution . Now I am ready with second novel. This time I am looking for an Indian Publishing company . Can you help? This time I wish to have it published in India.
    Can you help me to publish and market my book,and get me a good deal?
    Dr(Ms) Raj Dhar

  13. yash agarwal

    I’m looking for a publisher who can publish my first non fiction book. Can you help me in publishing my first book? It is kind off a real love story. it would be a great help if you can help me in publishing my book.
    Thank you,
    Yash

  14. Robin Mizell Post author

    My literary agency is not a publishing house, Yash. If you desire the assistance of a literary agent, you should take a look at the submissions guidelines for prospective clients listed on each literary agency’s website. There you’ll find the agency’s requirements and contact information.

  15. elska

    Hi Robin.
    I currently sent out queries to the literary agents listed above. Do you think they would mind if I wrote “I understand that you offer editing…” Have I messed up? Should I send them all a follow-up mail to correct my mistake? Plus, do literary agencies consider authors who aren’t adults yet?

  16. Robin Mizell Post author

    Some literary agencies in the UK have begun to offer writing workshops and other services for which they can charge up-front fees, and India’s literary agencies are likely to have more practices in common with UK agencies than with US agencies. In the US, many industry watchdogs still consider it to be a conflict of interest if a literary agent operates a side business as a freelance editor. That said, times are changing, so your inquiry about editing won’t seem as odd today as it would have five or ten years ago.

    Writing “I understand that you offer editing” in your query implies that your manuscript is not as perfect and ready as it should be when you send it to a literary agent. In that regard, including the comment could be detrimental to your chances of eliciting interest from the agencies you contacted, if in fact freelance editing (or perhaps copy editing at no charge) isn’t something they offer.

    Some literary agents do have clients who are minors. I always tell talented teens who contact me about their manuscripts that I’d love to hear from them again in five or six years, after they’ve completed their high school education and entered college. They will learn a great deal during those years.

    If you’re a teenager, I hope you’ll take advantage of the opportunity to write for your school newspaper, yearbook, or literary magazine. You might want to start accumulating writing credits by submitting short stories to reputable literary journals and magazines.

    Perhaps, with your parents’ approval, you could join a writers’ critique group that meets where you live. You might be able to locate an existing group through Facebook, LinkedIn, or Meetup.com.

    You might consider starting a blog as a form of self-promotion. Many authors use blogs to communicate with their readers and fans. Most authors now are expected by their publishers to help promote their books and themselves through websites, blogs, and other social media. It’s work! Successful authors say they spend half their time marketing their books and the other half writing them.

    This advice might appear to direct you backward instead of forward in your writing career. However, establishing a firm foundation, making professional connections with other writers, and working on your craft is time that will be well spent.

  17. Sudesh Kumar

    Hi Robin,
    i’ll be glad if you tell me something about self publishing in India and Partiridge. I also want to know, that there are some agents who are asking for full manuscripts. is it right to send full mss because i afraid that it can be steal.

    Thanks.

  18. Robin Mizell Post author

    Hi, Sudesh:

    Partridge is a service offered by Penguin Random House, the world’s biggest English-language trade book publisher. Partridge actually is a house brand name for the Author Solutions self-publishing service, which administers Partridge for Penguin Books India. (Both Penguin Books India and Author Solutions are owned by Penguin Random House.) For aspiring authors, Partridge is an expensive self-publishing option when compared with other companies. That’s basic information.

    Before choosing to self-publish, a writer should learn about all of the book publishing options available today. Jane Friedman created an infographic that shows the different ways a book can be published for purchase by consumers.

    Caveat emptor! I’ve written a post for authors who are seeking traditional publishers for books they have already self-published. It’s easy to find good information online that can help prevent mistakes.

    As for having a manuscript stolen, I realize it’s probably a bigger concern in India, where postal mail occasionally disappears before it reaches its destination. Jane has responded to a writer’s question about the risk of having ideas or work stolen. No one can assure you it will never happen, but you can minimize the risk by dealing only with reputable businesses and individuals.

  19. mahesh chandra

    i have a completed fiction/ fantasy novel in english and eagerly looking forward to get it published. further, i will send a synopsis of the story when ever required. looking for your suggestion.

    MAHESH CHANDRA

  20. Amit Sharma

    I love your site, especially the information given here about Indian literary agents. You are godsend. Now on to my search for my fifteen minutes, :). Thank you so much.

  21. Saurabh Bhatia

    Now this is a very interesting blog that I have stumbled upon. Thanks Robin, for compiling this.
    I have published my 3 books under my own banner till now (various reasons: Inability to take rejection was one. Inability to trust various Indian publishers was another) But I realised that doing so takes more time, energy and heartburn than letting someone else do it for me. (Yeah, I am one of those who learn only from their own mistakes)

    Now I am looking for agent(s) to represent me. Your post is helpful in that regard.
    Also, I needed some advice: I think of myself as a world class writer (like most newbies) and believe that I can crack it at International level (again, like most newbies; Don’t roll your eyes, please). So I was wondering if I should have two agents, one for India and one for foreign markets.
    Would you like to advise me on this, please?

  22. Robin Mizell Post author

    I’m glad it’s helpful. Some of these questions are making the post more interesting.

    I can offer only vague answers without knowing the details of your unique situation. First, you’ll need to accept the fact that your self-published books have established, to some degree, your marketability as an author. Publishers can take a look at how well your books have sold in the past and use the information as a basis for evaluating the potential for sales of your newer work. Today, more than ever, the author is part of the “package” in which a publisher is investing.

    Typical English-speaking readers prefer novels about familiar peoples and settings. So in India, acquiring editors tend to prefer novel manuscripts that are set in India or have Indian characters or both. In the UK, commissioning editors prefer novels with characters and/or settings that seem familiar to readers in the UK. In the US, novels about Americans or set in the US are predominant. The novels that succeed across cultures have some kind of natural bridge or universal relevance, because they’re about families… or they’re parables or allegories or love stories… or they’re fantastical tales set in worlds that don’t actually exist on Earth. At this moment you’re probably saying, “Yes, my novel is all of those things!” Don’t worry. I’m not rolling my eyes. I like foreign voices, but I’m far from typical, so my personal preferences can’t be used as a gauge of the market.

    India is a very large market with immense potential for growth in its book publishing industry. In the US and the UK, traditional book publishing is not seeing huge growth, but there has been explosive expansion over the past several years in the self-publishing sector. Who can imagine what things will look like five years from now? I’d predict that territorial rights licensing rapidly will become obsolete. The largest publishers already are positioning themselves to exploit English-language rights worldwide whenever it makes economic sense for them. Beyond that, a few publishers have begun to produce translated editions as well as editions in the primary language for which they’re known. Technology is changing the business models. Keep that in mind.

    As for working with multiple literary agents, you could refer to my post dated 17 March 2013. It’s complicated. Perhaps the easiest and most common thing to do at the moment is trust a primary agent who has a network of subagents in foreign countries.

  23. Saurabh Bhatia

    Thanks for your detailed reply, Robin. I appreciate the time you took out for this.
    In India, I am seeing a lot of sub-par authors getting sold like hot-cakes simply because somehow, their publishers or their PR agents, are flooding all types of Bookstores with their books. You go to the bookstore and their mediocre novels are stacked up in Best-Selling sections, kind of prompting people to buy (because its a bestseller, wink wink) and sort of feeding its own loop; the more they sell, the more they are entitled to be there.

    I feel this is a ‘constructed’ bestseller, where smart PR is more at work than quality of the book, and a potential reader’s gullibility is being exploited.
    Initial years, I hated the guts of such authors and their PR agents. Now i feel that if this is the way this industry is working, should I join the party? It is a change of my moral philosophy where I am beginning to see that while the ethicality of the means to attain success is questionable, the practicality is not; And therefore, worth emulating, if i want to create even a single ripple in this gigantic ocean. I am beginning to feel that merit alone is not enough. And that’s why i need an agent that now helps me beat the mediocre at their own game.

  24. Robin Mizell Post author

    I don’t know the market in India well enough to respond to your comment. However, I do know that consumers love to discuss and recommend the books they’ve read, which is a significant reason certain books achieve disproportionate popularity. Everyone wants to read the book that all of his friends are reading. People like having a handy topic of conversation. Many, many readers also prefer books that aren’t terribly difficult or ambiguous. They’re entitled to their tastes. No one would argue otherwise.

    Publishers, publicists, and literary agents are three different types of professionals. Don’t assume that all agents also are publicists. Ask.

    In the US, it’s understood that book authors must participate actively in the publicity campaigns for their books (online, in print publications, on radio and television, and in person) to achieve optimal results. Most of the work is done by the authors, who form direct and lasting connections with their fans, who in turn generate demand for more of the authors’ work.

  25. Sudheesh

    Dear Robin Mizell thanks for the post. Can we trust a literary agent who says nothing of its professional credentials in its websites. Few Indian agents cited in the post say nothing of its author list, published works etc. How could one writer understand the credibility of an agent?

  26. Robin Mizell Post author

    Sudheesh, try looking at the recent book deals described on Publishers Marketplace, which is an information service available to subscribers. Some Indian literary agencies post news of their deals there. Online searches sometimes reveal interviews with literary agents who mention their clients’ names. Glad the post is a helpful place to start.

  27. Mani Verma

    Dear Robin, You don’t publish anybody’s writings yourself. You don’t even act as a literary agent.Then how do you earn your living?What do you gain by dishing out names of all these literary agents?Giving free advice can be a hobby but how is it your full time occupation?

  28. Robin Mizell Post author

    Mani, I retired from a 25-year career as a public servant before starting my agency. I like to think this blog is another kind of public service, but it certainly isn’t my job, nor does it take all of my time. Blogging requires of me only a few hours each month.

  29. Mani Verma

    Robin Mizell ltd does Literary Representation. Now what exactly is that? Why don’t you then act as a literary agent?What does an Agent do which is different from representation?]

  30. nvsubbaraman

    I am maintaining a Blog ENVIUS THOUGHTS in https://nvsr.wordpress.com in which I have posted my 605th post today. Some one suggested that there are publishers who look forward for publishing prose and verse. Mine is a Sunday Story on Sundays and all other days Mon day thro Satur day poems. The language is English. Can some one suggest a good publisher for this purpose? Tahnks in advance.t

  31. nvsubbaraman

    In fact this Blog is so popular that it has the overall View score of more than 58000 in the 18 months from 199 countries.

  32. Robin Mizell Post author

    You probably will not find a traditional book publisher willing to invest in reissuing the material you already have published on your blog, and many literary journals and magazines also prefer works that have not been previously published. You might try submitting new material to publishers. The best way to find publishing houses is by searching online for their websites or, if that doesn’t suit you, obtaining a copy of a printed directory such as Literary Marketplace or Poet’s Market, usually available at lending libraries.

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