5 Top Literary Agents in India
Literary agents are a small pool in India; they probably have been around only for 6 to 7 years. But literary agents in the West enjoy more clout and visibility. But the scene in India seems to be undergoing a change for the good. “I think literary agents serve a very useful purpose both for authors and for publishers, especially in an emerging and expanding publishing market like India where there is a fast evolving readership that is eager to read new writers, and a number of first-time writers who want to get published,” says Udayan Mitra of Penguin Books India.
Debutante writers are increasingly approaching an agent to give wings to their publishing dreams, a case in point being Amish Tripathi, the author of Immortals of Meluha. His first book Immortals of Meluha was rejected many times before it was accepted by Red Ink Literary Agency. What does a literary agent do? An agent is like an author’s best friend or guide. An agent shares your manuscript with a publishing house, is abreast of the editors’ interests and negotiates the terms and conditions of your contract with the publisher. For all this, an agent gets a commission.
Who are the top 5 literary agents in India?
1. Writer’s Side
Rated by the Hindu, Outlook magazine and Hindustan Times as one of India’s leading agencies, Writer’s Side has placed over 250 books with reputed publishers. They believe in providing personal care to every aspiring author and in fair negotiations. They have a strong professional relationship with various leading publishers like Penguin Books India, Random House India (Vintage India and Ebury Press India), HarperCollins India, and Picador India. Kanishka Gupta is the founder of Writer’s Side.
2. Sherna Khambatta Literary Agency
Run by Sherna Khambatta, this is an independent agency committed to helping writers to publish fiction and non-fiction, including children’s books. Sherna Khambatta Literary Agency welcome the opportunity to represent both writers in India and those overseas who wish to be published in India.
3. Red Ink Literary Agency
Based in New Delhi, Red Ink offers manuscripts to a wider market and signs manuscripts of almost all genres of fiction and non-fiction. Red Ink is keen to publish non-fiction in the genre of narrative histories, current perspectives and food narratives. It does not charge a reading fee for reading manuscripts.
4. Purple Folio
Based in Mumbai, Purple Folio offers editorial consultancy, book publishing and communications consultancy. Editorial consultancy includes evaluation of aspiring writers’ manuscript, help in synopsis writing, editing of manuscript and proof-reading services. The agency offers end-to-end book publishing services like editing, typesetting, proofreading, e-book creation, etc. Purple Folio’s Communications consultancy engages in promotional activities like organizing book reviews, interviews and social media campaigning and promotion.
5. Boxwallah Literary Agency
The Boxwallah Literary Agency was started by Renuka Chatterjee. The agency publishes romantic fiction, non-fiction like autobiography/biography/memoir, social issues, lifestyle and travelogues as well as material about politics and current affairs, self-help, health & fitness, inspirational/motivational, cookery and business books. The agency has co-agents in New York, France, Italy, Spain and other European countries, Singapore, China and the Far East, Australia and New Zealand.
Editor’s Note: This article was first published in December 2014.