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  1. #1
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    Need tips on getting a book published overseas

    Hi guys. Somebody I know has recently finished writing his first novel and wants to get it published by a traditional publisher. However, he feels that due to his story containing some references to Post August 5th 2019 scenario in Kashmir, it'll be in his best interests to get the novel published from overseas.

    Any tips on how to make it happen? Any guidance or better yet any help with regards to getting it published would be really appreciated. The author is based in Indian administered Kashmir.


    when tyranny becomes law, rebellion becomes duty

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    I do not have any idea but maybe check some people on twitter who are known journalists and ask from them. (if you haven't checked that avenue already)


    Azaadi. InshAllah.

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    A caveat: what Iím about to say below may not be current. Back when I was still writing, I would research publication, buf itís been a while since I last wrote and submitted something. I hear self-publishing no longer carries the stigma it once did, but you did ask about traditional publishing practices, so here goes:

    I believe the traditional approach is to send a letter, along with the first chapter, to agents. The letter summarizes the novel. Always add a SASE (Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope) if you want a response, which is nevertheless not guaranteed. You can also send the entire manuscript to publishing houses. They usually require the manuscript to conform to strict formatting rules. The SASE applies here too, if you want the manuscript back. Recommended practice is to only send to one house at a time, but the odds of making it past their scrap heap, manned by interns, is so astronomically low, most budding writers do submit simultaneously to multiple houses.

    Novelists who have already been published usually do not help (and who can blame them, they get dozens of unsolicited approaches), but I imagine the ones from IOK may be more willing to, given the circumstances and the desire to hear more Kashmiri voices. If youíre on Twitter, it wouldnít hurt to send Mirza Waheed or Nitasha Kaul a DM. Who knows, they may be willing to help.

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    Search the web for 'Literary Agents'. Find some in UK/US etc...

    Drop them an email of your intentions and see what they come back with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GoUgandaCranes View Post
    I do not have any idea but maybe check some people on twitter who are known journalists and ask from them. (if you haven't checked that avenue already)
    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    A caveat: what Iím about to say below may not be current. Back when I was still writing, I would research publication, buf itís been a while since I last wrote and submitted something. I hear self-publishing no longer carries the stigma it once did, but you did ask about traditional publishing practices, so here goes:

    I believe the traditional approach is to send a letter, along with the first chapter, to agents. The letter summarizes the novel. Always add a SASE (Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope) if you want a response, which is nevertheless not guaranteed. You can also send the entire manuscript to publishing houses. They usually require the manuscript to conform to strict formatting rules. The SASE applies here too, if you want the manuscript back. Recommended practice is to only send to one house at a time, but the odds of making it past their scrap heap, manned by interns, is so astronomically low, most budding writers do submit simultaneously to multiple houses.

    Novelists who have already been published usually do not help (and who can blame them, they get dozens of unsolicited approaches), but I imagine the ones from IOK may be more willing to, given the circumstances and the desire to hear more Kashmiri voices. If youíre on Twitter, it wouldnít hurt to send Mirza Waheed or Nitasha Kaul a DM. Who knows, they may be willing to help.
    Quote Originally Posted by msaaim89 View Post
    Search the web for 'Literary Agents'. Find some in UK/US etc...

    Drop them an email of your intentions and see what they come back with.
    Thank you.

    The literary agent route sounds like the best bet at the moment. I am not sure how to snail mail them because we dont live in the same country. However, a quick google search shows that some of them do accept emails. So, there is hope.

    @Nostalgic the message Mirza waheed (and others) plan was tried about a month ago but there was no response.

    We'll see how it goes and i'll give an update after a few days.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madplayer View Post
    Thank you.

    The literary agent route sounds like the best bet at the moment. I am not sure how to snail mail them because we dont live in the same country. However, a quick google search shows that some of them do accept emails. So, there is hope.

    @Nostalgic the message Mirza waheed (and others) plan was tried about a month ago but there was no response.

    We'll see how it goes and i'll give an update after a few days.
    Understandable, because any one who has written anything probably approaches them, and they do not have the time or resources to look into it. But it was worth a shot I guess.

    Before your friend submits something though, there are plentiful resources online about dispassionately editing the work, tips on craft, plotting advice etc. Editing is often the hardest part, because we become emotionally invested in our writing. Putting the manuscript away for a few weeks, and then returning to it often helps in putting a modicum of distance between yourself and your work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Understandable, because any one who has written anything probably approaches them, and they do not have the time or resources to look into it. But it was worth a shot I guess.

    Before your friend submits something though, there are plentiful resources online about dispassionately editing the work, tips on craft, plotting advice etc. Editing is often the hardest part, because we become emotionally invested in our writing. Putting the manuscript away for a few weeks, and then returning to it often helps in putting a modicum of distance between yourself and your work.
    Thats a solid advice. He has been sitting on the manuscript for about a couple of months now. And he has done all the work on his own without any help from anyone because he kind of doesnt have the means right now. I'll pass on your advice to him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madplayer View Post
    Thats a solid advice. He has been sitting on the manuscript for about a couple of months now. And he has done all the work on his own without any help from anyone because he kind of doesnt have the means right now. I'll pass on your advice to him.
    Does he have access to an Amazon account, and a Kindle app on the phone? I can recommend several books on craft if he is interested. The reason I ask is, he may well have raw talent for writing, but the literature industry demands that certain norms be conformed to. Editing it with those in mind would increase the chances of success.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Does he have access to an Amazon account, and a Kindle app on the phone? I can recommend several books on craft if he is interested. The reason I ask is, he may well have raw talent for writing, but the literature industry demands that certain norms be conformed to. Editing it with those in mind would increase the chances of success.
    You are absolutely right and Yes he does have an amazon account and the kindle app. Please tell me what i need to tell him.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madplayer View Post
    You are absolutely right and Yes he does have an amazon account and the kindle app. Please tell me what i need to tell him.
    Most of the books I have predate the app, so sometime over the weekend Iíll check to see which ones are available on the app and let you know. To start off though, hereís one that is available on Amazon Kindle:

    Gotham Writers' Workshop: Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide From New York's Acclaimed Creative Writing School

    Itís the first one I ever read on craft, and itís a good place to start, since it has chapters on all the elements of craft by various published authors. Gotham also runs online classes. I took one years ago and it was terrific, because it involves submitting exercises or your own work for review by fellow students and the instructor, who is always a published author. The classes do run well in excess of $500 though, so the book is the place to start.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Most of the books I have predate the app, so sometime over the weekend Iíll check to see which ones are available on the app and let you know. To start off though, hereís one that is available on Amazon Kindle:

    Gotham Writers' Workshop: Writing Fiction: The Practical Guide From New York's Acclaimed Creative Writing School

    Itís the first one I ever read on craft, and itís a good place to start, since it has chapters on all the elements of craft by various published authors. Gotham also runs online classes. I took one years ago and it was terrific, because it involves submitting exercises or your own work for review by fellow students and the instructor, who is always a published author. The classes do run well in excess of $500 though, so the book is the place to start.
    I'll pass on this message to him. Thanks a ton. I wish he could get a good mentor like you. The ordinary people here who are into writing really need good guidance. They have interesting stories to tell but lack a professional touch which could elevate their writing to the next level. As any seasoned writer or avid reader would know, the plot in itself isn't everything. The tremendous challenges have killed the writer in many people here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madplayer View Post
    I'll pass on this message to him. Thanks a ton. I wish he could get a good mentor like you. The ordinary people here who are into writing really need good guidance. They have interesting stories to tell but lack a professional touch which could elevate their writing to the next level. As any seasoned writer or avid reader would know, the plot in itself isn't everything. The tremendous challenges have killed the writer in many people here.
    Well, I have 88 more posts to go to 8,000, and then I bid adieu to the forum, so I'll try to pass on all I know through you to him...

    I started going through my books and I came across two that I really liked:

    Writing Fiction, Tenth Edition: A Guide to Narrative Craft
    by Janet Burroway
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...api_tkin_p1_i0

    The reviews suggest this is the less expensive version without the excerpts from actual novels that she uses as examples of the craft techniques in previous editions of the book. The one I got was an older edition from a used book store, but unfortunately I don't see that version on Amazon.

    From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction
    by Robert Olen Butler and Janet Burroway
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...api_tkin_p1_i1

    This one is unique in that Robert Olen Butler suggests that the writer shouldn't plot at all, and any intellectual element to the writing process, where you think up a story, needs to be shunned, and instead you are nothing more than a portal through which the muse speaks. It is quite provocative in this regard.


    Silver-tongued seraphim circling the spire...
    Gather in the gallery in their best attire...

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    @Madplayer, something I just remembered was that there are apps now available that help organizing projects far better than you manually doing so through folders and text documents and whatnot.

    I have one called Scrivener. Itís about $45 for the Mac and Windows version, but the one for iOS is $20, and I quite prefer the iOS version, because itís simpler yet powerful enough, and since weíve got our phones in our hands all day, it lets you write all the time. It takes some work initially to understand, but once youíre up and running, it takes the effort out of organizing your material. I donít think they have an Android version yet though.

    There are alternatives to Scrivener as well, some of them free. These apps are great for publishing, because once youíre done, they allow you to compile and export the work into industry-standard formats. This would help take the guesswork out of whether what your friend submits to agents and publishers conforms to the format they require or not.
    Last edited by Nostalgic; 20th September 2020 at 10:09.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Well, I have 88 more posts to go to 8,000, and then I bid adieu to the forum, so I'll try to pass on all I know through you to him...

    I started going through my books and I came across two that I really liked:

    Writing Fiction, Tenth Edition: A Guide to Narrative Craft
    by Janet Burroway
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...api_tkin_p1_i0

    The reviews suggest this is the less expensive version without the excerpts from actual novels that she uses as examples of the craft techniques in previous editions of the book. The one I got was an older edition from a used book store, but unfortunately I don't see that version on Amazon.

    From Where You Dream: The Process of Writing Fiction
    by Robert Olen Butler and Janet Burroway
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...api_tkin_p1_i1

    This one is unique in that Robert Olen Butler suggests that the writer shouldn't plot at all, and any intellectual element to the writing process, where you think up a story, needs to be shunned, and instead you are nothing more than a portal through which the muse speaks. It is quite provocative in this regard.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    @Madplayer, something I just remembered was that there are apps now available that help organizing projects far better than you manually doing so through folders and text documents and whatnot.

    I have one called Scrivener. Itís about $45 for the Mac and Windows version, but the one for iOS is $20, and I quite prefer the iOS version, because itís simpler yet powerful enough, and since weíve got our phones in our hands all day, it lets you write all the time. It takes some work initially to understand, but once youíre up and running, it takes the effort out of organizing your material. I donít think they have an Android version yet though.

    There are alternatives to Scrivener as well, some of them free. These apps are great for publishing, because once youíre done, they allow you to compile and export the work into industry-standard formats. This would help take the guesswork out of whether what your friend submits to agents and publishers conforms to the format they require or not.
    I think he is going to look for the free stuff first. The apps and all. This is valuable knowledge. Thank you. I'll pass it on to him and update this thread with any progress he makes. By the way i forgot to mention that a few months ago he had self-published a small poetry book on amazon and received a decent response.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madplayer View Post
    I think he is going to look for the free stuff first. The apps and all. This is valuable knowledge. Thank you. I'll pass it on to him and update this thread with any progress he makes. By the way i forgot to mention that a few months ago he had self-published a small poetry book on amazon and received a decent response.
    Does he compose poetry in English? If so, he doesnít have to look far for inspiration: Agha Shahid Ali was one of the most innovative poets ever, and a mentor to many writers and poets, including some from Pakistan. One of our most prominent novelists, Kamila Shamsie, was a protege of his.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Does he compose poetry in English? If so, he doesnít have to look far for inspiration: Agha Shahid Ali was one of the most innovative poets ever, and a mentor to many writers and poets, including some from Pakistan. One of our most prominent novelists, Kamila Shamsie, was a protege of his.
    He does and if i remember correctly, he did mention Agha sahab a couple of times which means he is familiar with his work. He writes poetry occassionally and had self-published his work on amazon just to do a bit of self-promotion and earn a bit of money if he could. But he doesn't want to self-publish his novel which he thinks is a more serious piece of work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madplayer View Post
    He does and if i remember correctly, he did mention Agha sahab a couple of times which means he is familiar with his work. He writes poetry occassionally and had self-published his work on amazon just to do a bit of self-promotion and earn a bit of money if he could. But he doesn't want to self-publish his novel which he thinks is a more serious piece of work.
    Iíll gladly buy the poetry book on Amazon if youíre comfortable sharing the name here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Iíll gladly buy the poetry book on Amazon if youíre comfortable sharing the name here.
    His book is titled "Quarantined thoughts: Poetry for the hearts in pain"

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madplayer View Post
    The tremendous challenges have killed the writer in many people here.
    Any successful writers from Pak-occupied Kashmir you know of?

    Anyway, good luck with your book

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madplayer View Post
    His book is titled "Quarantined thoughts: Poetry for the hearts in pain"
    Bought it, and also his ďDaughter of Snakes and the Elixir of Life.Ē


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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Bought it, and also his ďDaughter of Snakes and the Elixir of Life.Ē
    Great. I'll let him know just to take the credit ;)
    And i didnt know he had published another book.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pillionrider View Post
    Any successful writers from Pak-occupied Kashmir you know of?

    Anyway, good luck with your book
    No i dont know of any writers from there.
    Its not my book but thank you.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madplayer View Post
    Great. I'll let him know just to take the credit ;)
    And i didnt know he had published another book.
    Itís a short piece, but not set in Kashmir.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nostalgic View Post
    Itís a short piece, but not set in Kashmir.
    That's surprising. But the book he wants to publish is set predominantly in Kashmir. I've read a few pages and it's intense work.


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