I had written this post a couple of years ago, I am re-posting since it is still relevant !!
I visited a local bookstore on Saturday and spent a couple of hours browsing books their fiction section. Over the past few weeks, I have followed the Top Selling, Newly Arrived, and the Most Popular sections of online booksellers with interest, and today it was time to visit a physical bookstore. I was both amazed and amused to see the variety of books in the store. Amazed, because the fiction section was overflowing with books – half the aisle space was occupied with fresh arrivals and bestsellers. Amused, because I noticed a few recurring themes about fiction novels. Some of these themes are:
• You should write love stories
Romance involving characters who go to college is great, teenage romance is preferred.
• Write about life as a student
Experiences of students who are in school or colleges. Again, school life preferred. Teenage anxieties, adjusting to a new school in a new city… you get the picture!
• You should be a Non Resident Indian
Writing about random themes that not many Indian authors write about- stories involving fashion, marriage, self discovery, etc.
• Be a previously published author
You need not have authored books, any form of the written word would do- blog, newspaper columns, even a PhD thesis for that matter. Best if you have published something abroad.
• Write fiction involving religious characters
In order of preference, plots involving the Holy Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu, Mahesh) or the incarnations of the latter two. If you prefer, pick any century and write about the dominant empires that ruled most of the country at that time.
• Be a Bengali
Maybe it’s the fish, or the sweets that they like, but lets’ face it- Bengalis have a flair for the written word. And they are able to put it to print in much greater numbers.
• You should be an alumnus of IIM or IIT
This phenomenon is most visible of late. By sheer numbers, alums of IIMs (Indian Institutes of Management) outnumber alums of IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology).
• Be an Expat Living in India
If you can write about everything from the colorful drapes to the heat and the dust, your novel will get published.
Needless to say, the higher the number of the above criteria you meet, the higher your chances of getting published. So do you think you are eligible to get your novel published?