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This article is written by Aarchie Chaturvedi, from the National University of Study and Research in Law, Ranchi with the help of inputs provided by Mayur Sachdeva, University Growth Consultant at LawSikho. This article provides information regarding how one can proceed further with getting his law book published.


Publishing of a book is making information available to the public at large by the distribution of literature, information through both digital and non-digital media. There are several ways of publishing a book out of which most popular ways are publishing through international and national publishers, publishing through agents of publishers and self-publishing. 

If one person (one person is also referred to like you in this article) wants some publishing house to publish his book then a question that arises is what are the essentials for it and what is the procedure for it. In this article, we are discussing how and when should one approach a publisher to get his law book published.

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However, before discussing how to approach a publisher, let’s discuss what are the different kinds of legal publications-

  1. Bare Act
  2. Legal Novels
  3. Biographies and Autobiographies of legal luminaries
  4. Reference books
  5. Legal Commentaries
  6. Short Commentaries
  7. Digests
  8. Legal Journals 
  9. Publication of Research Paper
  10. Publication of Legal Blog

How to approach a Publisher?

After discussing what are the types of legal publications, we will now proceed with the steps involved in approaching a publisher. 

Identify your genre

Showcase your writing

Find a literary agent

Prepare your materials

Submit a query letter

Get a publishing contract

1. Identify your genre

Identifying a genre means which type of book you are interested in writing, what interests you the most, or what you want to write on. 

You can identify your genre with the help of the following tips:

  • By choosing to do what you are best at doing;
  • By choosing who you want to address your writing to or who will be your audience;
  • Do not limit yourself to what you like, as there might be things that are not appealing to you, but are appealing to the public in general, so think of them;
  • Don’t base your decision solely upon money or profit while trying to decide which genre you should write upon;
  • If you have no idea about what to choose you can also go on to exploring and testing different genres.  

It is important to categorize a genre before you start writing your book. It will also help you in recognizing easily where your targeted audience lies by the time you complete your book.

2. Showcase your writing

Before approaching a publisher and requesting him to publish your book, construct yourself. 

  • Write blogs and post them on social media.
  • Write on Wattpad and upload stories online (Wattpad is an Internet community for readers and writers to publish new user-generated stories in different genres, including classics, general fiction, historical fiction, non-fiction, poetry, fan-fiction, spiritual, humour, and teen fiction). 
  • Write on Word Press-a popular online platform. 
  • Write small articles, research essays and publish them first. You will find many platforms for them online.

Build a reputation before you approach a publisher and ask him to publish your book. Earn some name and let him see some worth in publishing your book.

3. Find a literary agent

Some publishers only accept the work when it is sent via a literary agent. So if you want to get your work published before looking for a publisher look for a literary agent. Your agent will submit work on your behalf to the publisher. Having an agent can have other benefits too, as listed below:

  • An agent knows the market;
  •  An agent can get you the contract or the best deal;
  • An agent has connections;
  • An agent handles media requests for you;
  • An agent would be getting 10/15% of what you earn, so, they would have an incentive to grab a good deal for you each time;
  • An agent manages your rights- One of the most important tasks of the agent is to manage your rights. The agent can maintain your rights when you sell a book or a film. Otherwise, the publishers can make you sign a contract that is favourable on their part and you as an author get lesser proceeds from the sale of your book.

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4. Preparing your material

Prepare synopsis and a sample letter as supporting materials for your book. This will altogether help in forming your book proposal. These are the two important documents, you should carry with you when you are thinking of getting your book published.

  • Synopsis- The synopsis of the book is the plan of how you proposed to write the book. It provides the rationale for the research, the research goals, the methods proposed for data collection and recording formats and/or questionnaires and guides for interviews. The synopsis is based on information provided by the supervisors and secondary information sources. At the end of your synopsis, with the discussion and conclusion, you will present the results of your data collection and elaboration.
  • Sample paper- The purpose of the sample paper is to flesh out what you have written in your synopsis. It most importantly demonstrates your writing style to the publisher.

5. Submit your query letter

A query letter is a one-page letter that you can send and ask the concerned party whether they are interested in being your literary agent or not. Writers use query letters to pitch book ideas to agents and publishers also. You as an author can send a query letter to multiple agents. This will help you gauge responses and select the best from all.

You are likely to get one of these responses to your query letter:

  • A rejection;
  • No response at all (usually also a rejection);
  • A request for some sample material;
  • A request to see the whole manuscript (if available).

The last two of these responses may subsequently also result in a rejection. But don’t give up. Sometimes an agent will reject you simply because their list is full. Or they might think your book isn’t the type of book they can sell to publishers. You might get feedback from some agents on your submission but more often you’ll get a standard rejection slip. Don’t be disheartened by that gesture of the agents. Agents are busy people and get a lot of submissions. However, if you hear nothing from them, send them a polite note after 6-8 weeks.

On the other hand, if an agent is interested in you and your book, the next step would be a meeting with them to discuss it. After that, possibly, your offer of representation will be accepted by them.

It might also happen that you get an offer from some agent without your query letter. Once you accept the offer, the next stage is to sign an agreement with your new agent and then you can start working with them. 

6. Get a publishing contract

The last step in the process is getting a publishing contract. However, before this step, you as an author must be aware of two types of agreements. They are as follows:

  • An agency agreement– This is an agreement between you and your agent. This usually specifies the part of your earnings your agent would be getting. Don’t be shy to ask your agent beforehand what terms and conditions he would like to work upon. Finalize everything and then accordingly draft your agreement and sign it.
  • Publishing Agreement– Once you have an agent your agent will handle this agreement. He will negotiate and get the best deal for you. A publishing agreement is a legally binding agreement between an author of a book and a publisher which specifies all the terms of their deal to publish the book, like the payment to be made, the timeline to be followed, etc. By clarifying all the demands of both parties that have been agreed upon, the agreement ensures that the interests of both the author and the publisher are protected and that the agreement is complied with.

There will be other contracts also which your agent will handle for you. However, the publishing agreement is of utmost significance. It can happen that a publisher can make an offer to you on his own. At this moment your agent will handle the contracting negotiation on your behalf.

After your contract is finalized you might get some part of the payment as an advance and rest of the payment after the publication and sale. 

So, this is the procedure followed when you approach a publishing house. Though there are hundreds of publishing houses in India, a few renowned ones regularly come up in discussions and are generally the ones that new writers target. 

Here’s a shortlist of some international legal publishers:

  • Carolina Academic Press;
  • Mcgraw hill;
  • LexisNexis;
  • Carswell Publishing;
  • SAGE Publishing;
  • HART Publishing;
  • Stanford University Press.

Some examples of Indian Publishers can be:

  • Eastern Book Co.;
  • All India Reporter (AIR);
  • Delhi Law House;
  • Central Law Publications;
  • Rajasthan Law House.

Talking about maintaining rights, brings us to the discussion of yet another important dimension of publication that is the legal dimension. The legal dimension here basically talks about the rights that are available to the authors which they frequently are unaware of. They are as follows:


The basic copyright law states that if you are the creator of some work, you own it according to the law. Copyright under the Copyright Act, 1957 is a right, legally vested in composers of music, drama, dance, literature and other forms of arts. For any author, copyright is the intellectual property right that saves their writing and its character.  As mentioned under the Copyright law of India, 1957, the copyright for a literary or artistic work is 100 years + sixty years following the year in which the author died.

Copyright handovers so much power to the owner on his creation or piece of work that no part of his work is allowed to be reproduced. However, the fair use of some part of the literary or artistic work is allowed. There is no hard and fast rule as to how many words and lines can be allowed to be used under fair use. However, there are certain guidelines that help in determining whether something is covered under fair use or not. These are the nature of work for which it is used, the purpose of use, the amount of work used, and the effect on the original work.  


Authors have this question in their mind that whether they can use the name of a brand in their book or not. The answer to this question is provided under the Copyright Law of India, 1957. The answer is that if a brand name is trademarked and the author without authorization uses it in his book, then it can lead to trademark infringement or trademark dilution on the part of the author. Selling a product with an unauthorized trademark is a punishable offence for a term not less than 6 months and not exceeding 3 years.


If anyone says or does anything that harms the reputation of another person then that person is punishable for defamation under Section 499 of the IPC.  Under Section 499, defamation is committed through words spoken, written or visible representations, which are published and are of such a nature that can tarnish the reputation of the person in the minds of the right-thinking members of society.

Authors have to be very careful while portraying characters especially public figures. They should cross-examine, review again and again and verify the accuracy and the truth in the facts that they are going to publish otherwise they can be sued for libel.


One of the most serious types of violations of the Copyright Law that an author can commit is plagiarism. It is copying or stealing some of the thoughts, expressions or ideas of some other person and getting them published as your own work. It is a kind of copyright infringement and is punishable under the Copyright Law. So, being an author one should bear in mind that whatever one wants to get published in the public domain is original, and is truly his own work.

Writing on a controversial topic

If an author has written a book on a controversial topic and he wants to get it published, he must be prepared for the circumstance that his book might get banned. Though Article 19 of the Constitution guarantees freedom of speech and expression, under certain circumstances, the government also is vested with the right to ban your book. So, if you want to take a risk, be ready for the challenges that come when you get your book published.

Now, after discussing the legal aspects that are involved in getting a book published,  there’s also a reminder for anyone who is publishing a legal book. As you are writing a book related to the law you should be very careful and cautious while writing facts related to law. Any mistake could be very hazardous for you as it would give someone the opportunity to file a suit against you for presenting wrong facts related to law in your book


If you are not having adequate finances or if you want to go in the market by the name of a specific publication and don’t want to extend your concern beyond what you are writing your legal book for, then you should definitely try reaching out for a publication house to get your book published keeping in mind the legal dimensions and following the procedure mentioned above.

To know more about a book publishing agreement, please Click Here.

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