Narendra Vellanki

Many a time in life, you know something but it is veiled until someone comes along and puts a mirror in front of you and you realize and accept at once. I just finished reading the feedback on my writing. It was really like a perfect mirror to what was both good and what needed improvement. Thanks a lot. I will surely work on the suggestions given to me — and I really feel like doing it now! 

Jayanand Ukey

Before I submitted my manuscript to Writer’s Side, I had sent out my proposal to at least 10 other publishers and literary agents. Most publishers/agents liked my proposal and my plot. However they turned me down at a later stage of evaluating the manuscript. I didn’t know where I was going wrong. I was disheartened. After I sent my manuscript to Writer’s Side, I was turned down again. They declined to represent me. Instead, they gave me an option to get my manuscript assessed. It would cost me, of course, but I couldn’t refuse the offer of a professional literary agency to assess my work. So I submitted my manuscript and waited for the response. To my surprise, I received the response within a month as I was promised. I went through the critique and was positively taken aback to find that Writer’s Side not only found the faults in my manuscript but also gave me some invaluable suggestions. I worked on those suggestions and fixed my manuscript. I then submitted my proposal to some new publishers. This time, bingo! I was able to get two publishers interested in my work. I chose one and am now working with the editor to finalize my product. Many thanks to Writer’s Side for taking the time to look into the work of a first time writer like me. I couldn’t have asked for more. I wish Writer’s Side the best in all their future endeavors. Thanks a million!

Arpit Vageria

Thanks to the Writer’s Side team, and Kanishka especially, for making this dream come true for me. I had come across many agents before I opted for Writer’s Side’s editing services. But the way Kanishka has shown interest and commitment in turning an amateur job into a novel is truly fantabulous. I am sure nobody else could do it in such a way.

He talks his heart out, he gives true feedback which might make writer feel bad at times, but nothing helps you better. Initially, when I approached him, he called me in less than 10 minutes time and asked me to send the manuscript. Within no time after reading that when he straightforwardly said, “Your language is not good at all, It needs correction to a large extent and needs a rewrite too.” I was not sure at all whether my novel would be published anytime soon. But he sent me my story in much better shape than expected and within the time frame he promised. The best part – his team gave my story the edge it was badly in need of. He works really hard for his clients and is really passionate about what he does.

Thanks once again to one different human in this world – Kanishka Gupta. While we all are stuck in 12 hour jobs, he is someone who doesn’t mind working for 24 hours. I will surely look to Writer’s Side’s help again in the future. I wish them best luck in all future deals and endeavors.

Herbert Raj

Thanks to Writer’s Side’s help and valuable input, I clearly understood the mistakes I had made and the places where I need to change to better my book. I will surely do what they have asked me to do, so that the end product is good and will be worth every penny the readers pay for my book, once it comes out.

Upneet Grover

In the otherwise discouraging and opportunistic world of publishing, there is still hope. It’s called Kanishka Gupta, or Writer’s Side. I’ve known Kanishka for long now, but it’s only now that I got the opportunity to be represented by him. In a sluggish industry where getting a manuscript to be even glanced at takes at least a couple of months, even after which you only manage a lame, automated reply of rejection, Kanishka brings in vitality. His work ethic can only be admired, and then admired some more. His speed of getting back to you with his comments/critiques is mind numbing. I wish him all the best. 

Ritu Lalit

I have been working closely with Mr Kanishka Gupta, Literary Agent, in various capacities. I have found that Kanishka Gupta is a very pro-active agent and is deeply interested in the drafts that Writer’s Side receives. It is only after close evaluation and following of strict norms that a manuscript gets accepted.

Mr Kanishka Gupta has accepted my fantasy thriller “Hilawi” and has also got me a good deal from the publisher for this novel.

I know that with Kanishka Gupta, Writer’s Side will grow in stature in the coming times. It has been a pleasure doing business with them.

Mahita Geekie

When I contacted Kanishka, I sent along the first ten pages of my manuscript. He recommended some editing, which at first I thought was for the Indian market. What he sent far exceeded my expectations. With his honesty and insight, combined with his sharp eye and editing skills, he has helped me produce a highly polished manuscript with more depth to my story. Thank you Kanishka!

M. Rishi Kumar

For a first time writer like me, Kanishka Gupta and his team at Writer’s Side were an excellent support. They looked at my work and helped me improve my craft with their suggestions. They were instrumental in helping me plug the loopholes in my plot. A special thanks to Rahul Soni for guiding me through my first effort.

Asbah Shams

After a lot of disappointments, when I came across Writer’s Side and, as a last resort (and with no hopes left), I e-mailed the first few chapters of my novel, I had no idea that I would get a call from Kanishka in less than ten minutes. Though he told me that my novel needed a lot of re-work, I thought, “Thank God, I got a response!” Time and again he called me and told me about the progress. Finally, I got the edits and the changes were awesome. And then, one evening, he called me up and told me that my novel had been taken up by Penguin. I was overjoyed. I couldn’t believe it. When I had totally given up, I came across Kanishka and now I’m going to get published with Penguin! I think this is the biggest achievement of my life till now, and I absolutely owe this to Kanishka. If it hadn’t been for him, my novel would never have got published. I will say just one thing—if you have written a novel, the first person you need to contact is Kanishka, because he is the guy who can make anything happen.

Nirav Panchmatia

When I first wrote the book on the suggestion of a friend, I thought it would be a sure shot hit, given the lack of information on the subject (first time writers are really very naïve). After two years of sitting on the manuscript and rejections from local publishers (who didn’t even bother to write a polite rejection note) I was ready to give up. As a last desperate measure I Googled “publishing a book, first time author”. Enter Kanishka Gupta and Writer’s Side. When I sent him the script, his first reaction was, “Your subject matter is interesting, but your book is horrible. Nobody will touch it”. After a minute or two of depressing silence he said, “But, I’ll help you rewrite it”. After that, every time I logged on to Gmail, day or night, Kanishka was there. “Where have you reached with the book. I want it fast,” he’d say. (I agree with Shreya Mathur, who’s book Kanishka has sold to Harper Collins: the man either works 34 hours a day or is a front for a group of people). Four months of rewriting the entire book and I thought I had the manuscript ready only to hear, “Two chapters are good. The rest needs to be rewritten.” Another month was spent rewriting the other chapters. What I did not know then was that Kanishka had already been in touch with a few publishers who found the sample chapters good and wanted the rest of the book to commission it. A month later when I sent him the book, it took him only fifteen days to find me a publisher who wanted it. A book is good only so long as it sees the light of day. For me that “light of day” was Kanishka Gupta. So Kanishka, I owe you one. 

Shreya Mathur

Being a teenager, I never expected any publisher or agent to even look at my sample chapters.

I got a reply the same day I sent them the book. (Considering their client list, this can only mean one thing – either Kanishka Gupta doesn’t eat OR sleep OR watch TV OR do naashta-pani, or that there is no such person known as Kanishka Gupta. It is just a conspiracy where a team of supremely talented and dedicated people work under the name of Kanishka Gupta in shifts, thus giving the illusion of a person who, literally, works 24×7. Like McDonalds.) 

Kanishka also very politely ignored the fact that I had forgotten to attach the sample chapters to my embarrassingly pompous covering letter. When I finally, shame-facedly, sent him the sample chapters, two minutes was all he took to read my 9000+ words. In those two minutes, he quickly diagnosed the problem with my manuscript. I got a call the next morning telling me as politely as possible (I’m guessing, umar ka lihaaz) that my manuscript was a rocket launched in Delhi, meant for Pakistan but landing in Australia. Stuff that my overly excited friends or proud mother would have never realized.

Kanishka realizes talent and potential like no one else. And he helps in honing it like no one else as well. In fact, anyone who has doubts over this should just read the novels published by his clients. 

After his call, I rewrote almost everything I had written. Kanishka guided me and encouraged me like the book was his own. My mother, who was extremely apprehensive about the whole ‘publishing business’, was also assured that my book was in good hands after talking to him. He was so enthusiastic about getting my book published that there hasn’t been a single day since he accepted my book that we haven’t discussed the book on Gmail chat. (A word of advice to all his future clients, DO add him on Gmail chat. Nothing is going to help you more.) In fact, when I would see his status updates about another book of his being sold (which were amazingly frequent) I would wonder where he had got the time to sell those books. Kanishka showed so much dedication and confidence in my book that he gave me the feeling that selling my book was his only purpose in life. Reading the other testimonials, all of which stressed his devotion to their books, it’s hard to believe that one guy can show so much commitment and sincerity to all his writers (See? See? My conspiracy theory is so correct!) 

You know what makes him such a brilliant agent? That he genuinely cares about his clients. His primary interest isn’t the money he’ll earn from the book. He just wants to see a good book get published. His agency really has the best motto ever – They will do the rest. 

As a 15-year-old writer, the idea of HarperCollins publishing my book was laughable. Had it not been for Kanishka, it would have still been.

Pearl Thomas

Thank you very much for the critique. Very useful and relevant.

Vikas Uniyal

Thanks for the critique. I liked everything about it especially the suggestions about the ending and my wrong usage of archaic English. Good Job!

Apurva Sanjeti

The rewrite of my manuscript is so good that I don’t have the words to express…

Oswald Pereira

I had come across angel investors, but I’d never met literary angels until I bumped into Kanishka Gupta. I am not hyping Kanishka—he is for real. In fact, the only one of his kind, as one would say in journalese… the only literary angel around. He gives you his whole—heart, mind and soul—ungrudgingly, selflessly. I don’t know if he knows this. In the literary world, he is the best example of the Bhagavad Gita’s teaching of Nishkama Karma—selfless or desire-less action. When he takes on your project, he doesn’t count the fruits that his labour would yield. You’re on, because he loves his work. So by extension, he loves you. 

The speed with which he reads your manuscript is like magic. He gets back to you within minutes, with a quick but accurate and critical assessment. He delivers results too so fast. He got me a book deal in a week. This is the best pleasant surprise of my life. 

Murli Melwani

Kanishka’s comments have been the springboard of inspiration for me.

Bina Nangia

Writer’s Side has been instrumental in helping me pursue my dream of publishing a book on a topic close to my heart—dyslexia. Kanishka Gupta took a personal interest and I would never have believed that it could be done so soon. Where publishers were casual, Kanishka was determined to make it happen. I wish Writer’s Side all the success and happiness in every endeavour.

Sangeeta Nambiar

When I first wrote to Kanishka, I had no idea what a literary agent would do for me. I’m new to the whole game. I haven’t met or liaised with any literary agent but I can confidently say that few would be in his mould. He’s more than an agent – he’s the perfect guide to walk you through the process of finding your book a good publisher. Not for a moment did I feel like I’d fallen off his radar. He’s very sincere in what he does. His honesty comes through at all times and he’s always made the right decision for me. I’m thrilled to have found him! I hope he gets to become a very very successful agent and writer.

Mini S. Menon

Kanishka Gupta doesn’t think of your book as ‘your’ book – he thinks of it as his own; and he puts the same fervor into pushing your book as he would his own. We had picked his name with a pin, so to speak, and now we are glad we did. From the assessment stage on, he was honest, to the point, and positive. The assessment was completed on time, and the critique was so clear and relevant that I had absolutely no hesitation in following the recommendations made in it.

Once the manuscript was ready, he did not stop at anything to find me a good publisher. He kept me up to date with the steps he was taking, walked me through the rejections, and has now found me a good publisher, all in record time. It has been four months since I submitted the manuscript for assessment, and now I have a publisher. Need I say more?

I’m a complete novice in this field, but I’m realistic enough to know that the road isn’t this easy for all first time authors. If I write a book again, Kanishka would be the first person I’d approach. I hope that says it all. 

N. D. Badrinath

Kanishka Gupta of Writer’s Side is one of those people who seem to exist purely on words. Mail him at any time of day or night and he’ll respond – I am convinced he doesn’t waste time eating or sleeping. Kan took up the cause of my novel and his critique was clear, unbiased and most importantly, honest. Then he went beyond the brief, so to speak, and roped in others to critique it as well. That means Kan doesn’t stand on ego either and that’s always a sign of professionalism. The result, apart from a tighter storyline, was a new climax sequence that eclipsed the original I had written. 

Then we came to the really long road to getting the book published. It was Kan who pushed it with publisher after publisher, long after I had withdrawn into despondency, until he broke through. This demonstrated two other dimensions of Kan’s professionalism – perseverance and strength of conviction. Finally the quality that really endeared him to me – he talked terms of representation only after he had the book sold. That goes beyond mere professionalism and shows the quality of the person beneath.

The Indian publishing industry sorely needs good literary agents. Before coming to Writer’s Side, I had found exactly three people in India claiming to be literary agents. One didn’t bother to respond despite her company’s website talking big about how they take up the author’s cause as if it is their own, but I quickly discovered that you had to be a celebrity who had turned your hand at writing if you wanted her attention. The other two blithely told me that they had decided to get out of the business! And then there was Kan – dedicated, honest and not at all money-minded. 

Today, Indian writing in English seems to be taking off, with dozens of new authors and more to come. It is guys like Kanishka Gupta and his team at Writer’s Side who have laid the foundation for this surge. 

Pradipta Borgohain

For the last two years and more, I worked with my father, Homen Borgohain, on a history of the Naga race. The work was exhilarating while it lasted, but after we finished writing I was faced with the more daunting task of impressing an Indian publisher with its merit. Justly or unjustly I had the feeling that the Indian publishing industry was a bit like a Kafkaesque bureaucratic institution: faceless, forbidding and basically unapproachable. Then I had a brainwave and I quickly sent off a proposal and the standard three sample chapters off to Kanishka Gupta of the Writer’s Side literary agency as I had heard things about dynamism and promptness which I hadn’t heard about the other literary agencies in India. We were prepared to stoically wait a longish period, but were in for a big surprise. Things moved with almost breathtaking rapidity and the rights of the book were sold to Rupa and Co. in what seemed to us like record time.
This is the conclusion I have reached after our experience. If there is any merit or potential in a manuscript, Kanishka Gupta of Writer’s Side literary agency will spot it. Once that happens he will not let the grass grow under his feet.

Ravi Singh (Chief Editor and Publisher, Penguin Books India)

My colleagues and I have had a wonderful experience working with Writer’s Side. Kanishka and his team are complete professionals with every quality that publishers can hope for in editors: a rare sense of what makes a good, viable book in any genre, the ability to restructure a manuscript — only if necessary — and do a meticulous line edit, and also the ability to work to deadlines.

Anees Salim 

My first manuscript travelled around the world like a backpacker for a year, bringing nothing back from its wanderings. So I decided to send the query letter for my second book on a shorter trip – to Kanishka of Writer’s Side. Inside a minute he asked for the sample chapters. Ten minutes later for the entire manuscript. The same day he agreed to represent me, and within a fortnight he managed to sell the world rights to Harper Collins India. His pace made my head swim (I am sure he was a 100-metre sprinter in his previous life), and his passion for words is admirable, not to mention his concern for writers. He treated me like a book with a brittle spine, and not a single day passed without Kanishka calling me and making me feel better.

True to the name of his venture, he is on the writer’s side. Thanks a million, Kanishka.

Rohit Gore

My story, till I met Kanishka, was a boiler-plate struggling-getting-nowhere-writer story. After completing my novel, I believed I was ready to venture into the world of publishing. I read many blogs on the industry and came to know that it is very difficult to succeed without a good agent. And so began my massive agent hunt. This might sound a bit over the top, but it’s true – I queried more than 600 agents. A whole lot of agents got back, but none faster than Kanishka. He read the manuscript and immediately told me what the problem with the novel was. Nobody else gave me even the vaguest feedback. I incorporated Kanishka’s inputs and sent the manuscript to him. It wasn’t long before I was a client of Writer’s Side. And in a week – no, make that 4 days – Kanishka sold it to Rupa. It can’t get faster than that, can it? My experience with Kanishka has been great. He is forthright, tells it the way it is. And he cares. A lot. And has a fantastic team. I wish him great success as an agent.

Sharath Komarraju

If you’re reading this with any interest, you’re probably in the same boat I have been in until very recently – where you hold your manuscript close to your chest and wonder if the pages will ever be bound together in a book; a book which people would willingly pay money to read.

You’re probably asking yourself a million questions. Does my story work? Is the plot original? Are my characters real enough? Is my language coherent? Am I rambling? How good is my dialogue? Am I good enough? How can I improve?

There are places you can go for answers to those questions, and each of them work for a certain while and to a certain extent. But too often, in writing communities and blogs, where you want harsh criticism you get unconditional support, and where you expect – and crave for – honesty you get sympathy. 

There is no escaping it, dear writer. The only way you will ever get to know if you’re good enough to publish or not is by submitting your work – to editors; to professionals; to people who are well-connected to the industry and know what’s good and what’s not; to people who would do more than email you back with ‘deepest regrets’ and ‘best wishes in finding your work a home elsewhere’.

To people, in short, like the ones you will find at Writer’s Side.

They will look at your work, they will tell you what’s wrong with it, and they will tell you exactly what to do to make you better at your craft. Whether they will get you published or not will depend on how committed you are to the cause (and a hundred other things), but one thing’s for sure. They will answer your most pressing question: whether or not you’re good enough. And they will help you attain what should be your primary goal: to constantly improve yourself as a writer.

I wish you luck.

Ismita Tandon Dhanker

Writer’s Side is a terrific setup for aspiring authors unaware of editing protocol and the publishing business – an excellent team with the right skill-set providing great feedback on your magnum opus. Highly recommended for first time authors.

Arun Gargi

When I started writing, I enjoyed it to the core but thought writing stories was a painful exercise. Then came the editing and the hunt for publishers and agents, which made me realize that writing was a cake walk! Plus it’s hard to communicate with e-mails and web addresses (publishers exist only in this form and not in person). Then I got in touch with a few professional editors but, before they could revert, Kanishka had already taken me on board. 

To anybody who can write – Writer’s Side can make a writer out of you. While working with Kanishka, I was always getting instructions at lightning speed. Kanishka gave shape to my manuscript in less than a month’s time, after I had slept on it for more than two years. Writer’s Side rocks! Thanks Kanishka.

Mahesh Natarajan

Armed with one very nice rejection, I approached Writer’s Side with my collection of short stories, wanting to achieve little more than to write better. What I discovered in the process of working with Kanishka & Ujwala at Writer’s Side was that I may be no diamond in the rough, but I certainly had something of value to offer if I worked hard with them. 

Their solid work on my stories and their consistently fair and objective communication helped me understand myself better, develop a better sense of writing and put together a work that I was proud of. As a first time author, I had no idea of how the business works, and they helped me get a true sense of the pains and the pleasures of authorship: the multiple edits and reviews, handling feedback, language, grammar, and – equally importantly – guidance on reaching out to publishers.

I am glad to say that after all that hard work, my work has been accepted for publication by Gyaana Books, and will likely hit the stands late 2010 / early 2011.

Many thanks, to Kanishka and his team!

Bhushan Nigale

Kanishka creates envy – if he is so professional and accessible while dealing with a struggling author like me, how would he be treating the accomplished and talented authors he represents? Sample this:

a) I submit my three chapters and a synopsis, requesting Kanishka to represent me.

b) Kanishka sends a one-liner rejection and suggests I go for a critique. This he does in forty minutes of my submission. Then he immediately appears on GMail chat and answers my questions, giving me no time to drown in self-pity.

c) I decide to sign up for a critique. Kanishka senses I am hesitant/unable to pay the entire fee in one shot, he gives me the option of paying in installments.

d) Impressed, I send the manuscript. Kanishka immediately communicates the date on which I will receive the critique.

e) Kanishka updates me every week on the progress, makes cameo appearances on GMail chat and constantly encourages me. By now, I am convinced he forever lives in a chat bubble, taking GMail chat
everywhere he goes. Note to prospective clients: try this – log on at different times of the day (and night), and within two minutes, the ‘Kanishka says’ window will pop-up!

f) I receive the critique as promised. Not a day late, not a day early. The critique meets my expectations: it declares my novel has several issues, spells out what these are, and suggests how I could rectify them. Brutally honest, straight, and with the right degree of uncomforting feeling.

g) This time I plunge into self-doubt. “Relax,” says Kanishka, “I’ve seen worse.” I ask for a chat with the chief editor, the kind soul who agreed to suffer the onslaught of my MSS. Turns out he’s sitting in London. Kanishka arranges a chat with me and the editor.

h) I have a chat with the editor, Rahul Soni, who patiently wades through my long list of questions and provides detailed answers. I quiz him on the tiniest of details of my plot (“was the reversal on page 177 expected or did you see it coming on page 35?”), character and setting, conflict, etc. Rahul is very helpful and kind. I emerge from the chat deeply satisfied.

i) Kanishka again encourages me and asks me not to lose hope, and offers to informally mentor me.

I now have a solid, reliable critique from a reader whose judgment I trust. Not only have Kanishka and Rahul given me tough, valuable feedback, they’ve given me constant encouragement to learn my craft and stay focused. On the flip side, of course, I thought the fees were high, and some clients might be disappointed by the size of the critique. For me, however, this was offset by the high-quality chat I had with Rahul. I am indebted to them for their support!

Saurbh Katyal

SNIP! SNIP! Be prepared to like this word. The Writer’s Side critique is neither for the faint hearted nor for the overly sensitive writer. They will advise you to excise your best (or so you thought) crafted thoughts, ameliorate what you thought was a perfectly written plot, and label your jokes (if you have used any) as puerile. However, don’t react just yet and give it time. In retrospect, you will learn to see that the critique is quite pertinent and wonder at the perspicacity of the person behind the critique. This critique may be the best thing that can happen to a first time author.

The proprietor Kanishka Gupta is genuinely passionate about promoting Indian writing in English and always goes the extra mile in counselling first time authors. Highly Recommended.

Anu Kumar (Editor and author, with books published by Puffin and Hachette)

I was very glad to hear from Kanishka about my manuscript. A writer works alone and relatively isolated. The act of writing is always a challenge, an uncertainty, because a writer rarely knows how it will be received. And Kanishka’s offering to read my MSs was a godsend. I got to see how it would look from a reader’s perspective. And then his editor’s eye told me what worked and what didn’t, which was all the more helpful and reassuring.

Zafar Anjum

About a decade ago, when I had written my first novel, I didn’t know what to do with it. I had not gone to any creative writing course that could have given me a set of peers to get my work critiqued. Almost all my friends read as little literature as was required of them to do well in their jobs, which was nearly zilch. Those who did read, mostly dabbled in regional literature. With my first complete manuscript in hand, I felt completely helpless. Unlike now, there were so few practising writers in those days. If I approached one of them with pleas to evaluate my work, I was not sure they would want to waste their precious time reading a provincial man’s work who, at that point of time, thought Khushwant Singh was the best novelist in the country.

While it now certainly seems fatuous, this enthusiastic young writer mailed his manuscript to the three most authoritative people dealing with English novels at that time: Khushwant Singh, Meenakshi Mukherjee and Mukul Kesavan. And if they’d asked him to flick the novel into the Ganges, he would have happily done that. I have no idea if they ever received my manuscript. Naturally, I never received any response from any of them. The result was that my first novel was published with hardly any editing. Let’s not go into character development or setting or dialogue or plot. At that time, I was not even aware of many of the technical aspects of a novel. I was just happy to have got my book out.

Clearly, the book had come out of a youthful rush. Looking back, it did satisfy my urge to be an ‘author’, one with a photo on the back cover. But, then, it was a temporary satisfaction. I wanted to be a ‘writer’. So, I continued reading, writing and learning the craft. It was meant to be a way of life. It took me nearly ten years to get another novel ready. In between, I had written scores of short stories and my journalism and blogging had kept me going. I had also tried to learn the craft of writing, tutoring myself with books on the art of the novel and sharing my writings in literary groups and online workshops. I had also learnt that writing is all about rewriting. I had learnt that most writers, even the greatest ones, including Balzac, shared their works with some trusted friends who offered their suggestions on the work. I learnt that writing is not as solo a journey as it seems to be — at least not for beginners.

It was during this period, when I was at work on my second novel, that I came in touch with Kanishka Gupta, the founder of Writer’s Side. Kanishka seemed like the gutsy and intelligent ‘publishing guru’ (and so young!) who could offer exactly the kind of help, prodding and critique that I needed as a writer. He is an editor on steroids and he kept me such great company through most part of the writing that I felt as if he was watching over my shoulder — it was a bit uneasy but I needed the push.

By now, by virtue of being in Singapore, I knew many writers. They were kind enough to read excerpts from my work and give me their advice. However, I still did not have many intelligent and well-read friends who could look at the complete draft with dedication. I needed a professional third-party look at my novel.

Once I had done my second draft — between the first and the second was an indifferent gap of nearly five years — I sent my manuscript to Kanishka for evaluation. I had the gut feeling that there were certain plot holes in my novel, there were issues with the structure and so on. But I did not verbalize my feelings when I sent Kanishka my manuscript.

So I was surprised when I received the evaluation report written by their editor, Rahul Soni. It had exactly pointed out the things that I had felt were missing from the novel. Not just that but much more. What more proof did I need to know that these guys knew their job? Their suggestions were brilliant. Not only did the suggestions from the Writer’s Side help me steer the novel in the right direction, Rahul cleaned up the text with such expertise that the blood in the novel’s arteries flowed unhindered. Now the text got its own life. Most importantly, it gave me the confidence to further shape the text and sharpen the storyline and characters in my following drafts.

What has pleased me most is that the editors at the Writer’s Side understand your book. They ‘get it’, which is the biggest worry for a writer (that is if someone does not get what you wanted to say in your book).

Even after the final evaluation and editing, Kanishka has been in touch, with his prodding and inspiration. It seems that he will not let the book (and its author) rest until it reaches the hands of its intended readers.

In short, Kanishka and his team rock and their services can be a boon to writers who are not lucky to have the kind of friends that Balzac had. Their services are especially recommended to those who are starting out on their journey to become writers. I wish the Writer’s Side good luck and may they grow and grow!

Ritu Dokania

Can I have a loudspeaker please? I want to convey an important message to all aspiring authors — Yes, there is somebody who can help you achieve success in no time, and he is Kaniskha Gupta of Writer’s Side. Writer’s Side’s professional and incisive editing and critical analysis will take care of all plot holes, structural flaws, character flaws, grammatical errors and inconsistencies in narrative voice. The only thing you will miss after the book is edited, is the taste of failure one gets after receiving rejection letters from publishers.

Save yourself from that bitter taste. I can assure you that you will learn a lot and will find it worthwhile. So what else you are looking for?

Jasmeet Ahuja

I am really grateful to Writer’s Side for their help with the manuscript. I really couldnt have done it myself. I always needed a professional editor who could show me the right path. Initially, I was disappointed when the editor didn’t like my book, but the reasons mentioned were actually true and, moreover, I was surprised at the stupid mistakes I had committed. Although there are some differences of opinion… I will go ahead with the rewriting that they have advised. In all, I thank them for the work. 

Radhika Peddi

I love the critique. It’s everything I knew was not right with my book but didn’t fix, especially the target audience part and the rhythm.

Lokesh Hanumappa

I am delighted to give this testimonial, though my first attempt at writing a book has been totally demolished by the strong critiques provided by Kanishka and Writer’s Side. This is why my respect for Kanishka and Writers’ Side has risen so high.

I work in technology – this was my first attempt at writing something after having read spiritual books for more than 15 years. I first ventured to write a book called ‘Full Speed, Zero Distance’, which dealt with our fruitless pursuit of money. I sent this to two publishers and they rejected the manuscript saying that they didn’t encourage such topics. It was a brief manuscript – just some 20-odd pages. Since these two publishers were on the lookout for fiction, I thought of combining my spiritual concepts into a story that people could understand more easily. My main intention was to be an unconventional writer. So, I started working on a book that might bring about peace with a neighbouring country. It was very tough for me to write something fictional, as I am a man of few words. But I wrote with the intention of being accepted by publishers/readers. So, I finally managed to write around 90-odd pages i.e. 25,000 words.

I thought about it day and night and, finally, sent it to one publisher and I got an immediate rejection — they did not take up such subjects. I was deeply dejected. I thought of self-publishing my book, but I wondered if I was doing the right things. This was when I learnt of the services offered by Kanishka Gupta and Writer’s Side. I was unsure how others would relate to my story and my vision, but decided to take a chance.

I spoke to Kanishka and sent him the editing fees, as well as my manuscript for review. I received a reply that I would receive an edited manuscript and a critique in 4-6 weeks. Kanishka did not call me even once to tell me what was happening with my manuscript. I was really angry and decided that I had made a mistake spending my hard-earned money on somebody who doesn’t even tell me what’s happening with my work. Just five days before the four-week deadline, I got a one-liner from Kanishka saying ‘Edits by month end.’ I was even more frustrated on receiving this reply. 

I got my edits and critique within 4 weeks at 5 a.m. in the morning.

I opened the critique and it had really ripped my novel apart. It had mentioned so many errors in facts, narration, characterization and other mistakes that I had overlooked as a first-time writer. I now can say confidently, ‘Kanishka and Writer’s Side are really experts in this field of editing.’ I have also decided that anything I write in the future will first be edited and critiqued by Kanishka and Writer’s Side because they are really good.

Great job, Writer’s Side – I truly appreciate your effort in enabling me to mature into a good author. I am not in a hurry – it is better to take my time and write something great than to just write something average. Good wishes to the entire set of highly-skilled editors and I am sure you guys will go very far in your journey.

Tulsi Tawari

My experience with Kanishka Gupta as editor of my forthcoming book, Living a Hundred Dreams, has been very satisfying. I was desperately in search of someone who would not only critique my non-fiction book, but also perform the required surgery. For people like me, who have original thoughts but may not be well-trained in the art of writing, Kanishka can prove to be a savior. He points out what is not desirable and also makes you think about what is missing. His commitment is total and he never stops till the author is satisfied. I wish I had known Kanishka right from the beginning of my work — it would have saved me years of pain. May he and his team continue doing this great work.

Anton D’Silva

The critique I got from Writer’s Side was very detailed and good. I am going to elaborate on my stories as suggested, and will surely come back to Writer’s Side for help with editing and publishing.

Parul Mittal

I was referred to Kanishka by an editor at a publishing house who felt that my manuscript needed more work. Kanishka was very responsive, from the moment I contacted him. I had numerous discussions with him on what I wanted and what he thought he could do with the MS. It was his sincerity and genuineness that finally convinced me to take his services. Luckily for me, I got an acceptance from Srishti publishers at the same time. Now I had the option of not getting any edits done by Kanishka (and he would have reimbursed the advance) but I was so convinced of his value-addition, that I decided to go ahead anyway.

Needless to say, I am happy with my decision. He not only delivered quality comments and excellent edits, he also delivered it on time — and I admire this immensely. He has also been very helpful in giving advice on how to promote the book and make it successful. The rest, the readers’ response will tell…

Gouri Dange

When Kanishka Gupta, founder of Writer’s Side offered to critique the draft of my second novel, The Counsel of Strangers, I handed it over gladly. Well before I began to talk to publishers or distributors or POD on-line publishers, I wanted an assessment of my work. A SWOT, so to speak. What I got was a detailed, extremely incisive, ruthless but honest feedback from his team of editors/assessors. The SWOT came in the form of a hard swat — parts of my MS were declared unusable and even irritating! Holes were shot through the structure and content (and so even the title) of the proposed book!

While no writer likes to hear this, having your manuscript assessed by Writer’s Side is not about getting to hear what you like. It’s more like walking into a counsellor’s room, and submitting to a process. A process that throws a powerful light on every part of your work, and fearlessly identifies what works and what simply doesn’t — and more importantly, why it doesn’t work, and what you could do about it.

There are three things that emerge from having your MSs assessed by Writer’s Side : (a) A validation of those parts that do work in your writing (b) A pointing out of what, when you were writing, you did know may not add up, but you were turning a bit of a blind eye to (c) An identification of problems in your narrative that you would not have ever found however many times you re-read your own work (d) Some points of feedback that you may not agree with at all, but which help you to re-commit to your work anyway.

I’m glad I presented my manuscript to WS, so that they could go through it with their fine-toothed comb. What they came up with in my MSs is something I wouldn’t have wanted my readers (or a couple of hard-nosed critics) to find. The process of having your work read by the WS team is a chastening and — dare I use the cliché — a humbling one. Assessments from WS may send writers right back to the drawing board — however, from this something more authentic and universally readable is bound to emerge.

Navneet Jagannathan

I received an honest and constructive critique. This is a priceless resource for the rudderless first-timer.

Aditya Khetan

Thanks a lot for all your help. The critique has really helped me understand the deficiencies in my approach to writing, and made me rethink a lot of ideas I had about my writing, and writing in general. You’ve been very useful, prompt and helpful.

Sivaraman S.R.

Thanks for your critique. It is indeed honest (brutally so) and educative (beautifully so). I am glad that somebody like you exists in the writer’s world to help journalistic writers like me turn into literary ones. Bravo!

Rajat Chaudhuri

My second novel is an experimental work with many new things being tried out and, naturally, I needed expert advice about it. I had heard about Writer’s Side from the Caferati Writer’s Group and, visiting their website and googling a bit, was impressed enough to send the MS for a critique.

It would be an understatement to say that the critique was just good. In fact, it was very professional and revealing. I was impressed by the facility of the Writer’s Side reviewer with literary styles and genres and his incisive understanding of the pitfalls of slipstream fiction. Writer’s Side has helped me a lot in understanding the mistakes in my first draft and in realizing some of the difficulties of developing a shaggy-dog kind of narrative that I have attempted in this work.

The captain of their ship, Kanishka is kind and accommodating with all kinds of curious questions that we authors sometimes come up with. He has been very helpful in charting out a course for me and I plan to work with him in my future projects.

Ajit Harisinghani

Writer’s Side has done a good job in helping me ascertain the worthiness of my manuscript. They have pointed out the various areas where the script loses its flow and connectivity with the reader. The analysis has been valuable and I thank them for their honest appraisal.

Husein Taherbhai

I have had some experiences with editors since this is my second book being published here in the US. For both my books I have used Indian editors — mainly because they are relatively inexpensive. However, I must say that my experience with Writer’s Side surpassed all my expectations. Not only did they do a great job in editing, they also gave me valuable advice with respect to logistic problems, “something that quite didn’t seem right”, and pointing out any other chinks in my armor.
Of course, like any writer, I have my personal idea and manner in “telling the story”. Writer’s Side does not do that for you. They allow your personality as an author to shine thorough your work. In short, I found them very efficient, effective and worth the money.

Bhavna Chauhan

Ever been lost in a jungle looking for that elusive landmark to find your way? Being from the Army, I always knew what to fall back on — a compass to find ‘North’. And when it came to my book, Writer’s Side proved to be just that. A polestar to guide me through the confusing literary maze that confounds many first-time writers.

I came upon Writer’s Side while googling, and what a find it’s turned out to be. I was in the process of finishing the first draft of my novel Guns and Roses, a story of girls in the backdrop of the military training academy. Given the unusual setting of the novel and my lack of publishing experience, I was in a fix. Family and peer opinion can be dangerously misleading (my mum thinks I look like Julia Roberts and write like Arundhati Roy). An objective, honest, critical, helpful appraisal of my manuscript was what I was looking for.

And the critique provided by Writer’s Side was extremely helpful. It was like a SWOT (Strength Weakness Opportunity Threat) analysis. The feedback covered every area of writing, right from structure, tense, characterization, pace, to the narrative style, plot etc. I love the detail with which they studied my manuscript, especially the comments which reminded me of a hand-scribbled edited copies. That has a personal touch and makes it easier to relate to and rectify mistakes. They threw in many suggestions which I hope to incorporate in the subsequent editing and rewriting. Their critique will help me shape my book better. Plus, I also gained knowledge about publishing houses, genres and the process of publishing. It’s a total value-for-money package.

My experience with WS has been fantabulous. Kanishka rocks at his job. He is like a little angel sent by God to fix the doubts, fears and flaws of writers. He’s a thorough professional. He replied to all my panic queries, doubts and wild suggestions with great skill, patience and aplomb. That too in a matter of minutes, which is very commendable. I’m so glad that he came up with this idea of a manuscript evaluation agency in India. This is the first of its kind and a boon for first time writers like me.

I wish Writer’s Side loads of success and growth in the future. They are going to be a force to reckon with in the publishing business in the years to come. Publishing houses are going to pick up writers from WS list, and WS will diversify into publishing also. WS is to writing what MS (Microsoft) is to software. My experience with Writer’s Side went beyond my expectations. I hope to interact and benefit from them in my future writing ventures too.

Anu Chopra

I thank Writer’s Side for painstakingly going through each and every line of my manuscript and paying attention to the minutest details. I really appreciate their efforts. Thank you so much!

Anirudh Kala

My book, a work of fiction, has been edited by Writer’s Side and it is a pleasure to see the result. Their editing has made the story read so much better. I am also obliged to Kanishka for his advice and tips about the book and about the process of publication.

I had, earlier, explored the possibility of hiring some editing agencies abroad, but Writer’s Side has done a remarkable job at ten percent of the cost. I heartily recommend this agency to anyone who has just finished writing a manuscript.

Zoyab Kadi

I want to thank Writer’s Side for editing my manuscript, tentatively titled The Bohra houses of Sidhpur. It falls in the genre of Architectural history — a subject that has a lot of scope for subjectivity, personal opinions and unwarranted clichés. The edited version of the manuscript, with changes in the right places, sounds more objective, professional and, most importantly, neutral.

I thank you for a job well done.

Ravinder Pal Singh

I found out about Writer’s Side when I queried for manuscript assessment on an internet search engine. And I must say that Writer’s Side was a very fruitful find for me.

Being a first-time author, I was going through the initial struggle of writing and getting published. One evening, I was in Delhi and I happened to call Kanishka. We met and I explained to him what I was looking for.

It was Writer’s Side which helped me shape my manuscript into something that would leave a mark on publishers. And today, I have signed an agreement with Srishti publication who are going to publish my first book I Too Had a Love Story.

I am very satisfied with the service Writer’s Side has provided me and I would recommend this service highly, especially to first-time authors.

Pervin Chhapkhanawala

I had written a collection of stories for children which I was looking to publish, but was very lost, since the publishing industry is not always kind to a first-time writer. I happened to get to know about Writer’s Side by chance. After exchanging introductory emails, I knew that this organization would help me get the platform I wanted and polish my writing. I realized that Writer’s Side valued my book and efforts, probably as much as I did.

I was impressed by the professionalism and promptness displayed by Kanishka Gupta. Every email was replied to within minutes, and all queries were addressed in detail. Writer’s Side did not merely edit my book, but also provided valuable suggestions and feedback. It recommended my book to established agents and worked very sincerely towards getting the best deal possible for me. It certainly lives up to its name.

Sukant Ratnakar

I was looking for an editor for my book, Open the Windows. Being a book about innovation, the editing work was rather complicated. Then, one fine day, I happened to see an article about Writer’s Side. At the first available opportunity, I met Kanishka to explore the possibilities. Just one meeting was enough to clear all my doubts about the book and assure me that it was in good hands. 

The editors at Writer’s Side have been extremely helpful, not only in editing but also in suggesting a lot of important things which, being a first-time writer, I had missed. They have given personal attention and taken great care during the whole process.

Sabiha Armin 

Thanks for the critique. It was very nice and told me how badly I had written, but still I keep it in high regard. I will try to write again and will get back to you soon.

Sai Narayan

I herewith convey my sincere gratitude to you and Devaki (who has done the editing) for the pains you have taken to improve my project. I’ll follow your valuable suggestions.

Prithvin Rajendran

Fantastic work, thanks.

Suraj Prasad

The critique was very, very useful.

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