Thursday, May 4, 2017

'Start marketing your book way before it is publised,' says author Paromita Goswami

Author Paromita Goswami

What are the challenges of a debutante author in marketing their first book? And how to overcome them?

Okay, so you wrote a book. Congratulations! The hours of sitting and plotting out your novel, the sleepless nights with your character’s conflict and the tons of times your family and friends might have looked at you with disapproval are finally going to vanish with the new book baby in your hands. There is no doubt that your family and friends will be the first one to shout on top of their voice that we have a new author in the rising. You will be more excited when your book's sales start rolling in and your book ranking is pacing fast towards the bestseller chart. Wow! You made it. Yahoo!

Is this what actually happens? I am afraid to say no. We all would love to see it happen that way but
it just won’t happen on its own. It will last as long as you have the support of your friends and family. And after the first month, the sales will come down drastically. And then you have to look out for the genuine readers for your book. And that’s when marketing your book comes in. Like all the other products, that you see in the market, your book needs advertising too. Now, what would be the probable challenges you could face as a debutante author in marketing your first book? This is what we are going to discuss today.

The first challenge is visibility. As they say, “Show to sell”. So make your book visible in all goddamn places one could reach. Of course, offline it won’t be possible, but yes through online promotions it can be possible. Luckily, there are many agencies that offer both offline and online promotions these days. That also calls for the good amount of investment. Moreover, you also have to check out the credential of the agency before investing, otherwise you may end up paying to bogus companies.

Second is getting reviews. Today majority of buyers check out the reviews before purchasing a product and that is applicable to books as well. If you are a debutant then getting a good reviewer is also a big challenge. Mind it when I say good reviewer it means someone who has a good fan following and whose reviews turn into sales. Definitely, you will come across many people who claim to be a reviewer, but know nothing about the art of writing a good review. A review should not be just the synopsis of your book and a rating on a scale of five, it should also be able to show how
different your book is why it should be picked up to read. You should try to get reviews before your book is out in the market so that you have good things to talk about your book in the market. Give out ARC copies to reputed reviewers way in advance.

The third is doing book events across major Indian cities. It is a trend now that an author usually does book tours. The major problem is getting a viewer for the book launch or book reading in a different city other than yours. Sum it up as how many people you know in that city and out of those how many would turn up for your book show and out of them how many will pick up your book. A debutante’s first book may not have that pull. So it is better to tie up with an established author or book club in that city and then do your book tour. This way you will surely connect with some genuine book lovers in that city and create a base for your upcoming books.

The fourth challenge while marketing your book can be shelf space in bookstores. If you have a good
publisher to back you then, of course, your book will definitely get a place in the renowned bookstores, but is it placed accordingly for the buyers? Sometimes the store keepers love to flaunt the new books of established authors and a buyer has to overcome that hurdle to reach yours. This challenge you can overcome my making goodies that you can ask the storekeeper to keep at the cash counter. Like a bookmark, book tag, poster or sticker, which can be distributed to the buyers free of cost. Maybe few of them come back to pick up your book too.

The fifth challenge is announcing contests and giveaways. These are a very good marketing technique to showcase your book but again without good reviews or other goodies the takers for your book may not be very high.

So in all the above marketing strategies that we have discussed the major challenge lies in getting reviews for your book. Actually, as an author, you should start marketing your book way before it is published. Let the world know what you are writing, create interest in your readership by sharing excerpts or blog posts. Let people know what and how you write, and probably then they will trust you with your first book. So there is lots of ground work to do before planning your baby. So get started now!

About the Author

Paromita Goswami is a writer and storyteller by passion and a rebel by choice. She says the world is full of stories and as a writer she loves to pen them down. Her work is not genre specific. From literary fiction to children's book to upcoming paranormal thriller and women fiction, Paromita Goswami's books offer the variety of life to her readers. Besides writing, she is also the founder of reading club that enhances book reading habit in children. She lives in central India with her family.

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