After three months of extensive marketing for Cult of Chaos, I am back on the desk, somewhat wiser, somewhat still the novice and definitely a dreamer. As I move on to various other exciting projects that are brimming up (including the third installment of Anantya Tantrist’s series), I thought I should whisper all the trade secrets I learnt. And in our age, that means writing a blog. So here it is peeps. If these are useful, comment below. If not, comment still!
1 Take a few months off
First of all, for any marketing effort, you will need to take out a couple of months. That’s a couple of months of no-productivity, as in no-writing, AND doing things you might hate – talking to people, connecting, pushing your book, chasing, and all other things that marketing requires. So mentally prepare yourself for that.
2 Connect with people in media
I’ve worked in media houses for more than twelve years now and understand that media (all kinds be it online, offline and blogs) is very useful in disseminating the word about your book. The thing is, the traditional ones (like newspapers and magazines) are usually loaded with books (about 80 a month), so making personal relationships with the journalists who read your kind of genre, might be helpful. Take time out and figure who these journalists are and connect with them and let them know about your book. Your publisher might be doing it separately, but it’s useful for you to do it too. And this includes not only newspapers, but magazines, television, radio, blogs, online sites, Instagram and Facebook people. Build relationships with all kinds of people in traditional, online, or social media. If you can’t do this yourself, hire a PR agency, but keep it personal with whoever you connect with.
3 Do something other than a book launch
When was the last time you went to a book launch where you didn’t know the author? A launch works for a celebrity author. If you’re not that, try to do something else in an event. I tried doing an occult quiz for my tantrik book launch and got much more media interest as well as crowd than I would have if it would have been just a humdrum literary type discussion (which wouldn’t have worked for Anantya Tantrist anyway). For my kids mystery, Ghost Hunters of Kurseong, I went to schools and did detective workshops with kids, spreading word about my book. The best way to do an event is to tie-up with something else that’s already happening. Launch your book at a music concert or just before a play or at an art exhibition. Combination events work much better to reach new crowds than your own networks.
4 Play to your strengths
I am a natural communicator. I love connecting to people, am naturally curious on how they work and what they do and how I can help them as well as take their help in spreading word about my books. For Cult of Chaos, I’ve connected with other authors and musicians and done a giveaway on their websites, connected with event organisers and requested them to put freebies about my book on their ticket boxes. It might or might not work, but my books are being talked about in these different groups, and that helps. (Or so I think and hope). Another author friend of mine is simply lovely at helping others write, so he runs a writing club offline and online (in an extensive email list). It’s organised and fabulous. Think of your strengths and weave a marketing plan around it.
5 Look beyond bookstores
Where do people read books? It’s not only bookstores, it’s cafes, parks and libraries and homes. Readers are everywhere. Can you reach these spaces? How about offices, colleges and apartment complexes? There are reader groups everywhere, try to find them and connect with them. Begin small and continue your efforts.
For more tips on writing, head to this section.