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!
6 Look beyond a blog
A personal blog/website is great but online audiences are fractured and each has their own preferred social space. Today, you need to be present on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, YouTube, and others. If you know your audience well, try and find where they hang out and be there. There’s no use to be on Facebook if you’ve written a non-fiction and most of your audience hashtags over at Twitter. And be on as many social networks as you can. You don’t need to post separately on anything. But connect them all together, use auto-posts, schedule posts and let it be. I wrote Anantya Tantrist‘s voice over a day, for two months and put it on auto-schedule. She two months, she talked on Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter or Google+. You’ll need to be efficient with this otherwise your writing time may be eaten into. Another important thing for you to do is have a strong voice across these social networks. It will be a reflection of who you are as a person and as an author. Like I love supernatural/fantasy stuff and I constantly write on folklore, tribal and occult things, which matches my interest in writing supernatural and tantric fiction.
7 Write columns
Journalists don’t have time to review all books or do interviews of all authors. But you’re a writer, so play on your strength and write free content for as many magazines, papers, blogs, ezines that you can connect with (some of them might pay for it too). Most editors are open to new ideas, especially content from authors (thought being, if you’ve written and published a book, you might be able to write well). Pitch ideas around your book, not things that are directly promotional but things that you feel strongly about, or the themes of your book. I write columns on folklore and tantrism and writing, things I know. (Check out my columns at Swarajya, HuffingtonPost, DailyO, Scroll and Discover India. On each site, I get about a 10-300 shares every time I post something new.)
8 Work with your publisher
Publishers usually have decent marketing teams but they’re really busy people, so keep a track of your marketing representative, give them a call once in a while, send them an email, inform them of all your activities and ideas and thoughts and keep asking what’s happening next. And if you have an idea, always ask if they would do it, even though you feel it’s too expensive or weird. You know what’s best for your book.
9 Do go on bookstore tours
A lot of us go by the recommendations made by the staff of a bookstore. Use that to your advantage. Understand the people who’re selling your book on the ground, for whom it’s just a day’s boring business. Tell them about your book, enthuse them with what you love about your book. Do bookstore tours in your city, speak to groups that sell books and figure out how they do it. Convince them to push your book out.
10 Keep in touch with sales
You don’t need to find out how your book it doing (that dreaded question that is asked one too many times to all of us), but I’ve found it quite useful to understand how your book is being sold. Who is the sales person? Do they read? Do they know about your book? How do they recommend? What kind of pressures does their bosses put on them? What are their targets? It’s essential to understand the business of sales within a publishing house. What kind of distribution do they have? Is your book going to be available in all stores or just a few? Who decides these? I am still figuring out these things myself and you should see a post on it soon enough.
For more tips on writing, head to this section.