‘Start marketing your book way before it is published,’ says author Paromita Goswami

The following post first appeared in

http://www.tbcblogtours.com/2017/05/start-marketing-your-book-way-before-it.html

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.

 

 

Advertisements

And I came across the king…

Isn’t it strange? I have been watching his movies chewing my nails with my eyes rolling around most of the time to see if there was anyone standing right behind me. Gosh! Scary horror movies have always been my favorite time pass during my school summer vacation. Not that I knew about many English directors or Hollywood actors but they had this thrill in their horror movies which I always found missing in our Bollywood movies. Even the famous  Zee TV show of Ramsay Production didn’t excite as did most of the Hollywood horror movies.

I am more of a visual person and hence what I have seen once in safely saved in my memory. And one such memory is of Pet Sematary. It was the story of a family that had shifted to a new home and just when you thought everything was going perfect all hell broke loose. For weeks I was so disturbed by the movie that I could hardly sleep at night. Even strange was I had picked up the movie just by its title. I had no idea about the actors or director of the movie. It was only the title that drew my attention. Those were the days when we use to watch videos in VCP in our bedroom with all the curtains of the windows drawn in to darken the room when it was broad daylight outside. Most of the times it was me and my sisters insanely staring at the TV screen to see what would be the next scene. A slight knock on the door would startle us like anything and nights use to scare the hell of us.

Today after so many decades, I watched a movie trailer on Facebook that was shared by one of my friends. It was of the upcoming movie “IT” written by Stephen King, The king of horror. I have never read Stephen King but today the trailer made me fall in love with his work. He is a terrific storyteller. And then my search for his other work started  on the internet. I came across Pet Sematary and I remembered how it had left me frightened for weeks. So I may not have read his books but his movies did keep me hitched. Like this time it was the trailer of IT.

I am trying my hands on supernatural, paranormal this time. And sincerely hope that I may  incite similar feelings in my reader with my work. Wish me good luck!

 

pet-sematary-stephen-king

A still from the movie Pet Sematary

Catch me LIVE at 9:30pm (IST)

Hello friends.

I am pretty new to it and I won’t say no I am not nervous. In fact I am very comfortable behind the lens. I feel I can capture more. However, there are times when you need to come out of your shell and share your experiences which can help some one do better.

So here I am associated with the BLOGCHATTER community, which is a blogging community in India and have  lots of aspiring writers and bloggers from various field. You can say its a platform where many can connect and your blog gets visibility.

So this community is organizing three month writing festival starting from March till May with the April participating in the AtoZchallenge 2017 as a host too. So I am very fortunate to be part of this writing festival with eight more buddy authors who have made their mark with their recent releases.

So join me tonight at 9:30pm on facebook live at

https://www.facebook.com/blogchatter/

C6tWzN2WoAE0wu7

 

A small chat about my writing work and my new book.

This post first appeared in

https://shillonggal.blogspot.in/2017/02/author-interview-paromita-goswami.html

In conversation with Paromita Goswami 

Grow Up Messy is a story of a 5-year-old girl Misry who is called as Messy by everyone because of the mess she creates. Misry father has a job which makes him change cities frequently.

The story is from the point of view of Messy which shows her innocence and guile. Messy is a ball of anxiousness and excitement which causes a ruckus and hence she got coined as Messy.

  • How did you come up with the idea? Were you like Misry as a child?

Throughout the story it is cute and sweet moments of a mother-daughter relationship in which makes the read more enjoyable.

Every child wants to be like Misry, akka Messy. She is free like a bird and curious like a cat. My inspiration of penning down this beautiful story is for the kids of today’s generation. They are so piled up in their studies pressure or are gazette freak that they don’t know what they are missing in life. The story is set in an era, the early eighties, when there was no television set in most of our homes.

Was I like Misry as a child? Misry lives in every adult who had experienced an  adventurous childhood and I am one of them.

  • Are there parenting lessons in Misry’s tale?

She lives with her father Anurag, a paramilitary border security force (B.S.F) personnel, and mother, Madhavi, in the border out post (BOP) camp near Indo-Bangladesh border in West Bengal, India.

Misry’s tale has lots of such moments which a parent can easily relate to. As a Mom I too wondered if it was okay to do that with my child. For example,

Misry’s character in the book Grow Up Messy! is that of an innocent child who depends more on her mother for her smaller needs. The best part is she expects her mother to know everything like a superwoman. She believes there is nothing which her Ma cannot do or hasn’t seen. So when she requests her mother to make Pinjiri, something which she had tasted for the first time elsewhere, it never occurred to her that Ma might not know about its preparation.

You can read more such facts about the book in my website:

https://paromitagoswami.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/fun-facts-about-the-book-grow-up-messy-the-writing-journey/

  • That is an interesting setting. Tell us how you came up with it?

Cramped in two or three bedroom Apartment in a metro city with hardly any space for the children to play outside compelled me to look for an alternate setting. It is the fact today. Children either end up playing in the street or parking areas.

They say playground is the best teacher. So I made the setting of my book vast. And there can be no better way than the villages and the sleepy smaller towns near a metro city.

Since I am Bengali, Kolkata is my first choice of a metro city. And idealizing a place nearby the big city was never a problem as I had been there many times to meet my extended family. So that’s how Misry’s Dadu’s house came into my mind, a sleepy town on the outskirts of Howrah. And the setting of B.S.F campus is also inspired by my real life experience as I grew up in that environment. In both the settings I used the facts more that fantasy as I believe that makes the plot more real.

  • Writing fiction that caters to the children and the young readers is a steep challenge. What made you choose the genre?

“Choose the genre”, a very good question Paulami. Thanks for putting it up. Actually I don’t write genre specific books. I am more inclined towards the story or the plot. So when Messy was penned I had no doubts that it would be equally liked by both children and adult. Something that each of us as adults still remember doing in your childhood.

One happy hilarious moment when we can be a child again – Grow Up Messy!

Yes of course,  when writing for children and young readers there is certain criteria that you have to keep in mind. Although the book, Grow Up Messy! is from a child’s perspective, it has been very much appreciated by the adults too.

  • You also run the Raipur Little Minds Book Reading Club. Tell us something about this.

I started this club to enhance reading habits in children. Print media is one thing today’s kids in our part of world don’t enjoy. Because it takes effort to understand and visualize when you read a book which in case of electronic media is effortless. And mostly kids take that way as they are spending more time getting ready for the rat race in their near future. Courtesy is us , the adults, parents. We want them to do just about everything and that too fast, even gulping a glass of milk. So they take easy when they are left alone. So easy that picking a book and reading for mere pleasure looks very tiring.

I would like to share an incident here. On my son’s birthday, I gave each of the invited child Amar Chitra Katha Comics as return gift. I was very excited when I was distributing it, remembering my childhood times when I use to share it with my friends. But I was in for a surprise. None of children were ready to go home. I told them the birthday party was over. They replied they were waiting for the return gift. I just gave you that I said. Their answer shocked me.

“It’s no gift. It’s a book.”

I had no doubts that I had to start the reading club and it has been an year since then.

  • Your previous book Shamsuddin’s Grave has a very different plotline and is a completely different genre. Tell us something about Shamsuddin’s Grave.

Shamsuddin’s Grave is different zone completely. It’s more of a  tear jerker. A book based on critical issue of illegal migrants from Bangladesh in Assam. The book talks about the scenario of today’s issue in the state of Assam. The setting of the book is in Guwahati and how this issue along with many other is affecting its people. It is a social drama based on the lives of two people – one is Shamsuddin, the daily wager who moved into the city for a better living and another is Latika, the N.G.O activist who is back home after a shattered personal life. How their paths cross and intermingle on the wide canvas where so many shades colours from the palette of today’s life  paint their life, sometimes deep, sometimes light.

You can know more about the book from the goodread reviews.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24923650-shamsuddin-s-grave

  • Tell us about the rebel Paromita Goswami. Something crazy that you have done.

Laughs. Rebel yeah! So here it goes.

One day while returning from office I took a cycle rickshaw to reach home early. Usually I walked home. Certainly not for doing exercise but for saving money. It was a time when I lived on my own and even a single penny counted. My father didn’t approve my decision of moving out of the house and so I knew I had to fend on my own no matter what. So I always kept that in mind.

So that very day, this guy whose cycle rickshaw I had boarded was pissed off for some reason. He was muttering under his breath all the way but brought me safely to my place. It was a fifteen rupees ride.  I gave him a twenty rupees note and waited for him to give me back the five rupees change. But he didn’t. I knew he was overcharging cause I mostly take rickshaw ride while on my way to the office. I asked him and he said the rates had changed. We had an argument. I don’t mind giving tips for good service but this man was trying to steal my money and I couldn’t let him do that. I didn’t get down from the rickshaw. It stood right in front of my gate but I didn’t get down.

Looking at my intentions the man started pulling crowd to gain sympathy saying  how an educated girl like me was ruining his daily business. I saw the crowd looking at me with questioning eyes. But I didn’t get down. When they started asking me I said upfront the man was cheating me. Luckily, most of the people in the crowd were Rickshaw boarders like me and took my side. The man ultimately had to pay me back the extra money he had taken.

Sometimes when I still remember that incident I laugh out loud now.

Message for new writers.

Enjoy your writing. Don’t get influenced by what others are writing. If you have a story inside you then don’t hesitate to bring it out. Someone somewhere is waiting to read it.