‘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.

 

 

From The Pages of my Old Diary

There was a time when I use to do micro poetry. But over the years many things have changed. Tomorrow is Bengali New Year’s Day and on the occasion a small event is being conducted by our community. Each one of us have been asked to say few words from their old diary. This is mine which is dated 20.3.1998 in the page of my diary.

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I have never before typed in Hindi. I am pretty familiar with the language but with pen and paper. This is my first attempt on computer so pardon me because I don’t know how to type the words.

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!

 

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A still from the movie Pet Sematary

Why HOLI Me…?

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I don’t think I know of any other Indian festival where you buy something actually for others. India has so many festivals throughout the year that it makes every seasons enjoyable. (We have festivals in every season and if there isn’t one then birthdays and anniversaries make it up). So on every occasion we purchase something or the other and that too only for our own use. New clothes, sweets, home furnishings, home decor almost everything you can think of anything that is usually purchased during the festivals is entirely for personal use. In other words, you can celebrate the festival without a community too. Of course if you have a community then it is fun however, in the absence of it also you can celebrate it in your own way.

For example, on Diwali you can decorate your house with oil lamps, candles and electric lights, Christmas too you can decorate the Christmas tree in your house and but presents for your family. Or even during Durga Puja you purchase new clothes and visit the pandals with your family. In general talk about any festival you can celebrate with your family members only.

Whereas on HOLI you buy colors, pichkari, thandai and all the other accessories for other’s use. You cannot celebrate it alone with your family members. You need a community to celebrate this festival and that too spend your money to buy things for others. So in actual terms, HOLI is the ultimate community festival and that is the only reason I love it more.

 

 

Let’s celebrate womanhood together!

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The woman you love most in your life

Is there something special about being a woman?

If there is then lets celebrate womanhood together. This a blank canvas and whatever thoughts you share with me I shall put it here along with your twitter handle and will RT till 7.03.2017. On the due day that is 8th March the final canvas will be uploaded with hues and color of womanhood.

To participate all you have to do is type your thoughts and RT@authorparomita. Just make sure your words are max 10 only.

And this is what I got

 

 

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Save

Holla All!!

So still catching up on the valentine day blues. Don’t worry. Just enjoy a bit more.

I had a very different notion of The Day of Love from my son D. A preteen that he is, sometimes his actions give me hiccups. Lately when he was so impressed by the Flying Jatt Akka Tiger Shroff that D started imitating him. He would stand in front of the mirror for hours to make his hair style or watch his dance moves. I was so irritated sometimes.

D even made sure that his friends both at school and at home acknowledge him by that name. And there was no stopping for him. His hair was already touching his shoulders when I had to literally pull him into the salon for a decent hair cut. All the while as the man worked on his scissors D’s tears never stopped rolling down his cheeks. In the mirror, he was looking into my eyes and spitting venom for bringing this into him. I had to beg everybody in the salon to praise my son’s new look. And thankfully they did as long as we stayed there. That did pacify D a little. And on our way back home walking I coaxed few more of his friends to praise him. Finally when we reached home and he stood in front of the mirror to check upon his new look, the crew cut. It took him weeks to fall in love with his hair style again.

I mentioned the above incident to show how children grow up sooner now a days. At his age few decades back we were pretty dumb to understand what was Valentine’s Day. But today’s generation know it. THE DAY OF LOVE is pretty well observed by them. Fair enough!

So I watched D board the school bus. He had taken little bit more effort to get dressed that morning. Lately, he had been asking questions about girls and females. So I had no doubts that my son was going to school on a mission.

While he was away I drowsed myself in watching Pretty Women on TV. It was the nth time I was watching it and somehow it always succeeded in grabbing my attention no matter what. I forgot the count of time. I watched Richard Gere climb up the iron ladder to rescue his love of life, Julia Robert and it stole my heart as usual.

Damn! My son wasn’t home yet? Where has he been? He is never late. Most of the students skipped school because of the final examination preparation that was due on 17th. So I had no clue where to look for him. He had the habit of collecting kites from the terrace that the wind brings in sometimes, so I was hoping he will be home any minute with one or two more kites in hand. But even after five minutes of pushing myself over the balcony railing to have a good glimpse of the road below I had no sign of D. I grew restless and ran down the stairs.

I found D sitting on the stairs just above the ground scribbling something on a piece of paper. He didn’t answer me when I asked what he was up to sitting there. He asked me to wait for him. I joined him and saw what he was doing.

On a small craft paper he was making some designs that looked more like a greeting card. So he was making a card for one of the girls in the colony. I didn’t have to guess who it might be. I had seen him talking about her to B, my husband his father, many often. So I guess he was pretty excited about the whole thing.

I went inside the house again to prepare food for him. Soon he joined me and informed that he wants candle light dinner. I sighed. Then all of a sudden he asked me to stand straight looking at him. I did.

In front of me was a boy with a shy smile on his face almost avoiding my gaze to surprise me. He bent down and touched my feet. Before I could understand what had happened he handed me the hand made greeting card and stood back longingly for my reaction. I opened the card that read in one of the most silly handwriting,

WISH YOU BOTH HAPPY PARENTING ON THIS DAY OF LOVE. LOVE YOU BOTH MOM AND PAPA FOR LOVING ME SO MUCH. I PROMISE TO DO GOOD IN FINAL EXAM. YOUR’S D.

The small note stole my heart. Love can have lots of meaning and one of them is parental love too. And how lovingly my son had chosen this day to declare his love for us.

HAPPY DAY OF LOVE to you all!

 

 

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Love is all about caring.

How much transparency is needed for our Armed forces?

The post first appeared on

http://www.ddsreviews.in/2017/01/Transperency-Armed-Forces.html?spref=fb

#SpecialFeature :: #GuestPost – How much transparency is needed for our Armed forces? by Paromita Goswami

When I wrote the book Grow Up Messy! I mentioned in details about the life of personnel working in Border Security Force. My chest always swells with pride whenever I read the scenes in the book. My father worked in B.S.F and hence I was brought up in that environment. It really helped me in shaping me up as a responsible citizen of my country. I have a special corner in my heart for the people in the armed forces. There was a time when I too wanted to join the uniform cadets however, I was destined to do something else. We will talk about it later.

The recent video of a B.S.F jawan that went viral on the internet and that which has really shaken the faith in the olive and khaki uniforms has really hurt me too. The video was about the quality of the cooked meal supplied to the Jawans at the border. It showed burned Rotis, Dal, without Tadka and all. And in my book, I have a complete chapter how Misry loved the Langar ka Tadka Dal.

Here is the excerpt:

Misry relished food prepared in the langar. First, the food had a manly touch unlike her mother cooking at home, which meant more oil, more spices and “Tadka”. And second, the food was cooked in huge chulha unlike the L.P.G gas cylinder at home and so the food had a different aroma and taste to it.

The Jawans had a special liking for Misry. Her presence and innocent questions reminded them of their children back at home, whom they missed very much. They loved to have her around and treated her like one of their children.

One of the cooks had also made a small bench and table for her to sit and eat with the rest of the platoon. The Head Cook knew about Misry’s love for langar food so he separated a small portion for her and added his special spices to it.

If I have to believe this video then I must say it was never so bad earlier. However, I understand things have changed over the years. The Jawans might be too stressed out defending the peace for our country just as we do while meeting our deadlines. Has life really changed so much? In the Video, Teg Bahadur has blamed his senior officers for selling off the ration that is distributed to them by the government. Can this really happen? Can someone even think of making money in this manner? If it were true then can that person be really termed as a patriot serving the armed forces to serve the nation? I don’t think so.  Such traitors need not be in any armed forces.

Every officer has a big responsibly of motivating his men so that they remain stress-free while standing in the first line of defense.  Every grudge of a Jawan,  no matter how small it maybe, is first dealt with these officers. It is his duty to see that his men are well taken care of unless of course, he is a victim of this bad practice too.

Not all officers are corrupt but those who are, they are really putting the lives of civilians at a big risk. And eventually the security of the country. I have only one question for them –What good is your money earned by corrupt means if the nation does not survive. Of course, India is very strong for this handful of corrupt people for we are the people of the country that has a big history of legends and no one can shake that trust off us be it money or fame.

However,  I do feel there should be more transparency in our armed forces too. With the growing technology, everything is visible now like this viral video. So why not make our procuring system and recruitment in the armed forces more transparent. Let the Jawans know how well they are being treated.

Another Video is of a CRPF Jawan who questions the facilities enjoyed by the paramilitary and the Central Armed police Force. When the risk is same then why not the facility. Let the parameters for selection be the same in both the forces. Earlier, when the Central Armed Police Force was established its main duty of line was restricted to only certain areas just like the B.S.F.

After Chinese aggression in 1962 in India B.S.F was established on 1st December 1965, to safeguard the international land and water borders of the country only. However, over the years their line of duty has changed. The B.S.F personnel is now doing all kinds of other duties besides guarding the international border. So why have their facilities not changed?

My book Grow Up Messy! is dedicated to BSF fathers who crave to watch their child grow.

No child would love to see their father so much in pain due to food condition or due to the lack of facilities. It is at a time when the men working in the forces should be heard.

P.S  To enter the #Giveaway please follow the above mentioned link.

My 2016 calender and 2017 Commitments

With each passing minutes, we are nearing the end of the happening year 2016 and moving towards the beginning of a new dawn of 2017 with lots of new hopes and dreams. Before I move any inch further I want to look back to the days in my 2016 calender.

January:

My kids reading club, Raipur Little minds book reading club, celebrated the republic day event in the evening at Jaistambh Chowk. The crowds cheered the young kids on their performance. It was our first performance on stage and the kids did their best.

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February:

It is the birthday month of my hubby and B’s birthday was celebrated with friends for the first time. B is very modest when it comes to celebrating his birthday since he believes in giving and not ever taking. But when friends persuaded him he count not say no to them. It was the first time B got a chance cut his birthday cake. As a child he celebrated his birthday with a spoonful of kheer prepared by his grandmother that was first offered to God and was later given to him.

March:

A short family trip to Hyderabad in March is also well accounted for. A walk in the Chawmahalla Palace, the Durbar, and Nizam’s residence was awesome. The ruins of Golconda Fort narrating the stories of the bygone era was breathtaking. During our weekend stay, the meals were always the traditional Hyderabadi Biryani ordered from Shadab restaurant in the Charminar area which is one of the oldest restaurant in the city. A visit to the Ramoji Film City was also memorable. We were really very shocked to see the actual shooting.

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April:

Another incident that happened to me was AtoZbloggingchallenge 2016 in the month of April. In this, the participants had to post on their blog every day throughout the month of April. I participated in the event after Inderpreet shared the details on her timeline. Many bloggers all over the world participated and I was glad to be one of them. I first penned Grow Up Messy! in this blogging marathon. And the best part was with the footfalls and appreciation of the Grow Up Messy! the blog post I received encouraged me to write more. I met some of the fabulous bloggers during this month and I am so thankful to them.

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May:

Our unplanned Srikakulam tours in Andhra Pradesh. This trip was a big surprise for us in many ways. First, we didn’t know what to expect and second, whatever we saw was mesmerizing. The town Srikakulam was more of a district town of the state and didn’t have much to offer apart from the Movie Theatres which were numerous in the town and the best part was film posters were changed according to days. 10days, 20days, 25 days. I really loved that. The town is about 22 km from the Bay of Bengal and 100 km from Vizag. It is known for religious sentiments due to Arasavilli Temple is the Sun God Temple and Srikurmam Temple, which is one of its kind in the world. This temple is dedicated to the Kurma Avatar i.e the tortoise Avatar of the Lord Vishu. The Kalingapatnam beach is another place to enjoy. However, the beach has no shacks or activity. It is completely clean for that matter. Our journey back home was more adventurous because we traveled through South Odisha and the state has such beautiful valleys to watch out for. Aha!

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June :

My best memory of the year is meeting in person with some of the wonderful people from my writer circle. That was in the month of June when the days were hotter and the night humid but that didn’t stop many of us to fly down to Mumbai from many corners of the country to the Meetup arranged by Rubina Ramesh. The effect of meeting everybody was like, “Oh My God they are for real!” For months every day we have been in touch with each other online because of our love for books. My family thought I was crazy, typing posts on facebook and smiling looking at the monitor almost every day even late at night. But that’s how we were connected. A big family in the virtual world is what I have always said to my hubby. And to my utter surprise, he allowed me to travel to meet this family without any hesitation. Today I have a family for real online.img_20160618_150156

July:

A month of promises as it happens to be our anniversary month. Like every year we both expected gifts from each other and finally never gave one. When it comes to gifts both of us sit down with our dairies and count the number of times we have let down each other when every time we bought something for the other. As luck has it, since our first anniversary around ten years back we have never bought anything for each other. The reason, we always end up never liking it and complaining as to why our taste is so different. But that’s how we are. A fire element and a water element sharing hopes and sorrows of life together. And we are happy that way. Looks awkward isn’t it? But we are the best of friends. (Touch wood)

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August:

A month we all have been waiting for after the months of summer. The time when festivals start knocking the doors and suddenly summer is gone. The independence day was celebrated by the reading club members in the evening. We had a quiz and slogan competition and fun with the kids. It was a small event though but an event to remember.

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September:

I finished the draft of my third book, The Clockmaker, the paranormal jungle series. It will be released in 2017. The story is inspired by a small incident during Diwali last year. I visited a shop and adjacent to it was a clock repairing shop. It was a tiny shop and the old man behind the table was an experienced man of his profession. However, with cell phones occupying the major share of the market, I felt the need of wrist watches have decreased considerably. It is more of fashion accessory now rather than necessity. This thought inspired me to write my next novel THE CLOCKMAKER which is a paranormal thriller.

October:

I got a scooty. TVS Jupiter. I know to drive a four wheeler but I don’t own a car. Why?? I will have to tell that story someday else. But it surely took me twenty years to actually drive a motor vehicle on regular basis. My bicycle was my anniversary gift that I flaunted shamelessly in and around my locality. Right from shopping grocery, vegetables or attending school PTM or doing my morning exercise, my bicycle was my only means of transport that I owned. I could have purchased a scooty long back but I didn’t have the confidence to ride it until one day the newly bought scooty stood in front of my gate. And after that, I never rode my bicycle again. Too bad.

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November:

I was invited to judge an interschool story writing and poem recitation competition held by Krishna Public School Raipur. It was my second year consecutive that I was invited to the event. The teachers and administration staff had shown a grand welcome and love to my writing abilities. A few of the teachers had read my first book and were now eagerly waiting for my second book.img_20161231_222306

December:

I published my second book Grow Up Messy! It was like a dream because I wasn’t ready yet and if I didn’t have Rubina and Sonia behind my back maybe it would have taken few more months to publish my second book and had I taken the traditional route maybe the wait would have been few more years. But I am glad I self-published it and the readers have shown tremendous love to the book. I cannot assume there could be any better ending of this year.

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2016 has really given me a lot of support to fulfill my dreams and I have just flapped my wings.

2017

I have two releases lined up for this year.

  • Grow Up Messy! Part 2 – Sibling Saga
  • The Clockmaker – Jungle assault series – Paranormal Thriller.