‘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.

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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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.

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.

 

 

Demonetization and Me

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I hardly talk politics but when something becomes too much unbearable to hear I don’t stop myself. Okay so today, I want to write about demonetization that is bleeding out on news channels 24X7. So since the moment Mr. P.M, Narendra Modi, made his statement on 8th November 2016, ceasing the usage of ₹1000.00 and ₹500.00 notes, the finance turmoil started. index

I am a sit at home mother and novelist. My interaction with the financial transaction on daily basis is limited to the greengrocer, milkman, maid, newspaper man, mobiles bill and petty transaction here and there. So, did this decision really affect me. Yes, it did but not in a very big way because I have been using the online banking since long. And moreover limiting my cash transaction a little per day helped me take in the pressure.

However, I am not writing this to talk about my experience due to this decision which I believe is for the benefit of our country. I strongly support this decision and in the leadership of our Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi. Because when someone, who has nothing to lose, takes a stand it means it is for the best for the rest of us. And I have a blind faith in the goal that he is trying to show us to achieve.

The day after this decision was my bill payment day. I had to pay my monthly bills to all including my maid. My maid is a local who lives in the nearby urban slums and leads a very happy life with her grandchildren. She is not literate and recognizes things by symbols. She can’t even count the money I pay her as salary but shows her faith that I shall never cheat on her.

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Like me, there are few more people she believes in and one of them is the “Kamal” symbol, the B.J.P logo. She hates the “Panja”, the congess logo because they have not fulfilled their promise which they had sworn they will when they came to beg for a vote. So even if she is illiterate she understands the game of dirty politics.

Here is what she has to say on demonetization.

“A few young men, are being asked by the rich showroom owners of our locality to deposit their black money in their account and turn it into white money before returning it to them. They work in the showroom and hence had no choice but to do it if they didn’t want to lose their job.”

Then after I heard on the news channel that laborers are returning home because there is no work for them in the big cities. It is no cash flow actually because of which they were losing jobs.

Is it?? I don’t think so. Most of the people who returned back to their village had no back accounts in the city. So that means their identity was of no use to the big shots who were using the accounts of the laborers to change their black money into white.

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In my opinion, moving homewards always increases the chances of survival for any person. When I penned my first novel, Shamsuddin’s Grave, I had to research a lot because the theme of my book was illegal migrations. Shamsuddin, a daily wager, had come to the city of Guwahati in search of livelihood. What happened next were facts that mostly remain hidden from the people. It really ached my heart to see the fate of these people.

Demonetization led to homewards was, therefore, a very happy news for me. Maybe they get to eat one roti less but at least the family is together. I would like to question the government and officials at the state level and district level as to why they were unable to take the responsibility for this plight of the men and increase the opportunities for employment in the small cities and villages in their state. So that nobody has to leave the family behind to earn bread and butter in the metros. Eventually, this will yield good results for the locals of the big cities too as their share in the city will increase and they don’t have to squeeze in anymore to give room to others coming from outside.

Another good pointimages3 I noticed in the news which I had also highlighted in my book too was the child trafficking. Demonetization had shown a considerable decline in the trafficking trade as well. This was also confirmed by the senior member of the NGO, Bachpan Bachao Andolan Mr. Rakesh Senger. As a developing country, how many more proof we need to show that this step is indeed a remarkable step taken in making India a truly developed country in few years.

The media might be talking at length about the plight of Aam Aadmi due to this decision for they don’t hesitate to show the long queue outside the banks or people dying because of not able to withdraw money from their bank. But we know the truth that just for few corrupt bank officials and black money holders we are suffering.  However, there are few questions still which I am not happy with and I shall surely take them into consideration in my next article.

 

A Dedication!!

“Grow Up Messy! – Dedicated to the B.S.F father’s who crave to watch their child grow.”

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1st December is celebrated as the B.S.F raising day. This year, the organization completed 51st years of service to the nation. Although when I had written this article it was supposed to be published on the 1st of December but I am a week late now. However, my sentiments for the people in this organization has scaled a new height with my new book, Grow Up Messy! releasing worldwide on all online ebook platforms. I am very proud to dedicate my new book to the B.S.F personnel.

Grow Up Messy!, is a children e-book for the middle grade and above. It’s a family read set in the early eighties. This book captures the essence of childhood through the eyes of a naughty five-year-old girl Misry alias Messy. As a paramilitary, Border Security Force (B.S.F) child, since her father is a B.S.F personnel, her life is nothing less than a roller coaster ride. So come and join the fun ride with the  mischievous life of Messy and her family.

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Before I take you to the story let me share with you some facts about this vast organization of our country, the Border Security Force (B.S.F). Today we find the mention of this force unit more or less every day in the news. They are our country’s first line of defence and work round the clock performing their duties. While they work, the organization takes care of their families. However, there are several occasions in life when their presence is missed by the members of the family, especially the children.

As a B.S.F child, I too had such moments when my father was not around to buck me up when I played for my school team or take me on vacations during my school holidays. Nevertheless, I am very proud to be part of this organisation that has played an incredible role in my growing up years. Today, the respect I have for the men in uniform is only because I have seen the considerable amount of dedication they show towards their duty for the nation due of which the people get the chance to celebrate the moments of their life with the loved ones.

Therefore I take it as an honour to dedicate this book series to these men of B.S.F.

Here are some facts that will make you proud too.

The Border security Force of  India has come up a long way in safeguarding the international borders, both on the land, and the water, since its establishment in the year 1965. Under the guidance of Shri K.F Rustamji, as the first Director General of the establishment, B.S.F took its baby steps to emerge as the largest border guarding force of the world within few decades.

B.S.F as an organization has been helping the nation not just as the first line of defence but also in restoring communal harmony or reaching out to the distressed people during floods and any natural calamity within the country. Since its establishment, B.S.F personnel have been contributing services towards UN missions.

With the motto, “Duty Onto Death” the establishment also takes care of border fencing, flood lighting and construction of roads to curb illegal infiltration from the border areas in the Eastern and Western part of the country.

Today it boasts of its own Marine and Air wing along with Artillery regiments which not only helps in the vigil of the international border day and night but also in maintaining the internal security duty in insurgent zones.

B.S.F also runs the National Training Centre for Dogs that help trains dogs in infantry patrolling, detection of explosives and also for tracking and tracing. It also has its unique Tear Smoke Unit that helps during anti-riot operations. Apart from that the organization also boasts of its own commando force known as the Creek Commandos who guard the hostile creek area in Gujarat.

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B.S.F has also opened its doors to women cadets since 2009 with it’s all women B.S.F battalion. Since then the organization has offered many avenues for the women cadets. Ms. Satwant Atwal Trivedi , Himachal Pradesh’s first woman IPS officer, joined the paramilitary as the Inspector General in the year 2015 and on Women’s Day 2016, Tanushri Pareek, joins the Border Security Force as the first woman officer, as the Assistant Commandant after completing her training at the Border Security Force Officers Training Academy at Tekanpur. The lowering of Flag ceremony at Wagah border, Amritsar has a permanent post for the women cadets who showcase their excellence every time during the ceremony. The women cadets have also been guarding the LOC in both Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir along with the male cadets.

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The Story:

Childhood is considered to be the best time of one’s life. What if you get a chance to live it once more with a five-year-old?
Misry, a naughty five-year-old girl, lives with her parents in a B.S.F border outpost near Indo-Bangladesh border. But with no schools and friends she feels very lonely. She tries to befriend some local village kids. But they find her incompetent in their rural antics. They nickname her Messy as most of the time she messes up their plan. Can Misry really be a part of the gang?
Set in the early eighties, join Misry in the adventures of her life.

 

Available at

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