BY Vani IN Guest post

How I promoted my debut novel across India []

Indian publishing industry is set to grow manifolds. There are about 16, 000 publishers in the country today and while it may be easy to land a publishing deal, I cannot say the same about marketing of books. Why? There are thousands of titles releasing every month and unless the author reaches out to prospective readers, there is no way to succeed in this competitive market. The problem is, writing is a lonely process and most authors are completely clueless about how to market their books. I was at this same place.

It was in November 2014, a month before the release of my book that my publisher told me I needed to go out and connect with my readers. Having spent several years as a business journalist, I knew that reviews in top newspapers and magazines worked well to create a buzz about the book, but never knew there were many other options to choose from. Creating an impressive online profile is imperative to spread a word about your book and it takes time.Good thing is, most online mediums offer a free platform for promotion of books and are great way to increase visibility. I started by launching my own website ( with all the information about my book, and started writing blogs and columns for ‘The Huffington Post’, ‘DailyO’ and many other websites.

I am an avid reader,but never used it to my advantage. Then I stumbled upon Goodreads which is a website for book lovers. I used it to review books and soon found success as a reviewer. Starting an authorpage on Facebook (Vani.Author)and setting up a Twitter account(@Vani_Author) came next. I also created a profile on Google Plus, Youtube, Instagram, Pinterest and Linked In, which are very popular.

In addition to these websites, I wanted to create a book trailer to give a glimpse of my book to the readers and worked out a concept trailer by using Windows Movie Maker and pitched it to a director based in my city who took up the project. And while this may be expensive, there are many websites that allow authors to prepare their own book trailers.

Looking at other established authors and how they market their books made me realise the importance of book launches. However, these come at a price and may not be feasible for first time authors. So, I prepared a schedule and travelled to nine cities across India, including Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Bangalore, Trivandrum, Kochi and Surat. That gave me an opportunity to interact with writers, readers and book lovers and understand their likes and dislikes. Did all these translate into actual sales? I do not know.

The first challenge was to tell people about my book. Last few months have taught me much about this industry that I could not have learnt sitting in my room. I cannot say that the journey has been easy but looking at the positive reviews in top newspapers of the country and the response from my readers, both in India and abroad, I can say it has been worth it.

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