Once the hard work of writing a book is done, the next step is successfully marketing and selling that book. Since the market is very saturated nowadays, the key to success lies in creating awareness about the book’s existence and reaching as many potential readers as possible.
Book promotion is a shared responsibility between the authors and publishers. Presently Indian publishers are using a mix of traditional marketing strategies along with diverse and innovative ideas for book promotions. These marketing and promotion strategies are both offline and online.
Offline Promotions by Indian Publishers
Promotion and marketing are needed even if the book is amazing, the sooner the process of creating a marketing strategy starts, the better it is for the book’s success. Indian publishers start with planning the artwork for the book cover, getting blurbs, and informing distributors as well as bookstores about an upcoming book much before its release.
Established Indian publishers provide authors and books with local media coverage including book reviews in newspapers. They also send catalogues and advanced information sheets to universities, professors, and libraries. Even journals and newsletters are directly mailed to their database of customers. Some Indian publishers even make use of advertisements in newspapers, magazines and journals, radio, and television to reach out to more potential readers.
As part of the marketing effort, authors make appearances at events such as talks, seminars, bookstore signings, promotional campaigns, networking events, exhibitions, book fairs, and book release functions. Manakin Press includes all of these promotion strategies to put their authors and books in the limelight.
An innovative offline promotion that is currently being used by a few Indian publishers is requesting authors to conduct writing workshops. It not only strengthens their identity as an author, it puts their name and work in front of more people. Writing more books is also seen to help with marketing efforts. It makes marketing more cost effective and allows readers to turn into loyal fans.
Online Promotions by Indian Publishers
When people read a book that they like, they often search for more information about the book and author online. Thus, Manakin Press and other Indian publishers have made their presence felt online as well.
Social Media is the best way for Indian authors and Indian publishers to promote themselves. It increases the visibility of their books while also helping them connect directly with their potential readers. It is important to reach out and interact with the targeted audience in the language they speak, through the mediums they rely on. Potential readers could be anywhere, so instead of focusing on just one social media platform or marketing outlet, it’s best to use a combination that suits the book.
Indian publishers promote books Facebook through targeted advertismentsthat boost the visibility of the book or author page. Publishers use quotes from the book, infographics about the theme of the book or the timeline of the story on platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, StumpleUpon, and Bored Panda to gives readers and followers fresh and different content that stands out. Authors could even share top writing tips or any sort of writing ‘how to’ posts on these platforms.
Niche groups and forums like Quora, Reddit, or blogs with similar interests can also be helpful. The publisher can mention the book wherever possible and the author can interact and offer help and advice to site members. Such efforts help create positive traction for the book and help bring in traffic to the online bookstore on the Publisher’s site or the Amazon product page.
Author Website and Blog
An author website is an absolute necessity. It’s the perfect place to promote the author’s books. A website and blog helps cultivate an author identity. Apart from the books, it allows authors to share their personality with the readers, post new material, and encourage engagement.
The content on it can be optimised for search engines, making the website and blog, and consequently the book more discoverable. It could also feature conversation triggers to capture reader’s attention by emphasising issues that matter to them. The site helps in building an email list that can be used to promote new book releases or to inform readers of discounts and offers on already released books.
Indian publishers recommend authors to create a blog. It can be an addition to their website. It’s where the author can write articles which are optimised to rank in Google searches or share exclusive content about the book. Regular blog posts help the author actively engage with their reader base. Manakin Press helps authors set up their own websites and blogs as well as promote the books on their own website, bookstore, and blog which has a good following.
Giveaways and Free Chapters
Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads – giveaways work on every platform. Readers love free things. Indian publishers are hosting giveaways frequently. If the publishing house doesn’t want to give away the entire book, they can offer a free download of the first or first few chapters. These are easy tactics to build a mailing list for the future
Indian publishers take full advantage of the resources that Amazon offers to authors. The Author Profile on Amazon can be a good place to promote books. Having a biography that shares the author’s personality and interest with potential may encourage them to make a purchase. The Author Profile also lists all the books an author is published. If a reader liked one book by the author, they can check which other books they’ve also penned. Positive Amazon reviews also impact the book. However, purchased reviews are strictly against Amazon policies and should be avoided.
Video is an easily shareable medium on all social media that can create an immediate buzz around the book. Facebook live is currently being used by a lot of authors for interviews, book cover unveilings, talks, and giveaways. If Facebook live is too spontaneous then pre-recorded Youtube videos are the way go. Video trailers are also becoming increasingly popular. They are an eye-catching way to direct attention toward a new book. It’s a relatively new marketing strategy by Indian and international publishers. One of the most notable trailers includes the one made for the final instalment of Amish Tripathi’s Shiva trilogy. It went instantly viral.
Online advertising occurs on multiple platforms. Facebook ad campaigns are indispensable in reaching out to the target audience. To implement Google Ads, Indian publishers identify the target audience and select the appropriate keywords relevant to the book. These advertisements can be improved based on data from Google analytics. Other search engines also offer such advertising options. Display advertisements on either Google or Amazon can help increase the reach of the book. These advertisements are extremely effective because with the right targeting, the people who see this are extremely interested in the theme or topic of the book.
Power Readers and Influencers
Indian publishers are soon discovering an upcoming community of ‘power readers.’ Power readers are those who read heavily in a particular niche and have a tendency to spread the word about what they’re reading. These are usually GoodReads reviewers, book bloggers and Amazon reviewers. Interacting with power readers can help an author and their book. Publishers encourage sending an advanced reader’s copy or the first few chapters to power readers. If they like the book, the impact of this kind of word of mouth effort is gigantic.
There are, of course, many more marketing and promotion strategies out there that Indian publishers can adapt such as using tweets and hashtags to leak chapters, soundtracks, and creating courses complimentary to the book.
Book promotion is essential for any author looking to make a career out of writing, and publisher making a name for themselves. However, making a book successful takes time, patience, and enormous resources. Outcomes can be swayed with good promotion and marketing to a certain extent they have to keep investing in the book continuously to make it a bestseller.
Often authors and publishers promote their books heavily during the launch and then give up when they don’t achieve desired results. The author and publisher ideally should put in as much effort into promoting and marketing the book as they did in writing and publishing the book.
A good Indian publisher will ensure that their authors and books are in the limelight by planning a marketing strategy before the book is ready and create a buzz around it before it even reaches the bookshelves.
Manakin Press puts together a marketing plan that gives the best possible outcome for the selected book and fits the author’s needs. It is customised to target the desired potential readers and the promotions are done on mediums these readers are frequently using.