Friday, December 13, 2013

Holiday Plans and a Blog Break

The holidays are at our doorstep. I have made extensive plans for this holiday season. No, it’s not travelling, but catching up with my reading (my TBR pile has reached epic heights). And as college will be closing by the third week of December, I thought I will take a small blog break and catch up with lots of writing and writing related activities. I am really looking forward to this break as I badly need to energize myself. From the past few months I have been over working and trying to meet deadlines for the newspaper features which have kind of drained me out.

I have nearly completed the rewrites for an older WIP. I would like to polish it some more and would like to submit it early next year. Have decided to query a few agents. So need to write a great query letter (easier said than done) and a synopsis for it. My deadline for querying it is the first week of January.

I would also like to work a little on a Shiny New Idea that jumped into my mind when I visited Gary’s (Klahanie’s) blog. While seeing a picture of his dog Penny, the shiny new idea wedged itself firmly in my mind. I want to work on it a little to see how it goes.

What are your holiday plans? Will you be catching up with your reading? Will you get working on your manuscripts? Will you be travelling? What will you all be doing?

My next post will be on January 8, 2014 for the IWSG.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Effective marketing strategy to give books visibility

A writing friend and I were discussing how the actors market their movies. Everyone is aware of the forthcoming releases. The marketing budgets for movies is mind boggling. What I am trying to say is that there is heavy duty marketing done for movies. Writers work as hard as actors, I think we lose out because writing is not a glamorous profession and not everyone likes to read. They would rather watch a movie.

Both publishers and authors can do a lot to market the books. I am sharing a few ideas.

   1. Putting up posters in schools and colleges and other frequently visited places is a good idea for spreading the word around. A writer had put her book posters in a multiplex.

   2.  Publishers can approach schools with offers of huge discounts if bulk orders are placed. Many schools distribute books as prizes.

    3. Approaching librarians and talking with library owners about our books is another smart marketing strategy.  Many prefer to borrow books from the library than buy books. But atleast the book is read.

    4. Organizing book  reading and signing sessions in bookshops is a wonderful idea. If this can be combined with a themed event (like my publisher did for my books) its super.

    5. Arranging for author interviews with several newspapers does its bit in spreading the word about our books.

     6. Sending out free copies to newspapers for reviews. The books can also be given to columnists whose columns have a wide readership.

     7. An author I know promoted her book on radio. Local channels like (FM, 94.3) have a fantastic reach. Unfortunately my publisher just did not tap that media. Radio contests with the book as prize would have worked wonderfully well. People are listening to the radio all the time: while driving and at home. And who doesn't like a free book.

     8. Organizing readings and visits to schools is a great opportunity. This is one of the best ways for children’s books to reach their readers.

     9. Blog posts about book releases and Tweets are effective Internet mediums to bring the book to the notice of people inhabiting the virtual world. As are like pages on Face Book. Blog contests and giveaways are a great way of spreading the word around.

    10. One Indian publisher put up ads about their forthcoming book on MTV.

    11. The same publisher also placed newspaper ads.

Do you believe in the adage that effective marketing sells more copies? What does good marketing mean to you? Any ideas you would like to share about marketing?

P.S. This is one of my earliest post I am reposting.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

IWSG post - Series and Trilogy Envy

I am already twelve posts old in IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group). IWSG started by Ninja Captain Alex Cavanaugh is a support group for writers, where we talk of our writing insecurities, share ways we circumvent these insecurities and help and support each other. We post on the first Wednesday of every month. Click here for the IWSG website.

One writing envy I seldom talk about is series or trilogy envy. Every other writer I find is writing either a trilogy or a series. Except me. The trilogy I was writing has been put away for the time being because I was not happy with the way the plotline was moving.

I sometimes feel publishers and agents are eager to accept books that come as a series or trilogy. Standalone books don’t stand much of a chance. My book does have a series potential, but I am not pitching it as a series. I want to take it one book at a time.

This is the reason I have deserted what would have been my first trilogy because my anxiety was messing up my rational thinking and making a marshmallow of my plot. In my eagerness to write a trilogy and get an agent, I was messing up many things like story arc, sub-plots, character arcs etc. I need a clear head to do justice to that trilogy, without the worry of getting an agent or a publisher for it.

Maybe I was trying too hard and it was affecting my story. I have not completely abandoned that trilogy, it will get my undivided attention later this month.

Do you all suffer from a series or trilogy envy? How do you tackle it? Anyone writing a standalone book at the moment? I would love to read about your insecurity. Hopefully I can help you circumvent it.