Marketing and promoting a book can be one of the biggest hurdles for first-time authors (Well, ok, after you’ve got a good literary agent to represent you, got a contract from a good publishing house and all other other equally challenging hurdles have been crossed…) Fortunately for those who have the backing of an established publishing house, the journey can be a little less rocky. This post is a tribute to the unsung heroes of the publishing world.
Before the book goes to the printing press (and the editorial process is still on), the sales and marketing team has already got into action. Here’s a little to-do list to give you an idea of the complexities that Marketing guys have to deal with:
– Ensure that the word goes out to the distributors and retailers across the country, who can then place pre-orders for the book. This is tricky because there’s no track record of sales for a new book, so it’s pretty much a gut-feel driven call.
– Work out the entire logistics for the book. When will the book be released? How many copies should go out to each distributor? How to get the new book into stores spread out across the length and breadth of India?
– Getting visibility for new books can be tough. Walk into any bookstore and you’ll find a huge pile of the bestsellers blocking the view to the modest literary work of smaller authors. The regional sales managers can fight for your book so that it does not suffocate and die in some corner of the book-store.
– With many readers preferring to buy their books online and at heavy discounts, online book stores like Flipkart can play a big role in sales volumes.
For my book, Beyond the MBA Hype, I’ve been lucky to have the support of a bunch of highly capable and resourceful folks from HarperCollins India. The limelight that an author gets to enjoy is the result of a lot of behind-the-scenes hard work that goes into each book.
Irrespective of how my book does in the market, I’d like to thank some great guys from the Sales and Marketing team at HarperCollins who have given me the comfort that I’m not a one-man army waging a lonely battle.
– Sameer Mahale (National sales manager): Highly efficient, responsive and supportive. He has patiently given me gyaan sessions on how the marketing machinery works in the publishing industry. He manages all activities that need to be centrally managed. The region specific plans are managed by the regional managers.
– Vinay Anchan, Sainath, Vimal Kumar, Indranil (Regional sales managers): All the brilliant marketing strategies would fall flat if they aren’t executed well. That’s where the regional managers come into picture. When it comes to books, nobody knows the pulse of the market like these guys. In the over-crowded book market, if you see a small book called Beyond The MBA Hype peeking at you from the bookshelves of the huge store in your locality, it’s only because of the effort of this team.
– Aloka Singh (Marketing managers): Aloka has been diligently working to ensure that the book gets the exposure it deserves by sending review copies to the media players (newspapers, magazines, bloggers).
That’s my small dream team for now. This appears like a small list, but I’m sure there are many more that I’ve not directly been interacting with, so for all those who have worked on Beyond The MBA Hype, a heartfelt thanks to you too.
Photo by Lizziey