Book marketing plan that got Business Doctors sold out in under a year

My self-published book, Business Doctors, shows an Out of Stock status on Flipkart.

Business Doctors Flipkart

My year-long publishing experiment is over and I won’t be printing any more physical copies. This puts Business Doctors in an unusual situation, with a dormant demand building up for it but no new stock to quell it.

Here’s the book marketing plan that helped in getting it to this stage.

It’s taken a while for this update. But I’m happy to be back on the blog after a long hiatus to share what’s happened over the last few months since I wrote the earlier post – My Self Publishing Experiment.

I hope my experiences would help other writers who decide to go down the untrodden path (for reasons ranging from impatience to serial rejections) and skip the traditional publishing process.

It’s a long post with more details than you’d probably want to know. You’ve been warned.

The context

The book: Business Doctors – Management Consulting Gone Wild (fiction, thriller) is a story about Management consultants who get hired by the mafia to turn around their underworld businesses (drugs, gambling, pornography).

The experiment: After going through the traditional publishing process and getting an encouraging response (4 reprints in 3 years) for my first book – Beyond The MBA Hype (non-fiction) – I thought it would be interesting to explore the publishing supply chain independently.

The challenges:

No prior track record in managing the non-writing part of publishing (editing, printing, distribution, retailing…)

Untested genre: The plot, context, language, characters in the story are American. Which means the mass market audience in India could reject it outright.

Pricing: Even though I went for offset printing (common in traditional publishing) as opposed to digital printing (popular with vanity publishers), without the economies of scale of larger publishers, the cost of printing each copy went up. This reflected in the pricing. The printed price of the book was Rs 250.

Limited distribution channels: The book was available only via online book stores (Flipkart, Amazon, etc) and not via regular book stores.

The objective: The best case scenario would be to sell the entire stock (1000 copies) within a year to ‘real’ readers. Making a profit would be tough, so I just wanted to limit my losses in the process.

Though there was no one to judge the experiment, I wanted to ensure that I stay away from shady strategies just to meet the objective. If my main takeaway from all this was to learn something that doesn’t get taught anywhere formally (or even discussed), it had to go beyond ego gratification and bragging rights.

The early book promotion plan

Many years back, Guy Kawasaki had sent me a pre-release copy of his (now best-selling) book APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur, as I had interviewed him earlier for his other book – Enchantment.

APE beautifully captures the essence of what an author should do before, during and after the book is self-published. If you are even remotely thinking of self-publishing, this could be your Bible.

The main idea in it is that you need to think not just like an author, but also as a publisher and an entrepreneur.

What I hadn’t imagined was that several years later I’d be taking on these 3 roles and adapting them for the Indian market (which has its own set of challenges, like piracy).

In the 2 earlier posts, I wrote a little about the author (why self-publishing) and publisher part of the journey. This final post covers the entrepreneur phase.

Self published book copiesWhile the copies of Business Doctors were getting printed, I had identified a distributor who could get the book listed on all the leading online book retailers.

However, the first bottleneck was that the distributor was going to stock only a handful of copies in his office. He’d order additional copies only after the copies he held were sold. This meant that I had to double up as the warehousing guy for him and manage the entire logistics of storing the stock, creating cash memos, sending it across by courier, and creating invoices for payment.

With that arrangement, the entire stock of 1000 freshly printed copies was delivered by the printing company, Thomson Press (I chose them as they had printed my first book as well), to my doorstep.

My first shock was when I realised that the physical storage space it was going to take (with all the packaging) was more than double of what I had expected. 42 boxes in 6 huge sacks.

I began to question the objective I had set for myself. Had I bitten off more than I could chew? This query would continue to pop up over the next several months.

Online marketing plan for the book

One of the online book retailers where the book was hosted proposed a paid promotion campaign which would get the book in front of thousands of their registered users. The price tag – 1 Lakh Rupees!

I took a conscious decision to stay away from paid promotion. It would’ve been a quick way to generate awareness, but it would also increase the cost of reader acquisition.

In other words, there was no point in spending 100 rupees to attract 10 readers on social media. Even if one of those 10 would buy a copy (highly optimistic scenario), I’d still be making a loss of 80 bucks on each book.

Instead, I chose to rely on resources where the reach wasn’t as widespread and instant, but I’d have greater control over the costs.

Here’s a list of the online platforms I used.

My MBA blog:
I got a Kinetic Typography (moving text) based book trailer made for Business Doctors, hosted it on Youtube and embedded the link on my site. Apart from the cost of producing the video, I wasn’t spending anything on video hosting. Considering the bandwidth required for transmitting video files, this can add up to a neat sum over time.

I also created a landing page for the book with all the relevant details and sample chapters. I linked it from the relevant pages on my site that focused on management consulting related topics.

Goodreads: I already had an author profile on Goodreads and a page for my first book. I created a Goodreads page for Business Doctors as well and explored some useful features that I had ignored earlier – like the Goodreads Giveaway, an online competition where authors can give away any number of copies and the Goodreads engine randomly selects winners. All that the author needs to do is to define the geography (no ebooks allowed, you need to be able to ship physical copies), time period and number of copies.

Facebook: I created a facebook page for Business Doctors and cross-promoted the posts on other more popular pages that I manage (like the MBA Crystal Ball FB page).

Quora: This is a Q&A site where experts can answer queries related to their area of expertise. It allows book review pages. One good thing about Quora is its upvote feature. Readers can reward good answers with ‘upvotes’ (similar to FB likes). The expert can then use these credits (1 upvote = 1 credit) to promote other answers or pages or book reviews.

Book Bloggers: I reached out to several book reviewers with blogs and checked if they’d be interested in reading my book. One of the criteria for short-listing such bloggers was the popularity of their site. I used Alexa, an online traffic estimation tool, to get an idea of how popular the blog was.
Humbly, I’ll admit that many of the reviewers have better writing skills than I do. Their genuine, balanced reviews played a key role in giving the book legitimacy and visibility. [If you were among the reviewers, a heartfelt thank you!]

The initial response

I published a couple of posts related to the book on my sites. That helped in spreading the word in the initial days.

With all the background work I had done plus the general curiosity that a new launch tends to get, the initial spike was very encouraging. The book debuted at number 25 on Amazon in its genre (action & adventure).

The distributor was the first to share this news with me. He asked me to send more copies.

The reviews started coming in. Apart from a few reviewers who ripped it apart, the general feedback was good.

Then, rather quickly, the sales graph started slowing down. It seemed like the marketing effort was running out of steam within a month of launch.

That’s it? Game over?” I wondered, as I looked at the pile of boxes lying in my balcony. A month seemed too short for the momentum to die.

There had to be a reason (or ten) why this was happening. If I could identify, analyse, fix them, maybe the graph would be on the upswing again.

Little problem. As this was unexpected, I had no clue where to start. So I thought a wait-n-watch strategy would be the best. Maybe I was being impatient. Maybe it was just a matter of time, and the sales would pick up again.

So I waited. And the sales virtually stopped. Operation Wait-n-watch wasn’t working. Back to the drawing board to dig deeper and try to find answers.

The only thing in my control at this stage was the marketing strategy. Thanks to Shri Philip Kotler (the marketing guru), the 4-P framework helped in adding structure to the analysis. Here’s a summary of what the 4 P’s meant for my book.

Product: The end product (i.e. the book) was already there. So there was no point worrying about the publishing process I had followed and how a bigger publisher would’ve managed it. I had to live with the decision however good, bad or ugly it was. I struck this aspect off the evaluation list.

Place: Probably I needed to promote the book to a bigger audience. The easy solution (paid promotion via advertisements) though tempting was still ruled out for RoI reasons. What were the other options? Get on to platforms that I wasn’t active on. Stop over-depending on online channels. Get out there and meet real readers, as opposed to faceless online accounts. More to chew on.

Promotion: As the book touched upon consulting concepts, I was positioning it as a book that would appeal to MBA students. But unlike my first (niche, non-fiction) book, this one was mainstream. Maybe it was time to widen the circle and include business professionals as well. Or the general business non-fiction reader? Hmmm, some more food for thought needed here.

Pricing: Though I knew what the printed price was, it was important to also look at how a buyer would see it. I went back to the online retail platforms where the book was hosted (Amazon, Flipkart) to see if there was something else that I was missing.

There were two key findings.
1. Despite the huge margin that they had, the online retailers were not giving any discounts on my book.
2. There was a courier charge of 40 bucks.

I guess they take a call on both based on several factors, like the popularity of the author, prior sales for the same book, promotional campaigns etc. I was too small for them.

For me, this meant a reader would end up paying close to 300 Rupees for a printed copy. Most would think that’s too much for a new, untested author.

Compared to the earlier phase where I was clueless, now there was plenty on the plate to think about and act upon. With the first P out, I started working on the remaining 3 P’s.

Revised book marketing strategy

My entire book marketing approach so far had relied upon online promotion. So I thought of exploring offline options. This meant shaving my 3 day old stubble (I work from home) and heading back into civilisation to see how mankind has evolved since I went into hibernation.

Self published book distributionRemember Jamaal bhai (that’s him in the pic), the owner of a local book store where I had tried out another little sales experiment for my first book? Here’s the full article.

I went back to him to ask if he’d be willing to stock my new book, if I’d become his unpaid salesman over weekends.

He’d get a free employee who’d sell books and give him additional income. In return all he’d need to do was offer a cutting chai (1/2 cup tea) politely, which I’d refuse politely. He agreed as both sides knew the drill.

I offered the same price to him that I had offered the bigger online companies. Jamaal bhai offers a standard 20% discount on the cover price. No hidden fees (like packaging, shipping charges). Readers would get the book for 200 rupees flat.

This time I knew which corner of the book-store to stand in, like a good boy with dilated pupils and a semi-silly half-grin directed at people walking in.

I also knew where different genres were stacked in the store. So I was a more productive and enthusiastic employee this time around – redirecting customers to the right aisle, indulging in small talk, giving free career advice (old habits die hard for consultants).

Over 4 weekends, I sold more books in that one shop than the online retailers did across India.

With the sales getting a shot in the arm, it was time to up the ante.

I knew I couldn’t keep volunteering with shops like this. So I decided to experiment with the pricing. As I was being the distributor, I could control the discounts / pricing better by dealing and negotiating directly with the brick-and-mortar shops.

I started reaching out to smaller shops in Mumbai to check if they’d be willing to stock my book.

Among them was a guy whose shop on the footpath was nothing more than a blue plastic sheet with books piled up. I sat on the street for about 30 minutes negotiating with him. Folks walking around were looking at us curiously, probably wondering if this is a hidden camera reality show. I didn’t have the last laugh though, as the shopkeeper wasn’t interested in my offer.

Fortunately there were other smaller shop-owners who were interested. I offered them bigger discounts and volume based incentives.

They could sell it at a price of around 150, roughly half of what an online buyer would pay. And I was still making a marginal profit.

With this arrangement, I assumed the smaller shops would start proactively promoting my book. The assumption was right.

Within a couple of months one of the small store owners who had placed multiple orders, introduced me to a bigger distributor (let’s call him Big D) who supplied books to many such mom-n-pop shops (not the bigger chains like Landmark & Crossword) across the state.

Big D offered to buy out my entire stock and pay in advance (contrast this with publishers who pay once in 6 months or annually). He’d send the stock to various cities. I no longer had to double up as the warehouse guy, salesman, courier guy, accountant etc.

There was a small catch. He wanted a much bigger discount than what I was offering the individual store owners.

The pros outweighed the cons. So I gave him the nod. He sent a guy to pick up all the remaining copies and hand over a bundle of not-so-crisp currency notes.

The guys on the street were far more professional than I expected. No complicated contracts, just working on their zubaan (keeping their word). Sales focused. Action oriented. No bureaucracy.

Their biggest gripe was that the stock I had was too less! They deal with several thousand copies of each book and I had only a few hundred left.

There are several lessons for the big players of the publishing industry who are struggling to keep their bookstores open. We’ll keep that for another post.

Final Results

Business Doctors Reviews

Sales: 1000 books sold out in about 11 months.

Marketing Budget: Zero

Reviews: On Goodreads there are 112 ratings and 72 text reviews, with an average rating of 3.63 out of 5. According to the site, 87% liked it.

Financials: I didn’t keep a track of every single rupee. But my gut feel says I’ve made a small loss overall compared to what I invested.

Key lessons from the self-publishing experiment

– The demand for new books and new authors is alive and kicking. Traditional players are facing the heat because they are dealing with an archaic business model that hasn’t kept up with the changing times. Reduce the baggage and the odds of success will go up.

– Hire professionals to polish your book. A professional editor, typesetter, cover designer can do wonders for your book. In my impatience to get the book out quickly, I ended up with silly issues (like formatting and typesetting) that could’ve been easily avoided.

– Write the book you want to write, not something that you think will have a strong demand. I thought an American plot with American characters wouldn’t work in India, where college romances rule the roost. Indian readers proved me wrong. [Related post: How to choose a book genre]

– Paperback overshadows Ebooks: Despite the optimistic figures and statistics that surveys reveal about how ebooks are taking over, the reality is that Indian readers haven’t moved to the other side yet. Paper still sells way more than electrons.

– Don’t rely only on online book marketing: Online visibility is good. Offline visibility is better. Ensure that your book is on real bookshelves in real bookstores. During my experiment, I could only get Business Doctors in a few small stores in Mumbai. The scale and impact could’ve been very different if I had a national publisher/distributor who could take it across India.

– Get the book pricing right: This is the clincher. As New York Times reported, the rich lady in a BMW doesn’t mind rolling down the car window to pick up a pirated book. That’s your real challenge.

Running an experiment and being the guinea pig in it comes with its limitations. It introduces blind-spots that are difficult to identify.

But I hope what I’ve shared here helps other Indian authors who’d probably not have the inclination to repeat it all. Even if you can pick up one or two tips for your own book, I’d believe that this post has served its purpose.

I’d love to hear from you. Please share your reactions, questions, suggestions below.

Edit: Got an email from Guy Kawasaki saying “Nice story. I tweeted. I like it!”.

19 Comments

  1. Jaikishan Hirani says:

    Truly grateful to you for all the hard work you put in and enlightening us on publishing industry, every nitty-gritty of it. I am done with the manuscript of my second novel. I will send it to you in a day or two. Please help me out with out with whatever you can, whenever you can.
    And Sameerbhai, i would love to meet you in person some day. You play a role of headlights for us on a dark and deserted highway of publishing industry.
    Thanks 🙂

  2. Jaikishan,

    I’m glad you find my posts helpful.

    I’m afraid I wouldn’t be able to offer one-on-one help, but I’d be happy to address any general queries you might have if you could post them here (as I’ve been doing over the years).

    Hopefully the responses will help others grappling with similar questions.

  3. Hi Sameer,

    Thanks for the post!

    I was wondering if I miss seeing your posts…I am not too net savvy, I am a 48 year old lady lecturer, and when I was a student, I never saw a computer. So I thought that maybe you were posting, but I could not see them.

    I had written one book when I wrote to you first. Now I have six under my belt, and I pick up a cheque of 110–160 GBP every alternate month, touch wood, through Kindle books. Two of the books are non-sellers. I have written nine chapters of my seventh book.

    I did not advertise…only gave out free copies of my e-books. I am not a great success, but then…the books I wrote two years ago, are still selling. I did try Google ad worlds but it did not work for me.

    Do you know an editor and a cover designer who don’t cost the earth? I am putting a boy through Manipal university, and that is not cheap, and yes, I have to save for his MBA. So I can’t splurge just now.

    Thanks for the tips on book promoting.

    God bless you, and could you just send a mail to my email id? So that we can keep in touch even if you decide to hibernate again?

    Best wishes,

    Mangala Gouri

    PS Where can I get a trailer made?

  4. Mangala, thanks for sharing your experiences.

    Not being tech savvy hasn’t stopped you from connecting with your readers and making money. It just goes to show that technology is just an enabler (and not the driver) in publishing.

    One of the factors that probably help is to be prolific and keep writing. If some books don’t work, the others might.

    If you have some tips to share on how you promote your ebooks, it would be great. I could surely use some ideas.

    Coming to your query, you’ll find freelancers across the world who offer a range of services (editing, video trailers).

    Some freelance sites to get you started: Odesk.com, Freelancer.com, Fiverr.com

    The quality & price can vary a lot. The credibility of many testimonials is also uncertain. So, be careful and do your research before hiring anyone.

  5. Hi Sameer,

    By the time I have started to write the comment, the number of people who replies for your post turned from 1 to 4.

    Actually, to be very frank I did remember you a couple of times as to why no alerts keeping appearing in my mail. But now that you have finally appeared after a hiatus of about a year, welcome back.

    I read your story of how you “actually” made your book. Felt really nice to read about your efforts. And after I read your story, I feel that somewhere you have started a trend to supply genuine, original copies to those street sellers who sell fake copies of the original versions.

    Though your story is inspiring, informative, entertaining and emotional, it leaves me with certain queries which I would like to ask.

    1. After putting in so much of efforts, what position are you in today? Somewhere at the end of the post you have written that not profit, you might have had to bear a small expenditure – has the entire exercise from the start to the end, has even fetched you an inch of the much needed publicity or rather fame?????

    2. Have publishers, of whatever caliber, approached you for further editions or reprints?

    3. Have publishers, of whatever caliber, approached you for entering into a contract for a new book?

    4. Has this entire exercise helped you to build significant workable and genuinely helpful contacts for your future help in making a career in the world of writing?????

    5. How are you going to help sustain your book “Business Doctors……..”??????

    6. Now that you have wrote and sold the book yourself, how will you prevent your book from being an endangered species?????

    Regards

    Dr. Urwashi Parmar Singh
    Assistant Professor
    Dept. of Pharmacology & Therapeutics
    Seth G. S. Medical College & K. E. M. Hospital
    Parel
    Mumbai – 400012

  6. Hi Urwashi,

    Excellent set of questions. They give me more dimensions to think about and evaluate whether it was all worth it. So jumping right in to answer them in the same order.

    1. Current position:

    It might seem more credible for someone who has known me for many years to say this, but in the absence of that person, I’ll say it myself. Fame and fortune aren’t topmost on my priority list.

    It was more of a self-imposed challenge to see if a small-time author without the knowledge, experience or resources of big publishing companies could navigate the publishing maze and come out on the other side with an interesting story to share with other new authors.

    With that limited objective in mind, I think it was all worth it. I have 2 books now (in different genres) which have sold out their first print runs. Statistically, this would be better than most published books that won’t earn their advances.

    2. Publishers aren’t aware of this experiment yet. I published this post y’day and you are among the first few to read it 🙂

    It was a risk to choose self-publishing over traditional publishing, knowing that it’s rare for publishers to pick up self-published books for re-publishing.

    3. I’ve been approached by publishers and literary agents to write the next book, though with my current commitments I am not too keen to do so. But these offers were because of the success of my first (non-fiction) book Beyond The MBA Hype, and not Business Doctors.

    4. I never planned to make a career out of writing. My admissions consulting business continues to be my primary focus. The two books happened along the way.

    But yes, I do know where to go from getting an ISBN number for the book to getting it printed, distributed and sold. I also have to admit, with these contacts I won’t be able to match the scale of a national or international publisher.

    5 & 6. Although I’m pulling the plug on the printed edition, Business Doctors will continue to be listed as an ebook on Amazon.

  7. Dear Sameer,

    It’s always a pleasure to interact with you. Your blog through which we are interacting currently, is the best source for marketing your work. People like me are always interested to hear from inspirational people like you. Have have you not chosen it as one of your marketing platform.

    Also, currently if I download your book, the price I have to pay is 49 rupees. Why have dropped your price from 250 – 49?????????????

    Regards
    Urwashi.

  8. Thanks for the kind words, Urwashi.

    This is more of a personal blog for me to try out unusual stunts (like the ones described earlier) and share the results with others who may not want to take similar risks.

    Though I’ve spent many hours writing posts here to make the publishing process less mysterious and intimidating for new writers, I don’t make money from this site.

    My MBA blog is the one that I use for commercial purposes. Though I have to admit, I end up spending hundreds of hours doing things there as well (like free advisory work) that don’t make money. The positive karma points are hopefully piling up somewhere 🙂

    I haven’t changed the pricing. The ebook was always priced at 49 Rupees. The printed edition was 250 bucks.

  9. Sumeet says:

    Hats off Samer for sharing you experience, I have also folded my sleeves to do all things on my own, just in the middle of my first 2 books writing in parallel. Few queries:
    Did you register you own publishing company or already had one while applying for ISBN ? How much time did it took the ISBN ? Can you please share the details for the same like various fields of the form(like publishing company details etc) as I planning to apply for the ISBN. Also did you got 1 or set of 10 ISBN IN ONE GO. If you have a publishing firm registered, what is the process for the same? Or did you applied as an author only with your personal details ?

    • Sumeet: Kudos to you on the big decision to manage the process independently. You don’t need a publishing company to appy for an ISBN.

      You could do it as an author as well. The process is slightly easier that way. Only slighter though.

      It can take a couple of months and umpteen follow-ups. So you’d need to be patient and persistent.

  10. Sameer,

    First off, congratulations on being able to put out your experience so succinctly. And congratulations that you sold out all your copies.
    I have been reading about self-publishing and traditional publishing for a few weeks now (oh, did I mention, I am an aspiring author with no ready book on my hand yet? 😛 Let’s just say I like to be ready before I need to be ready. LOL).

    From what I find online, I don’t think the writing business in India is that much organized. I mean there are not much resources to map the exact Indian scenario before a beginning author.

    All I resources I could find pertained to an foreign market (US or UK). I tried googling writing conferences in India, but it shows nothing of consequence.

    It was good to come across your website though. Could you possibly have a follow button or something, or an email notification so that I can get back to your site when you have a new post?

    You are doing a great job in writing about your publishing experiences. In the Indian scenario, it is extremely essential at this stage. 🙂

    • Arpita:

      Always nice to hear such words. Thank you!

      I recently updated the website and lost all the fancy things (including a free pdf and a sign up form) from the earlier version. Hope to add it back soon. I post new articles on the Booksoarus Facebook page. So you may want to follow it.

      Coming to the important point you raise, I agree that there aren’t many helpful resources for new Indian writers trying to navigate the tricky (and often very frustrating) publishing journey. Here are some possible reasons.

      – Most Indian authors, including those like me who’ve got multiple books published, don’t actually make any decent cash to pursue it as a full-time occupation.

      – There’s no incentive (commercial or otherwise) for any author to really spend hours trying to de-mystify the process for the benefit of other authors (competitors?). They’d be better off focusing on building the readership for their work.

      I don’t see myself writing new posts as frequently as I used to earlier when the level of enthusiasm to learn about the industry and share the knowledge was higher.

      But I do hope that the repository I’ve built so far (my articles on this site and on Booksoarus) is broad and helpful enough for new writers who stumble onto this site.

      I’ll still keep coming back to respond to writer queries.

      • Well, as far as the writing business is concerned, there are stats which show that only a feeble percentage of authors actually make a living off writing itself, and that’s not the just the Indian situation, but worldwide.

        And yes, building readership is a great deal of work. I have been recently checking out how effective social media is in terms of translating book promotion to sales, and I find that the situation is not helpful either. You know, I am very recent to this sort of stuff, and the day I found out about Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) I jumped in my seat and wrote a whole blog post declaring I was going to write out my first novel right away, now that I did not have to worry about finding a publisher. But then, with some nosing around, I found that picture is not as rosy as it seems. Unless, you have a great reader base already, it’s difficult to make anything through KDP. Then, I thought about using social media… but that picture too is not so bright. I believe your own experience testifies to that.

        One thing I found while surfing through a few free books on Kindle is that having an author group or a reader group helps a lot. Many writers of these YA novels have a dedicated community of authors to meet with and discuss their writings with. That way, they already have an actual readership who can offer feedback as well as some promotion. Over here, we don’t even have proper book clubs or author clubs. I think that needs to change first. If we can start with our local community and build a readership, however small, that would go a long way.

  11. Sumit Bhatnagar says:

    It is really big of you to share the details…. not only giving confidence to new authors but also a very clear picture of what happens ‘after’ the typing is over…. SAVING YOU AS A BOOKMARK!
    THANKS!

  12. Moksha says:

    My god you are such an angel, it needs a mammoth heart to help others like this. Stay this way and thanks a ton for all the unconditional help that you extend to us.

  13. gopalkrishna says:

    I have prepared a soft copy of 400 pages which is in english. please guide me how to publish it online and offline.
    With regards
    Gopalkrishna

  14. Angela says:

    Hello Sameer,

    Thank you so much for your advices, it is so helpful. I would like to have Jamal Bhai ka contact in Mumbai for launching my new book.

    Thank you so much.
    Angela

  15. BHANU says:

    Enjoyed your article thoroughly, especially the strategy to visit street book vendors. I was planning to apply the same considering so much has been written on the very high importance of marketing of a book. Even the use of literary agent is very fresh and new for me. Now please release my dilemma. I am already in the process of writing a self help book and already paid a publisher with my self publishing. He would be printing it and distributing it mostly on sites like amazon flipkart and if some 100 copies sell online then the book would be sent to some bookstores .I also know that as an author I have to market it at the very first instance if I want it to be success. What do you best guide and can I apply to Literary agents. Will that also cost.

  16. Rocky says:

    Hi Sameer

    Thanks for sharing all your knowledge and the business models of publishing a novel/book in India. As far as ‘self publishing’ is concerned, I have a query: How does one ensure that the novel one wishes to get printed (for self-distribution-cum-promotion) does not get ‘stolen’ – in the sense the idea/whole story itself leaking out for someone else to make capital out of – from the publisher’s (printer’s) end?

    I hope you can enlighten first-time novelists on this concern.

    Regards
    Rocky

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