Book marketing and promotion: Meet the superheroes

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

15 thoughts on “Book marketing and promotion: Meet the superheroes”

  1. Hello Sameer,
    I just want to ask you, that are there editors who help you with your language. As my English is not up to the mark and I believe that I seriously need an editor who can help me out with my language also.

  2. Hi,I have just begun writing a book,and as far as it is going,I rlly like how it is,the beginning and ending is all planned out,but its the STORY that’s giving me a headache,
    anyways have you any idea of what I should really do,as in self publish or traditionally?I’ve been going through thousands of websites trying to figure it out,my book for now is a secret,since I dont want anyone to know before I suprise people with a published copy,but my problem is I dont know anything about publishing,and really need some advice….the main goal is to have it worldwide,and theres always the thing on how much money I could spend,which is really difficult since I cant get the money from my parents without telling them what it is for…etc..

  3. HI Sameer,
    Can you help me in understanding the process of how I can pitch my self-published work to traditional publishers?
    I have already published my novel through self publishing and now I want to re-pitch/re-send my work to traditional publishing.. can you tell me how i can do so?

  4. so i just completed my first fiction fantasy book,but problem is that it is in hindi so there is any chance to get publishers for my book???

  5. Hi Sameer,
    I am a first timer, i want to publish my poems ( Marathi). I want it to reach to most of the readers. Is amazon is good platform for Marathi poet or is there another good online publisher in India.

  6. Sir kamat
    i have prepared a draft copy for a book on socio-religious issues which contains around 400 pages (typed script- soft copy). I am a kannada book writer. but this is a first english script, which needs editing service and help for publishing. i dont mind to loose royalty etc, I cant spend much on this work. But prepared to pay a nominal cost for editing services. Please guide me sir

  7. Hi Sameer!!!

    Please note that I have given documents to Copyright, Delhi office for few chapters and title of my fictional Novel. But it has been five months they have replied. They have given me diary number.

    Can I still go ahead with self publishing with penguin or notion press only with diary no? Can I publish my next book only by submitting documents to Copyright office?


  8. Hi Sameer,

    I am working on a book which connects the dots between Science and Spirituality.
    The name of the book is very generic but the front image is original and creative.
    Do I need to get both book title and front image registered/trademark/copyright or is it ok to go online without getting it registered.
    I’ll get my manuscript registered when it will be ready.

    Please guide me here as I do not have any knowledge in this area.

  9. Dear Sameer,

    It is was very informative to read this thread. I have a Swedish friend who writes corporate crime thrillers. Can You suggest how to launch an ebook in India especially for the Swedish authors?

  10. Sameer, you are a God sent to first time writers. I have been going through your blogs and have gathered a lot of information. Thank you for that. But I have a few questions, which I hope you won’t mind answering. I have just concluding my first fiction that is set in the British Raj. I have decided to contact a literary agent. So I’m about to send out queries. But I wish to ask you, in case an agent asks me for the entire manuscript, should I send it to him without copyrighting it, or should I copyright it first? In case you think I should first copyright it, can you tell me where in Kolkata I can do it, and the copyrighting procedure please, plus the cost. I am from Kolkata.

  11. Hello Sameer… thnx fr all the above information . It’s quite useful for new writers. Kindly let me know that what percentile of royalty does a translator deserve or usually get . I would like to tell that I’ve recently translated a fiction novel from Hindi to English and the author being my friend, I didn’t decide any such thing with him in advance, neither he is in a state to pay that. But now, when we are looking forward for something like royalty ( which is quite rare in Hindi ) , after all the hard work I think I deserve a good royalty.




Leave a Comment