If you thought that marketing is limited to products and services, then you need a reality check. Today, marketing is a very broad term which may even incorporate public figures like movie stars, models, sports persons, authors, musicians or politicians.
Individuals hire public relation and reputation development companies or managers to help them reach their target audience. ‘Advertise/Market Yourself First’ is actually a very basic strategy that a marketing student learns quite early in his/her life.
One could argue that all public figures offer a product or services in some manner. Authors, for instance, have books to sell.
Marketing a book and marketing an author are two different endeavors. While the former ends within a certain span of time, marketing an author is an ongoing process. It is akin to creating a brand that consumers (i.e. readers) can relate to.
International authors such as J.K. Rowling have successfully marketed their work worldwide, and Indian authors are realizing that they too need to invest time and money in promoting themselves, especially with so many digital platforms available to do so.
Here are some successful marketing campaigns of Indian authors:
Social networking is the need of the hour. While every marketing manager dreams of reaching their target audience, many Indian authors have successfully used Facebook and Twitter to do so. Chetan Bhagat is the best example of the effectiveness of using these platforms.
Bhagat's Twitter account boasts of almost 1.2 million followers and counting, while his Facebook page has over 2.4 million likes. His social media marketing campaigns are highly influential and feature regular updates from the author himself.
Being an IIM graduate, Bhagat certainly understands the value of marketing. Other popular pages of contemporary Indian authors include Ravinder Singh and Durjoy Datta who demonstrate that they know how to market themselves online.
Creating a website is a basic requirement for authors today, as it is the core of all marketing plans and strategies.
While creating a website is easy, making it influential can be tricky. However, there are tools such as Google analytics, SEO and SMO to ensure that people reach the site.
Aravind Adiga has a simple yet beautiful website which give his readers updates on upcoming books and provides links to his previous works and to sites where his popular books can be bought.
Another good example is Shashi Tharoor’s website. It is quite unique, clubbing all the activities of this highly talented gentleman.
You will find links to his articles, speeches and more. The website even features regular updates from his Twitter account.
The best way to gain credibility is blogging. Many authors own atleast one blog and also like to write guest posts in other popular blogs. In fact, Indian authors take blogging as seriously as their books (they even take a deep interest in the design and layout.)
Linking the blog to their website and social networks is also a common practice.
You will find that almost every author blogs on some topic or the other. Do they follow the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ rule? Probably!
Freebies and Contests
Offering signed copies of books or a special chance to meet the author, and group video conferencing are unique ways of marketing yourself as an author. One of the coolest items around is offered by Chetan Bhagat.
He has recently launched t-shirts featuring famous quotes from his bestselling books. One can get discounts on these tees by following his Facebook page. Isn’t that an unique idea for an Indian author?
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