Sunday, July 29, 2012

How to make a million the very hard way. No the very very hard way.

I started writing this blog as part of an elaborate marketing plan hatched by my agent and me for the time when my first bok would sell and I would need a platform for readers to find me. The book didn't sell, my agent has lost interest in me but my blog limps along.

Over the years, I became sick and tired but used to getting rejections that I smiled and plowed through with courage from God knows where, holding back tears and hardening myself for more, for there were more and more rejections that came. Some pleasant, even praising, some short and scathing.  When I gave birth to my second son, I was done getting flayed because of my first book--a dear sweet book, a good book I insist. 

It was not easy but I decided to put it away. And I started work on my second. Now its almost done.

In the meantime Borders died and there now remains one bookstore for everyone from the likes of Stephen King to little ole me to sell to. Makes absolutely no business sense whatsoever to even try to do so. And so I have decided not to bother with the establishment that I am convinced is a dinosaur. 

I am no player in the social media arena but I know about its power. I know of the power of a well told and well placed word of mouth. 

Yes I wanted validation. I thought self publishing was for wimps. I thought it was for the people who didn't have the chops to make it through the battle field of traditional publishing. Thank goodness I am being proved wrong every single day.

I still want validation of course. Who doesn't. After spending long hours and years in a room, alone, not sure if you are wasting away your best years, you want someone who isn't your loved one to tell you it is worth it.

But would I rather not be doing this? No. I like telling stories, I like living with my characters, I like watching what they do under my direction. I like giving them faces. 
And I also like control.

In a few weeks, I will launch my book. And because it is the center of the world, I am going to start by launching it in London. I met my friend Charis who lives in London this afternoon and I asked her to be my sales agent in London. Charis is smart, pretty and knows everyone. I am going to give her a buck for every single book she sells. The book will sell for 1.99 which leaves me 0.99. This is more or less what a publisher would have given me anyway. 

Not long ago I spent many hours in the London tubes, on the throbbing London streets. I looked at really affordable ad spaces, I noticed how millions of people walk through the train stations every single day. Even if a fraction of them could be enticed to buy my book, a small fraction of them, at a price less than the cost of a bloody cup of Starbucks,then maybe just maybe I have a shot at something. Maybe small but maybe big too. I don't know why I feel like London is an easier target to tackle than say Chicago or New York. Maybe Indians are more well established in that society, maybe its because I speak the same language that they do there.

Or maybe its because of my faith in my friend.

Many steps to go before launch. First step. Charis has yet to read and like my book. That will happen next week. The reading bit that is. As for her liking it and then linking her lot with mine....well, I am used to rejections aren't I?