Sales and Marketing: A Necessary Detour in the Publishing Journey.

Dear Sales and Marketing Team,

My name is Dry Eyes. I came to being thanks to the vivid imagination and excellent writing skills of Ms Genevieve Greene and should be on the bookshelves by December 2015. Within me is the story of 23-year-old Esther who has never shed a single drop of tear—due to some clinical condition—and her struggle with it. You can also find attached, my cover—serene, blue eyes on a black background that look straight into the readers’ eyes.

Ms Greene, my author, is the force behind other works such as A Case of the Shrinking Nose, Nail Biting: An Art. Yes, she does have a certain fascination for the body. She is an excellent chick-lit author . . . one of the best in her field. Laura Weisberger, the author of the iconic book The Devil Wears Prada describes Greene’s work as bold, humourous, unabashed and un-put-down-able. Everything that a chick-lit novel needs to be.

My publishers and author have unanimously reached the decision that I shall be published as a hardback and paperback simultaneously, which I think is a wise decision. Let’s accept it; I do belong to a genre that is not cared for by many. Paperback will ensure higher sales.

This brings me to the point of pricing i.e. the amount I shall be available for in the bookstores. My cost of production, I believe, was about Rs 25 per hardback and Rs 20 per paperback. Therefore, I should be priced at about Rs 225 for the hardback and Rs 180 for the paperback.

Well . . . now that the groundwork has been laid, let’s discuss the promotion plans. I know you have an extensive list of reviewers and bloggers whom you can send out my copies to. I would like to attach to this list a list of my own. You can find it as yet another attachment to this mail.

Another promotional strategy I recommend is book reading. Ms Greene is an excellent orator. And what better way to bring me alive than the author reading it out herself? You can select a few bookstores in London that record exceptionally high sales in my genre and Ms Greene can have readings in those stores.

Meanwhile, if you hear of any lit fest around the time of my launch that will be discussing the chick-lit genre then do let Ms Greene know. I’m sure, finding her a spot on the panel would help you promote me better and increase my sales.

Also, people find Ms Greene extremely pretty. You might want to consider uploading an interview with her on YouTube, Facebook and other social media.

That’s about it for now. All I ask you to do is make me as visible to the public as you can. Create all the buzz you can. And keep me alive in the public’s memory for as long as you can.

Warm regards,

Dry Eyes.

 

Alas! A book cannot speak for itself in spite of being made up of infinite words, emotions and expressions. It is, after all, an inanimate object. Unfortunately or fortunately, the publishers job doesnt stop at designing, editing, typesetting and printing a book. S/he has to inform the marketing team about the same things Dry Eyes did—new titles, author notes, synopsis and the various promotional and publicity strategies that can be adopted for the book. Although, I suspect they have to do this with PowerPoint presentations; simple e-mails dont seem to go down well with marketing gurus and salesmen.

Radhika Shenoy

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