Adithya Srivastava strongly believes in promoting your book well before launching it. Read how he uses Instagram and Facebook to do so.
1. Tell me briefly about your latest book – what is it about and what motivated you to write it?
My latest book, The Story of Your Life, is all about digging some dark and pleasurable memories of life through different narrations. If I talk about what motivated me in writing this book then I would say my solo trips. I am a hobby traveler, and also, being a public speaker, I have to visit many places and meet new people.
2. How have your sales been?
Sales for the first month were disastrous as I didn’t use any marketing or promotional activities. But then I joined Kindle Select and also started promoting my book through various paid and free channels which really boosted the outcome of sales. Right now, from Kindle and the paperback version I am almost earning 15-20% of my monthly salary, and that’s around $95-114 USD.
3. You’ve gone the self-publishing route. How have you liked it so far? Talk about some of the positives and negatives you’ve encountered.
My experience with self-publishing was filled with learning and enjoyment and some networking, and I liked it. Some positive aspects of self-publishing: it is easy and cheap and the best thing for new authors who really don’t want to spend a fortune on publishing. Also, with self-publishing you get to choose your terms, which is kind of great. And if I talk about negative aspects of self-publishing then the biggest is marketing and promotion. You have to do everything on your own or hire some marketing firm to do that for you.
4. You’ve decided to use a traditional publisher for your next book. Why are you making the switch?
Well! Basically, my next book is my most ambitious project (Master the Art of Speaking) which contains my personal experience and learning as a public speaker and many more things. And I want everything to be beyond perfect for the launch and publishing of this book. Hence making this extra effort.
5. What sort of networking have you done as an author, and what have been the results?
Networking! Well, I have attended various conferences throughout the country and was invited to various colleges to speak on motivation and computer science. I got connected with brilliant minds who have written amazing books and are already established speakers. Based on all of these the results are pretty amazing.
6. Talk a little about the sort of marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books. Which ones have been most successful?
First of all, hail to social media! I’ve used Facebook and Instagram, and don’t forget about the word of mouth. Also I give away free goodies with my book logo on them for extended promotion and networking. Facebook paid advertisements were the best and after that are giveaways. These two techniques were the best.
7. Are there any marketing or networking techniques you’ve intentionally avoided or discontinued, and if so, why?
I’ve done almost everything that I could with the amount of power I had in my hand at the time.
8. What are the most important things you’ve learned about publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?
The most important thing is that writing and publishing (including every other aspect of it) aren’t enough for a book. Your book must connect to your audience and it must deliver a message which they can understand clearly. Also, self-publishing is tough, and it consumes almost the same cost as traditional publishing does.
9. If you could do one thing differently in publishing your books, what would it be?
I’ve published two books in two years and now I am going to publish my third book in this third year. If I had the power to change something it would definitely be the time when I launched those books and the way I did it. I didn’t do any pre-launch promotions and the date and time of launch was also not appropriate.
10. New authors face the obvious challenge of marketing their books, whether they go the indie or traditional publishing route. What advice do you have for an author just starting out?
If you are a new author and you have a strong financial background, then I’ll suggest you go for traditional publishing. Also try to market your book and build an audience for it months before its launch. Through Facebook or Instagram you can even use paid advertisements.
If you are a new author with a tight budget, then go indie but also don’t forget to market your book. Tell your friends and family about it and ask them to share it by word of mouth. Also use pictures which can depict the message of your book in one sentence, then post them on Instagram with various hashtags (trust me, this works). You can always add a signature to your email with the link to your product.
Advice for both traditional and Indie: focus on pre-launch promotion months before your launch. Try to attend open conferences and talk about your book. But even after that if your book doesn’t perform well after the launch, then don’t worry, it will. Some things just need time. Give yourself some space, your audience some time, and have faith in your content.
11. What other projects are you currently working on?
Currently I am working on my third book as I mentioned earlier and the book is about “speaking” – not just public speaking or speaking on a stage, but everything about speaking, from speech preparation to knowing audience to body language and many more things.
Besides that, I have invitations for TEDx talks from various colleges. So, I am working on various speeches revolving around the set.
12. If you could market your brand – not just one particular book, but your overall brand of writing – in one sentence, what would it be?
Believe what you see, observe what you don’t.
13. How can readers learn more about your books?
Readers or my audience can get in touch with me through email or social media. My handles are below, and I’ll try my best to respond to each and every inquiry.