September 27th, 2012 | Add a Comment
Rasana Atreya, author of Tell A Thousand Lies, left a comfortable job in IT because she thought roughing it out as a penniless writer was romantic. She’s a blogger, and the mother of two grade-schoolers who want her next novel to be PG; they also want a shot at designing the cover of said book.
The novel Tell A Thousand Lies came about because of her annoyance with advertisements.
As she said herself:
Indian television is overrun with commercials from the manufacturers of skin lightening creams, called fairness creams, that promise everything from good grades to nirvana, if only you use their particular brand of product. This baffled me enough that I wrote a tagline, then a whole novel, with this as the theme.
The tagline in question – Fairness Cream: Finding Solutions to Life’s Vexing Problems, One Application at a Time
Her debut novel, Tell A Thousand Lies, was made available to the public on March 2012.
How well has it been received by the public so far?
On Amazon I have 4.6 stars from 77 reviews, on Goodreads from 4.05 stars from 118 ratings. 1273 people signed up for my Goodreads giveaway.
The fact that the unpublished manuscript of this novel was shortlisted for the 2012 Tibor Jones South Asia prize could have had something to do with it, as well.
What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?
A couple hours a days. I’m trying to cut down in order to focus on my next book, because the more books you have out there, the better your visibility. That’s what the expert say, and it does make sense.
What marketing tools do you use to improve your ranking on Amazon?
The one thing that has worked for me is seeking out book bloggers in my genre [women's fiction set in India], and asking them for honest reviews. I also tweet and blog, I’m on Facebook and LinkedIn and have a website, but I’m not sure how much of a difference they make.
How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?
I have 82 reviews on Amazon, 61 on Goodreads. It is slow, but I’m in it for the long haul.
What do you think is the main factor, other than writing a quality and professionally edited books that differentiate a successful self-published writer from one who remains forever out of the limelight?
Reviews, word of mouth, and a huge dose of luck.
Is there any marketing technique you used that had an immediate impact on your sales figures?
Doing a free promo for my book on Amazon Select for a couple days. IMO having a decent number of reviews before you run the promo is very important.
Before the promo, I was selling maybe 20 books a month – to friends and family, if we’re being honest here. Pixel Of Ink and a couple big newsletters listed my book for the free promo, which helped enormously. 17,000 copies of my book were downloaded in a couple days. The following month, I sold 900 copies.
Thank you Rasana, for taking the time to answer a few question for us.
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