Getting bigger and bigger
Indian publishers are beginning to milk the potential of e-marketing their books. It will only get huger. Two years ago, when my novel, If I Could Tell You, was published, I did several interviews. Most of them were in person.
When my fatherhood memoir, Dad’s the Word, came out recently, I found that a lot of the action had moved online. Whether doing a live chat on the website of the TV channel, CNN-IBN, or participating in a twitter chat hosted by my publishers, I was engaging directly with readers rather than having my views mediated to them by a professional interviewer.
Publishers are getting savvy in putting up video trailers of forthcoming books. And every publisher is keen to grab a slice of the e-book market.
While self-publication on the web and turning physical books into e-books have both exploded, reputable publishers are now releasing certain books only as e-books. Penguin (UK) has one such fine e-book special list. Each costs £1.99 (Rs 160 or so); is being marketed as something you would finish on a short journey or a long commute; and being proclaimed to cost less than a cup of coffee in Britain.
I downloaded on my e-reader Nick Hornby’s excellent Pray: Notes on the 2011-2012 Season, and it was mighty good. On Facebook, Hornby said that he wanted it out quickly (presumably before the start of the 2012-2013 English Premier League season, and this was the best way. Also, given that it is 12,000 words long, Pray would not have made it into a physical book.
The potential of web in terms of marketing and selling and pioneering stuff is immense. What next?