Authors from the West that follow the traditional route of publishing, through publishing houses that is, are hugely popular in India. Sydney Sheldon, Jeffrey Archer, Robert Ludlum, John Grisham, Dan Brown and David Baldacci and others enjoy massive reputations in the Indian subcontinent. However, those authors from the West that self-publish their books are yet to enjoy this kind of popularity.
Demand for English Books
Success in the Indian market could take self-published authors from the West a long way. India is a big market for books and despite the presence of so many regional languages the demand for English fiction and non-fiction is very high. However, earning popularity in the Indian market, especially for self-published authors from the West, could be rather a task. One needs to use various means, innovative all of them, to gain an entry into the Indian reader’s mind.
The basics have to be right. India has a rich tradition of storytelling and narratives. Before anything else, the quality of the writing has to be top notch. No author, self-publishing or otherwise can expect to do well in the Indian market if they cannot build gripping stories. This is the first and foremost condition for popularity and it has to be given top priority.
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Using an eBook format could be one of the best ways for self-publishing authors from the West to succeed in India. Although the Indian eBook market is still at a nascent stage, the projections state that the country could soon be one of the biggest players worldwide in this segment. Amazon has a concentrated focus on India and for this reason. Thus, one has to use the Amazon Kindle and the Flipkart eBook platforms to gain entry into the Indian book market.
Price is an important decider in the success of self-published authors from the West. Even today, many Indian readers shy away from buying expensive eBooks. The moment they see that the price of an eBook is similar to its printed version; they start considering the latter version. Kindle Direct Publishing is an option through which an author can give away books for 5 days in a 90-day window. This option could be used for marketing an eBook.
One may also consider getting their books translated into regional languages. The popularity of Hindi thriller books in some parts of the country is a lot. Many of these books are nothing but cheap imitations of western thrillers. An entry into this market could be a great strategy.
Marketing and Promotion
Book marketing is another important aspect. Book promotion agencies like Bookmann have various ways of marketing books, both online and offline. They could raise awareness through their campaigns.
Social media and web presence are also important aspects of book promotion. The social media space in India is one of the largest in the world. For self-published authors from the West to become successful in India, their own website and their presence on Facebook and Twitter could be a game changer. YouTube promotions should also be considered. Other sites like Reddit and Pinterest are yet to make a significant impact on the Indian social media space.
Given that country’s population is more than a billion and a quarter, popularity in the Indian market could make any self-published author from the West become a global celebrity. However, one needs to understand the Indian reader’s psyche and present their books accordingly. This can be done in various ways, as mentioned here. The entire exercise may take time, but once it bears fruits, there is no looking back.
Image credit: McKay Savage on flickr and reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://writingtipsoasis.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/Profile_Pic_Moumita.jpg[/author_image] [author_info]Moumita Goswami is a full-time homemaker and a passionate writer. She stays in Pune with her husband and daughter. After giving up working, she started writing about five years ago and can now be seen using her computer keyboard almost all the time. An MA in Psychology from Calcutta University, Moumita has spent time in Kolkata, Delhi and now Pune. For Moumita, writing started as a sudden chance but she soon discovered her likeness for it. And now she has developed a passion for writing and hardly any day passes without her scribbling a few lines. She dreams of publishing her own book one day and is working towards it.