It also helps to tap the new media. "Newspapers and magazines are rarely interested in reviewing self-published books. So, for the publicity of my first book I targeted non-traditional media such as blogs. I would write to blog owners and offer them a copy of my book if they would agree to review it, " says Ashwin Sanghi, whose two books, the self-published The Rozabal Line and the second Chanakya's Chant (Westland) have done good business. Sanghi also created a three-minute YouTube video for his debut novel and publicised the link on the web.
For his second book, too, Sanghi went the YouTube route. He roped in a young composer to set a chant that is central to the book's narrative to music and put it out there, also making it available for download in MP3 format. "Even before the book was released, the music clip had been downloaded over 20, 000 times, thus increasing the odds that those who had heard the clip would feel comfortable moving ahead with the actual purchase, " says Sanghi.
Ideas are in short-supply within the publishing world, believes Sanghi, and most publishers have very little bandwidth to devote to a single title given the number of authors they publish. Creative ideas must necessarily emerge from the writer.