This is our third installment of Authored. The idea of this most venerable series is to look at how writers are marketing and promoting their works. Earlier we looked at "The American Muslim Teenager's Handbook," by Dilara Hafiz and her kids, and Minal Hajratwala's "Leaving India."
Today we have a first-person piece by Shilpa Agarwal, who is currently on tour in support of her new work of fiction, "Haunting Bombay," from Soho Press. The book went on sale on April 6. We were approached by her publicist, at Mandalan Media. What I found intriguing was Shilpa's use of a movie trailer to promote her book. It uses a real director, real actors, full-fledged post-production - the works. Check it out:
Also listen to this NPR story on how trailers are all the rage among writers these days: "In a World... Where Books are Hyped Like Movies"
As you'll read below, Shilpa had to grapple with issues like whether to market her work as ethnic-literary, ghost story or mystery. For both writing and promoting it, she made ample use of her ArtWallah network in L.A., and has turned to Facebook and other social networking sites these days. Curiously, she thinks there may have been a Slumdog effect on her work and other South Asian fiction. She's also been blogging. The tour dates she refers to at the end of her piece have come and gone, but here are some remaining ones:
- Los Angeles - Saturday April 18th, 4pm @ The Mystery Bookstore
- Los Angeles - Sunday April 19th, 2pm @ Book 'Em Mysteries
- Pittsburgh - Sunday May 3, 1pm @ Waterworks Barnes & Noble
- Washington DC Area - Tuesday May 5, 7pm @ Reston Barnes & Noble
- San Francisco - Friday July 10, 7pm @ Book Passage
- Atlanta - September 4-6 @ The Decatur Book Festival
Writing and Marketing "Haunting Bombay" - by Shilpa Agarwal
Almost ten years have passed since I picked up my pen and wrote the first words of my novel, words that came to me in a dream-like haze: The bluish hue that clung to her body at birth had not yet left her when she died.