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Pitch CMO Summit 2011 : The Shiva Trilogy – Cracking the book

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While categories like FMCG and automobiles seem to have a legacy of marketing initiatives behind them, a category like that of books is still new in the marketing arena. Until now, the need for marketing books wasn’t felt. However, with the number of books being released per year reaching a number as high as 8,000, it becomes imperative for an author to make his/her book stand-out in the clutter.

The Challenge
Marketing an undermarketed product such as a book remains to be the key challenge for authors. Another challenge in this category is that the content cannot be based on consumer insights as this hinders the creative flow of writers. Thus the book can be viewed as a product only after the content is ready.

The Strategy
The dearth of marketing professionals in the book publishing sector makes the marketing scene of the category rather dull. The marketing initiatives are limited to posters and with the advent of the digital revolution, get stretched to websites and social media. Tripathi, however, went beyond the basics and plunged into marketing his first book, ‘The Immortals of Meluha’ big time. One of his strategies was to use the cover to give the audience a glimpse of the story. He also released a sampler, three weeks prior to the launch of the book to stir curiosity amongst the consumers. Video trailers for the book were also released for the same purpose.

The Implementation
For Tripathi, the cover was the equivalent of the packaging of a product. It was the key positioning status for his book. The cover was meant to make people inquisitive and conveying the crux of the book in five seconds. The visuals of the book were also meant to motivate people to pick up the book from bookshelves.

Communicating to people about the launch of the book was another challenge for the author. To combat this challenge, Tripathi released a sampler, which was a printed copy of the first chapter of the book with the cover of the book. This also solved the problem of newcomers not getting a strategic place in leading bookstores. The sampler was kept at the cash counters where one could pick it up for free. Tripathi also made sure that the cashier, who was the point of contact for all information regarding new books was well aware of what the book was about.

Amish Tripathi, Bestselling Author The Shiva Trilogy

The author also released a trailer film for the books which was an elevator pitch for the product. It worked at the surface level as well as at a deeper level for people who would move a step ahead of just being informed. After a month of being launched on Youtube, the video received around 60,000 hits. For his second book, Tripathi released three versions of the film which were customised for multiplexes and the web. The reason behind the release of a video for the multiplexes was also to generate curiosity among people who usually do not walk into a bookstore.

Results
The first book hit the bestseller chart in the first week itself. In 2010, The Immortals of Meluha was the second highest selling book. In 2011, Nagas was the highest selling book in the beginning and gradually became the second highest selling book. A Hollywood agency has signed on Tripathi as a client and the writer is in talks with various Indian and Hollywood producers for a film adaptation of the book.

About the author / 

Jyotsna Sharma

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