Marketing a book

Rupa told me today that my book has reached the Bangalore office and was being shipped to bookstores.  We are planning a launch and I confront the whole marketing question.

Here’s the thing though: I truly and deeply believe that a work of art (or a book for that matter) has to fly on its own merit.  It takes a life of its own with its own destiny.  This I believe.

On the flip side, if a book doesn’t sell, does that mean it just wasn’t good enough? This is the question I have to confront as I prepare for what has so far been a quiet self-contained project to be open to the world.  As projects go, writing a book is fairly low-stress, relative to music or movie launches with all the hoop-la that accompany them.

Until recently, I was fairly certain that I would back off from the marketing of the book, and let it do its own thing.  A long conversation on a very long car-ride in which two friends basically beat down all my arguments have changed my stance.  Earlier, my friend, Stanley Pinto, wrote this long riposte to Amitav Ghosh’s rant against book festivals and the tamasha of them.  Stanley said that authors owe it to their readers to bring the book to the public domain.  All of this helped me.

Paul Bloom has said that most objects (wine, art, books) don’t actually stand up on their own accord; by their own merit.  They need provenance; a story about their creator.  So I guess mine too will need a push.  Here we go!

Going to see The Mentalist now.  Will keep updating.