An author embracing social media


I thought that Abhijit Bhaduri leveraging Orkut to get a community of readers to brainstorm on his upcoming novel Married But Available was a great thing.

Until I bumped into Ashok Banker, author of the acclaimed Ramayana series – on Twitter

He connects with fans (like me!) on Twitter and on Facebook, where he also shares excerpts from his forthcoming novel – Vengeance of Ravana

How cool is that!

Check his marketing philosophy from his blog:

The song belongs to they who listen.

If that sounds more like a line from a song lyric than a marketing philosophy, well, let me explain a bit.

It means that I don’t believe in promoting myself or my work to anybody who hasn’t already expressed an interest.

No forced conversions. No reaching out through mass media to people who aren’t aware of me, or my books. No book launches and media interviews. No public events. No advertising. No book promotions of any kind.

It’s upto the reader to discover me and my work on their own, over time, in their own way. It’s not upto me to choose how that will happen, nor is it my place to get out there and get in the faces of those potential readers.

In fact, I take the view that I only have so many readers at present. If that number increases, so be it. I’m content with whatever number reads my work already. I do not seek out anymore.

The song belongs to they who listen.

In other words, I’m like a guy sitting in my house, strumming my sitar, and singing the classical blues. If you happen to know me and my work and want to listen in, then I’ll welcome you. But I will not come out there on the street, into the marketplace and start rocking to rouse the neighbourhood.

You have to already want to listen to my ’songs’, so to speak, in order to hear them.

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About Gautam

Gautam is a HR professional interested in how emerging technologies are impacting work, careers and organizations.

Posted on July 7, 2008, in blogging, books, online, social media, thought provoking. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Hey Gautam, well, that’s the problem. There shouldn’t be writers and fans, we’re all writers on such platforms and should be all equal. The moment there are writers and ‘names’, it’s a failure of the system. I’m sorry but after seeing the way most bloggers shamelessly abuse the medium to promote themselves and their work instead of genuinely writing something worthwhile, I realized that blogging and microblogging have also become tools to crass commercialism. The only way out for people who genuinely want to write and not merely self-promote is to remain unknown and invisible. Hence my deletion of my blog and my presence from all other social networking sites. If and when I do resume, it will be anonymously and the moment I have ‘fans’ or a ‘name’ that means its time to stop or move on again.

    I just feel very strongly about these issues. In protest, I’m not using my name here.

  2. hey Ashok, that’s a radical decision you’ve taken, however for your many fans who feel connected to you thanks to these media I hope indefinite does not mean ‘never’

  3. Hi Gautam,

    My joining Twitter was not as a means of ‘social networking’ but simply an experiment in a new form of writing. As you probably saw during the brief time I spent Twittering, I was more interested in the technical challenges posed by the limitation of 140 characters, rather than networking. The same applied to blogging and other online means of communication and self-expression.

    Due to the attention focussed on my microblogging and blogging, I’ve since chosen to go completely offline. I’ve shut down my blog, Twitter feed, Friendfeed, etc, and am going offline indefinitely. Just thought you should know since it now makes this blogpost irrelevant!

    Best,

    Ashok

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