Moushumi Chakrabarty

Moushumi Chakrabarty is a short story writer who is working hard to build a web presence.  Read about her use of free book promotions and why she feels it’s the best marketing method she’s used.

1. Pretend for a moment I’m a reader looking for my next book.  Pitch me one of your books in five to ten sentences.

You love stories, right?  It’s great that we met.  Try my e-book, Threshold.  It’s a collection of six stories about people and how they navigate through life.  Meet some of the protagonists – a child aged 12, a woman whose daughter is missing, a man trapped in a marriage thinking of the unthinkable, a childless woman, another embarking on a journey of self discovery.  Echoes of their predicaments resound in your life, too.  Try it!

2. What motivated you to become an indie writer?

I have been writing for a long time, but found it increasingly time-consuming to convince a publisher to take me on for a new project.  I decided to try going indie since I see it is the way of the future.  What I basically want is feedback, and the idea that my stories are actually being read instead of languishing in a file on my computer provided a strong impetus.

3. Have you been traditionally published?  Why or why not?

Yes, I have been traditionally published.  My two books are non fiction – my subject is the women’s movement in Canada and its main players.  They are called, Fighting for women’s rights – The extraordinary adventures of Anna Leonowens and Champions of women’s rights – Leading Canadian women and their struggles for social justice.  Personally I feel fiction has a greater chance of success in the indie publishing world.  But it’s early yet, so we’ll see.

4. How have you liked self-publishing so far?

So far, I’m on a steep learning curve.  It’s challenging for me, learning about Twitter, formatting, Tweetmeme, marketing electronically etc.  I guess it will take a few trial and error type of situations before I feel really comfortable.  But I’m excited that people are actually reading my stories.  That’s a huge boost.

5. Tell me about the marketing techniques you’ve used to sell your books.  Which ones have been the most successful?

I’ve tried Facebook and Twitter for approaching people with similar interests.  I have a blog, moushumi-chakrabarty.blogspot.com, where I write about my adventures in the writing and publishing world.  I also have a presence on Goodreads and Red Room.  I signed up for KDP Select and then chose to give my book away free for 4 days (March 1-4).  All of these have been successful, but the one most effective for me has been the free promotion.  My intention is to build up my brand, not make money.

6. What’s the most important thing you’ve learned about self-publishing that you didn’t know when you started out?

That there are people who genuinely love reading and spend a lot of time discussing books, writers, techniques etc.  That’s reassuring to me as a writer.  It doesn’t matter if you are reading a physical book or one on your e-reader.

7. What projects are you currently working on?

I’m putting the finishing touches my next e-book, Positive Thoughts for Writers – 50 tips and tricks to make you smile.  It is a collection of short chapters, all tried and tested, about the writing life.  It should be available in about three weeks’ time.

8. How can readers learn more about your books?

My blog, moushumi-chakrabarty.blogspot.com, is updated frequently.  Also I am on Facebook and Twitter (@moushumi).  If you Google me, you will find me!

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