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Book Review: Let’s Sell Your First Book by Amrita Chowdhury

These days, writers don’t have the privilege of just writing.  We have to become marketers.  And it’s not because we want to stand on street corners handing out flyers and begging people to read our stuff.  (Trust me, we don’t.)  I’m sure most of us would be more than happy to sit at home creating our worlds and leave all the selling to someone else.

But the fact of the matter is that, no matter if you self-publish or go the traditional route, almost all of the marketing is left on the author’s shoulders.

Let’s Sell Your First Book focuses on just that.  I received an advanced reader copy of the book from the author for free, but I promise I would have paid quite a bit for it!  This book is absolutely packed with information.  It breaks your marketing down into what strategies you should be using before you start writing, while you’re in the process, once the book is finished, and after it’s published.

Don’t think that because you’ve already written a book (or several) that this information isn’t for you.  You can easily go back and do everything you didn’t think about or missed out on the first time around.

There’s so much information here.  Not only does Amrita share her insights on marketing, but she includes links to numerous (and I mean, really, there’s a lot) of other articles on the subject matter.  It’s the kind of book you have to read through once, and then go back over with a fine-tooth comb just to make sure you get everything out of it.  A writer could spend so much time with this book.

I have to admit that there are times I get excited about marketing my books, but they come and go.  (We all get in our slumps, right?)  Let’s Sell Your First Book is very inspirational when you don’t feel like working on your social media platform or setting up your email newsletter.

I have absolutely no choice but to give this book a 5-star rating.  There’s a ton of information, it’s easy to understand and apply, and it’s increased my summer To Do list by about 5000%.  You go buy the book, and I’ll be selling mine!

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Ashley O’Melia is an independent author and freelancer from Southern Illinois.  She holds her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and English from Southern New Hampshire University.  Her books include The Wanderer’s Guide to Dragon Keeping and The Graveside DetectiveHer short stories have been published in The Penmen Review, Paradox, and Subcutaneous.  Ashley’s freelance work has spanned numerous genres for clients around the world.  You can find her on Facebook and Amazon.

Interested in having your book reviewed?  Contact me.


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Author Interview with Amrita Chowdhury

What inspired you to write Let’s Sell Your First Book?

 I’ve been a part-time editor and book cover designer for the last six years now — going on seven years — apart from having a completely different day job. And in these seven years, I’ve worked with a multitude of publishers (big and Indie), authors, agents, fellow editors and every day I come across fresh writers who may or may not know how to write a book, but definitely struggle with marketing their product.

Most of the existing “bibles” of book marketing are brimming with jargon and methods that sound like Greek to new writers. And that’s what gave me the idea to compile a book that is specifically targeted towards authors trying to sell their first book! Let’s Sell Your First Book! Marketing 101 for First-Time Authors will be out for pre-order now.


What do you think makes a good book?

 In case of fiction, I think it’s a combination of a well-developed plot, a writing style that shows a great deal of command over the language and smart editing.

For non-fiction, I lean towards preferring books that are well-researched, well-structured and those that focus on practical information.


Do you feel your background in construction has influenced your writing?

Oh, I started writing made up stories when I was six or seven. I used to be able to read a storybook once and be able to recite it page to page! I can still do that, actually, although not as accurately! My education as an Architect has definitely not affected my writing style. But I like writing pieces about real-life and human relationships and many of my stories, especially the funny ones, are inspired by real-life incidents that have taken place over the course of my career.


What’s it like to be a food blogger?

 I come from a family of foodies who talk about lunch while having breakfast and of dinner while having lunch. Each and every one of us travels just to eat, really. I started food blogging in 2009, also when I was starting to take my writing seriously and the idea of being a writer came about. It’s been fun combining my two of my three favorite things in the world, in one neat package at The Subjectivist.


What’s your favorite book?

So many! The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, anything by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie or MFK Fisher.


Are there any other writers in your family?

 Nope. Although, my mum and literally all my friends are avid readers!


It looks like you travel quite a bit.  Where’s your favorite place to be?

 I do have to travel a ton for work…or otherwise. Even though I wouldn’t mind getting away for a few days to a secluded log cabin embedded in snow, I’m a city girl through and through. New York, Paris, and London are my favorites. Just the hustle bustle, the colorful people and the possibility of an adventure gets me going. I also have a soft corner for Scotland.

Cats or dogs?

 Both. I mean dogs. No wait, cats. OK, both. Arrgh, this is hard.


What time of day works best for you when writing?  What’s your writing process like?

 Afternoons work best for me. They’re quiet and are usually uninterrupted. I did, for a while, try writing early in the mornings, but I can’t for the life of me wake up early enough.

I’m actually a pantser, most of the time. I don’t write chapter by chapter or sequentially. On the other hand, I don’t start writing unless I have a loose structure in my head. I’ll write according to whatever idea is the strongest in my mind at that point, and then piece the stories together according to the structure that will efficiently drive the story forward. I’ll then add layers and “meat” as and when required.

Be sure to check out Amrita’s Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as her website and blog.



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