1. How did you first become interested in internet marketing?
It all started when I was in college pursuing my engineering degree. We had a lot of free time, and while most of my friends would go out to parties, I was never too fond of partying. I decided to sit at home and work on my passion, which at that time was making websites.
There's something about making websites that brought out my creative side, and I loved it. Soon, I started freelancing and started making websites and doing graphic designing for clients. I started making a proper livelihood out of it, and as soon as college was over, I got more and more into it.
Soon, I realized I was taking on more projects that I could handle, and that's when I started my first company. It's been an amazing five-year journey since then, and we have done some remarkable things in the field of internet marketing.
2. Have you always had an interest in writing and publishing fiction?
I used to be an avid reader as a child, but since college my reading habits had been suppressed because I got busy with engineering studies and my internet marketing work. But recently, I started reading again, and I had an epiphany a few months ago about writing a novel, and I followed that dream.
To be completely honest, it has been on my dream board for a long time, but I seriously considered it only a few months ago.
3. What's your novel about?
The novel is about a teenager who grows up in the mountains of Shimla, in India. It describes how he meets a girl in a school and falls in love, and how she changes his perception of feelings, hope, and life altogether. It's a very simple story, but I believe everyone can relate to it because we have all gone through first love, and we know it changes our life.
4. How are you utilizing your background in marketing and entrepreneurship to promote your novel?
I noticed a big trend in the publishing industry, especially in India. Most of the authors here don't do much marketing of their books. Essentially they are authors, not marketers. My marketing background helps me to claim that uncharted territory because I know how to promote any product using websites, online ads, and email marketing.
I'm using all my knowledge and more for marketing this novel. Since I have about three months more before the launch of the book, I'm pretty sure I can create enough buzz around the book to get it on some bestseller lists.
5. What's your advice to independent entrepreneurs--and/or indie authors/artists!--who are facing a lack of encouragement from family, friends, etc in their pursuit of their goals?
To be honest, I didn't have much support from my family when I told them I wouldn't pursue an MBA degree, and that I wanted to open my own company. They were very reluctant, but I was more stubborn than they could handle. I kept following my passion, and slowly they got to be a part of my success. Now, they proudly tell everyone they meet about what I do and how I got there.
I have always believed in "hustling." No matter how adverse your situation may be, if you're somebody who can hustle long and hard at what they believe in, no one will be able to stop you. Your success is in your hands. Your failure is also in your hands. So keep hustling, and you'll see how each of your goals will keep becoming a reality.