"Perseverance." Try selling yourself more than the book. If people see you know your subject, they will buy the book.
I'm an author, speaker and instructor. I lost a husband and daughter from this horrible, worldwide disease. I speak at halfway homes, alcoholic rehabs, businesses, Christian and woman's organizations, schools, and families of alcoholics. I'm offering a four week program, one day a week, called "Employee Support Services." I talk to the employees who are having a hard time recovery from their addictions. Contact me at my email for scheduling and prices.
What makes an Author an Author?
For me, it was a painful loss from a husband and daughter from alcohol abuse. I wanted to reach out to other families for them to learn the mistakes that I had done that only put the drinker deeper into their addiction. Until the abuser can honestly say they are an alcoholic and have the desire to recover from this disease, we can only support them. Writing two memoirs led me to presenting speaking engagements.
A Year after Lori died, I did my first talk at the alcoholic rehab she had gone to twice. I spoke to 30 girls and women. From there, I got called at the Magnificat, a Catholic Woman's Ministry at the Providence Marriott Hotel in Rhode Island. I spoke to 150 women and a priest about my life. Gradually I've stepped into cable TV, radio shows, interview with newspapers, halfway homes, rehabs, and hopefully, to schools in 2011.
Promoting and marketing is the hardest part for authors, so I joined five other authors and we named ourselves "Author Without Borders." Our website is www.awb6.com. We give each other support with dividing the cost to festivals, craft shows, conferences, material we need, and most of all, we give each other support.
We offer panel discussions, workshops, speaking engagements, poetry slams, and book signings. Each one offers workshops in ABC's in Writing, Bring Your Manuscript to Publication, Poetry Writing, and How to Become Your Own Publisher.
There are many ways an author can get known.
Number one; get seen. Go to as many functions with authors. Get a website up, even before your book is out. Write about yourself, your background, and excerpts from it. Start a blog. Write newsletters. Join forces with other authors. Get free interviews with newspapers, radio shows and local cable TV. Let them know when your book is going to be published. Go to libraries to read, especially if you have children books. Go to schools to talk or read to children during class.
Carry your books and media kits with you in the car at all times.
If anyone asked about your book or your background, you have it on hand. Put your awards on your website, blog and in your media kit. This is a time to boost about your advancements. (356)
Most important, don't give up on yourself or your book.
Keep at it until a door opens. If you don't, no one will know about you. I was told at a workshop, that it takes a good five years to get noticed it you work at it every day. Good Luck!
Traditional Publishers or Self-Publishing? Which way to go?
No matter which you choose, you have to do 90% of the work. If your book(s) get on a bookstore shelf, you have to get it off. Offer to speak and book sign. Go to every avenue that's free to promote. Join authors in other adventures. Mention your awards if you have any. Be seen, be seen. Get reviews so you can post them. Go to forums where you can talk to other authors and get their help.