When going the self-publishing route for your book, you will need to assume the responsibility for marketing your book. You will need to develop a cohesive and effective author marketing program that will create anticipation and a built-in audience for your book ahead of its publication.
Here’s how to get started...long before your book is published!
Creating an author marketing program is easier than ever using social media, but you need to approach it properly. Identify the social media sites where your target reader is likely to congregate. For example, business books are best promoted on LinkedIn, while YA or Sci-Fi are more likely to resonate on Twitter or Facebook.
Identify Where Your Potential Readers "Live"
Start by identifying and joining specific groups where your potential readers congregate and begin slowly by offering thoughtful comments on other’s posts before progressing to creating posts or Tweets of your own. Your post should never be the equivalent of “Buy my book!” but you can mention it in posts occasionally. Most posts should be on interesting topics that are engaging enough to cause the reader to seek out your profile or website to find more information about you or your book.
Create a Website that is Appealing to Your Auduence
Make your author website appealing to your target audience. Don’t decorate it with kittens and hearts if your book is about business, and don’t put cyborgs and weapons on your site if you write romance or cozy mysteries.
You can post excerpts from your book, teasers or announcements about its publication here to pique the interest of people who come to your site. While on your site make it easy for potential readers/buyers to leave an e-mail to be updated on release of your book or to received relevant information in a newletter or other interesting content.
Find sites and blogs that attract your target audience and offer to write a guest blog post on an intriguing topic. The blog owner will usually be happy to offer you the opportunity, and the bio on your post can include information about your book and where to buy it. Don’t forget to offer to reciprocate by offering the site owner a guest post on your site. Many publishers also allow authors and prospective authors to write guest posts and you can usually find submission guidelines on their site.Reciprocal posting/affiliate marketing
If you’ve attended a few writers’ conferences or workshops, you’ve probably met other aspiring or established authors whose work appeals to a similar audience to yours. Ask these people if they would allow you to post an excerpt from your book and a link to your own site, and offer to do the same for them. You can easily connect with like-minded authors on your publisher’s blog, for example.
You might also consider signing up with an affiliate marketing publisher who can place ads and links for your book automatically on sites that attract your audience.Enter contests
There are hundreds of writing contests every year in nearly every genre. You can search the web for contests in your genre or check out events held by writing conferences you plan to attend. Enter your book into a few contests that seem suitable, because the ability to put “Winner” or “Finalist” in a well-known contest on the cover of your book is invaluable.
Begin building your audience no later than six months before your book’s publication to ensure you have time to create the buzz you need to make the book a success.