Marketing Your "Baby"
If an author doesn't market their own work, then who else is going to? Unless you have the financial means to hire an agent, the bulk of the promotion is up to you!
After all your friends and family have a book in their hand, then the real work begins. Never let an opportunity pass by—when you are standing in line at the grocery store, visiting book stores and libraries or waiting for the bus—pass out your business card and strike up conversations. My experience has been that very few people have actually "met" an author! Your card should have a bit about your book (A picture of the cover is a plus), the link to your website, your email address, and the ISBN number of the book so that it can be ordered from an on-line source.
It also is an advantage if you "just happen" to have copies of your book with you. A signed copy from an author that they just met will frequently clinch a sale. Be sure to stick a few extra business cards inside the book for them to give to their friends!
Even before your book is in print, you can have a website set up. There are many free sites that let you get started early. It should contain a short synopsis of your book, a brief biography (tell a little about yourself), how to get a copy of your book (links to Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, etc.), whether it's in print or not. place a message like, "To reserve a signed copy of ***my book's name***, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org" on the front page.
Here's an example - my own free website... http://www.freewebs.com/brew99/
If they sign the guestbook and leave their email address, begin keeping a list of potential customers. When the book is available, EMAIL THEM!
Blogging is new to me, but I don't want to miss a trick! Link your blog to your website, and vice-versa. Keeping your name and your book in as many eyes and minds as possible is the key to selling it!
Many publishers will initially contact your local newspapers and libraries that a "local author" has written a book. Prepare a "media kit" for your book and mail it to the papers anyway. A media kit is nothing more than a synopsis of your book, a short bio, and answer a few questions that they will ask anyway...
What makes your book special?
Why should anyone buy your book?
What genre' is your book?
What age group does your book target?
Contact information, business cards, bookmarks, etc.