I was recently asked what tips/tricks I use for marketing or promoting my own titles. Here's the marketing prospective I favor.
Word of Mouth. I believe most people buy because a friend or family member recommends an author or the reader has met the author. Because of this belief, I plan meet-and-greets at bookstores, I give talks to reader groups and I sit on author panels.
When appearing at author events, it’s important to have a handout for people to take home. I prefer bookmarks. They’re useful just as a bookmark and they contain the most critical information about my book: the back cover blurb, the cover, a review quote, my e-mail, my website address and a Buy It statement.
As people come in the door when I'm doing an in-store meet and greet, I state my name loudly and that I’m an author I offer a bookmark. Even if they don’t stop to talk, my name and that I’m an author hopefully sticks. It used to take 7-10 times for a name to be absorbed and remembered. With today 's information overload, it's closer to two dozen times. The more my name is attached to "author" and is seen and heard, the better.
Extra bookmarks are left at the store to be given out to customers over a period of time. I’ve gotten sales from this longer exposure.
With readers groups, I spend less time talking about my books and more time answering questions about the publishing process and the art of novel writing. Readers enjoy interacting with the author.
Each author must find a way to market that is compatible with the author's personality and time commitments. For me, it’s getting out with the reader. I love the interaction. The buildup is slow, but lasting.
Hopefully, this perspective on promoting is useful for you.