Happy almost New Year!
Just wanted to share about getting the word out about your book, your writing in general, or simply yourself.
In November 2009, The Vineyard Press published my debut novel, FAT CHICK. They are small and do not have a publicity department or PR person on retainer. I have two children (henceforth known as the money eradicators) so I could not afford to hire a publicity person myself, as some authors I know have done. (Good for them.) I relied on social media, word of mouth and something that a teacher/mentor suggested: writing articles (not about the book per se) and use my bio at the end of the article as a sales tool (LDM is the author of...you get the idea.)
An example of this is my recent NYTImes Complaint Box: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/10/complaint-box-splitting-the-check/
The Complaint Box column is not a paying gig, but the exposure sold over a dozen books on KINDLE within a couple of days of publication. 14 books that would not have been sold if not for that article. Although I prefer paying writing jobs, the book sales more than made up for the paycheck in this case.
Even if you would rather be publishing books, short stories, feature articles, etc., having an essay published can warm people up to you and if they like/agree with what you've written it can make them more interested in other things you've done. It gets your name out there as a published writer as well.
Good writing karma to all. May we all be published in 2011.
Causes Lorraine Merkl Supports
The Legal Aid Society
The Inner-City Scholarship Fund