I was reading on a blog sometime ago what's out, passe, no longer in as far as promotion goes--magazines, newspapers, print media as far as capturing the market for book sales. So then what's in???
The problem is we have tons of competition. Ever go to the book store and look at a specific genre? How many books directly compete with ours? Lots and lots! In fact it can be disheartening.
One of my publishers sent a note that said our books would not be in stores unless we talked to local stores and asked them to include them. Otherwise, bring our own for signings. I'm sure the major book chains would love that. I can envision myself walking in with a load of books, grabbing one of their tables and setting up a signing. Sure. I mean, we bring in customers, right? Big draw.
Well, yes, we can. If we're local and we tell all our friends and family, we can have a big draw. But most big chains don't agree that it's worth having you in the store. Soooo what to do?
Go to other kinds of stores and see if they're more amenable. Think outside the box. I was going to have my Highlander book at a Celtic festival, along with the Celtic Clan bears I make. Only they canceled the show. But otherwise, different venue, might have sold. I sell a lot of bears.
The key though, is to get your titles out there. Teaching online courses helps for me. I give snippets of my books for examples along with other authors' examples. Speaking at engagements helps also. Giving in-person classes also.
I attended several conferences where the author got up and talked, and then, she got to sell her books. And lots of authors bought them too. I wanted to be that author. It's not the same when you tell others you have books also. You have to get up and speak or teach about writing, and that's what gets the recognition for your work. At the last conference I attended, I sold tons of books. Many were writers who had attended my talk. One chided me for not giving examples from my own works for the talk. :) I will in the future. I just didn't want to "look" like I was doing this for pure promotion. :)
This summer I'll be teaching a teen group about writing. Every month I give another online course. In Sept I'll be teaching Happy Hookers in Toronto, so going International!!!
But also write for newsletters, articles on writing or promotion. I just had an interview come out in a couple of newsletters. And tomorrow I'll be at http://www.muchcheaperthantherapy.blogspot.com/ and I'm sure I said something really brilliant. I can't remember. :)
So remember, expensive advertising in magazines and newspapers are out. Get a web presence. Make yourself known in local circles. Offer talks and classes. Sometimes you can make more at that than book sales!