Here comes the nasty part of publishing. Don't get me wrong, some authors thrive when dealing with marketing. Others (including myself and most I know) would rather the process was much more simple. Let me pare it down to some simple tricks that I have learned:
1) Join the social networking craze.
My friend L. K. Below suggested this, and I have to admit, it has certainly broadened my sphere. Her three main tips were: get a fan Facebook page, join Twitter (and I certainly recommend joining a Twibe or two while you're at it), and start a blog. Your blog doesn't necessarily have to be about writing, like mine. When searching for something to blog, I decided to take my friend's advice and share my wisdom concerning paranormal romance over babbling about myself. But guaranteed, you're a more interesting person than I am. For most authors, their blog tends to be an eclectic mash of factors in their lives.
2) Network with others in the publishing industry.
This doesn't necessarily have to be through the RWA or another romance writers' organization. If you're tightfisted or, like me, live too far out of driving distance to benefit from in-person meetings and the like, there are other ways to network. Joining a twibe is one. Taking an online or in-person writer's workshop is another. Or, another fantastic way to get your name out is to guest blog, even if it's only on the publisher's website.
In a bout of shameless promotion for this site, let me inform you that if you're interested in guest blogging for me, I accept queries about your idea (which must pertain to writing) at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put the words "GUEST BLOG" in the subject of the email, and be sure to list any publishing credits, past or forthcoming, in the body of the email. I like to respond as soon as I can, but it may take 1-2 weeks before you get a reply.
With that splurge of self-promotion over with, let me continue with my previous train of thought.
3) Do a book trailer.
Yes, it is completely corny. Yes, you'll probably look at it and cringe for years to come. But do you know how many people look at YouTube? Any additional hits will be additional promotion for your book.
This can sometimes be pricy, if you aren't completely sure you'll make money, but it can sometimes pay off. Make flyers to put up on bulletin boards, take out space in a local newspaper (or if you can swing it, feature in the paper yourself as a local spotlight). Let everyone know when the big day is—and don't let them forget it!
There are also a couple sites where (for a fee) you can stick your ad up for a fee. Perhaps the biggest one I've found can be seen here. Not just for paranormal romance writers, for a fee you are featured on fifteen different sites. Since I have not partaken in it, I can't say for sure if it helps, but it's certainly something to think about.
5) Hype it up locally.
People in your neighbourhood will buy it because they know you. Their closest friends will buy it because they recommend it. Talk to all those old acquaintances you haven't made the time for, even if it's just a word or two in passing. Do book signings, giveaways, a book launch party. Get your name out there—and make sure your book is linked to it!
If you still feel lost, author Lisa Pietsch has some other great advice in this field! Tune in next week for the conclusion to this three-part series. Reviews!