That’s a question that is asked a lot, but the better question might be what promotion will you be the most comfortable doing.
When approaching a publisher these days, most of them want a marketing plan submitted along with the manuscript–and the plan plays a part in whether or not the publisher accepts the manuscript. Probably you, as the author, will put everything down you can think of as part of your plan: bookstore signings, library talks, appearances before service and social groups and all the online venues you can think of.
Doing book signings is what most authors used to do and some still successfully plan and go on book tours. Though I do a few book store stops when a new books comes out, for me, that’s not my best promotion effort, unless I can give a talk along with the signing.
Anytime I can give a talk along with a signing, I know I’ll be more apt to sell books. That’s also why authors like to be on panels at writing conferences and conventions because if they can interest those in the audience in their book, it’s more likely to be purchased. However, going to cons and panels are not so much about selling books as meeting people, making new reader friends and getting your name known.
I like to do book and craft fairs too–but you must be brave enough to talk to the people who come by your table or booth or you won’t be successful.
With the Internet, there are many things for the more timid to do. Every author must have a Web site and the Web site needs to change from time to time. It should offer something to readers as well. Because an author should also have a blog, the Web site should be connected to the blog. Like the Web site, the blog’s content needs to change often.
A virtual book tour is one way for an author to promote that is really lots of fun. You can set up the tour yourself by finding blogs where you’d be a good fit as an author and asking if they’d like to have you for a guest during the time of your tour. If you don’t want to go to all that trouble, there are various blog tour professional you can pay to set up your tour. In either case, you must let people know when you’re visiting each blog which takes me to another thing to do, signing up for yahoo lists. It’s important to be a participant on the list though, not just pop in and out when you’re promoting something. Two good sites to visit and join are run by Dani Greer, our founding member here. Visit her Blog Book Tours blog for loads of information, and join her Yahoo!Group, the BBT Cafe, to chat with seasoned blog book tour veterans.
Twitter and Facebook are great places to pass the word about your latest book and what you’re doing.
There is so much available nowadays for promotion, even if you are painfully shy, there’s no reason you can’t find many ways to promote yourself and your book(s).
Marilyn Meredith is the author of over twenty-five published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Kindred Spirits from Mundania Press. Under the name of F. M. Meredith she writes the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series, No Sanctuary is the newest from Oak Tree Press.