Once Upon a Time. As writers, we carry an image in our heads of the scribe, hunched over his writing pad/typewriter/computer, under a dim light bulb in the attic of a Victorian mansion, slaving away at his manuscript. Once upon a time, said writer would have sent the work off to an agent or publisher and then voila! He’s instantly known worldwide, some kind of writing prodigy this guy, and he comes down from the attic and appears on Oprah looking remarkably well rested and smug. Well, don’t count on it. Publicity is up to the author now and visibility is key. Platform, platform, platform. Amazon author page. Facebook, Twitter, website, blog. Post/comment on other blogs and websites. Put a button on your website or blog going directly to Amazon so that your book can be ordered from your site/blog.
It’s becoming increasingly important in our new publishing world to think of yourself as a brand. So, once you are published, make the most of marketing by contacting schools, bookstores, libraries, county fairs, anywhere you can host a signing, keeping the appropriate audience in mind. You wouldn’t go to an elementary school to promote your 1,000 page Scottish historical fiction novel, for example. At your signings/appearances, distribute little niceties, such as refrigerator magnets, bookmarks, or pens with your book’s cover and your information on them. But keep your face out there because, well, we like to see it.
One last point with this, keep in touch with other writers, published and not published. I firmly believe that one way to guarantee your success is to assist someone else in attaining success. Participate in critique groups. Help edit a manuscript. Promote your fellow authors when their books come out. Review books on platforms such as Goodreads. Leave reviews on Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Whatever you do to further someone else will come back to you in droves.