You've spent months writing your story, then more weeks, if not months, editing it - sometimes you have the help of a publisher and sometimes not. Now what do you do?
So far, I haven't had any help from my publisher. And though I have two other publishers now, I haven't reached a point where they will or won't help with the promoting of the books I have with them. Promoting my one published book is all on my shoulders.
As I have advised other writers along the way, tenacity is the name of this game. If you're searching for a publisher or an agent, or if you're just trying to get better exposure for your book, you have to keep at it every day. No weekends, no holidays - and find out when you can cross the most eyeballs with your promotion (that one isn't easy). Figure when you have time to shop around. That's the time to get your book seen.
There are several things you can do. One very good thing is to get your book reviewed by as many bloggers as you can. In my opinion, you should be willing to give books to these bloggers for this purpose. Occasionally they'll ask for a link where they can buy it. I have a list of book bloggers - just send me an email asking for it and I'll send it to you. Take their contact information and send them an email telling them a little about your book and ask if they'd be willing to review it. I've met some really great people this way.
Other things you can do is get yourself a fan page on Facebook and a Twitter account. I also recommend Goodreads.
On Facebook, I try to keep my profile clear of clutter from games (I've taken to playing too many these days); your profile should be about you as a writer and as a person.
Rather than promoting a single book, my fan page is where I post all the links to where my book can be bought, and to my blogs. I also share links to the editor who worked on my next book and that publisher as well. As soon as I get to a point where there's something to promote with my newest publisher, I'll be adding another link to my list.
Facebook is pretty much the core of my socialization and advertising. Along with my fan page, I am a member of several groups where I also share my blog links.
You can now use Facebook as your fan page, which is a slightly different perspective. You can add other fan pages to your's as favorites and there are a few groups there too. I post my blogs in that way on a handful of such pages.
Twitter isn't really a social network so much as an advertising network. I follow most anyone who follows me. My philosophy is that you never know who is behind the tweets, no matter how automated they are; they are still people and they just might notice one of my tweets and maybe they'll buy my book or at least spread the word.
Goodreads is also a good place to get your book noticed. Join groups that interest you and make friends wherever you can. You should also look for groups that offer for writers to meet readers. There are hundreds and hundreds of different groups - heck, start one of your own.
Google+ is the newest platform for promotion and exposure, and recently they have the equivalent of a fan page there too. Google+ doesn't agree with my connection much so I only post there a couple times a week, and though I have a page, and I have posted all my links there, I haven't done much else with it.
There are things you can do in person too, things I can't do because I live clear out in the wilderness. You can visit the different bookstores and malls in your area and talk to the appropriate people. See if there is some way you can get a few of your books on their shelves. There are different offers you can make. They may be willing to buy a few books, or you could offer that they pay you only for books that sell and you'll pick up what doesn't sell.
Set up a schedule for book signings anywhere you can - be sure you have enough books to sell there. I'm trying something new in this department. My book has been around for three and a half years now so I decided to offer it for sale through an event on Facebook. I have to use snail mail but it's what I can do. My offer is to send a signed book back. If it works out well enough, I'll be doing it again with other books.
This is my weekly advertising schedule:
Twitter offers my links in a nice neat line-up so I open my twitter profile on the first tab. On the second tab is the twitter home page. On the third tab is my facebook profile page, and on the fourth tab is my fan page.
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, I copy from the list on tab one and paste to tab two and then tab four.
My website I post on tab three on Mondays and Thursdays, on tab four on Tuesdays and Fridays.
On Mondays I post my writing blogs to the different groups on Facebook. I used to do this on Thursdays too, but I started posting as my fan page so this is the day I post my writing blog on the different page groups.
On Tuesday I post my blog novel to my groups. I used to do this on Fridays too, but I now use my fan page to post it around on page groups.
On Wednesday and Sunday I add Google+ to my tabs.
Since I blog late on Friday night, Saturday is my day to sleep in and taking a day off. I take the time to update my list on Twitter; it is the only place I advertise on Saturday. Mostly is my day for socializing. It's always a good way to get yourself noticed. Read blogs and leave comments. We all love comments.
What do you do to promote your work? Leave a comment and share so we can all learn.