Fauzia Burke wrote a terrific article in The Huffington Post about the six essential elements for successful book marketing. In a nutshell these are:
She talks about why each of these elements is important, and especially notes that using all six is the best marketing strategy to promote your books. Burke also states, however, that these things take time and attention. In my opinion, that’s where most of us fall down, not intentionally, but due to real life/family/day job circumstances.
When I was working a day job, all of my free time was spent writing and catching up on household chores. Although I knew the importance of promotion, the idea of putting in time each day to promote was laughable. This became a worrisome obstacle, however, and I eventually concluded that the only way I could add regular promotion to my week’s long to-do list—and write a little more—was to cut back my working hours.
Now that I’ve been writing full time for six months, my creative output has improved as has my promotion to some degree, but it still needs work. I have to confess that I only do two out of the six steps, blogging and Twitter, with any regularity. I have a Facebook page, though I don’t visit it daily, which I should. My website is a work in progress at the moment, but once it’s updated, it will also be a useful tool. My publisher is working on a book trailer for The Opposite of Dark, so the video aspect is covered. Funnily enough, a colleague recently mentioned that since I’m writing a mystery series, a newsletter might be a good idea, so I’m thinking about that too.
I’ve been writing a long time, but—introverted wallflower that I am-- it’s only in the last year or two that I’ve come to fully accept the importance of marketing oneself. Happily, all of the steps Burke listed can be done from home but, even as a full time writer, the question still remains, how much time should I spend on marketing versus writing, especially when putting out a book a year? I'm one of those who can only produce polished work after multiple drafts, and each one takes time. It’s a question I don’t have a clear answer for yet. Maybe I will in another year.
You can find Burke’s article at http://tinyurl.com/47of2fy