Well, we can market ourselves, our books, our stories, and anything else we want to sell. And really it can be set up with simple standard ideas on how to sell yourself, which in return, sells your merchandise. Authors already know who they want to sell to: Everyone and Anyone Who Reads
With that said, we have to decide how far we want to go and where we want to be after the marketing campaigns are started. Notice I didn't say "finished", reason being, unless we stop writing, and publishing, and selling our books, we cannot stop marketing ourselves and our books. It is an ever present, ongoing effort the minute we receive that letter from the publisher that they accept our books. Once you stop marketing yourself (I learned the hard way) you stop selling your book and yourself.
Many authors rely on the publishing house to do their advertising. That is wonderful, if you are J K Rowling, Stephen King, Dr Oz, Oprah, or any well-known entertainer. Obviously, this is not about them. It is about normal everyday people who are gifted authors who want to get on "The List". So, we can't rely on just the publishing house, we have to step up and let the world know we exist, our books exist.
Once an author receives the cover art, it should be a beaming, bright sign for pre-order campaigning.
1) Have announcements printed. I mean real announcements that get delivered snail mail. Send out announcements to everyone in your address book.
2) Have e-announcements made. Send out announcements to everyone in your e-mail address book.
3) If you don't belong to one already, join a writer's website. There are plenty out there. Actually, join more than one.
4) Get your own website and promote your book.
5) Start a twitter, facebook, and myspace account, or any other networking source that you prefer. Once a week, update the pages. Don't spend too much time campaigning; we don't want you to take time away from your writing!
6) Find out who your publisher is sending ARCs to and send some out yourself to other media that is not on their list, or ask them to send them.
7) Start guest blogging and donating articles to literary websites to get your name out there. Continue doing this at least once a week. Recognition is way up there on the "must do" list.
8) Advertise your cover art and attach a link to go either to your website or to a bookstore website so the reader can purchase/pre-order your book.
9) I'm going to say it again ... Advertise. Set aside a budget. Use the monies the publisher sent you when the contract was signed. Or use a portion of the money. I can't stress it enough ... Advertise your book--prior to and after the book release date.
10) One month prior to release. Send out announcements to all the bookstores you can find in your phone book, in your hometown, in any town you have ever lived. Someone will remember you and want your book.
11) One week prior to release. Re-send all announcements (snail mail and e-mail) to everyone you sent them to before. Blast it all over the Internet. Your advertising campaign should be in full force.
12) Continue to blog and write articles, include a plug for your book in the bullets or blurbs they allow you to have when they accept your article or blog.
13) Remind readers the book is available on your networking sites weekly for at least 3 months.
14) Continue advertising your book, even when you have another book coming out. Only now, when you receive your book cover art for the next book, you have two books that you are advertising and marketing.
15) Are you at Book Three? Great! Keep book one on your site. Continue to advertise book two and advertise book three as a pre-order.
Don't stop marketing and campaigning unless you want to stop selling your books. And whatever you do, don't drop the marketing ball and only go halfway. Learn from other's mistakes. (Mine)