When I entered the realm of published author, I knew there would be promotion involved. The internet was a way to reach people...but how do you connect? There are yahoo groups that allow promotion and "author", "publisher" days. What I've learned the past five months, is that I'm reaching the same people each time I participate in one of these events. Does it spur sales? Maybe by one book. And the cost of participating highly outweighs the results. So, what is one to do?
I've sold most of my books in print form myself. But now that I've exhausted my source of friends and family, it becomes like any other selling position. You must reach a broader audience. Since my print books are through a POD distributor, it is more difficult to get them into a traditional bookstore. If I lived in a small city, it might work, but I live in a large metropolitan city and the big bookstores aren't interested. I'm making a list of the independent bookstores, and I'm going to have to stiffen my spine, throw away my inhibitions, and learn how to sell myself. I'll have to beat the pavement like any other salesperson, be upbeat, confident, and professional. And I have to work it around a full-time day job.
Additionally, I have a website. I need to draw people to that. So...how does one promote their website? Sure there are companies you can pay to drive traffic, but you know what? It's expensive and all it does is drive traffic. Traffic is different from visitors who are interested in what you have to offer. How does one reach readers on the internet? Sure authors are readers, too, but we need to tap into the huge resource of readers who are not writers.
It takes guts to tough it out in the publishing world. It takes determination. It takes a love for what you are doing.
So, does anyone have any insight in how to promote and market to a broader audience?