Google 'marketing your book', and prepare yourself to be bombarded with a million and one ways to grow a fan base and take your novel to the world. It's frustrating to say the least. First time I attempted to browse the subject, I ended up wanting to do this ...
There's no tried and true way, no 10-step plan to ensure your labor of love, once published, hits the NY Times Bestseller list or Amazon's top #100.
So other than tweeting about the epic-ness of our books, and spamming all our followers to hell, what can we do? Hook up your Facebook page to twitter and you'll end up doing the same to those who've 'liked' you.
Kiss followers of both goodbye.
Personally, I think it's better to gain faithful followers. They'll be more apt to purchase your work and spread the word of its awesomeness - IF indeed it's any good.
Now how do we get these drive by-ers to stop by, take a real look, and hopefully like us?
How did you make friends in school? At a new job? At the gym? PTA meetings?
By just being YOU. Genuine old you. Share your personal experiences, likes, and dislikes. Ask the same of them. Find common ground on which to build a relationship. How can we do that in the cyber world? Here's a few ideas ...
1. Blog. Just like this. Throw your own thoughts out there and ask others what THEY think, what has worked for THEM. Visit other blogs with themes that interest you, comment, and be sure to link your siggie back to YOUR blog. Hopefully they'll return the gesture.
2. Facebook statuses can be done the same. Just with less words. But how can we gain 'likers'? I do blog hops & book blasts that include liking my page as one of the entries.
3. Twitter, updates as well. Just with FAR fewer words.
4. Writing forums like Scribophile or Writer's Digest Forum.
5. Blog tribes like Triberr or Book Blogs.
6. Weekly memes like Waiting on Wednesday, Showcase Sunday or Stacking the Shelves can help you find like-minded people who love the genres you do.
7. Join Goodreads and invest some times in groups who appreciate the same tastes in literature as you.
8. Offer to host the author friends you make at your own blog. Promo posts. Blog tours. Guest posts. Remember the golden rule? Works wonders.
Honestly, there are countless ways out there. This is just what I've done.
As for gaining interest in your work, try one of the 100's of weekly memes designed for exactly that purpose. Ones such as Sexy Snippets or Free View Fridays. Offer sneak peeks, excerpts, and teasers. Do a giveaway requiring entries to tweet or fb / twitter share about your book with THEIR following.
I figure if I can get one person to pause in their 'drive by' and read more than one sentence a week, then I've succeeded. Try something new for awhile. See if it doesn't pay off.
What do YOU blog / tweet / FB update to entice readers to pause and take notice? How did you build your fan base?