WORD OF MOUTH!
Sure, the internet has given us authors a global reach, but who are you more apt to listen to? A fellow writer you met in a forum, a cyber-space genre-loving-reader who recommends a book, or your best friend who rants and raves about the latest release from their favorite author?
I'm going to go with those around me. Those who know me. My friends, family, & acquaintances.
THESE are the people we need to use ... er ... have help us promote our books. Let's face it folks, it's not all about who you know - it's about who you know knows. Confused??
Look at it this way ... your neighbors or neighborhood friends might have contacts where you don't - a local bookstore, the library, a coffee shop who enjoys hosting book signings. Perhaps they work at a local newspaper, or their cousin does.
Why NOT ask these peeps to help us out? The more people you have talking about your book, the more exposure it gets.
Make a list of people you know, those nearby and those not so nearby. I'm new to my neighborhood, so I don't have a lot of local contacts. While that makes my local tasks a bit more daunting, my hometown contacts rock. Surely you have a few in your back pocket if you think hard enough.
Small business owners who might have a rack of books for sale?
Neighborhood newsletters? Local papers? Library reading groups?
And let's not leave other authors off this list. Think of those online and offline. Writing groups you're involved in? If you're a debut novelist like me, you'll be relying a bit on those who've gone before to help get that ball rolling. Surely they know LOTS more peeps than you.
There's nothing wrong with asking for help. The worst that could happen is they'll say no, but that's no biggie. You've written a novel and doubtless been told 'no' countless times, yet you stubbornly pushed onward to publication.
Now it's time to take the next step and make that publication successful!
Have other people or places to suggest we hit up for help?
If you're one who's gone before, is there a particular person who helped you the most?