1. BECOME EDUCATED. There are some great books, newsletters and blogs out there to help you. Read and study them. First, my bible of publicity, Publicize Your Book: An Insider’s Guide to Getting Your Book the Attention It Deserves by Jacqueline Deval. Sign up for these e-newsletters: Publishers Lunch (publishersmarketplace.com) and Shelf-Awareness (shelf-awareness.com). Check out sethgodin.typepad.com, mediabistro.com/galleycat and my blog, Buzz, Balls and Hype at mjroseblog.typepad.com/buzz_balls_hype.
2. TALK TO YOUR AGENT ABOUT YOUR PLANS. Your agent should be invested in the success of your book past the contract stage. After all, if it sells well, she’s going to be getting 15 percent of every dime you make. She can be your best advocate in fighting for your book, not just with editing and the cover, but with marketing and sales, as well.
3. FIGURE OUT HOW MUCH OF YOUR ADVANCE YOU WANT TO ALLOCATE TO MARKETING YOUR BOOK AND HOW YOU SHOULD SPEND IT: ADVERTISING, PUBLICITY, A TOUR, ETC. I know some authors who have gotten $25,000 advances and put it all into marketing, others who allocate $5,000 or $1,000. But no matter how much you want to spend—don’t spend it until you read No. 4.
4. BECOME A MARKETING PARTNER WITH YOUR PUBLISHER. Ask your agent to set up a meeting with either your editor or the marketing department of the house or both so you can find out what they’re doing, what they aren’t, and what you can do to help.
5. SIX MONTHS PRIOR TO PUBLICATION START RESEARCHING OPPORTUNITIES ON AND OFFLINE THAT OTHER AUTHORS HAVE USED SUCCESSFULLY. Don’t hire anyone—no matter what they offer—who promises you they’ll sell “X” copies of your book. Every book is different. The best any marketing company or PR firm can do for your book is make potential readers aware of it. The book has to sell itself when people open it or look at it online. Also, don’t hire anyone without talking to at least a few clients who’ve been satisfied with the service.
The Keys to Marketing Your Book