I recently ran part one of the secrets of how to establish a platform as an author--that is, how to be able to reach people in order to promote your book when it comes out. The first four tips were on that post, here are another four:
5. Focus your press activity locally. There are still quite a few local newspapers and they are the ones that are going to most receptive to doing an article about you and your book.
Read these publications and get to know the names of their reporters. Then target the one you think will be most receptive. Start with a letter or email (I suggest a letter, because hardly anybody sends them any more) in which you tell a bit about yourself, your book, and that you are a local resident. Offer to send them a copy of the book. Or you can do the same with the editor.
6. Give them a visual. Publications are full of boring head shots, so editors are always on the lookout for photos that are more interesting. For instance, I have a head shot of myself with a little stuffed toy gremlin on my shoulder. I use that one when I'm doing a workshop on overcoming your inner critic and the other things that stop people from writing. I have another one with a little Freud doll on my shoulder, for use when I'm talking about creativity. What can you be doing in your photo that relates somehow to your book?
7. Use social marketing. Some authors have established a Facebook page in the name of their protagonist and make their posts in his or her voice. Others do the same thing using Twitter--the Tweets are in the name of their character, who has his or her own Twitter account.
8. Steal ideas from other arenas. As you go through your day, what grabs your attention--both online and offline? What free or cheap marketing methods are other using in any field? Make note of any that you notice, and at the end of the week or end of the month brainstorm how you could apply those to promoting your book.
If you start using these strategies as soon as makes sense for each one, you will build a platform that will really pay off when you are ready to send your book out into the world.
(There are chapters on how to market your writing in my book, "Your Writing Coach," published by Nicholas Brealey--hey, why not ask your local independent to order it for you? More information at www.YourWritingCoach.com.)