Skye Warren has an absolutely flipping brilliant guest blog post on Dirty Birdies called Megapost of Free or Cheap Author Marketing. Skim it, read it, bookmark it, copy and paste it into Google Docs and rename it To Do List. It’s one of those things that it doesn’t hurt to read several times. I have, and now I’m blogging about it. Were I to extract two essential pieces of information from this, it would be:
1. There are things you can do to market your work at every stage of writing.
2. Community is important if you’re going to do the self-published thing.
Point 2 actually ties back into Point 1. You don’t need to be published to start interacting with a community. Sections Readers Groups/Writers Loops are really guides to being a part of community so you can enjoy the benefits of one. And in the end, it just comes down to being respectful and obeying the rules. When you’re part of a community, people will want to support you.
Now, I’d like to get into what can be done at different stages.
Still Writing, Nothing Published
We’ve already talked about one thing you can do: join communities. You’re going to need someone to tell you your crap stinks, so you should probably go ahead and join some manner of writers group.
Reading has always been an essential part of reading, so find a relevant group on Goodreads and see what they’re up to.
This section may be only relevant to Luddites, my apologies to the members of the 21rst Century. You can also get your blog started—or make a new one for your writing—and get everything linked with your Facebook profile, etc. This is actually something I still need to do, along with getting some manner of picture up.
In regards to blog topics, I think there’s a lot to be said for aggregating useful information like Virginia did with her posts of Erotica Reviews and Publishers (please heed the caveat that the publishers have not been vetted).
You can blog about an article you found good and share what you’ve learned (cough cough).
You can talk about books, because if you’re writing I assume you’re reading.
When you release your book
Or are getting ready to release your book, you can submit it for reviews. You can participate in a blog hop, you could organize a group sale with your fellow writers, or if you’re feeling frisky, organize a guest post.
Also, at this point, you should feel a bit more comfortable with your group. I like Skye Warren’s method of networking, where she offers help to people. She’s helped me, and I’ve bought her books, and left reviews for them, so it works!
Getting your name out there
If there’s anything that’s clear about giving your books away: it may or may not work. Skye recommends choosing from your backlog if you do. It’s gratifying to have a bunch of people reading your work, but a free promotion on Amazon might not generate much in the way of sales/reviews.
Participating in anthologies is another good way to get your name out there, and in case of the Paranormal Sex Bundle the money goes to charity!