You can only do as well as you know how. I was a little better than clueless when this whole process started. However, I've been at this marketing fiasco for over a year and I'm more than happy to share what I know with you, my dears. Good luck!
Establish an online presence: Develop your message and establish a website that clearly expresses it. Then, share it. You don't need to be everywhere all the time, but commit time to sharing your message via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, tumblr, or however you are comfortable on a weekly basis. (Insider tip: you can set up an account on Networked Blogs that will automatically post to chosen targets whenever you publish new content on your blog or website. It's free!)
Connect, connect, connect: Talk with people online (and not just about yourself or your books/product). Chat about things that are important. Share things that resonate with you or might inspire, instruct, or entertain others. Above all, share things that others post that are interesting to you. I scratch your back, you scratch mine absolutely applies in marketing. (Insider tip: my favorite days to interact on Twitter are during #MondayBlogs and Saturday #ArchiveDay. These folks are there to share and be shared! And they are very generous. I've also heard great things about Wednesday #wwwblogs and #SundayBlogShare, but I did mention that I have a day job, right? Check them out and find out what works for you.)
Meet Your Public: Plan authory events where you can interact with your fans and the general public. The main purpose will be to sell your product, but if you don't take the opportunity to spread on the charm and win them over, what's the point? In all your interactions (online and in person) be positive and genuine. People will be drawn to that. (Insider tip: Like mama always said, it never hurts to ask. And it really doesn't hurt to ask in a courteous way. You can ask friends, acquaintances, church-going pals, library connections, and work colleagues if they're interested in hosting a book signing, demo, presentation, or book club. You'd be surprised how many will say yes when you ask with a smile.)
Devote time and resources: It's not necessary to spend all of your time and money sharing your message. The goal is to make a profit while still holding down a day job, going out with friends, and keeping in contact with loved ones. Be wise. Budget your time as carefully as you do your money. (Insider tip: I prefer spending my money on pretty shoes instead of marketing. I just thought you should know that.)
There you go! Nothing deep or complicated, just a little of what my marketing guru friend Raylynn Sleight calls common sense. (Actually she calls it something involving No and Sherlock, but you get the picture.) Here's her take on marketing: Marketing Made Simple. Good luck! Feel free to leave a comment and pass along your secrets of marketing success. Thanks, my dears!