If you want to be an Indie author, you need to know how to market. Even if you go the traditional route, knowing how to market is better for you in the long run.
There are many marketing strategies out there and the best one is name recognition. I'm not talking about being Tom Clancy or J.K. Rowlings, though that's the end goal of name recognition. To show you that the name works over all stages of your career I'll go with a lesser known author by the name of Naomi M-B.
Have you ever heard of her? If you haven't then you're missing out! Here's a link to her profile: http://www.bookrix.com/-darkfairy/
So now you heard of her and if you took the time to follow the link and read some of her stuff you're going to remember her name and wait impatiently for her next update. You see, you could hear about the next big release from some big name author that you've never read, or you can hear about the next big release from an author you know and love.
When you know and love what an author has done in the past, you'll want to keep reading her because you know she'll deliver. This is why the best way to market is to write more than one book, each book will lead your readers to the other.
Even better is to write a series, where the reader is not only invested in the author but invested in the characters and the plots. When a reader invests that much, they'll keep coming back for the rest of the series.
Marketing can go both ways, when you market to your readers and begin to build a fan base there comes a certain expectation from them, which will help motivate you to deliver quality writing by your deadlines.
So really, the best marketing strategy is to write well and have a fan base who will tell others about you.
So far I haven't given you any tips on how to actually implement any of that, so I will do that right now.
Do interviews. Maybe you think you have to be invited to do interviews or that you must have a certain amount of notability. The latter is true, but you don't have to be as notable as probably you think.
If you request to do an interview with your newspaper, radio or any other medium you might be surprised by how receptive they are to having you. If you're shy about going live, interviews, like everything else, are done much differently now. You can do it on the phone, email or just classically face-to-face.
Make a promotional trial and post it to YouTube. Don't mistake this for actual marketing though, you'll have to market the promo.
Create an author page, where you can showcase your work.
Give things away for free. Not crap either. Give away something amazing, some of your best works. It doesn't have to stay free forever either. A good way to bring in readers is to give your first book away completely for free and sell the rest of the series.
Be personable and accessible. Let your fans see you as a person and give them access to you on Twitter, facebook and an email address. You may wish to set up two, one for your fans and one for friends and family.
And above all, don't be a spammer. Don't tell people to read your stuff or simply telling people about it who don't care. Know your target audience and what they'll view as spam. Don't try to force people you know to read your stuff either.
Any questions or comments? Feel free to leave one in the comment section below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org