Ask the Publicist: Sharing the Best Ideas for Promoting A Book

After reading the comments and responses to Ask the Publicist, one thing became very clear -- this is a community with a wealth of eminently sensible/quirky/outrageously inventive ideas about promoting books; about what works and what doesn't.

So let's share. What have you done that's increased sales or gotten your first book off to a great start? What's been a huge waste of time or money?

Let me start with one from Allison Brennan on giveaways:

I've given away over 2,000 books since I've been published. I order extra stock from Author Author (at a steep discount), especially the first book in each trilogy. I send 3-15 books to every writers conference/readers luncheon I hear about (15 is max in a flat rate P.O. box) and I give away copies on FB and Twitter and my newsletter. Another thing I do is win two copies--one for the reader, one for a friend! Then I send to the friend. It costs a bit in postage, but I personally think the best way to find readers is to give them a free book--if they like it, not only will they buy your backlist/future books, but they'll tell their friends. Word of mouth is still the #1 way to sell books, and the one thing you can't buy, but you can help!

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