I am often asked this question from many authors who are in the process of self publishing or planning to self publish in near future. I am of the opinion that whether the book promotion is done by the professional or it is done by the author, it must be done. The most important result which we try to achieve through book promotion is an online book presence.
There are multiple ways in which it is done and all the means need to be carried our simultaneously. No one will really guarantee book sales but what is really guaranteed is an awareness among the potential reader about a book which may be of value to them. So, the key is to identify the potential readers and then sharing as much information as possible with them. This increases the chances of book sales, which may not take place immediately but it brings your book into the notice of a potential individual or a group.
Making use of online platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Goodreads, Librarything, Wattpad, Pinterest etc is very important because these platforms have millions of people who are potential readers of your book. Targeting them is very important and you can create a set pattern in which you reach out to them and get your book noticed.
Other ways could include a radio interview, a press release or a media interview. Having your book showcased in one of the book fairs (Bologna , London book fair, Paris book fair etc) is also a good strategy.
I would like to touch the traditional way of promotion also where the author may do physical promotion by reaching out to various communities like the schools, colleges, religious gatherings, own community meetings etc. Reaching out to friends and family is also a sure shot way to at least get started.
In the end, we always must remember, a thing is remembered, only and only if, it is seen or noticed by us. The best way to get noticed is being online as you get noticed by millions of readers in an instant.
The writer is S Shekhar, who is an expert in Children’s book and has helped hundreds of authors worldwide in getting published. He is a consultant and authors coach.