Ah, if it were only that easy, to chant an incantation or cast a spell. Nope, marketing is work. A big part of the magic, apparently, involves having a web site (something I'm working on). Author Melissa Lopez posted a great article on her web site (which I love, btw). Pay attention to the part about registering with search engines, having meta tags and updating your content frequently to keep those visitors coming back for more.
According to Phyllis Zimbler Miller, authors should use their web sites in a variety of ways to build a bond with readers. Her two main points are: Post the first chapter of your story online to hook them. Second, if your novel has a theme - for instance, domestic violence – post links to organizations supporting that. Phyllis lists examples of missed marketing opportunities here.
Phyllis also provides tips for promoting your stories on the cheap. Starting a blog is a must to keep readers up on your latest news. Networking with other bloggers is also essential – most sites are open to guests (including me), so don’t be afraid to ask. Phyllis lists a few publicity books, but take advantage of free opportunities first. Watch other authors and take cues from them. I’m bombarded on Facebook with author requests, but caution a little restraint in overdoing it. I’ve dropped some authors who just can’t seem to NOT promote promote promote.
Email groups are another way to really connect with readers. Your inbox will be overwhelmed with messages but participating in groups will allow readers to get to know you as a person, not merely a writer.
And, to do a little shameless promotion of my own, I had great news yesterday – Freya’s Bower contracted a short urban fantasy, The Lure of the Vine. More info later. And a little more marketing madness (or magic, if done well!)