Via Boing Boing, some tips for DIY promotion from Jeff Vandermeer:
The integrity/quality of your brand across products affects your ability to gain leverage across your career. Inconsistency from creative project to creative project breeds indecision among readers. Variety between projects, so long as quality is high, may slow your progress but result in rewards that are just as great. But, again, for the long-term, your work must be high-quality. (Your “brand” across time also refers to your public image and other elements that may not always have much to do with your core creativity. However, these elements have impact because reader perceptions are so often driven not just by their opinion of your writing but of you.)
A writer usually has little direct effect on marketing or sales, but can have a huge impact on publicity. To be most effective, you must:
- Understand your audience and the commercial or noncommercial appeal of your creative project. Selling a thousand copies of a nonfiction collection might be an excellent result, while selling a thousand copies of a mystery novel might be seen as a huge failure.
- Understand the relationship between PR efforts and sales, PR and your reputation. The simple fact is, your PR efforts can greatly enhance your reputation without having as large an effect on your sales. Good PR is as much about setting you up for future opportunities and making sure you stay in the public eye as it is about readers making purchases. Studies show that readers may need to hear or read about a book as many as seven times before deciding to purchase it. Thus, a strong PR effort will influence sales over time, but the primary impact is to position you in other ways.
- Make sure to fit the scale of the PR to the scale of the project. You don’t send copies of your saddle-stapled 42-page chapbook on armadillo farming to Publishers Weekly. Nor do you send a techno-thriller to the book reviewer at Armadillo Farming Quarterly. (Except, of course, in the remote eventuality that armadillos play an integral role in the plot.)
Read the rest here.