1. Use a spreadsheet for your social media: I've talked about this before, but it bears repeating. Keeping track of all your social media in one spreadsheet, and what you hope to accomplish on each site every day, hopefully simplifies things and reduces the stress and the pressure. It is much easier to be like, five blog comments, two tweets and one pin a day, rather than just AHHHH SOCIAL MEDIA!!!
2. Learn to make the algorithms work for you: So this is one I haven't even looked at yet, but it's true that algorithms can sell more books than social media can. A good place to start, and where I plan to start, is this blog post on The Creative Penn.
3. Give away something for Free: Free is a magic word when it comes to marketing. It doesn't have to be huge, maybe give away a free ebook for people who sign up for your newsletter or like your Facebook page.
4. Treat your website like a Billboard: People are driving past billboards at 80 mph, and they're surfing the web at pretty much the same speed. You have approximately .6 seconds to grab someone's attention before they're out of there. Make your site beautiful and catchy, yes, but also make sure you have two things immediately clear. 1) Who you are, what you do, and 2) What you want them to do (i.e. books for sale, Facebook page likes, signing up for newsletter, etc.)
5. Narrow your focus: I recently changed the banner on my Facebook page to a quote from C.S. Lewis. I caught myself being hesitant about it at first, and I realized that it was because I was worried that someone would find my page and leave immediately because for one reason or another they had a big thing against Lewis. But then I thought, if they really dislike Lewis that much, then they're probably not going to like me much either. And for people who adore Lewis like me, it will be a point of kinship. Most people aren't going to care terribly much one way or the other anyway, but my point is that if you are, say, a Christian romance novelist, not only shouldn't you waste effort trying to put adds in like a hunting magazine, but also, narrowing your focus down to people who like the same things you do (like maybe C. S. Lewis) still leaves you with a huge audience. Who are more likely to pay attention to you anyway.
6. Listen, don't spam: Think of it this way. Have you ever bought the book of a Twitter friend? Is it because they DM'd you something like, "Hey! Thanks for following! Check out my book on Amazon, now only $.99!"? Uh, probably not. Did you buy their book because you've communicated a few times, bonded over Dr. Who and the drudgery of doing the dishes, and you know you like this person? Maybe...
7. 5 contacts a day: So, to have a really successful book you need more done than one person can do themselves, right? You need reviews and media buzz and maybe an award. It all seems intimidating and nearly impossible until you think of it as 5 contacts a day. If you're self-publishing then you're doing all the marketing yourself anyway, but even if you're traditionally published with a house publicist on your side, your efforts can still have huge pay-off. Send in your book to competitions, get in touch with newspaper book reviewers, bloggers, vloggers, conference organizers, magazine editors, book club leaders, etc.
What other marketing strategies do you employ? What has brought you the most success?