There are literally hundreds of thousands of websites and blogs that offer advice about how to market your book. There is no shortage of information out there. We live in an information age after all. These sites usually offer classes, books, and pay for service arrangements. Big commitments. What I love is a simple list of things to do. Well I found the list and what do you know, I’ve done a few things right already in promoting my book. How exciting!

Tony Levelle has a great article on promoting your book. Much of this article is from Tony’s article called 15 Do-It-Yourself Tools to Promote Your Book.

Seth Godin also has a great article titled Advice for Authors that is a must read.

The bottom line is to practice selling your books one by one. Author and publisher Michael Wiese has been writing and marketing books successfully for over three decades. He tells all his forty-plus authors “Sell one book at a time.”

Instead of trying to sell your book to faceless thousands, find one person who needs and wants your book. Offer your book to that person. Repeat.

1. Start Early

One essential step you can take toward promoting your book begins long before the actual writing of the book. Start building a network of supporters and reviewers three years before the book is published. Use social media sites as well as your own network of writers and potential buyers.

2. Contribute to Web Forums

Every field has at least one or two forums that people interested in your subject know and read. Find and join these forums.

Contribute to them freely. Give advice and reach out. Offer to help others. Put a link to your blog or website in your signature line. When you have a book contract and/or a book title, add the title to your signature line.

Children’s Book Insider is an example of a web forum, but it will cost you a few bucks per month.

3. Start a Blog

Early in the process of researching and thinking about your book, start a blog. Aim to create a genuinely useful body of knowledge over the following 12 months.

4. Write a Remarkable Book

Set out to write a remarkable book. If your book is not remarkable, keep working on it until it is. Give the manuscript to ten friends and ask for honest feedback. Find a brilliant editor through organizations like EFA and pay for their expertise.

A remarkable book will generate word-of-mouth publicity. One person will read it, and recommend it to his or her friends. They will recommend it to their friends. This is the best publicity you can get.

5. Cultivate a Positive Attitude about Book Promotion

Think of book promotion as storytelling. The story you are telling is why you wrote your book, how it can help others, and how the world will benefit from your book.

If you can develop a positive attitude about book promotion, people will pick up on it, and tune in immediately. Some writers resent the chore of marketing. Their attitude seems to be, “I’m a writer. Marketing is the publisher’s job. Promoting my own book shouldn’t be my responsibility.”

Unfortunately–unless you are Stephen King or Malcolm Gladwell–the publisher probably won’t have the budget to market your book. If you don’t promote your book, no one else will.