When I published my first book and the whole marketing challenge settled in on me, I felt overwhelmed and baffled. Even though I knew a fair amount about marketing (I had written press releases for clients, knew how to put together a press kit, knew how to get information), I felt pre-discouraged by all the bad talk I'd heard about how impossible it was to get your book out into the world on your own.
I'm a chronic list-maker and so that's what I set out to do. Make a list of all the feasible, practical, and possible things that I could do to market my book and an equal number of crazy, impossible, and impractical (i.e., too expensive) things I could do. But I didn't get very far until I asked myself two questions, which, are, I think, at the heart of marketing.
1. Where do I buy books/art objects?
2. How do I learn about new books/art objects?
Here are some of the answers I came up with:
a. from catalogs
b. from amazon
c. through online searches and the retailers that show up
d. small retailers, including independent bookstores and gift shops (museum and otherwise)
e. Fred Meyer's
f. at workshops and classes I take
b. chance encounter (see it in a shop)
c. looking for something similar to what I already like
So I began to target my marketing efforts in those directions. What would be your answers to these questions?