One of the most fearful things for a writer is marketing. How to do it, where to do it, when to do it? Those are all good questions and I hope I have some answers.
The how is the most difficult part for me. In today's publishing world, marketing is done mostly by the author. Oh, for the days when the publisher set up book signings, promotions, and breakout parties. I don't know if they ever did, but it sounds nice.
We hear a lot about platform in the writing world. What is your platform? It's hard for new authors to have a platform or to know what it is. You have to become an authority on your subject. If you write about the Civil War, you need to know all you can about it. You need to begin by joining Civil War loops, meet other authors who write about the era, and be visible on the web. Today, the internet is our biggest friend. Facebook about your writing and post on loops. Right now you need to get to know as many people as you can who have like interests. They can be a big asset to you later when your book publishes.
The where as already been discussed, but there are other places you can build your platform. If your area has a historical society, join it. Even if you don't live in a place close to where your book is about, join the group. You will receive contacts, and it will help you later on. You never know what you will learn, and you'll find new fodder for the next book.
Several years ago, I took a hike to Mantle Rock here in Kentucky. I had heard a friend talk about the Trail of Tears going through the area, but I'd never thought much about it. That walk changed my life. Not only did I accomplish a two mile hike four weeks after knee replacement, but I developed a love for the Indians and their struggles. Next in the Melungeon Series is a story about the Trail of Tears. Now I have a something new to add to my platform.
Another good way to let people know about your book is book signings. I went back to Tennessee for a book signing after my first book came out. That's where my story took place. I was amazed at the people who came by and bought books. Any bookstore or event is a good place for any book. People love to read to escape the day to day drudgery.
When do you start marketing your book? NOW! Everything you do with your writing should be about your book. Don't divulge every detail of your book, but sprinkle some interest in what you are doing. Make people aware that you are an author. It works! Don't be afraid to let people know about your book. You are your best spokesperson. Go and conquer.