While Syntax and Style is all about social marketing online, it’s important that I remind you to not lose sight of your traditional marketing opportunities. You are the epicenter of a potential geographic following of people, people with whom you already have a relationship. Family, friends and neighbors might be in this group.
If you are working on a book, connect with other writers, take a writing or publishing class, or attend a seminar. Organize a discussion group about publishing, or a gathering of writers who write in your genre.
Some of my best contacts and inspiration have come through stays at writers retreats. If you find one that matches your style, it can be an amazing experience to “be among your own”!
In a word, network.
If you belong to any organizations in your community, it’s alright in social conversation to mention that you’re a writer. I find that people are so interested in what the life of a writer is like, it’s easy to soft-sell (which in this case it should be) your books and expand your audience.
If you have a book published already, start hoofing it around to libraries and book stores in your area. Ask to do readings/signings. Go about this with a plan. Map out a strategy. Be organized and methodical. Most importantly, always be gracious. I have read to a room of thirty and to a room of three. I gave it my all both times!
Contact local print newspapers and magazines and ask if they’d like to profile you. Surprisingly, if you write the article, often (because they are all short on staff), that’s all it takes for them to print it. I’ve had that experience (writing my own article about myself) as well as a phone interview. And there was a time when I was emailed a set of questions, which I answered and emailed back — a virtual interview. The article was printed word for word. And somehow, that article began on the front page of the paper.
What you want to do is create a ripple that generates out from you and where you live and gradually grows by word of mouth.
Communities take pride in having writers in their midst. The written word still fascinates. This works to your marketing advantage. It’s a win/win.