The end is only the beginning.
So you finished your manuscript after months or maybe even years of hard work. You've gone over it so many times, you know every word by heart. The editor loves it , you've signed your contract, you've made the requested revisions and your release date is set. Now, you can sit back and relax, wait for the royalty checks to come in and move on to your next book.
Signing the contract and handing over your work to an editor is only the beginning and not the end. Especially if this is your debut novel. The misconception that it is now solely in the hands of the publisher is one many nubies make. The book may be wonderful and a hit, but only if you can market it and yourself in a way that gets the public's attention. Friends and family can only buy so many books, then the onus is on the author to maintain a presence by doing what they can to get noticed and to stay noticed.
With over one million books being offered on sites like Amazon and dozens of new releases every day, it is not easy to stay in the public eye for long. That is why you must start your marketing strategy before the book goes to print or e-book.
A website and or blog showcasing your talent, news and tells the readers a bit about yourself is a great place to start. Becoming familiar with the various social media at your disposal is another. Face Book, My Space, Twitter are all popular venues on which an author can promote their book. While they may seem overwhelming to someone who has never accessed these before, it is necessary.
Ads on review sites, websites dedicated to promotion and in popular romance magazines is another. Mind you, the latter can be costly, so you must also set your marketing budget at the start as well. A book trailer, one you make yourself or have professionally done is another way to get your book noticed. Bookmarks, cards, mugs, pens etc can be made with your cover and given away as prizes for contest or to people attending conferences. Anything that gets your name out there is useful. There are countless ways to promote your book. It is up to the author, in conjunction with the publisher to decide what method is right for you.