As a writer, you've almost certainly been bombarded with promotions from people who want to sell you their publicity services--sending out press releases, mass mailings, print or online advertising. Take it from someone who's tried some of that: It really doesn't help you much, but it sure lightens your wallet.
One way around this is to do your own promotion. Yes, it's work, but at least you're advancing your own cause and not throwing money to the four winds. Let's talk specifically about Twitter at http://twitter.com. You've heard about it. Once upon a time, only birds tweeted. Now even politicians do it. More to the point for us, so do a lot of writers and readers. You must be brief, composing each message in a maximum of 140 characters, which isn't hard once you've had a little practice. The idea is that you get followers and people follow you. If a tweep (yes, that's the nickname for people who tweet) likes your tweet, he or she can retweet to their followers.
For example, say you have 1,000 followers, and you send a tweet. Someone likes what you posted, and they retweet to their 5,000 followers. Suddenly your message is magnified.
I'm not going to go into Twitter in great detail here, but here are a few facts to know:
--It's easy to follow people and obtain followers.
--It's okay to self-promote.
--It requires reciprocity. If you retweet for others, many will do it for you. Everyone benefits.
Here is a sample tweet I've posted:
Getting Lucky: a gritty P.I. tale bitly.com/bobsanchez #crime #kindle #amazonprime "the plot swerves and turns" 4.6 stars
That's 121 characters, including spaces. (Go ahead, count 'em. I dare ya.) Three people retweeted this the other day, reaching about 9,000 more people. Notice the bitly.com/bobsanchez -- that's a link to where people can buy any of my books. You really, really need to tell people where to buy right then and there, or they won't do it.
I have only used Twitter to sell ebooks, because they're priced so people can buy on impulse.
If members show interest, I will post more information about Twitter and free marketing. But go and explore Twitter. I think you'll find it worth your time.