If you want to sell books, go where readers congregate.
In the olden days that meant doing tours with book signings, school visits, and conference appearances. Those things may still work for a lot of people, but if you’re a low-budget small press or indie, expensive tours may not be the best way to make money selling books.
Spending money to make money: It never makes sense, if there’s a better way.
Instead, try finding readers online.
A friend of mine, the prolific new author, Kai Strand, suggested that I try Goodreads.
Since I love to read, I fit right in. I started an account there in 2010 but didn’t use it much until a couple of months ago. Now I’m writing reviews there, keeping my page up to date, and having a lot of fun.
If you decide to get into Goodreads, remember that any direct marketing is often looked down on. In other words, don’t go into a group and leave a post about how great your book is and why people should want to buy it. Most groups don’t care for these types of posts.
There are some groups for authors that do encourage this type of behavior, but they are mostly inhabited by other authors trying to sell their wares. I don’t go there.
Instead I’ve joined a few quality book groups: Coffee and Books is my favorite.
I don’t ask people to buy my book. That’s really sleazy behavior, and a lot of groups totally forbid it because it has been so annoying.
The best way to interact with readers is to be one. Participate in the group, the challenges, and have fun with it.
Get your name out there as someone who reads the books chosen for the month, and someone who writes good reviews.
I’m writing lots of reviews now, and consider that to be plenty of fun.
By becoming one with the crowd you’re not begging for sales. Rather, you’re becoming a friend and companion in the reading life, and people may naturally be curious to look at your page, notice you’ve got an author account, and buy your book. Maybe. Maybe not! But either way, you’ll still be having fun in a group of readers, and readers are the people who buy books.