Authors wait forever to get their books out there for others to read. After so much blood sweat and tears have poured into a project, they have to switch gears and put on a marketing hat. No matter how many authors I speak with (from those that have a big NY publisher to those doing it on their own), each say it's up to the author to do their promoting. We may think "my book is on Amazon, shouldn't people be reading it?" But it doesn't work that way. That book is up there along side thousands of others, all vying for the attention of readers. What sets you apart? Why should people read the book?
If you are not a famous author with a following and a huge marketing budget, you must rely on word of mouth from friends and strangers to help tell about your book. (And in my first week out of the gate - my friends have been amazing.) And how do you get yourself out there to those strangers? Social networking. So much time can be spent on twitter, facebook, linkedIn, goodreads.com - all places to connect to others and just perhaps one of them will click on that link that takes them to your book.
Reviews are very important. Getting those that read your book to post a review on review websites such as Amazon, BN, Goodreads is so key to getting the word out. Many readers will scroll through to see what someone is saying before making a purchase - especially with an unknown author. Also working the internet for bloggers/reviewers/ interviews is such an important way to get your name/book out to people that do not know you. (And what author does not want to be introduced to new readers?)
I know the next few months will be busy as my current novelette being out leads up to the release of my novel Well With My Soul in October, so attempting to get blog tours, readings, signings all set for fall takes much planning as well. But all of it is exciting!
One thing I recommend to authors is to not check those Amazon rankings as God only knows what algorithm they use to come up with that (but if I were an honest Abe - I'd have to admit my internet browser seems to find its way over there to check it out). Perhaps I'll slow down on my need to know how my book is selling...perhaps.