1. Paid targeted traffic to a sales page.
2. Free giveaways of one book, hoping to get paid sales of another.
3. Podcast/radio show guest appearances discussing the book's topic.
4. Get an authority talking about your book.
5. Affiliate marketing--get one of your books included as content or bonus in a marketer's solution package, and draw prospective customers back to you through links embedded in the book.
6. Post on relevant forums, blogs, Facebook/LI groups, Quora with appropriate feedback, linking back to your sales page/Amazon page.
7. Book a call with me to flesh out these ideas in detail.
Build a website and mailing list! Focus on the list - write guest posts, offer advice/tips/tricks, and provide value for people who read your subject/genre.
I suggest first creating a media kit to include all of your book covers with a small 100-150 blurb.
Next, identify companies, organizations and/or coaches/consultants who you can pitch your to for bulk sales. It would be to create a database to collect all of the contact information. A great place to find these prospects is on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Lastly, once you have your database, send them a intro letter to include how your book would be a great marketing tool for their audience, and include a discount scale to show how much your willing to offer off for bulk purchases.
I have written, published, and marketed almost a dozen books, so I know what you are going through. You didn't mention whether your books are fiction or non-fiction, or what the genre of your books is; however, I will try to answer your question for all types.
The social media is the obvious area to promote. This includes Twitter (http://Twitter.com ), Facebook (http://Facebook.com ), and LinkedIn (http://LinkedIn.com ). If you haven’t been taking advantage of these platforms, you should start now.
For any new books, you should trying crowdfunding. Use social media to drive people to your Kickstarter or Indiegogo page. Depending on how much people contribute, they could receive the ebook version, the hard copy books, or the book release party.
Go to Meetup.com and attend meetups related to your books, especially if they are non-fiction.
If you don't have a blog yet, start one, related to your books. Post excerpts from your books on you blog with links to your book page on Amazon. Also, at the back of all your books, post the URL to your blog.
For the non-fiction books, call museums across the country that relate to your book topic and ask to speak to the manager of the museum gift shop. Then ask if they would be willing to buy your book to resell at the museum.
Finally, give speeches anywhere you can to any groups that may be interested in having you speak. Your speech doesn't even need to relate to your book topics. You could talk about writing in general: how you got into writing, how you were able to stay dedicated to writing, how you got published, and tips for anyone who ants to write and publish a book. Then sell your books at the end of your speech. Make sure to tell each buyer of your book that you would appreciate it if they leave feedback for you on Amazon if they are so inclined.
I go into a lot of details on book marketing in my latest book, Write a Book in 30 Days Publish in 30 minutes ( http://www.amazon.com/Write-Book-Days-Publish-Minutes/dp/1515234819/ ). Also, please schedule a call for more information and follow-up questions.
My advice is two fold.
One - go and buy a copy of Traction - http://www.amazon.com/Traction-Startup-Achieve-Explosive-Customer/dp/1591848369/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1455378892&sr=8-2&keywords=traction
The book lists 19 channels to help promote your book and goes in depth offering great examples.
Two - my own piece of advise, consider this a distilled version of what Traction says :)
1. Start writing on Medium - offer pieces from your book and get people to "taste" your book.
2. Start a free course and talk about the same things you have written about in your book - you could scale this to paid courses if you get going and are interested in such revenues.
These courses could be in two form - 1. Recorded videos and tools (could be checklists, templates, or anything else that really helps someone) put together into an eLearning course. You could deploy this course on Udemy and watch people jump on it. 2. Live webinars where you engage with your audience - this even helps in refining your book, if you may.
Amazon Ads, Facebook Ads, LinkedIn Ads, and newsletters. They have all worked for me and my 11 books.
I am not trying to sell you on calling me. Really, I am pretty busy with my businesses and consulting. However, I need more info before I could have a greater impact in helping you.
Ask, Ask, Ask, then Ask again.
Here is $10,000 worth of information for free and in a nutshell.
Concentrate on the 3 M's. There are actually 7, but 3 will do for now. These are Market, Message, and Media. They come in that order.
Who is your target market (customer, clients, buyers, users, etc.)?
Tailor your laser focused message for this target market.
What is the best media mix to get your message to that market?
Here's what you do...first, make it an offer that is so incredible that they cannot resist. Secondly, do all the work for them. Make it so easy to make the purchase now that they can do it virtually without effort. Thirdly, give them an incentive to act right now. Fourthly, offer an almost unbelievable guarantee. Fifth, offer a bonus for acting now. There are many other incredible steps, but these steps should help the novice to the professional sell anything.
Whether you are selling B2B or B2C, you have to focus on selling to only one person. You can actually sell to one person at a time while selling to millions at a time. They are one and the same. Don't get off track, what we call digital marketing selling is just selling in print. And that has not changed since Cluade Hopkins wrote "Scientific Advertising." Really long before he wrote the book.
The secret to success: I have had the pleasure of knowing and working with some of the biggest names in business, celebrities, actors, entrepreneurs, business people, and companies from startup to billion dollar operations. The number one reason for their success is doing what they know and love while doing it in new, creative, and innovative ways.
Ask, Ask, Ask. Have thick skin and learn from each "mistake." In a short while, the market will tell you what you need to do and who and what you need to ask. But get started now even if that just means asking a contact on LinkedIn.
While you are thinking, think big and think of something at least 1% better, newer, or different. And being cheaper is not a winning strategy.
Make decisions quickly and change decisions slowly..unless you are actually going off a cliff.
Remember these two 11 letter words...persistence and consistency. They are two of the most important tools ever invented.
Treat everybody you talk to and everybody you meet (including yourself) like each is your number one million dollar customer.
Bootstrap when possible and reasonable. Read "How To Get Rich" by Felix Dennis. Or better yet just remember the camel's nose in the tent story.
However, sometimes you just need to make a deal.
Listen, in any business you have to take some chances and some risks. Make sure you don't need a license and go for it. Remember, timid business people have skinny kids. Paraphrased from Zig Ziglar.
Best of luck,
Take massive action and never give up.
Michael Irvin, MBA, RN
Write to Market:
1.) Know your target reader
2.) Use the EXACT channels and methods for that reader
There some channels that work for ALL genres:
-- Amazon Ads
-- Facebook Ads
As a beginner I would concentrate on Amazon ads (they are the fastest and easiest way to learn paid advertising!)
As the other experts have already answered here, your EMAIL list is probably the number one marketing platform available, however, if you are a beginner and have no list...
Go get a list!
Email Promotion Sites are probably the #1 way - especially when you don't have your own list yet.
1.) Know your market/target reader...
For example if you are a non-fiction author who writes about business start ups or similar; then BUCK BOOKS will be a very good email promotion site for you.
"The Mother of all Lists" is an email promotion site, with over 1 million readers. However, they are expensive...
But they serve all genres.
But you should be open and think out of the box at all times.
For example, what if you are a Childrens Book author?
Email list building in this genre is extremely difficult (kids usually don't have emails! So your target reader is NOT your target buyer.)
In this case I recommend INFLUENCER outreach and author outreach. e.g. make Box sets of your books with other compatible authors books!
Networking, and outreach with other authors and influencers is probably the best way of all.
I have interviewed many successful authors on my blog, and most of them say, if they had to do it all over again, they would have started with the networking and outreach FIRST.
It works, regardless of what genre you are in, or what product you sell.