This is from advice I’d given a young aspiring author, I hope it helps others out there.
You don’t have to have money to promote your book. I don’t either. I promote it by using particular groups on Goodreads that allow authors to promote their work. I also put samples of my work on Wattpad to gain an audience there. I do a lot of interviews with bloggers and some of them review the book.
Building buzz before your books initial release helps also. Networking and building a social connection works, and social media is a part of that. But I suggest you do this network building by sharing common interests with followers on Twitter and Facebook. I’ve found it may eventually get you a sale or two. I have over 1,700 Twitter followers and over 300 on Facebook. I talk about my book only a few times. Instead I talk about t.v. shows and movies. I share my interests with other Facebook people and Twitter followers, which brings more interest to my Facebook and Twitter pages.
I’ve been in this writing/author business both on the traditional and indie side (I prefer the indie side by the way) for 25 years. A lot of it takes patience and perseverance. But networking, making connections with readers, bloggers and other authors on a down to earth level is the key. You can never stop networking; it’s the main thing that will keep you afloat in this business.
Also, if you make a promise to someone keep it. That is rare in this business. It’s invaluable, and paramount. It’s how I’ve been able to preserve and survive this business all these years; because of my integrity to my readers, bloggers, and followers. I always keep my promises and I don’t make a promise I can’t keep. Additionally, the word “No” is a good procurer for you as a writer. It can keep you grounded and relevant when there are people demanding more than you feel you can handle.
There will be haters. Don’t let them discourage you. A thick skin and an even thicker skin is needed for this business. It’s how I’ve maintained my place in this writing/publishing world. Finally; be humble and keep your eye on the prize; run your own race.