Here’s some great marketing advice from Amanda Luedeke, an agent at MacGregor Literary (as shared at the ACFW conference, 2013).
Marketing consists of building relationships.
And one great way to do it is to look for niche bloggers and message boards that focus on a topic related to your novel. When you find them, write the blogger a note describing your book and offering to furnish a book for a giveway. Offer to write some blog posts relevant to the readers. Come up with a plan to stay in contact. Oh, and it’s great if you can start doing this about nine months before your new book comes out. But if it’s too late for that, it’s never too late to start.
So, how do you find niche bloggers and message boards? First, look at your novel and all the possible special interests that might be pleased to read it. Scrapbookers? cyclists? homeschoolers? and so on. Picture some of these target readers and generate some descriptions of them. You’re generating a keyword list when you do this. You might focus on age and gender in addition to the special interest in cycling, for example.
Put some of these keywords describing a target reader into Google. Carefully examine the results, drilling down pages and pages if you need to, to find those blogs and message boards. Blogs with small readerships are good too. These often have readers who are very loyal, says Ms. Luedeke. See whether they post the number of followers, or look at some stats on Quantcast.com and Alexa.com. See the site’s major incoming links by typing this into Google: links:websitename.com .
This will help you decide whether to pursue them. Create a spreadsheet to help you organize your findings.
Next, engage the bloggers and their readers. Build a relationship, and keep it up.
Ms. Luedeke blogs on Thursdays at http://www.chipmacgregor.com/ on how to increase your platform.