Book Marketing is Dead is a free downloadable book by indie author and guru Derek Murphy (available here). The thesis of his book is that the old way of book marketing–hiring publicists, sending out press releases, going to book signings or on book tours, and, except in very limited circumstances, advertising–is no longer the way to sell independently published books, if it ever was. The new way to sell books is by building relationships with readers, potential readers, and other authors in your genre, and he explains how to do this.
I’m not going to spend a huge amount of time explaining Murphy’s methods–after all, the book is free and available now!–but his belief is that 1) most indie books don’t sell because the authors haven’t gotten the basics right, 2) once you have the basics down, you need to build a book selling platform of a website and various social media accounts (not all of them, just one or two that fit you and that you can commit to), and 3) promoting–not marketing–your books and your brand is how to get sales. In his view, most advertising is a waste of time and money, although he does discuss the limited circumstances in which advertising can be beneficial.
Book Marketing is Dead is stuffed full of helpful tips and advice. Now I’ve read Derek Murphy’s website for years, so I’ve read a lot of this stuff before, but quite a bit was new to me. Even for the stuff I already knew, it’s helpful to have it all in one place. I highly recommend that any indie author wondering why their marketing efforts aren’t actually selling books download this now. Or even better, before you spend any money on marketing at all.