1. Write the Best Book you Can.
Expect to put in some sweat and tears and if you're writing a mystery maybe some figurative blood. You'll need something unique, with compelling characters, a strong author voice and an intriguing plot. You might get away with a weakness in one of these areas, but strength in each is preferred.
2. Book Covers Count.
Book covers should convey the mood of your book and spark interest in the reader. A judgement is made on your book before the cover is even opened, so make it work for you. Think also about where your cover will be viewed, not just on a hard-copy of the book in someone’s hands, it may also be posted on a website, so check out what it looks like as a thumbnail image as well as on a full-sized book.
3. Spread the Word.
Word of mouth is the best kind of advertising. There is no better way to convince someone to try something as if someone they know and trust recommends it. Reach out to fellow authors and ask them to read and review your book, or allow you to post about your book on their blog or website. Of course, remember to also give a shout out to their books on your own website or social media accounts in return. The writing world is a community, give as much as you request. Getting reviews on Amazon or other book sellers can go far as well. But only if the reviews are genuine.
4. Do a Giveaway.
Giveaways are a good way to generate genuine reviews - being given a free novel often motivates readers to give it a try, especially if they were on the fence about trying it out in the first place. You can also give a small gift away with a free book, or when someone purchases a book. Everyone loves a free gift! This works especially well when the small gift goes along with the theme of your book.
5. Promote, promote, promote.
Now, this is not an invitation to shove your book down the throat of everyone you meet, but you should use connections you have made to promote your book - and yourself! Use your social media accounts and blog or website to engage with your current and potential readers as well as fellow authors. An occasional link to your book is fine, but you should also share interesting things about you and your life, things you’ve discovered in your research for books, anecdotes that you find humorous or inspirational, and tips or writing ideas. If people grow to love you and your perspective, they will be even more interested in your books. Plus, building relationships with other authors can be very beneficial for you and for them. Above all, just be yourself!