Holly Cow what a great network of which to me a member. I only just joined yesterday and already I've picked up tons of good information on how to promote a book. For me the information is simply invaluable because it comes from direct experience and not simply theory.
Self promotion can be a tough job. This is something which which I am very familiar. In the early 90's I was the owner operator of a small Canadian import / export and distribution company. I sourced products overseas which I imported into Canada and the US. I sold to retail chains through their buying offices as well as through a network of independent sales reps and agencies.
At one point I began to develop my own line of novelty and gift ware products. Selling and promoting products manufactured by others was challenging but not complicated. For the most part the marketing materials and market research for those products had already been done by the manufacturer. I found that when it came to marketing my own products I was more insecure and somewhat intimidated about pushing the products.
After a while I came to understand that I wasn't just selling a product I was also selling myself. I had to grapple with those issues which affected my self confidence. I did that in part my tagging along with some of the sale reps I knew and soaking up some of their years of experience. These were people who made a living selling and their livelihood depended getting it right. It's the kind of first hand experience you simply can't buy or learn from reading a book.
One of the nice things about being part of this community is to read about how others go about self promotion. In many ways reading about your experiences feels a bit like hanging out those sales reps so many years ago. The authors who are sharing their experiences offer me wonderful and valuable first hand information which would be difficult to get by any other means. I am grateful and indebted to all those who share their experience so generous and freely.