This is the primary challenge facing writers in the era of open access publishing. It’s equally true whether your book is being released by a big NY publishing house, a small press, or you are going the independent route. If you don’t have an established base of readers who follow your work, how will you connect your stories to those who would enjoy reading them?
Most of us try the usual things, Facebook page, product website, Tweet yourself silly, blog-on, all of which is good to do but has a limited effect. So you look at what worked for the much-publicized new publishing superstars, writers like Amanda Hocking and John Locke. They were prolific, wrote well… and got lucky. Ahh - there’s the rub.
There’s a serendipity factor in how audiences connect with new writers, which by definition is impossible to control and therefore very frustrating until it happens, at which point it becomes magical and wonderful. This isn’t new. In the old world of publishing, you got a lucky break and found the great agent or the perfect Big Six company to shepherd your work. Or someone somehow got a copy of your new book to Oprah. In the new world you load your book on Amazon and Smashwords, let everyone you’ve ever met know about it, send free copies out to bloggers and reviewers you think might be interested, cross your fingers and start outlining your next tome.
The barriers to publishing have been smashed, Amazon is ascendant, paper is giving way to digital, the world of words is wide open. At some point new marketing avenues will emerge to provide a credible connection between writer and reader. For now all I know to do is write my best work, set it free, hope I get lucky - and start writing the next one.