The Beginning and Ending of Marketing
When a writer want to write a book, they will ask at what point to begin their marketing efforts. In traditional publishing, books often take months to get through the system before they are published. While there is no universal starting point for your marketing efforts, it is hard to begin too soon.
In Steve Weber's Plug Your Book!, he includes a relevant quote from bestselling author Seth Godin who says, "The best time to start promoting your book is three years before it comes out. Three years to build a reputation, build a permission asset, build a blog, build a following, build credibility, and build the connections you'll need later."
It doesn't take much for me to imagine all of the authors who moan, "Three years!" As the author, you have the greatest vision and passion for your book--no matter how you publish it. The publisher's attention will be divided with other titles and matters where you can steadily focus on your book. Potential readers need continual reminders about the availability of your book and why it is relevant to their needs. In the case of Book Proposals That Sell, I've seen a steady increase in the sales of this book since it released several years ago. At first the more experienced writers would tell me that they knew how to write a book proposal and had read other books on the topic so they didn't purchase my book until later. When they finally got around to reading it, they realized my unique perspective and the valuable information which it contained--even if they had read other books.
If you are looking for the end point to your marketing efforts for a book, again as the author you will have the greatest passion for your book. If your book goes out of print and your passion for the book has failed, then you can stop marketing your book. Otherwise I would encourage you to continue your efforts--even if it is only once a week or once a month. You never know which one of your efforts will be the tipping point to move your sales rapidly ahead. I continue working to let new audiences know about Book Proposals That Sell and the sales continue to be steady for it.
And if you wonder about the wisdom of giving away your novel online before it appears in print, just check out what happened with Paul Coelho's The Alchemist and this recent post from Book Marketing Guru John Kremer. Possibly it will encourage your efforts.