I asked my publisher the level of sales they were expecting for my book. I did this because I had no idea what they consider a successful book. Sales are, after all, relative. Major publishing houses want thousands of copies sold in a month. My publisher is happy with over 100 copies; 300 copies or more would make them happier still but they don't expect much more than that.
That gives me a range to shoot for which I didn't have before. My focus this week is identifying different methods of promoting my book to yield the 100 to 300 copies a month they want.
Some methods are obvious: they will be interviews and book signings to be sure. Other methods are less so. Giveaways and contests are popular but I need to ask if I need to fund the prizes or if the publisher will. Ideally the publisher would be give away some free copies of the book to generate interest.
I've got a media kit in the works; another way to promote the book is to get this information in the hands of people who review books routinely. Their word of mouth is critical. I could also have the book reviewed, but my publisher is not keen on that and even though they explained their reasoning I still don't see why I can't hire a review service.
Blog tours are another option and press releases and a book trailer are a must. I also have business cards for the book (yes, for the book) and I'll have postcard-size takeaways with the back cover text on the reverse that I can give people in large numbers or leave behind somewhere.
I expect I'll be using social media too. Tweets and forum posts about different things are likely in my future and will an adjustment to my email signature. I've even revised the start of my bio along the lines suggested by another writer who is focusing on book promotion for writers.
I can only hope that all these things -- or at least some of these things -- make a difference. I'll be talking with my publisher more on this subject I'm sure because the road here is murky and unclear. I'll have to experiment to see what works and what doesn't.
In the meantime, I need to keep working on Book 2. Nothing kills a book faster than being written by a one-hit wonder.