So, have you taken a few naps, a few walks? Feel ready to dive into marketing your upcoming novel?
Let us begin with a harsh dose of reality:
In general (and there are exceptions), it is very difficult for a non-famous (e.g., not Hilary Duff), not-previously-virtually-establish (e.g., not The Pioneer Wife), writer to use the internet to ACTUALLY MOVE UNITS of his or her novel. Sometimes it's hard to even give the book away. (Show of hands: How many authors have held a contest on their blog/website offering a free signed copy of their book and had LESS THAN 25 entrants? Truth now...).
So, here you are, asked to support your publisher's marketing efforts while you and they know full well that EVERY author these days has a blog, a website, a twitter, a facebook, a pinterest, a tumbler... It's ELEVATOR MUSIC, WHITE NOISE and a TON of work for the author.
What's an author, especially one with kids, a job, a house full of dust, etc., to do?
UNDERSTAND that just because a marketing effort doesn't move units doesn't mean it isn't valuable. Generating buzz for your book, helping potential readers understand what is beyond the cover, and connecting with independent booksellers and genre-specific bloggers are all things you CAN AND SHOULD DO. While you don't have the power to get books sold, you can have some impact on the way your book is perceived in the marketplace.
So, stop despairing and do two things:
1. Create a time budget: A realistic and honest schedule of the number of hours (and when they occur) that you can reasonably dedicate to marketing.
2. Write a top-5 or top-10 list of things you want readers and reviewers to say about your book. (e.g., Do you want them to call it a "great romance" or a "coming-of-age story"? What book would you like them to compare it to (if you liked FAMOUS NOVEL, you'll love YOUR BOOK).
Just do those two things. Then, wine is nice. Or tea.