So what about self-promotion? That's where most authors come into the action. They know that their publishers will do little to promote their books. They have the if-it's-going-to-be-then-it's-up-to-me attitude. That means they figure out what will work for them.
Most experienced authors eschew bookstore book signings unless (1) they're already a celebrity or (2) they offer something besides their books. For example, in early 2013, Twila Belk arranged for me to speak on writing for about 30 minutes in Davenport, Iowa—not a major book-buying city. She promoted it and we followed with a book signing. It was one of the better responses.
I've also had a few experiences where I've sold three books in two hours (and well-known authors have similar experiences).
I don't have a particular form of self-promotion; however, here's my advice: Find out what you do well—and enjoy doing—and make sure it's not what 6,000 other authors do.
Many authors are turning to social media—my next blog post.