V is for...Vikings! Ok, so that's not my whole topic that I want to talk about today. But it's a great example for what I am going to talk about!
When you write a story, it is easy to get lost in the details and have a hard time picking out the topics and genres your piece fits into. Is it a fantasy or sci-fi? Mystery or crime fiction? Or is it both? With this perspective, it is hard to find an appropriate way to market your work.
One thing that is difficult, but not impossible, and will really benefit your sales is being about pull back and see what audience you are targeting. If your story is about a man who accidentally killed his dog and is trying to hide it from his wife, then your target audience enjoys comedy, but maybe not adventure. If you need to, enlist some friends or fellow writers to help you figure this out.
The next part is to use that information to grab the attention of that audience. If your story is about Vikings, leading up to the release of your book, tweet and blog about Viking facts. They don't even necessarily have to relate to your story. Write about common misconceptions that have been debunked. Tweet about interesting Viking names. Talk about the idea of modern-day Vikings. Draw your reader in by giving them what they love! Once you have their attention firmly planted on you, you will be able to expose them to your book and give them what they want to read. Let them see tidbits from your book and let them know how it relates to their interests.
Readers will never buy a book solely on a whim; they have to have a reason to think that they will enjoy reading it. If you have shown potential readers that your story relates to their passions, then you have a better chance of getting them hooked.