In the new Marketing 2.0 Book I talk about writing and marketing your own book:
"Even though you can publish your own book, is it not better to get a publisher to do the work for you? That depends on your situation. Bear in mind that if you have a small market title many publishers are not going to spend much time marketing it for you anyway. Even the big authors are doing more of their own marketing these days performing book signings, commercials, and or appearing on television shows. If you are going to do the promotional work anyway, why not keep the rights and a bigger share of the profits from your title?
A couple of things to remember when marketing you own book. First, books are judged by their covers. You may have great content, but you have to get people’s attention first. In most cases people won’t even see your cover if it is in the bookstore, only the spine. You have to make sure your spine can catch the attention of your potential customers, not an easy task. I used a professional designer William Good (www.nexdesignstudios.com) for the second edition of the Seven Keys, and it made a big difference in sales and interest even before I had it published.
The second piece of advice is to avoid doing traditional book signings. I remember walking into Borders and seeing a lonely older gentleman wearing a cowboy hat, sitting at a table of his books and holding a pen. There was no one around the table, and I felt sorry for him but did not go over because I really did not want to buy his book about rodeo clowns. Realize that even if the bookstore carries your book and provides a place for signing, they have little time or budget to promote it. If you do something in the store you will need to drum up interest on your own, or create a more substantial event, like a seminar, party or giveaway, to attract attention."
Well, Captain Halloween was spotted at Borders signing his new book in full regalia. Book signings can be tough, but if you do them you should go out like Captain Halloween!