I stopped by a local bookstore the other day, and found that my books aren't selling in that particular establishment. It isn't a big surprise in this small community, where reading isn't a favored pastime and book sales are down across the board. Also, I haven't been doing anything locally to promote my work, mostly because the literary community in this neck of the woods seems more geared toward dry, folk lit, rather than Sci-Fi & Fantasy. I don't really fit in with the artsy set which dominates the local writing scene, and have therefore focused my efforts online, to sales in far flung places.
Of course, my own introverted personality has been a major motivator toward that end, as well. Hiding behind my keyboard is easy, but shoving myself out there is uncomfortable. I once said "Writing is show business for introverts," and that is more often the case than not. There may be a few flashy, extroverted writers out there, but most of us are more comfortable inside our own heads.
Even so, every writer must step out into the limelight once in a while.
I'm thinking of doing a local promotion, to help stir up interest in my works, though I haven't decided yet. What I have in mind is a book reading/signing held at a local bookstore, where I will read a short story or a chapter from one of my books, truly an ambitious undertaking. I'd also like to give attendees added incentives to purchase my books there, such as free short story extras with every purchase. I could print out a few copies of different shorts I've written over the years, and give one to anyone who shows up and actually buys one of my novels.
This is all in the preliminary (thought) stages, so I can't guarantee anything will happen just yet. I'll have to see if anyone is really interested in attending, and get the word out in various ways. You can't rely on a notice in the local newspaper here, as nobody seems to read those things anymore. I'll need some catchy campaign of leaflets and posters on lamp posts; something that'll be seen by anyone who might want to attend. I'll of course advertise online, but most of my readers aren't within driving distance.
I'm sure this would be an easier thing to set up if I weren't in the backwoods. That's one of the few disadvantages of quiet, country living.