Marketing: you're doing it wrong

To many authors, marketing is a four-letter word. And among those who hate it, plenty have thrown in the towel all together. The most common complaint I hear is that nothing works.
"I tried marketing techniques X, Y, & Z and still couldn't get anyone to buy my book."
And therein lies the problem. You shouldn't be trying to get just anyone to buy your book. That would be a complete and total waste of time. And while we're at it, you really shouldn't be trying to get people to buy your book.

Now you might be asking, "Um, Sarah, isn't that what marketing is?" Well, yes, but mostly no. Let me explain.
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Hopefully, when you wrote your book, you had a reader in mind. You may have thought that fans of another book would really enjoy yours. Or maybe readers looking for a new book in a genre with a twist, or a certain character as the lead. You could even have several different kinds of readers who should be excited for your work. 

These are the people you want to market to. And once you find them, the hard work is over. If you've done your homework, these readers won't need to be convinced to buy your book. They won't need a clever contest or snappy interview to seal the deal.

These are your readers and your book is exactly what they've been waiting for. 

Once these readers become fans, that's when they spread the word to others who need more convincing. That won't happen because of a creative guest post from you. That comes from readers talking to other readers.

So stop beating your head against the wall trying to convince readers to give you a try. Instead, focus your efforts on finding the readers who are desperately looking for you.