For every 100 messages or invitations I send out, less than 1 will actually buy a copy, and even fewer will actually read the whole book.
And yet, I seem to be hitting my stride, finally. I have to be in this for the long haul. Instead of the 'desperate struggle' I experienced last fall, I am seeing that I just need to put in a few hours every day, keep lining up appearances, keeping track of new opportunities as they come to my attention, and keep a balance between this work and the other requirements of daily life (keep up with my database contracting work, manage my finances, prepare my meals, go shopping, do the laundry, and get enough sleep!)
I now know that the best way to get the word out about a book is to write another book. Or at least keep up a social media presence, such as make a video for YouTube or Vimeo, monitor my Facebook & Twitter accounts, perhaps establish and use an Instagram account, and so on. Although I don't have all these bases covered perfectly (when will that ever happen?), I seem to be doing a reasonable job of this.
Although creativity is needed for this task, it's a whole different kind of creative effort, when compared to when I was actually writing the book! Each day brings a different experience. Last night, I just happened to fall into an opportunity to mention my book after another author had finished a presentation for her book ("Self-made Woman" by Denise Dubois - see the entry on my Product Blog). I ended up signing two copies of my book that guests bought from the bookstore on the spot! I even had a great conversation with one of them over dinner later after that. I went home with a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
So it goes.
I understand from a report I read somewhere, that the market for memoirs is primarily women. I don't know how true that is, but that leaves me to discover what is the best way to reach women (primarily) who like to read memoirs, without leaving men and people of other gender identities feeling excluded. If you have any suggestions, I welcome them. As I see it, we're all on the same team, eventually. I think people will enjoy and get some tangible benefit from reading what I wrote, and I can keep paying the bills and perhaps write more useful things in the near future.