A lot of authors are facing an even steeper uphill battle with book promotion these days.
The field was noisy last year, this year it's deafening.
Trying to separate yourself from the pack is HARD.
But there are some things to avoid doing, and the very first one is leading with pathos: Hey, I need my book to sell well so buy a copy, please.
Well, I need Idris Elba to show up with sushi so get on that will you?
In other words, what you need is irrelevant to me unless you are me (or my family, client or friend).
And since most of you will be promoting your book to people who are not in your inner circle, think first about why someone would buy your book if they don't know you.
It's a good story is probably a good start. Except don't tell me the story, tell me the hook.
Snippets from good reviews, also good.
And right now, "it takes you away from reality for an hour" is very good.
Linking to something people know about already: If you loved Season Four of The Crown, here's a novel about how MI-5 killed Princess Diana. That would catch my eye instantly and I'd probably buy the book.
Linking to the theme of the book: If you want all the fun of cooking, but no clean up, here's a culinary mystery with murder as a side dish.
Linking to the characters: Need a dashing gallant man in your life, here's Felix Buttonweezer charming Our Heroine in The Great British Baking Show Off Comes to Town.
(there's a food theme here, isn't there?)
Effective book promo is about the reader, not the writer unless you're Nick Petrie and "I have a new book" is all I need to know.
The thing about trying to guilt someone into buying your book is that it's VERY short term. You can pluck my pity strings once, but that's all you'll get.
Promotion should be seen as a long game. Building readers into fans one book at a time.