One of the best and cheapest ways to get your name and book out there is to trade with other authors. Yup, it is "I'll post your stuff on mine and you post my stuff on yours." First find authors who share a common genre or theme with you - targeting the right audience is key! Play nice and make friends with them! : )
If you want to add your genre and blog info, release date (if not pubbed yet), etc. in the comment section below to see if others would like to trade with you, go for it!!!
Once you have some buddies, then, you can offer to trade one or more of the following:
On blogs and websites:
A 'buy' link to your book and a picture (usually the book cover) to go with it
An excerpt or blurb
Your book's video trailer
A link to your blog or website
Interview (sample questions below)
Guest Blog or Article
Book Review (if you have the time!)
Plug for something (a link to somewhere else - an event, etc.)
Book blog tour schedule
If you have a BTR show (blog talk radio), perhaps you can find other BTR's to trade interviews with.
(Note: you might start a special calendar to write all of your trades down - both where you will be and who you are hosting or posting)
You can also do a 'follow' for a 'follow' (or become a friend) on each others' blogs, twitter, FB, bookblogs, other online social writing communities, etc. It is also very helpful to remember to 'like' other authors' blogs and books on FB, 'like' them on social communities, and re-tweet messages, etc. Take an active role in helping to get someone else's name out there. Remember, "Do Unto Others...."
Okay, one last idea is to trade back matter in your books. Once you have a publishing contract, you might bring this up to your editor - trade an excerpt or your first chapter with an author in the same genre and whose audience is the same as yours, and include those at the end of your book. For those of you who are self-pubbing, find an author who is planning a similar release date as you, and also is tarketing the same audience. So, you might put out a call for someone who is releasing a MG fantasy book geared towards boys in March, 2012.
To help you out with developing content to share, here are some sample interview questions to pose to yourself, so you have several written interviews already done that you can offer your trading partners: (Hint: come up with 5 different interview posts, consisting of 5 or 6 different questions each, so that the same interview is not repeated everywhere)
Where are you from?
Tell us your latest news?
When and why did you begin writing?
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
What inspired you to write your first book?
Do you have a specific writing style?
How did you come up with the title?
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
How much of the book is realistic?
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
What books have most influenced your life most?
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
What book are you reading now?
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
What are your current projects?
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Do you see writing as a career?
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Who designed the covers?
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
What were the challenges (research, literary, psychological, and logistical) in bringing it to life?
Let's help each other out! Cheers! Jan
PS - Just fyi, before you all ask me to be your trading friend ; ) I will be looking for YA/crossover authors with a Feb. 2012 or earlier release geared towards 15 to 24 year old young ladies (light fantasy/romance) - to do promo in Feb. and after. I would be happy to line up things to trade then, so please remember me!!!)
Where to find me:
Facebook: Jan Fischer-Wade
My blog: You are there!