Smashwords author Sarah Burleton, who spent over 12 weeks on the New York Times ebook bestseller list in 2011 with her ebook, Why Me?, told me she did no marketing for her book. The book took off at Amazon and Barnes & Noble thanks to reader word of mouth.
As far as I understand she used the following process:
- Write a book.
- Edit it with the help of a professional editor.
- Give away parts of the book for free (e. g. the first chapter).
- If the work is better than the majority of competing books (which it can be because many writers don't work with editors), readers will notice and buy it.
- Some percentage of buyers will convince other people to buy the book.
What are other self-published authors who
- successfully promoted their fiction books through writing and
- did not employ non-literary resources (like an existing big mailing list, an agent, contacts to publishers, large social network, being a public figure, help from celebrities, expertise in advertising etc.)