Writer's Digest twittered a great link to an article in the New York Times about book advances. Did you know that 7 out of 10 books don't earn back their advance? Writer's Digest posed an excellent question. What are you going to do to prove to agents and editors that you'll be those 3 out of 10? You have to have a plan. Remember that platform thing? Yep, that's what you need. More than that though, this is where everything I've been talking about kind of culminates and mixes for the recipe of success.
William Bernhardt (NY Times Bestseller several times over) says the best way to get your book to sell is word of mouth. Not signings like you might think (though he still recommends doing them to connect with booksellers and readers).
In comes another thing I've been preaching about, networking! When your book is getting ready to come out, that's the time to gather up all those e-mails & phone numbers, blog, Twitter, Facebook, or MySpace friends you've accumulated and talk your book up. Get people chatting about it to generate excitement. This is where all your hard work on your platform is really going to come in handy. I expect all my friends to contact me when their book is coming out. I'm excited for each of them that makes it over that hurdle and I'll absolutely talk their book up. This will give you someone to do book signings with. Two heads are always better than one!
Don't forget that web site either! Once your book is slated to come out it's time to set one up. Giveaway's and contests on your site are a great way to bring readers in and keep them excited while they're waiting. Give away books similar to yours, better yet, copies of your friend's books. Work just as hard to promote your book as you did to write it and your chances of success will be that much greater!
Here's a link to that article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/12/books/review/Meyer-t.html?_r=4&src=twt&twt=nytimesbooks