A useful article, thank you for posting. One of my rallying calls is 'Make them have it', by which I mean persevere with promoting yourself through querying agents and generally getting your name out there. Advertising, marketing, promotion, whatever you want to call it, is a tricky area. The quandary is summed up in the saying, 'Half of the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.'
Having managed and owned several businesses, the one form of advertising that I would say is largely a waste of money is printing flyers to hand out. This is the easiest and most affordable form of promoting an event or product, so a lot of people do it, but it produced negligible returns for me. The huge size of the advertising banners at Book Expo made me smile, as they looked like the sort of thing found at political rallies. Big works though, clubbing the message into people's minds.
Reading smaller notices requires a person to stop and make an effort, and most don't bother. I found this out when I managed a community centre. Our computer suite needed to be closed for an afternoon for maintenance. The door to it was 15' from the entrance to the building, and I posted 15 notices on the entrance door, the reception booth, signing-in book, walls and even had one sheet of A4 paper dangling from a length of Sellotape attached to the ceiling. Many were vivid with fluorescent highlighter ink, yet still, people knocked on the locked door of the IT suite surprised it was closed. Maybe, if I'd written FREE MONEY or FREE SEX as a header, they'd have noticed them!
Becoming a brand has got to help your books. Simply saying 007, Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket, 50 Shades or Sherlock Holmes identifies what the book is about. It's something that I'm increasingly mindful of with my series of crime novels, that I'm referring to as The Cornish Detective series.
Expensive as it is, some form of advertising your books and promoting yourself as a writer, is essential. As marketing expert Steuart Henderson Britt observed:
“Doing business without advertising is like winking at a girl in the dark. You know what you are doing but nobody else does.”