1. If you’re a first time author and a relatively unknown individual outside of family and friends, don’t buy a single print ad and consider that to be a PR plan.
For starters, there are numerous things an author can do to promote their book that is less expensive than a lot of print ads. Also, a one-shot ad is not going to get you the PR you hope it does. This includes running an ad with Amazon and The New York Times.
2. Do not print advance reader copies and assume you are the exception to the rule that traditional media does not want to work with authors directly. There are too many books published a year and there are certain things media members are looking for, so save your time and money.
* Note: If you are a local author in a small town, your local paper is going to be more inclined to work with you.
3. A nationwide book tour is a bad idea. How many well known authors do you see on book tours?
4. Do not pay for book reviews. I know I’ve said this a few times, but unless your only goal is to see your name in Kirkus, do not buy their Kirkus Indie review.
5. Staying on that topic. Stay away from book awards that have hundreds of categories and hundreds of winners. They fall into the same category as a paid review.