I think it's true what they say that all the basic story lines have been done before. Our job as writers is to come up with new, fresh ways of telling those same stories, with our own voices, with our characters, and our own points of view. So that being said, how do we sell "our version" of the same basic story to consumers, readers out there in the world...marketing of course.
Even when you go the traditional route of publishing, you can either choose to sit back and HOPE that you're book will sell, or you can take your success into your own hands and market the book. For those of you that haven't researched the traditional publishing process and think that a huge marketing campaign is assigned to you as part of the publishing package with your agent/publisher I think you'll find it's quite the opposite. So, the more you can do on your own in that area, the better chances you have of succeeding.
I was reading an article about marketing (not specifically about book marketing, but product marketing in general) and it applies to book marketing as well. The product (the book) is important-yes! But marketing is just as important. Without having a solid plan in place to market, you're relinquishing your success to "whatever happens". I tried that approach with my self-published book, and let me tell you it doesn't work. For some, yes their book may start to build momentum with word-of-mouth promotion, but those cases will be few and far between.
Here's a quote from the article I mentioned above, and a link to the full article below that.
"Now don’t get me wrong. The product is still very important and is crucial for setting the foundation for any business. The ideal is to how a great product offering along with effective marketing strategies. However, what I’m saying is that exceptional marketing and branding can single handedly take a product from good to great."*
So, think about your book...what are some creative ideas for getting the word out into the world. The more creative and out-of-the-box your ideas are the better. And if you still have no clue of where to start, network with people who may have more experience in the area of marketing. Join marketing groups online, or survey your friends to see who may have experience in that area. Your due diligence now could lay the foundation for unbelievable dividends into the future.
*How to Take Your Product Offering From Good to Great - Without Actually Changing It (Winning The Web-Internet Marketing Strategies)