You want to pursue niche markets because review outlets for books are shrinking rapidly. We're down to two major newspapers with a pull-out review section (NY Times and San Francisco Chronicle).
The beauty of niche markets is that your book doesn't have to be new, but it has to be relevant.
How do you identify niche markets: Find something related to the theme of your book. It has to be a major component (say, about dogs--there can't be just a dog in it).
- The regional niche: Local media love to talk about local authors. Community newspapers, TV stations, especially in small towns are going to be interested.
- The setting of the book can give you a hook. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate, for example, is set in Texas and by a Texas author.
- Curriculum connections can be powerful. (And you can hire curriculum specialists if you're not up for writing that yourself.)
How do you get help from your publisher? Know whom to contact and when. Do it six months before your book publishes.
Even if publishers can't do something like send postcards, they might be able to help you pay for half.
A hopeful quote: "Publishers want your book to sell, just as much as you do."
Facebook and Twitter and other social media networks (Dogster, for example) bring like-minded people together. Too much blatant self-promotion doesn't work, though. Social media is about people. It's not about products.