I mailed two copies of The Pet Washer to the editor in January of 2012. The review came out this month. They called The Pet Washer "a prime piece of praiseworthy preciousness." Isn't that sweet!
All of the great press The Pet Washer is getting this month is due to the effort and research I put in three months ago. This is why I recommend pre-release publicity. If you have a new novel ready to self-publish, consider waiting. Send it to reviewers now. Choose a release date 8 weeks away. Let each reviewer know when you plan to release. I think you want your reviews and free advertising to be going off like fireworks right before, during and right after your release date.
How great to release your book and immediately have four or five editorial reviews already listed on Amazon, on your website and maybe even included in your book! Reviewers love advance copies and being part of the excitement of a launch. You may find your book gets moved up in their queues.
Also, take advantage of being a "local author". Local news organizations generally love their local artists and are happy to promote you. They say you can't be respected in your home town, I say phooey! Ask your town to lift you up and I bet they will.
To Do: Seek out the local press and introduce yourself and your work. Ask if they feature local artists. Be prepared to offer a high resolution photo of yourself and your book and be ready to submit paperback copies, .pdf files or ebooks if they are also going to review your book too. Make sure your book, your blurb and your cover are in top shape! (I have learned this the hard way!)