If you write fiction, presumably you’re doing it because you like fiction. Presumably your readers like fiction, too, or they’d spend their time doing something productive like raking a compost heap or shaving their eyebrows.
Therefore, connect with your readers as simply that: readers. The rarest of all endangered species, and precious beyond measure. The happiest outcome in book marketing will be if you take the view that your readers want to talk to you as a person, not as some kind of culture god. You only get to be a culture god if you’re British and have improbable hair.
Therefore, as an admitted “reader chauvinist,” I believe the most significant thing I have to contribute to the discussion about marketing is not as a writer. There, I’ve certainly been far less successful than others have. But where I’ve been incredibly successful is in finding awesome books to read throughout my life. So I’m going to give my advice from the perspective of an absolutely obsessive and voracious reader with some of the most phenomenally weird reading tastes of anyone you will ever meet.
Here’s how I’ve found books over the years, and what I think writers, readers, publishers, booksellers, and librarians can learn from it. Ultimately, I’m only one largely irrelevant data point, but if the world wasn’t basically a whole mess of data points, there wouldn’t be a world, right?