I speak to a lot of new authors who are waiting until their book comes out to do some promotion and publicity on it. They do not realize that they are already behind if they wait. Most successful authors have publicity going out about their book long before it ever is available for purchase. You can promote your book before it's finished. Bristol Palins' book is not going to be for sale until later this year. In order to insure that it become a best seller they are starting now.
Right now the media is tracking rumors of the book deal. They talk about where it is listed and how it keeps popping up. Of course there is no official word on the book, the actual title or the release date. IT does keep Bristol Palin's name in the media until her book is released. After all, they can not keep talking about her dance show activities. Now is the time to prime the pump on book sales. Create a desire for the book. If you book is not finished you can do the same thing.
You can begin to do interviews about your upcoming book. You can write articles and then mention your upcoming book. All the planning that is done for book signings will not pay off if no one attends them. You have to create desire. Are you unsure of your self-published release date? My advice is to set your date and work with that. If something happens and you do not reach your goal date, then you can make a new plan. A book is only considered new the first four months is for sale. That is why many Amazon best sellers are still pushing their books months later. You must realize the clock starts before the book actually is available. As soon as you know you have a book coming out, you must promote it. When you look at your budget for your book, you must include a marketing and PR budget. Without marketing you book will not sell. The dream of selling 10,000 books from the trunk of your car has a level of dedication that almost no one has.
By creating a marketing budget, you make it easy for those who want your book to find it and buy it. By creating marketing you can get the price you want for the book.
By spending money on marketing you position your book and create branding that would otherwise be missed.