I read a number of posts on Murder Must Advertise about using a short story to help promote your book. They recommended a number of ways to do this. You can mention it on your blog with a link to the story, and then, people who read the story might buy the book. I’ve done this one. I’ve mentioned it on Twitter and probably(not sure) Facebook. It does increase traffic to my website, I think. I have no way to correlate sales to that though. The fact is, I’m not big on my website anymore. I haven’t updated it in eons, and it shows. I’m not sure I want a website anymore. I use this blog more often than I do that.
You can submit your short story to sites that might publish it. Then in the credits, you can have a link to where ever you sell your book (say your Amazon link.) I’ve done that too. But finding and submitting to short story sites is time consuming and they may choose not to publish your stuff. And some of these places are huge, and your story may get lost in it.
Or you put your free short story in your signature line, and post somewhere like, say, Dorothy L, or whatever listserv or website that is good for your genre, and make sure the signature line shows. Yeah, I’ve done that one too. I actually think if you know of a good listserv for your genre, this one works the best because it gives you the biggest exposure for the least amount of time. You are talking to people with a demonstrable interest in your genre, and you are offering something they may want. If you are smart, the post you attach it to is not a read-my-book, read-my-book type, but a genuine and intelligent comment about something already under discussion on the listserv.
What works for you?