Set up a following before you have a book published.
It's a great idea! Wonderful advice. It wasn't so much for me.
1. I was trying to learn how to write.
I was not illiterate. But if you're going to write you need to learn things like spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure. Yes, I went to school, I learned basics but things degraded after I was able to communicate and be understood. As long as people get what you're saying, who cares on the technicalities, right? Well, professionalism started me honing lessons learned. I'm still learning to many my critique partners dismay!
2. I was learning how to publish.
I wanted to learn how to do everything about writing. I didn't stop learning plot structure, characterization and story arc. I went back and started learning the history of writing. There's a boat load of information on just learning how to publish alone. But also studying writing and publishing can be overwhelming enough.
3. I was writing.
I couldn't stop at one point. I was a horse running across a field of fire. If I stopped, I'd burn.
4. I wanted to learn marketing before I went out and did marketing.
The times I spent learning how to write, how to publish and while writing, I was learning how to market. I figured if I wanted to market I needed to learn how. Some people just know how to market themselves. Me, not so much.
People kept saying, get a blog, get a fanpage, twitter, get yourself out there! I did make a blog but it has no brand. I did go on my personal Facebook page and say "I'm writing a book..." and readers would say "Great! Where can I buy it?" ...Ughhh... lame.
So my lesson learned was, I'm glad I didn't pour a lot of effort into building an audience when I had no book to give. I believe the get a following before the book is published is great advice when you have a brand, brand idea or a built in fan-base to market to. Because selling a book-to-be experience was too overwhelming for me. Thinking about getting people to follow me on the road to publication was too overwhelming. However, it might be just right for you!