Word of mouth remains my most effective means of promotion. The best way to help out an independent artist (aside from buying their records and attending their shows) is to talk about them every chance you get - list them in your favourite music on facebook, express your "pinterest", reblog them on tumblr (whatever it is you kids are into nowadays...). You can request my music from your favorite radio show or podcast, you can find a site that accepts listener reviews and write a glowing one ( iTunes reviews are particularly helpful!), and you can let me know about great music sites you think I should be involved with.
Sharing is good, but give a second thought to file sharing. I personally respect and appreciate a fan's desire to pass along my music to people who will enjoy it, but the relationship between an independent artist and an album sale is a direct one - the ten bucks you spend on the record is ten bucks of gas in the tank. Consider sharing a few songs and encouraging people to buy the full record if they like it, or to come out and spend a few dollars on a ticket to a show. I am mostly just happy you're listening, but I also enjoy groceries and paying off the credit card I used to make the album.
If I'm coming to your town, don't be shy about volunteering. Help with postering in the weeks before the show, suggestions of mailing lists, radio shows, websites, or any way to get the word out is appreciated. There is also sometimes a need on the night of the show for help with taking tickets, selling merch, or any of the various unforseen tasks that inevitably come up. Just email and let us know you want to help!
Bring Amy to your town
I'm always open to suggestions for new venues. If your town has a place that presents performing songwriters or acoustic music, or if there's a concert series or festival you like, let me know.
If there's not a venue in your town that fits, consider presenting a house concert. House concerts are a wonderful way to experience folk music, and not as much work as you might think. There are lots of resources available on how a traditional house concerts runs, or you can feel free to break the mold and do it your way.
You can contact me for an investor package, or with your suggestions and ideas.