Tuesday, March 3, 2009

It's Never To Early To Start Promoting

Have you already sold a novel? Is your work being promoted on the Internet? If you haven’t sold a novel, have you begun promoting yourself as an author? It’s difficult to calculate accurately how effective your promotion is, but I have found one way that gives me an idea and I want to share it with you.

Google is one of the top search engines I’ve found. When I check my sites and see how people are finding me, the search engine that pops up the most is Google and Yahoo. I think most of you agree that your Internet presence is important. It’s a way to get your name in front of the public as well as your writing. One thing you can do to measure your popularity on the Internet is to Google your name or your book or whatever you want to learn about.

As I’ve published more and more novels and have been interviewed, had my books reviewed, donated articles and used the Internet as a promotional tool, my name has grown dramatically on Google. I did a quick search and found sixty-six pages of information about me in each entry and Google had more that I could have found. This means that 660 pages that had something about me or my work viewed by how many people? We don’t know but we know it’s hundreds to thousands.

Do this with your own name and see your presence on the Internet. Are you happy with the results? What can you do to make it better? Can you offer to be interviewed on a blog site? Can you donated an article for a writer’s blog ro website? If you're published, are you requesting reviews of your latest books? Are you being featured on any sites? These are all opportunities open to you by networking with writers and bloggers who are always looking for new information.

Once you see what’s happened in the past, you can learn what’s happening in the future by
having Google send you an alert each time someone writes about you or your name appears on the Internet. Click on this link: www.google.com/alerts and sign up for Google Alert. You’ll be rewarded by learning what’s being said about you on the Internet and who’s helping promote your name or your work. Take advantage of Google Alert. Once you have a grasp of how the Internet can work for you, you can better use it for promotion.


Nicole O'Dell said...

Great tips. I didn't know abotu Google alert. Thanks!

Gail Gaymer Martin said...

Hi Nicole - I'm glad you found it helpful. I've found amazing things that I didn't know when I went on Google alert. People were blogging about my books or about this writing blog. I'd received an amazing award from one of my publishers who have readeres select their favorite author of the year. I was it this year. They still haven't told me, except it was posted on their blog.


Anonymous said...

Thank you - both interesting and helpful. I have a question somewhat along these lines: Would a writer's website be considered a platform?

Gail Gaymer Martin said...

A website is one of the best forms of promotion as long as it's kept current and updated. Having a special feature on a website will draw in people -- a contest, samples of your writing, a journal of your writing journey. Some things can be playful. I love to cook so I have a section called Gail's Kitchen and provide cooking tips and recipes. A friend of mine loves gardening, so she has a section on her garden and other authors' gardens (mine is included). Anything you can do to draw readers curiosity and interest works.


Jody Hedlund said...

Hi Gail,

I've noticed quite a few book give aways on blogs. Usually the blog interviews the author or reviews the book, then asks the reader to leave a comment to enter into the drawing. What do you think of this as a way to promote a blog?

Are most published authors wanting interviews on other blogs and are they usually willing to give away a book?

Since I just recently started blogging, I'm curious about what is the best way to build a blog following. Thank you for this post. It was helpful!

Gail Gaymer Martin said...

Hi Jody - Make sure you set good metatags that will attract a search engine. Your title needs to be focused and catchy. Most blogs work when you have a theme. This one is definitly writing fiction right -- and when people google on topics about writing, my links will come up. Linking with other authors who's blog has topics like yours helps search engines notice your blog and move it up in the ranks on their pages.

Authors usually like promotion so when asked to do an interview, especially if they have a new release coming out helps them so they're usually willing. I rarely am asked to give away a book, but I am once in a while. I would only do this for a blog that has a large following though -- otherwise it's a waste of money for them. So you have to connect with people and let them know you have a new blog -- and make it interesting, then use FaceBook or Twitter or one of the social networks to announce it. I belong to many writers groups and teach writing all over the country so I gained a following that way. My readers learn about my blogs from my monthly on-line newsletter.

It takes time to build a following, and don't forget blogs have to be active. Waiting too long between blogs means you'll lose followers.

Hope that gives you some ideas.