Any new author (and many veteran writers) is challenged with promoting the release of a new book. The Publisher has some tools, but for the self-published and small press the call goes out to the Author. I have decided to personally celebrate the situation. It places me in control of how my book is represented to the public (and that is a good thing). Thanks to Melange Books and my fellow authors, I have discovered many sites for building my Writer Persona.
Since I was anticipating my first book release, I was establishing myself as well as my book. Under my pen name, I felt like a person with no past. I was creating my new public identity. I began with more enthusiasm than direction. I went to every recommended site that involved books, book reviews, or author pages. I searched for ‘paranormal romance’ and added myself to the highest listed sites. I made my own site with the use of ‘Google’ Sites. It was a fun exercise but not very effective as a marketing tool. I found sites that accepted my book for review (PillowTalkReview.blogspot) and sites with free advertising (The Romance Reviewers). There are a dozen more I submitted my book to, but am still waiting to hear if they will review it or add it to their site.
While ‘generating buzz’ I began to appreciate the term ‘web’ when referring to the internet. Sites link to and cross-reference each other. I was entangled. I established so many free profiles, I started forgetting who I was or where I had been. I felt diluted.
Then I reined my efforts in. A practice I established early on that paid off was keeping a log. In a simple spread sheet I tracked what I sites I opened accounts with and when I uploaded material. It soon became evident what I sites I used most and which I could discontinue. I posted on fourteen sites before I made any decisions. Now, I still have all my accounts and I will occasionally post material or update my info. BUT I chose to focus on the ones that got the most response and that I honestly liked using the best.
On all the sites, I try for consistency in the way I present the books and who I am as an author. Everything from my pen name, cover art, to the actual books are my creation. And I wanted the dedication I have to those works to be present in their presentation online. Good Reads, Word Press and Facebook are the sites I use to discuss/share/promote my writing. Those are the sites I choose to have a real presence on.
The remaining sites are more of a platform for my books instead of me as an author. They are the ‘wide cast net’ that direct the interested reader back to one of the three core sites if they want more intimate information. This hierarchy helps me decide where my efforts are best spent and makes the Internet a little easier to navigate.