Today I wanna open a can of worms with you folks and chat about:
Yeah, it's sexy. I know.
I bring it up because I was in a really great discussion with a publisher recently about how to make your mark on the Wide Wide Internet Highway without going insane in the process.
Her suggestion was to forget about "selling your book." That's right. Your product is not your book. It is you. I'm having my own personal website revamped to reflect that.
Acquisition Editors troll the interwebs these days to see if you are "out there" already. If you aren't you'd best comment here to start making an impact, then make sure you have a relevant post on your own blog (preferably NOT about what was in your kid's diaper this morning or how cute your cat is cuddled up in a shoebox--make a new blog for that crap), then hit Facebook and Twitter and start interacting with people, posting notices and excerpts (IF they are already contracted and edited).
I also go by the advice I got while setting up my pretty impressive social networking plan for my brewery. BLOG. Often. IT is the hub of your social media wheel of success. Use the outlets like FB/Twitter/Linked In/ Google + as spokes leading straight to the hub. A Blog is where you show your expertise, humor, successes and humbling experiences. ALL of it edited just as carefully as you would a submission. Because it is. You are submitting to the world at large you are an expert on .... writing. I see more cringe-worthy typos and flat out errors of grammar on "writer blogs" than is believable sometimes. Don't Be That Writer.
Treat it like a job--the two hours you devote every day to making your presence known on line. Find and join Yahoo and Google+ groups for outlets to promote and find ways to learn. I would add to that: Reciprocate.
Spend another hour to an hour and a half going to the blogs you like, and even finding one or two new ones via your shiny new group memberships and whatnot. Read and comment. A great example of this is the new USA Today Romance Blog. Read that sucker every day and have Something To Say about the posts. They love it. And you might learn something and/or find a hot new author to read.
The key is managing your time so that social networking doesn't feel overwhelming. Assign it a time of day and an ending. Set a timer. (It's how I do it). Be sincere, useful, and positive in your commentary. But Be There.
Next week--we might look at some sexy men instead of all this boring blah blah about writing, what say you?