By Warren Whitlock
Several times a day I hear from an author who has a book but no sales.
My first question?
What have you been doing to promote yourself online?
Today it is so easy to build a web presence for you and your book. All of the following can be set up in just a few minutes by anyone with an email address, a web browser, and a head shot photo.
Not just for kids, this social networking giant reaches well over 200 million users, with tens of thousands signing up every day. Best known for bands, movies, and television promotion, it’s often overlooked by authors, but in fact, there is a section on each and every profile page for users’ favorite books.
The search function of MySpace.com will let you search on the names of authors or books. You’ll find thousands of people that have interest in similar authors and books. Just click on the ADD FRIEND button below their photo and make a connection.
It’s best not to start a conversation with “Hey, buy my book.” Instead, ask a question or offer a comment on something they care about.
This “friend adding” activity will not sell many books, but a profile with even a few friends will make you easy to find when someone else searches for you.
Each MySpace free account comes with a blog.. a place to post news, articles and thoughts that can also be searched. This is a great place to post links to your other web sites and profiles, as search engines will use MySpace to discover your web content
Show that you are a professional. Join the millions of entrepreneurs, corporate executives, and industry professionals using Linkedin.com.
A profile here is like a resume. Producers, reporters, and others will use Linkedin.com to see if you are listed, and the networking function allows you to reach out to millions through their connections. We often see a listing on Linkedin.com as the #1 result when searching for an author on Google.
Be sure to include links to your business website, your book, and your blog for those that are searching for you.
The hottest spot on the net today is Facebook.com, with 2 million people a week signing up and very little of the distractions found on MySpace.
The average age of people signing up is now over 30, and there are thousands of developers writing free “apps” (software built to work inside Facebook) that will allow integration with Amazon.com, Shelfari.com, news, video, blogs, and other social media.
We now use Facebook to set up groups following an author or book, and last month we landed a new client entirely from a Facebook enounter.
These social networks and online media are replacing traditional channels. Over time, we will see more and more trends come from what first happens here. There are many sites and new ideas coming out daily. Some are more tageted to your niche. We now recommend that all other authors get started now with these three and begin developing digital relationships with readers, other authors, and the professionals who are there looking for you.
When you get to any of the above sites, be sure to invite me as a friend. I’ll be looking for you. You can find me at—–