This column will be a hodgepodge of ideas because sometimes itâ€™s good just to throw some suggestions out there and see what sticks.
First suggestion is for you to build your own bookshelf on Shelfari.com, in case you havenâ€™t. Itâ€™s just another way to have a virtual piece of your personality out there for all to see, so keep that in mind. And for gosh sakes donâ€™t build a shelf of books that are just your own titles! Build one with books youâ€™ve written, books youâ€™ve loved, and ones you hope to read. The site is social as you can hook up with other virtual â€œpeople page-turnersâ€ and find out what they like as well. Itâ€™s free, and there are tons of groups on there.
The second suggestion is for you to set your books free. Every author Iâ€™ve ever worked with has been tasked by me (in my nicest â€œClean your roomâ€ motherly voice) to take out five books and go to BookCrossing.com, register them with the site, and then set them free. This site boasts over 600,000 members and growing, and books have been caught and released many times over, so why not your book, too? And if you havenâ€™t finished your own tome, then get five books that you love from your shelf (the real one, not the Shelfari one) and register those and set them free.
Not only is it fun to figure out where youâ€™re going to leave the book, but itâ€™s also great fun to see who will find it and what they will write about it on Bookcrossing.com. My daughter released one of her very favorite Manga books and a little over six months later of all things it ended up in Los Angeles, California. (She released it at a bench right in front of the U.T. engineering department building.)
The third suggestion is for you to go to your Facebook page, if youâ€™re a blogger, and rejoice because Six Apart—the creators of Typepad—have released a very cool Facebook application called Blog It that gives users the power to update not only their blogs through Facebook, but also Twitter, and your Facebook status, as well. I read about this today on Wired, and itâ€™s just the coolest idea ever. Scott Gilbertson wrote the story and summed it up best by writing, â€œItâ€™s a bit like turning Facebook into a fire hose that sprays your thoughts across the web.â€
The other benefit is that it will really be a time-saver for all of you who are spending too much time Twittering, Powncing, and blogging.
And Iâ€™m compelled to make a book recommendation (it’s not by someone Iâ€™m doing PR for, so no tsk tsks). If there is one book you need to read to keep ahead of all the trends both in marketing and PR, itâ€™s Richard Laermerâ€™s â€œ2011: Trendspotting for the Next Decade.â€ Stunning!
And if you want to really learn how bad pitches can be, then his blog, The Bad Pitch Blog, is a must read, as well. Youâ€™ll laugh, youâ€™ll cry, youâ€™ll be glad your publicistâ€™s pitch is not on there.
Have a great week, and Iâ€™ll be looking for your released books!
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