Today's Guest Blog Appearance is by David Fingerman. He has shared some of his experiences with online marketing and how it has helped him as an author. Please check out his post below and be sure to visit his website for more information.
Just over a year-and-a-half ago my first book, "Edging Past Reality" was released. To say I knew absolutely nothing about online marketing would be a gigantic understatement. Last month my latest novel, "Silent Kill" was released. What follows is the little bit that I've learned about online marketing since "EPR" and what has worked for me, and what hasn't. I still feel like a dinosaur at the computer, totally out of touch with all the new technology that seems to be bombarding society on a near daily basis. I'm definitely at the low end of the learning curve, but at least I am still learning.
Start a blog. I know, on the common sense level this would rate around a "duh." Keep your blog interesting and make it look professional. I've seen some blogs that read like "Dear Diary . . ." and they are so boring they make my life look interesting (trust me, unless you suffer from insomnia you don't want to go there). Keep the subject matter fresh and update often. One of the best things I've found one can do is what Writers Movement is doing ~ opening up to guest bloggers (soft jazz doesn't hurt, either). This is one of those cases where it's a do as I say not as I do. My blog is part of my website (http://davidfingerman.com) and as you can see if you check it out, it doesn't look all that professional (something I will remedy soon) and I don't update it nearly enough. That might very well explain why some people are having so much success with their blog and I'm not.
If you want to advertise something and don't have a MySpace and a Facebook page yet ~ get one (I know, another 'duh'). I'm guessing that just about everyone reading this already has one or the other if not both, but are you utilizing it them best way you can? Yeah, it's all fine and dandy to play mafia wars and to keep tabs on friends and let them know what you're up to, but these are two of the best marketing sites on the web (in my opinion - there are bunches of others which are also quite worthwhile, but these two seem to be the most popular). It's taken a little discipline, but I have weaned myself off the zoos, the farms, the mafia wars, etc. Instead of playing games, I've met a number of other writers that I am now friends with. We've developed quite an information-sharing network. I've even sold a couple of short stories because of recommendations of writers I didn't know a couple of weeks ago but can now call friends. One thing that didn't work for me was buying ad space on Facebook. The hits on my website went up, but I noticed no new book sales because of it.
Along these lines is open a twitter account. Be a follower and make comments. Soon people will be following you. Tweet a lot, but not only about your book or that will turn people off just as quickly as you telling them what you had for breakfast or other inane things. Make it personal, but keep it interesting. And don't be afraid to retweet. If someone you follow has an interesting article, share it again with your followers.
Are you all way ahead of me? One last thing that I was surprised a number of people didn't already know about were virtual book tours. This is where an author (like me) is a guest blogger or interviewee. As stated above, Writers Movement has opened itself up to this venue. I think it's a win/win situation. The blog site gets fresh new writing and the author taps into a new audience and maybe some new followers (hint, hint).