Most writers know they must be their own publicity managers - scheduling book signings, orchestrating blog book tours, and doing whatever it takes to get the word out on their latest opus. Unless you're the BIG NAME, you can pretty much count on a budget of zippo from your publisher to help you in the marketing. So, what's good, what's bad, and what's ugly here?
Websites and Blogs
If you're a writer, you need a website and one that showcases your interests, gives information on who you are, what you write, and how readers can contact you. You can spend a fortune or do this on a budget. The best time to get your site up and running is before the book is out. Building your presence takes time. Fortunately, with a website, the investment of time and effort is heaviest up front. All the more reason to get this job done before your book hits the market.
Spend some time checking out other writers' websites, noting what you like and what you don't. If you find what you're looking for, contact the writer and get info on who did the site. You'll need a domain name and for a small annual fee, this name is yours forever. Best to get it while it's still available.
Blogs are ongoing and can be time-intensive. They're a good way to connect with other writers and readers. Get yourself a good title that catches the eye and put yourself on a regular schedule - sort of like flossing your teeth. Find a niche you want to blog about and get going. Again, this is best done before the book comes out.
***Put Counters on Both Website and Blog -You want to see how many people have checked you out (hits)
***Link Your Website and Your Blog - You'll double your internet investment
Use the Option function on your email account and create a signature line that includes your website and blog. Add the title of your upcoming novel with the projected release date.
Twitter and Facebook
If you tweet, keep it brief. Once you've told the world you have a new book out there, how do you keep from annoying potential book buyers? If you're writing nonfiction, you can post a helpful tip or hint on your subject every day. Provide a service and you'll get a following.
Include your novel's title or cover on your profile and consider having a page for the book itself. You can ask people to become fans.
And Now for the Question du Jour: How Much BSP (Blatant Self Promotion) is Too Much?
My answer: When it's too much. Everyone has a different pain threshold, but some current practices cause me to grind my teeth. Some of my pet peeves regarding emails:
Including the cover of your novel in your email signature line
Snippets of reviews praising your book
Repeat emails to your Contact List, offering your book for X amount of dollars, plus shipping and handling
What's your biggest pet peeve in the BSP department?