February 8, 2009

SPEEDING DOWN THE INFORMATION HIGHWAY

Sunny Frazier here.

When does promotion start?

The minute you take yourself seriously as a writer.

When my first book, FOOLS RUSH IN, came out in 2006, I was a novice at promotion. I did pretty well, but the Internet did not have much blogging or all the websites available for promotion. I felt much was a waste of my time. I had more important things to do than sift through the Internet.

My attitude changed earlier this year. My New Year's resolution was to carefully examine cyberspace. I followed the leads as I came across them. I used many of the skills I learned while working in the Narcotics unit at the sheriff's department, where I tracked down criminals by scouring confidential sites for clues to their whereabouts. The sleuthing techniques I developed are now useful in an entirely different way.

In the learning process, I've isolated three key elements: finding sites, participating on sites and controlling the vast amounts of information.Finding sites is not a challenge. Go on any author's website and check out the links. Links lead to links and the trail seems to go on forever. I check websites to see who reviewed an author's book. I am a scavenger, always hunting for clues to the next opportunity. This requires an eye for spotting potential and discarding what will not help my career.

After checking out a site, I make a decision whether or not to join. Joining means getting my photograph on the page and accumulating “friends.” If the process of joining seems overwrought, I just leave a message commenting on the blog. People reading my messages will see my name and face. Like dropping breadcrumbs, I lead readers back to my own site.

Monitoring traffic to and from sites is a lot of work. The trick is to control the Information Highway so it takes me where I want to go.

I created a folder called “Sunday Work.” I attend to it religiously. All week long I move emails from blog sites to the folder. My Sundays now start with a cup of coffee, the Sunday comics and then I tackle each item in the folder. Often, by opening one site, I can eliminate many of the posts telling me I have messages at the site. I also do updates.

The second document is called “Blog Sites.” As I come across sites I'd like to check out, I copy the link and add it to my list. I also put the list in alphabetical order to make sure there are no repeats. If I post on the site, I put the date and action taken.

If a writer thinks self-promotion takes away from actual writing time, they will be left on the side of the road with a book to sell and nobody buying.

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8 Comments:

At February 8, 2009 at 6:48 PM , Blogger Dorinda Ohnstad said...

Sunny:

While you started your marketing after you had a book to sell, there is value in promoting oneself as a writer before that point. As you said, there are so many options via the internet to network and put your name out there, so that when the time comes that you have a book to promote you aren't starting from scratch.

 
At February 9, 2009 at 6:17 PM , Anonymous Susan Whitfield said...

Sunny, thanks for the post. I'm tangled in sites and can't get up!

 
At February 10, 2009 at 4:39 AM , Blogger Helen Ginger said...

Sunny, you are one organized writer. Wow. How active are you on the networking/promotional sites, like Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, etc? I twitter, but not the others. Each person has to set limits and priorities.

 
At February 10, 2009 at 6:12 AM , Blogger Neil Plakcy said...

Great stuff, Sunny. And you're absolutely right-- marketing starts early. I love your strategy of saving everything in a folder to deal with on Sunday, too.

 
At February 10, 2009 at 1:36 PM , Blogger Kathryn Lilley said...

Interesting post, Sunny! I'm adding you to my watched blog list and will try to do your Sunday-review tip. Sounds like a good one! I like the scavenger metaphor too. That's what we are, trying to learn and improve our skills in the new Internet age. For example, I just learned about Blogpulse over at Murderati. I can't believe I haven't been running those reports up until now!

 
At February 10, 2009 at 9:00 PM , Blogger L.J. Sellers said...

Great post. I have so many websites bookmarked that I never get back to. Your Sunday strategy just might work for me.

 
At February 11, 2009 at 11:41 AM , Blogger F. M. Meredith, author said...

Oh Sunny's been promoting herself as a writer long before she had this book to sell... she just keeps coming up with new ideas for promotion.

Marilyn
aka F. M. Meredith

 
At February 12, 2009 at 5:53 AM , Blogger Ellen said...

I love www.netlingo.com as a really helpful site to help me understand a lot of the Internet.

I encourage everyone to sign up for their free Word of the Day. It's great.

 

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