When I first started writing, I NEVER thought about promoting or the value of having a web presence. Getting the words on paper and finding a publisher was all that mattered. I just assumed that once I crossed those hurdles people would magically find me and buy my books if they liked what they saw. *Ahem* You can stop laughing now. Seriously.
Despite receiving conflicting results from various promotional efforts, I see the obvious value in promoting yourself and IMO, a website is crucial. Unless you’re Linda Howard (who I really wished had a website), then chances are, if you're a writer, that will be one of the first ways to establish yourself. There are so many other options out there that it’s sometimes overwhelming deciding how you want to brand yourself. And what about all those other social networking sites? There’s myspace, facebook, various yahoo loops, romance forums, and now there’s twitter.
Since I already had a myspace page, I resisted facebook for a while, but eventually caved on that too. Technically I use it a lot more to stay in touch with friends than promote, but I’ve discovered some amazing authors that I probably wouldn’t have known about if it hadn’t been for either of these social networks.
Blogging is probably my favorite ‘promotional’ tool because it’s not really about promotion. A year or two ago I ‘met’ Sarai through a random comment she posted on Romancing the Blog. I followed her link and now I don’t even remember how we started chatting, but we did, and she eventually invited me to join DIK. Through that site, I've met and discovered so many wonderful authors, some I now consider friends. And just recently I met Liane at a local chapter group and that’s how I joined Writers Gone Wild. :)
After my first book came out, I spent all this time promoting but less time writing. I quickly realized something was wrong with that equation. I’ve learned to say no to things that I’m not comfortable with and just do things that I actually have fun with. Finding that balance was difficult and I'm not sure that I have yet, but I'm getting there.
If you’re a reader, what do you like to see your favorite authors doing? If you’re reading this, I assume you like blogging, but what else? If you’re a writer, what have you found most helpful as far as meeting readers?
And now, for some blatant self promotion…Dangerous Deception releases from Ellora’s Cave this Friday. One lucky commenter will receive a free download! I’ll announce the winner Saturday here and on my blog.
Finally, next Wednesday I'll be hosting romantic suspense author Jill Sorenson. Her newest book Crash Into Me was recently featured in Cosmo so don't forget to come back for a fun giveaway!!