Any good publicist will tell you– “knowledge is power” (with credit to Sir Francis Bacon).
The more you know about the book industry in general and other authors with books similar to yours– the better you’ll be at promoting yourself and your book.
Enter Google Alerts.
Through these alerts, you can monitor the web for content pertaining to any subject you choose. Sign up (you’ll need to have a Google account) to receive daily email updates or “alerts” with links to stories, news items, and features pertaining to the people and/or subjects that interest you.
Here’s what the Google alert sign-up looks like:
Notice the “query” field is blank. Here’s where to enter topics, book titles, author names or anything for which you want to receive a Google alert. Notice you can customize (using the drop down menus) how often you wish to receive your alerts, how many you want to receive, and to what email address the alerts should be sent.
Next you’re probably wondering what to put in the “query” field. Let me give you a few examples of words or phrases I might use if I just wrote a book about the Cleveland Indians, our city’s baseball team:
- Cleveland Indians 2012
- “New books Cleveland Indians 2012”
- “Book title” (a book similar to mine about the Cleveland Indians)
- “Author name” (an author similar to me who’s also just written a book about the Cleveland Indians
- “Book title #2” (another book similar to mine Cleveland Indians)
- “Author name #2” (another author similar to me who’s just written a book about the Cleveland Indians
Using Google Alerts, I can follow news stories about the team itself which will come in handy for crafting workable pitches (no pun intended) for my book. By following coverage and reviews for other Indians-related books and authors, I can get ideas for where to publicize my own book and what my “competition” is up to. Invaluable!
If you don’t have a Google account, you can easily sign up at google.com
Create alerts at: http://www.google.com/alerts