Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Using Google for Publicity

Isn’t Google one of the most amazing inventions of all time? I can find anything there, do anything there. It’s crazy! What did I ever do without Google? I was thinking recently about Google Alerts and how much fun they are. I can find out when someone is posting something new and nice, or not so nice, about me or about BookEnds. I know many of my clients use Google Alerts to track publicity and reviews for their books. But how can Google Alerts be used for more than just spying on ourselves?

Well, hear me out. What if you set up an alert for Regency romance or werewolves or even holistic moms? If those alerts came back, you could contact those Web sites or blogs who have an interest in the same subject matter you’re writing about and try to connect personally with potential readers. Granted, sending them an email might be a little intrusive, but what about posting to the blog or, better yet, offering yourself up for an interview or sending an article you’ve written on the subject?

The possibilities of Google Alerts are endless, and while I feel brilliant for coming up with this idea I’m sure many of you are already doing exactly this. If you are, how have you found that Google Alerts, Google, or other similar Web sites have helped your publicity?



Rebecca said...

I have never actually heard of Google alerts before...but am now absolutely intrigued!

Thanks for the tip.

"e" said...

My first illustrated picture book, The Prince's Diary (Shen's Books, 2005), was named No.1 Valentine's Day Pick by Book Sense. I found out about it through Google Alerts. Surprise!

Tess Harrison said...

I've never used the Alerts function, but it sounds like a great tool. Gmail locks up my computer so I've been nervous about the other functions of Google. So I haven't been able to explore all the possiblities it offers before. But now I'll have to give them a try.

Lesley said...

I've never heard of this one. I just absolutely adore google. Thanks for the tip!

Kimber An said...

Well, it's half-scary knowing I can be Googled, even though I try to stay upbeat in all that I do, but also thrilling when I Google the Star Captains' Daughter and find it right next to a Star Trek novel starring Mr. Sulu! You know, it's been a lot of years, but I still haven't quite got over Mr. Sulu chasing down the corriders shirtless and wielding his sword.
I've never used the Alerts thingy. It'd probably make me crazy.

Rosemary Harris said...

I had a feeling there'd be something cool on your blog. Met you, sort of, at Sleuthfest, and said hello at Malice. Thought you were terrific on your panel, btw.
Thanks for the Google alert.

Cindy Procter-King said...

Kimber An, the Google alerts work great. They come to your in-box, like any other email. Then you can choose to visit the site that includes your alert or not. I have Google alerts set up for both my romcom writing name and my erotic romance pseudonym. The Google alert for CPK let me know the other day that an e-short story of mine was/is the bestseller for its publisher on the Mobi ebook site. Okay, maybe it was only the bestseller for that day, I don't know, LOL. But it was great to get the alert and then click through and find out the news.


Chumplet said...

Holy jeez, as if I wasn't on the internet enough, I now have a tool that hunts for me! Verrry interesting. I think I'll check it out.

Kimber An said...

Thanks, Cindy. I mean I don't think I could handle it emotionally. I have so much to keep track of with my two blogs already.

DianaEnnen said...

Great topic. I too love Google Alerts. I use them like you mentioned to see where my articles and my client's articles and reviews are being posted, but I also use it proactively as well. I send out a lot of news releases and articles, so I will set up a Google Alert on a particular topic and then if a newspaper, website, etc. writes on it, I will follow-up with our own articles. I have found numerous websites that accept our articles this way and they normally welcome our articles as they are on topic.

I also use Google Alerts for knowledge. I'm constantly learning new tips for publicity and by reading what other pros write, I can learn a great deal. One example is your posting. I post regularly on my blog, but hardly ever get comments. I never considered asking a question. What a great idea. I can't wait to try it.

Thanks! Diana Ennen

Marti said...

I love Google alerts! I have my name, the name of my website, my Squidoo lenses, and the titles of my books on Google alerts, plus generic terms like "publishing". It's easy to skip over the alerts that come in that aren't interesting or relevant, and well worth it for the gems I find!

Great tip! Best wishes for a wonderful day!