Monday, January 25, 2010

Author, Google thyself

by Cate Masters

One of the easiest and quickest promo methods is the use of Google Profiles. It takes about two minutes to set up your author profile. Best of all, it’s absolutely free.

What does a Google Profile do?

For U.S. searches, this guarantees a listing on the bottom of the first page of every Google search for your name. This helps a lot if you have a common name. Even if you don't have a common name, it gives you an additional listing on that first page.

Next, set up a Google alert for your name to learn which sites your name appears. Be sure to put each phrase in quotes to reduce the number of “waste” returns that include one but not both of your search terms.

If you find that another person with the same name is an artist, say, you can also put - minus sign in front of the string of words, thus:
-artist
to remove the artist's hits.

Simply using my name usually picks up on reviews too, but you can add those to your alert as well. Again, be certain to enclose the title in quotes to eliminate irrelevant results. Google sometimes is late – sometimes months late – in alerting me to certain things, but those are usually unimportant. Sometimes results can be as boring as reminding me I commented on someone else’s blog, or as cool as the time I learned a reader in Finland loved my short Sixties-era romance, Seventh Heaven. Very cool. Sales of that story spiked after that, whether due to her review, it’s impossible to tell. In any case, it was amazing to find my story had traveled the world.

If you use Google’s Blogger, be aware of the importance of adding tags. Search engines pick up on tags, so be careful which key words you select. Someone who searches for one of your books will be directed to any blog post using the title in the tag field.

If anyone knows any other quick and easy promo tips, please share!

Cate Masters writes fantasy/dark fantasy, historical, contemporary and speculative fiction, described by reviewers as “so compelling, I did not want to put it down,” “such romantic tales that really touch your soul,” “filled with action scenes which made it a riveting story,” and “the author weaves a great tale with a creative way of using words that makes the story refreshing to read.” Visit Cate online at www.catemasters.com, www.catemasters.blogspot.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

1 comment:

Susan Kelley said...

Thanks, Cate, for reminding everyone of this. One of my favorite parts of reading my email every day is checking out my google alerts for my book titles.