I've started with Facebook, which seems like an excellent tool right now. I have a couple of hundred friends on there, so if everyone bought a book, I'd be in great shape. I'm using Twitter, and shamelessly, this blog too. (Want to buy my book? Click here.)
The writing conference I went to in Oregon last summer talked a lot about a writer's "platform" and how big publishing houses are asking writers to indicate they have a big and possibility-laden platform before they will consider publishing their work. It's kind of an interesting concept, actually. There's so many ways to reach readers now than there were even 5 years ago when I published my last book.
One idea being kicked around on Facebook by my writer friends is "virtual book tours." This is a pretty cool idea. As a writer, I'd try to let other writers or anyone with a good following, to let me "visit" their blog. I'd do a guest post, respond to any comments, and then of course use that as a way to sell my book. I actually really like this idea (maybe it's the introvert in me)--I think it would be interesting to get to know others' blogs well enough to write a post in them, and get to know their readers a little bit too.
I'd love to do an actual book tour, too. Corey and I were talking about it last night, and trying to figure out how to swing it. I am thinking about trying for a grant, so we'll see. We'd love to hop on the ferry in the fall and go to Haines, Ketchikan, Sitka, and maybe even Skagway or Gustavus. We love the ferry, and I love the idea of reading in small bookstores, and getting to know some of the writer folks in those towns too.
The lovely news is that I've gotten a few invitations to read in town already. The Alaska Wildlife Alliance has asked me to do a reading in March (not sure if we'll have books in hand by then, so we're working on that); the Juneau Public Library, and Egan Library have all expressed interest too. So that's been really nice, and helpful. And Sara at the UAS bookstore has been wonderful--she's so supportive.
Maybe the coolest moment so far, though, was putting my cover up on Facebook and having so many great comments flood in. I've never felt so supported as a writer before--it was kind of amazing. It makes me think maybe all of this won't be so bad after all. I just need to put it out there, try not to be too embarrassed, and see what happens.