There are plenty of so called "marketing experts" in the writing business, who give advice especially when it comes to web or word of mouth marketing. I've gathered up a lot of their advice and have been applying it to my marketing efforts- with some results that my interest you.
First off-experts agree that you should have a blog so that people can find you in the blog-o-sphere-listen to your writing voice and ideas and to build a community of readers around you and your work. This has proven successful for a couple of very famous authors. Also, if you comment on other people's blogs you get more hits in the search engines. In other words if someone types your name into Google-there are more positive results. The theory is that the more positive results, the more people talk; the more people talk, the more positive results until everyone knows your name or wants to know your name.
Second you should join as many social networks as possible so that people can find you if they are looking for you, friend you, and you can easily notify people of your book announcements, reviews and accomplishments.
I decided early on that my goal is to build a community around my website. (www.nancyjparra.com)So I moved my daily blog to my website. I want people to keep coming back to my website for daily blogs, writing articles, reviews and free reads (I have the first chapter of my latest book posted there if you are interested.) I found this successful as the number of daily hits on my website grew. I kept this Sunday blog so I could travel about the blog-o-sphere and read what others were writing and post comments-thus increasing the number of search engine hits on my name. (That said, I have seen no correlation between increased search engine hits and increased website hits.)
Recently I joined Myspace- a social network originally for young kids but now expanded for the world. I am proud to say I have 15 real friends there. It was a couple of days work and a daily on-going search to add friends. But I keep that page as a door to my website-in other words I don't post blogs or reviews or daily musings, instead I ask people to check out my website. Interestingly enough, hits on my website have jumped by a third-just from my efforts in Myspace. Check me out at www.myspace.com/nancyjparraauthor
Thus, from my early results, it appears that having a page in a social network is more productive then commenting on blogs or increasing the numbers of google hits.
For those of you wondering what works and what doesn't when it comes to book marketing, it appears social networks may be the best place to start. Now I know your next question-does any of this actually sell books?
Time will tell. :)