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How to Build Your Online Presence: 7 Tips to Get Started

Sep 13, 2008
For writers, an online presence is essential for selling your book-length writing today. The publishing world has changed drastically in the last few years. Publishers seldom support their authors with much promotion at all.

Writers must take the initiative with their own promotion. Now editors are looking for writers that already have a platform.

Having a platform means the author has already built up a following of readers who will certainly buy the book. The good news is that the Internet makes building a platform and growing a readership easier than it has ever been before.

Web 2.0 is all about building relationships. For writers, that means building a relationship with your readers. Your first reader is likely to be an editor or agent.

If you are a writer, it's never too soon to start building your online presence. You can make the leap from unpublished to published with just a phone call or an email. I've had editors tell me that they "Google" writers who they are thinking of acquiring. When the publishing world comes looking for you, you want to be ready.

Here are a few simple steps to help you start building your online presence.

* Register your name
Reserve your own name as a domain. Be sure and use a .com extension. If you need to, use your middle name or initial to make your name unique.

* Register any names of pseudonyms you are thinking about using
Once again be sure to grab the .com extension.

* Create a long bio for yourself
Make it around 200 words long. Focus on reasons a reader or editor would be interested in your work.

* Edit your bio down to 50 words
You will need a shorter version for some websites.

* Set up an account with Twitter.com
Post your profile on Twitter. Tweet at least once a day with reports of your writing activities.

* Find out where your fellow writers and their readers hang out
If you're writing YA, it's probably MySpace. Older audiences have moved toward Facebook.

* Set up an account and post your bio on whichever site your audience favors. Start building a relationship with people on that site.

Follow these simple steps to get started building your online presence.
About the Author
Lynn Jordan helps writers use technology to write and promote better, faster, and easier. Find out how you can make Web 2.0 work for you at Authors Tools Blog
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