What authors should do:
- Work on your email signature. It should be no longer than 10 words, including your book's title. Make it zippy and catchy; even counterintuitive with negative reviews ["Fatiguing, pretentious and empty"--Alexander Woolcott*]. You can't keep using the same sig over & over again. You should have either 10 or 365 [!], which respectively rotate on a daily or weekly basis. The trick to managing this is to have a mail management program such as MS Entourage or Outlook, which automatically shuffles the sigs.
- You must draw on a collective. Find authors at your publisher, or elsewhere, who are publishing like books. For example, there's The Killer Year with Jason Pinter, JT Ellison and others. They have a website and a blog, blurb each others' books, get established thriller writers as mentors. They did an extraordinary job.
The day of "I'm going to write my books and be over it" is done. You have to have your collective almost before your book is accepted. If there isn't one, start it. [That's what the members of The Debutante Ball did.] It's really helpful if you talk about others' books.
- Don't talk bad about anybody online. Ever. You don't know who's reading.
- Watch who you're linking to. Make sure they're not nuts or writing things with which you don't want to be associated. Nothing is ever static. You have to tend your site/blog like a garden.
- Don't talk too much on writers' boards or blogs. (One of Reid's favorites is crimespace.) Be there, but don't be the star. If you're writing paragraphs and paragraphs online, you're not [doing your own] writing. Wait 24 hours before responding to a post or an email if it makes you mad, sad or glad, or conjures up lots of any emotion.
- Never assume anything. Someone may not be responding to your email because it went astray, or it got caught in their Spam folder.
- Look for things that you can do yourself. You have to make your own noise in the marketplace. Establish ongoing relationships. Make friends with bookstores. Be a face: go to readings and events, look at websites for staff picks, send congratulations to authors/booksellers/editors/agents for awards they've won. MANNERS COUNT!
- I love BookTour.com! You can bookmark every bookstore in your region. You can plug in your Zip code and find out who's reading tonight. [You can also sign up for weekly email announcements of author events in your area.]