From bestselling author and former writing professor Dave Farland:
If you pay much attention, you’ll hear a lot about writer’s networking. Most of the time, when we talk about social networking, we think about Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, or similar sites. On those sites, I sometimes feel as if I’m primarily linked to other writers. I know from talking to many of you, that you may feel the same way.
Yet it seems to me that as authors, we ought to be spending more time trying to connect with readers than with writers.
. . . .
It seems to me as an author, that all of these resources might be helpful in spreading the word about a new book. Often we will look for ways to advertise—by purchasing television ads, getting books reviewed in newspapers, and so on. But those methods can be expensive, and to be honest, I don’t think that they’re as effective as word-of-mouth advertising. It used to be that newspapers did a lot of book reviews, for example, but over the past decade, most of the papers have shut down their book-review lines, citing the cost of it.
. . . .
So I’m wondering if it would be helpful to educate your fans on how to help spread the word. You might say something like this:
1) “If you loved this book (or any other book) the best thing that you can do for the author is to write a brief review, then post it on Facebook with a link to the purchase site.” The review doesn’t have to be extensive, just something as simple as “I just read the coolest book! Check it out: www.nightingalenovel.com”
2) You can also post your review on Goodreads or similar sites. Here are a few: librarything.com, shelfari.com, books.google.com (use with gmail), anobii.com, weread.com, chapters.indigo.ca, revish.com, reader2.com.
3) Post your review on your own private blog. Sure, it might only have a couple of dozen readers, but the six-degrees of separation principle suggests that your review could help create a domino-effect, one that would eventually help the book get made into a movie or otherwise go ballistic.
4) Tweet about the book to your friends.
Link to the rest at David Farland