This is a great blog my cousin introduced me, with an excellent article about getting your name out there:
Posted: 30 Mar 2011 07:00 AM PDTAs I've mentioned a few times, gentle readers, an author's name is a brand, a social currency, a form of capital: it can signal cultural awareness ("Have you read the new book by so-and-so?"), serves as synecdoche for a book's actual content ("Have you read the new Suzanne Collins? Well, she wrote it, it must be good,"), and even acts as a seal of approval (e.g. reviews and blurbs).
So how do you get yours out there?
Well, the most obvious answer is to write a fantastic book that people love. Until then, however, there are a few things you can do to get your name and your writing on readers' radars.
Attend events. There's no substitute for face time, mes auteurs. Attending readings, book signings, panel discussions, conferences, conventions, and other literary events in your genre of interest will not only help you fill out your mental Who's Who, but will help raise your profile among other readers and writers interested in the sorts of books you are.
Write reviews. Just behind talking about themselves, people love reading about themselves. Write reviews of books you love by authors you admire, link to them, and spread a little good karma. The worst that'll happen is your name will be in print or on-line in one more place than it was previously; the best that'll happen is that the author will repost, retweet, link to, or otherwise call out your stellar review, and that can help raise awareness of your name significantly.
Participate in social media. You won't have the time or money to attend every in-person event you'd like, but that doesn't mean you're in any way cut off from the writing community of your choice. Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter allow you to communicate with people you might never otherwise meet, and maintaining a web presence (website and/or blog) provides you a sort of digital storefront for you and your work. Networking has never been easier than with the biggest network (of networks) on the planet: the Internet.
Publish your short fiction. If you write short stories, submit 'em for publication. A nice array of publication credits in print and/or on-line will not only help build awareness of your brand, but may attract attention from agents and editors. Should you decide to go it alone and self-publish your work electronically, you can sell your short stories on the cheap to attract consumers for your novel. Again: worst case scenario, your name comes up more often in print, in conversation, and/or on-line.
Ideas? Theories? Tried-and-true methods? To the comments with you!