Growing your presence on the Internet takes time and patience.
After Aunt Alice read your book, you hired a book editor. You found hundreds of companies online available to take your dimes and sell you their webinars, podcasts, press releases, publishing packages, and marketing schemes to put you at the top of the heap as a self-published author. But for how long? At what cost per unit? As a novelist, it's still like rolling a giant rock up a hill when it comes to self-promotion. I've had press releases that went to the moon, I think, because I never got any kind of response. At my book signings I usually spend more on lattes for four hours than the profits I make from my books. Unless I sing karaoke, too. Drunks buy more freely than tea-sippers. My local paper passed on a cover story because I'm not a nationally known writer. They told me to come back when I'm John Grisham. (As a sidenote, my book appeared on the shelf at the Westminster library weeks later next to a book by John Grisham - at which point I realized Barry Hickey would never be John Grisham because there is already a John Grisham). And so I plod on. I use Ping.fm to post many ramblings which then populates to my accounts and friends at Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Blogger, etcetera and I'm on Youtube with interviews and book trailers. My name comes up on page one in every major search engine in the world alongside the archbishop of Perth... But with such an odd name, where else would you find me on an internet search except page one? Keep inviting your potential audience, your newly acquainted friends into your universe, to share the adventure! Inch by inch, step by step your tree of influence will grow. Strangers will discover you one by one. And remember - sometimes, along the way, a Tipping Point may occur where you are discovered by the masses. Fame and Fortune (pays some bills) will follow or perhaps your book will have such an impact that you change some lives in the process. Here I am reminded of my old days as a narcissist - sitting in a tree in India surrounded by hundreds of people wanting my autograph (I was an actor then). As I felt the weight and crush of people below me I realized what it must be like to live day in and day out as a celebrity... It can't be much fun being Tom Cruise, wearing disguises, talking to bodyguards, living with paranoia...
Barry James Hickey
Author of The Five Pearls, Chasing God's River (almost finished with The Glass Fence in January before attacking my outline for The Mermaid Latitudes.