For authors AND publishers, social media sites are invaluable as free, easy ways to get word out about yourself. You can post events on Facebook, like book signings and radio interviews. You can share reviews, display your latest blog post, and interact with readers.
And with Twitter, it's even easier to connect with thousands of people who might never have known about you otherwise. All it takes are a few well-placed hashtags. You can keep it general, with #fiction, #booknews, and #litchat, or you can go after people who might be interested in specific aspects of your book, such as #fantasy, #legalthriller, #modernart, whatever seems relevant.
From a publisher's viewpoint, the thing we've had the hardest time convincing our authors on is the importance of blogs. Blogs can be a place where reader's learn more about an author's personal interests, or maybe the author takes them through the steps of how they're writing their next book. Maybe the blog is from the viewpoint of one of the main characters, or maybe it has nothing to do with the book and instead is a place where the author can share a love of photography or traveling. Whatever the content of a blog, it serves the purpose of keeping readers thinking about the author. Blogs are also a great place to ask for reader feedback.
You don't have to use every social media site you come across, start small. You're impact can still be great. Check out Scarletta authors that have jumped into the blogosphere. You can also find many of our authors on Facebook and Twitter!
The Inside Look by Lindsay G. Arthur, Jr.
A View from the Windowseat by Penny Noyce
The Pamela Cory Blog