I tend to blog a fair bit about ways to promote yourself as a writer. I see a lot of writers dip their foot into building their online platform, only to lose interest after a time or become disheartened because they've sat at 13 followers for 3 months.
It's a phase that takes time. I won't say there are no short cuts, but frankly you need to organise your time to allow building your profile, by blogging, Facebooking and Tweeting (I can't recommend MySpace, but there are some that say it has value) and to keep up with your actual writing (no point building a great platform if you never finish that novel). Writing and editing will take up most of your time, and most of us find it hard enough to squeeze that in. So why spend time online? Isn't that what your publisher is for?
Even if you are able to land a publisher, or if you even want one, you will still need to promote your work. You can market directly to your audience (romance readers, children, etc) and I've some posts you can check out with links to help you with that:
However, if you've started out by networking with other writers, you needn't think that was a wasted target. Us writers, I've come to discover, are a very supportive bunch. Whenever I come across one of my blogging friends who has published their novel I buy it. I'm just so proud of them. I also purchase novels from any writers who have run workshops for me. Curiosity and gratitude. Those that can't run up a big bill on Amazon, may not make the purchase but will often promote your book online. I think it comes down to the fact that we all enjoy feeling like we're helping. So do reach out to other writers and blog and tweet. We learn a lot from each other and we're a reliable market.
Now, I'm off to Canberra to attend Nicole Murphy's book launch (in a pub! Yay!). AND extra yay! for school holidays, I can finally spend some time reading everyone's blogposts.