I was searching for a friend's website the other day when I ran across some nice comments about him at a blog site. I sent him the link and suggested that he set up some news alerts so that he would know about such comments.
Whether you're a pre-pubbed or published author, interested in a particular topic or have a client you wish to follow, news alerts are a great way to stay abreast of what's happening.
I use both Yahoo alerts and Google alerts to keep me advised about possible reviews of my novels, but it also helps me to judge the efficacy of online press release sites as well as keep an eye out for people who are pirating my books.
I recently had an incident where a Google alert brought my attention to a site offering downloads of the MISSION: IMPASSIONED series in which I participated for Silhouette Romantic Suspense. I immediately sent the link to my publisher's piracy contact.
I also watch for reviews and make a point to visit any reviewer who has been nice enough to read and comment on the book. Word to the wise, however - Don't engage if there's negative comments. It accomplishes nothing and everyone is entitled to their opinion. Just agree to disagree.
How do you set up a news alert? Click on one of these links to some of the news alert services that are available:
You may need to open an account with them and check to make sure the account is free.
You can also sign up for news alerts at your favorite television stations, newspapers and magazines, but these may not include searches for activity on the Internet, such as reviews on blog sites, etc.
Keeping abreast of what's happening puts you one step ahead and will help you to meet lots of new interesting people! Try it out and see!