As requested, I'm starting a series of posts regarding social networking and building an online presence.
The next posts will cover the basics of social networking sites, social site etiquette, and tips on using your online presence to network effectively.
For today, though, I'm going to discuss a helpful basic tool: blog readers.
Writing a novel is a creative process, but getting that novel published is all business. So if you want to find an agent and publish your work, it makes sense to keep informed about the publishing industry.
Since you're hanging here with us on the QueryTracker.net blog, you're probably aware that there are many industry blogs and news feeds available online. But keeping track of them can get tricky.
That's why, in my opinion, you need to use a feed reader. If you don't use one already, GET ONE TODAY.
There are a lot of feed readers available, but the easiest to get started with are probably Bloglines and Google Reader. If you are already following the QueryTracker.net blog (i.e. if your tiny avatar is currently smiling at us from the sidebar), you've already got a head start with Google Reader. Once you create a Google Reader account, you'll find all the feeds from blogs you're following on blogger already added to your reader page.
It's very easy to add any other feed you'd like to keep track of... you just click "add a subscription" and type in the address of the feed you want.
You can subscribe to all those fabulous agent and editor blogs, news feeds on books and publishing, and all your favorite authors' blog feeds. If you like, you can organize them into folders like I do. Once you've added all your feeds, Google Reader (or Bloglines, or whatever reader you choose) will watch all those sites for you and compile any new posts for you to read whenever you want.
Fabulous! You can also star your favorite posts for quick reference. Uberhandy.
With my subscriptions, I always feel in-the-loop as far as publishing news goes. If you need good feeds to follow, there are quite a few industry blogs listed on my private blog. Most industry blogs will also have links to other great feeds to check out.
So if you're not already a blog reader guru, go feed yourself! And if you're all over Google Reader already, don't worry... I'm just getting warmed up.
Stay tuned for my next posts covering social networking and your online presence.