Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Catch Morgan Mandel with fellow bloggers, Margot Justes and DL Larson at Barnes & Noble, 20600 N. Rand Road, Deer Park, IL Thursday, Feb. 7, from 7:00 - 8:30 pm.

Since the Media Frenzy panel was such a great success at Love is Murder Con, and since many questions went unanswered due to time constraints, I'll be concentrating in detail on web promotion for a bit.

One of the basic ways to get yourself a web presence is to become a member of listservs. Listservs are groups formed on the web by people of similar interests. If you do a search on yahoo or google, you can find such egroups, ie listservs, for various subjects, such as pets, politics, books, and almost anything else you can
think of.

You can also find such groups on the ning network at ning.com Some are private by invitation only, but a great many are open to the public. You click a few buttons, answer a few questions, give your preferences and you're in. Some of the preferences concern how much personal information you wish to provide, what e-mail address you wish to use and your user name. The other questions depend on the group you join.

Here are some of the options offered by the yahoo egroups:

Individual e-mails - Just what it says. You get all the e-mails posted by the members. If a group is active, be prepared to be inundated by e-mails each day.

Daily Digest - You receive one or more summary e-mails sent to you (depending on how active the group is that day) These conglomerate e-mails list the individual e-mails from the group members and divide them into categories, so that you can pick and choose which of them you wish to read.

No mail - You can choose this option if you wish to only access the messages from the website for the group, instead of having the messages e-mailed to you. Some prefer this option to keep their mailboxes uncluttered.

After you join a particular group, you'll receive a welcome message, as well as a set of rules to follow. Typically, they're not that difficult. The catch is the rules for egroups vary. It's important to keep track of them. If you don't, believe me you will hear about it by the moderator and sometimes by fellow members.

Many listservs I belong to follow a Monday promo rule, meaning if you wish to do any promotion for your book, you'll do it on a Monday, and start your subject line with the word Promo, so people will recognize it for what it is.

Some groups don't allow promo at all, some only in certain forms.

Some allow excerpts of your book, some don't. Some allow adult content as long as you warn members in the subject line. Some don't.

Whatever you do, if nothing else, follow the rules as best you can. If you join a great number of listservs and have a hard time keeping track of what you're allowed, make a list so you won't do something you shouldn't. People in these groups tend to remember it when you don't follow the rules, so follow them. After all, your purpose to be on these groups is to create a good impression and make people like you, so hopefully the other members will become interested in what you have to offer.

When you're a member, it's hard to keep up with what everyone is posting. It's a good idea to try to pick at least one e-mail you can respond to each day from a group. People like it when you congratulate them for a good review or a new book coming out. They like it when you take special interest in them. You'll like it too when people do the same for you.

These are some of the basics of listservs. The main thing is get on some, make your presence known, follow the rules, don't get overwhelmed, enjoy networking.

Now, I better go to my listservs and check my e-mails myself.
Morgan Mandel

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