All authors, both published and pre-published, need to be maintaining a database -- tracking people you meet, people who email you, people who order your book directly from you, people who attend your workshop or booksigning, people you interview or work with, folks who hand you their business cards, fellow writers you meet at conferences, and so on.
Don’t make it a big deal, though. Don’t spend hours. You can do it as they come in or you can save it up and enter things once a week. If you don’t do it, you’ll lose track of those people. And you’ll lose the opportunity to include them in your announcement of your recent publication. Or your upcoming appearance on TV. Or your book launch. Or whatever you need to promote.
Now, don’t be collecting contact info on people you don’t know or haven’t met. If you send them stuff, you’re spamming. Nobody likes spam - the email, phone or snail mail kind. Everybody likes spam the meat. Or is that just me?
Find an easy way to keep your database. I keep mine on my Palm - not my hand, the device for keeping your calendar and addresses. Other people use their Palm for other things, but mine’s one of the first, ancient ones and I don’t have Internet connection and all the other jazz. I can put in all the information I want on someone and even label the entry, such as Author or Agent or Personal. Get a program where you can create your own categories for sorting.
There are other, newer programs that are even better. This is what I’ve been using for years.
Anyone else have a recommendation for keeping up with your database?
6 months ago