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Create A Low-Cost/No-Cost Media List

It wouldn't necessarily take a publisher or author a lot of time if they wanted to tap the Web to promote their books. For example, say you have a cookbook and you want to keep up with food editors.

1) Spend about an hour with Google trying out different search queries and see what gives you really good results. Is it the query "food editor" "press releases" or "food editor" "contact by" or something else? Grab the best three results.

2) Use Northern Light's alert services to scan their database for the newest results that contain your favorite search words. (Northern Light will regularly run the query for you and send you an e-mail when there are new matches.)

3) Use TracerLock's service, which will scan AltaVista's database for new entries mentioning your keywords (both these services are free.)

4) Pick a really good specific query that pertains to your cookbook - - vegetarian cooking, for example.

5) Again, go to Northern Light and create a "news alert" that will regularly scan their news search engine and e-mail you when there are new news stories that match your keywords (Northern Light has a news search and a regular search engine.)

6) There are several other news search engines that return search results ranked by date, including:

- AltaVista (powered by Moreover)
- Yahoo Daily News (it offers alerts, but you have to be a member)
- FAST News Search
- RocketNews
- DayPop (you can tweak it to show just results from the last day)

While these search engines don't offer e-mail alerts, it's trivial to bookmark pages with queries in them (For example, a Yahoo Daily News query for vegetarian looks like this:

and then use a page monitor program like WebWatcher to track these pages and highlight changes to them. You can pitch editors and writers whom you know -- you have evidence in the form of a story! -- are covering stuff related to your cookbook.

There's a lot of initial time investment involved in doing this, but once you've gathered the URLs together and done your homework, the monitor time is mostly automated.

Tara Calishain

James A. Cox
Midwest Book Review
278 Orchard Drive
Oregon, WI 53575-1129
phone: 1-608-835-7937

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