It's become so widely used that it's actually a verb in almost everyone's vocabulary: to look something up online is to Google it. While Google is inarguably in almost everyone's life, it's more than just a massive search engine. The Google company is actually very pro-small business, and they offer a variety of tools that are great helps with book marketing and promotions. How many of these are you taking advantage of when promoting your books?
If you're not using this online resource, you're missing out on some serious organizational help. Schedule appointments, book marketing tasks, cover reveals or anything else in blocks of time, and Google will remember it for you. Set up your release schedule a year ahead of time. Create alerts for advertising deadlines. Google Calendar will carry over the schedule onto any Android device you own, so you'll get schedule alerts on your phone and tablet, as well.
Google Analytics and Keyword Tools
The only way to measure the effectiveness of your author website is to figure out how much traffic you're getting. Google analytics will not only show you how many people are coming to your site, it will also break it down into categories such as where they linked from and what country they live in. The keyword tool and other author related tools associated with adwords can be extremely valuable in deternining what adn how much people are searching for at any givin time.
This little tool might seem insignificant, but it can let you know details it would take you hours to dig out. Set an alert for every topic you're interested in, and Google will send you a Gmail once a day showing you all the instances where your search term showed up online that day. Search for your pen name, your book title, your book niche, your competition, whatever you need to keep current on. Find out who's commenting about your writing. See discussions you should join in on. Stay up to date without searching half the day.
Google Apps for Business
Grouped together in one place, this suite of apps can be a crucial addition to your marketing toolkit. Use Google Groups for collaboration discussions, Gmail for all your email needs, Google Docs for a convenient writing space that carries over onto every computer you use, and Google Sites for web development.
SEO is all-important when it comes to marketing today, and keywords are the key, so to speak, to search engine optimization. If your author website and blog aren't optimized for the right keywords, you're missing out on a lot of traffic that might visit and buy your books. Use Google Insights to find out which keywords are hot and which ones are duds. You can find hidden gems in underused keywords and learn the overplayed ones you can avoid. This tool alone is almost guaranteed to bring in more readers and more sales to your book catalog.
Keep the Faith and May the Force be with You!