After months of scouring the internet, I could not put my hands on the 2 million links various search engines said were available to do my book promotions. First, let me say I perceive myself as an intermediate user of the internet, but maybe my perception was misguided as I searched and realized I couldn't put my pointer on the links I wanted.
The promotion of my book began with submitting a press release (PR) to one of the major PR services on the internet. They tracked how many click throughs received, and I began to think, if so many eyes are looking at the PR on this site and web crawlers (whatever those are?) are picking up the PR for other sites; what would limit me from submitting as many PRs as possible? This was not the only site that provided this wonderful FREE service and the more places I had the PR, the greater my chances of being picked up by "big" media.
My imagination began to go wild, conjuring up that lone journalist who was itching to break the story on the next bestseller. You chuckle! With this PR service, I placed the needle in the haystack but I could improve my chances if many needles were placed. A technique I learned from my days of online sweeping. What is that you ask? If allowed, the more you entered a particular sweepstakes the better your chances of winning as was one man's story where he would send out literally thousands of entries and had won valuable prizes. My odds with sweeping were not that stellar but I do have a few trinkets to show for limited efforts. Hopefully, with my quadrupled book promotion efforts I could have stellar results-dreaming again. Tip 1: There are auto-fill internet form software available and some even designate a few empty fields for your own personal use. A lifesaver when you have to input the PR summary line more than a few times. Tip 2: Don't input your social security number and credit card information because I have read of mistakes made because of the ease of auto-fill.
Okay, I have deviated.
So I proceed to use my internet service provider and searched for "submit press release" and was in heaven when it responded with 2 million sites to upload my PR. I would spend hours determining which sites were free; which maybe more receptive; and which needed me to tweak the PR. Then just as quickly, my dream was shattered. I couldn't go any further than 250 links, Why can't I see or go to the other sites? I contacted my internet service provider to complain and they "allegedly" helped me to fix the browser. That didn't work, so I moved on to the next major internet service provider, and again was limited to how many links I could access.
This time, I levied a stiff complaint about the violation of the freedom of information act, which I think only pertains to government (real smart). Why am I not allowed to access all 2 million-search results containing "submit press release"? It is only right that we have access to all the information on the internet, and not limited by how much or what we can see. Worst of all, we aren't able to refresh the search and to be presented with other links we have not viewed.
I assume, businesses with an internet presence would perceive themselves as having access to the world, where millions are able to view their products and or services, and as a result, their livelihoods would be better-meeting of the minds was just not taking place. And in this world of legalese, SPAM laws limit those who are promoting on meager budgets, and the few legal options we have of putting our product in the market place via the internet; where websites are actually telling us to submit information, our browsers (or internet service providers) are denying us access.
I continued checking the top search engines and kept encountering the same problems. What was most irritating about the search, besides the same links coming up, a few sites would fill several pages of the results with multiple categories. Do these websites have a monopoly on my already limited internet search? It was infuriating, the process was tedious, and now I was livid. Convinced my internet was broken, I was on a mission to fix it. I had another great idea, it was my browser (whatever that is?) that needed fixing and found a website that offered free software to do the job. I was nervous; I could be opening up myself to a can of worms, my husband would kill me for infecting HIS system. With all the scare of viruses and spy ware, I decided to only download what I thought were reputable software and ended up back at the number one software company. Based on their computer evaluation I already had the most updated browser. I was relieved, 1) I didn't have to download anything, and 2) the browser was working.
What was the fix?
I continued my search efforts, going down the list of internet service providers. Alas! I think it's working, I was flipping through pages, upon pages of links, so far I am at the 900th link to submit my PR, hoping my success continues. Though the search results were still littered by a few sites, at least, I was able to bypass them to go to obscure sites to submit the news about my book. The press release may have a huge appeal to that lone journalist working at "big" media, or maybe just one buyer willing to pay a few bucks for a great book. In this day and age, with the proliferation of information, I am happy to have any appeal at all.
Caren A. Adams, freelance writer and author of "Life 101 For the Young and Young at Heart!" ISBN 1-59457-835-4, $13.99 ($7.99 e-book) at bookstores, http://www.booksurge.com and http://www.amazon.com Freely give and freely you shall receive!