I was at a writer's conference last weekend sponsored by Pennwriters. It wasn't large - only about 200 participants - but it is unique in that this group doesn't pander to any one subject or genre. There are fiction and non-fiction writers, poets, screenplay writers, I even spoke with a woman who writes music. If there's a writing segment, it is probably covered in the group.
What I found interesting though, was the lack of knowledge about e-books - or even the use of technology in general as it relates to the business of writing. As I walked around with my ebook reader, my Dana (word-processing keyboard from Alpha-Smart), and my Fly pen, I got a lot of questions about these basic tools.
I also found out that there were a lot of people - the vast majority - who do not have a web presence, know nothing about blogs, myspace, chat groups or other online forums. While I cannot even come close to professing to be an expert, I was most definitely decades ahead of most of the participants. Which is sad. Today's writer can't be content with just sitting down and writing. He or she must have a basic website and an online presence for promoting their work. I admit I am not nearly as well-versed as some of my friends in utilizing this world of technology. I don't have videos or audio clips, but I am learning. Though I do still prefer handwriting my first draft, I also know that there is a world of wonder at my fingertips and as a writer in today's world, I know I must utilize this world to the utmost.
So my question to you is - if you are a writer, what do you find the most effective in promoting your work or, if you are a reader, what draws you to look at a book - whether online or in a store? In other words, what is the most effective promo tool for you?