A couple days ago, the coauthor of my upcoming book Writing Fiction For Dummies -- Randy Ingermanson -- and I had a conference call with the marketing folks at our publisher, John Wiley & Sons. It was clear to all of us that the old ways of marketing books are mostly broken -- it no longer makes sense to send out 1,000 copies of a press release or 100 review copies of your new book and hope that the media picks up on your message. Ninety-nine percent of the time, they won't. What does make sense today is connecting one-on-one with people using Facebook and other social networking websites.
The power of social networking-based marketing is that, if done well, you will leverage the time and energy of other people to spread your message. Once you achieve critical mass, it's quite possible to ignite a wildfire of genuine excitement about your products or services -- boosting sales to a much higher level than you could using traditional marketing approaches.
There is an excellent small business guide on How to Market Your Business with Facebook in today's New York Times. The guide is loaded with great advice on the topic and a listing of additional resources to delve into. If you're at all interested in exploring the possibilities of marketing and social networking, I strongly suggest you check it out.