A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!

NOTE: the blog is currently dormant but please enjoy the posts we're keeping online.

Julie Moffet . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Be Alert! - the use and misuse of Google Alerts

Join the authors and friends of Not Your Usual Suspects for an occasional series of posts about their world of reading, writing and publishing.

Short and sweet, hopefully both informative and entertaining - join us at I-Spy to find out the how's and why's of what we do.

TODAY'S POST: I-Spy something beginning with ... BE ALERT!

How thrilled am I when someone gets in touch to say they've featured my book, or made a comment, or - even more appreciated! - reviewed it online. It's heartening to know my book is being read and hopefully liked. It's also an opportunity to bring it to the attention of other readers.

And if nobody lets me know, or I'm not spending much time online? Use Google Alerts to email you when the name of an author or book appears in its common searches.

You can use an Alert for things other than your writing, of course. It can be for news about your work, about events or celebrities you're following. I've used it in the past to keep an eye on a publisher that I was having trouble getting my royalties from, and learned that they were having financial problems.

Here's an easy guide to HOW.


The screen below will appear.
If you already have a Google ID – through your yahoo email, for example – it’ll pick up your email address automatically. Otherwise you just have to type in the email address you want notifications sent to.

In Search query, enter the name of your book. I also add my name, so I don’t pick up too many random combinations from the web:
I’ve set up one for each of my books, and also a more general one of CLARE LONDON, REVIEW.

I keep the other default options –
Result type: Everything / How often: once a day (I don't get that many LOL) / How many: only the best results. But you can choose others from the drop down menu if you want.

At any time, you can go back to the same link and choose to “Manage Your Alerts” i.e. Add / change / delete any searches you have.

Here's what I hopefully get in response, straight to my inbox!

And the MISUSE of alerts? They can be a two-edged sword!

You may have heard of the Review Paranoia: how obsessive we can get with reviews, whether we're searching daily for them, sniffling because we don't get them, gnashing our teeth at the ones that just don't "GET" us, or ... well. You know what I mean :)

Sometimes it's best to step away. After all, you may choose to use your time more wisely and WRITE!

Clare London, Author
Writing ... Man to Man


FUTURE POSTS will cover: ????
We welcome everyone's constructive comments and suggestions!
What would YOU like to see future posts cover?


Rita said...

Thanks for this. My name never pops up :-(

Marcelle Dubé said...

That's a good reminder, Clare. Thanks!

Anne Marie Becker said...

I love Google alerts! I've found a couple reviews I never would have known about without it.

Clare London said...

Poor Rita, sorry if this added to the :-( - but one day, one day!

Marcelle, thanks, I often find people who don't know about alerts.

Anne Marie - yay! Good for you! I seem to get a batch of sports reports every now and then, because a famous commentator in the UK is called Clare, and often reports from London LOL

J Wachowski said...

Shudder. Google Alerts.
I know they're important but for a long time my introvert-self would wig-out over alerts.

Here's my tip--ask a friend to be your alert-buddy. A fellow writer gets my alerts and forwards them when they are important. And keeps them to herself when they are not.

In return, I make her dinner now and then. Sweet deal!

jean harrington said...

Thanks for this, Clare. A good, useful post. And BTW, while I have your ear, thank you, our British friend, for helping us Yanks to celebrate our Fourth of July.

Clare London said...

Jules, what an excellent idea! I think we all have times we could do with that friendly filter.

Jaen - thanks for that :). I'm always happy to celebrate the positive, whichever continent it's on! ( and if it doesn't include English World Cup football *sigh*)

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