We've covered building a website and using Twitter, so the next item on the list for creating an effective online presence and author platform is - Facebook.
Here are some tips and tricks for getting started with your new account:
1) Make use of the profile photo. It sounds obvious but you'd be surprised how many people don't.
2) Be succinct with your interests. And that goes for music, movies and books too!
3) Connect with actual friends (and family of course). Don't add random people. You are showcasing yourself (and your work with a separate Facebook page - we'll come on to this in a sec) so you don't want to be networking with potential spammers and scammers.
4) Know the difference between "suggested friends" and "friend requests". "Friend requests" are ok. "Suggested friends" will list friends of friends you may not even know.
5) Leave messages on friend's Walls but nothing incriminating...
6) Go through your privacy settings with a fine tooth comb.
7) Manage your profile. Potential employers may be checking you out. I tend to think of Facebook as my fun networking and Twitter as my more serious networking, but there's a very fine line here.
8) Ah the Facebook status... There are plenty of rules and etiquette to follow with this - and most people don't. My advice is do what you have to do, but don't make a tit of yourself. I've been there, we all have ;)
9) Be wary of all the applications. I like to keep my profile clean after kicking my addiction with Farmville!
10) Don't "poke" people unless you know them really really well.
I mentioned a Facebook page - I've set one up specifically for my debut novel Little Child, but the choice is yours. You could do the same, or showcase all of your work.
Also worth mentioning whilst we're talking about Facebook is the new Subscribe button. Read all about it here and add it to your website!
Blogging is an amazing concept so here I am giving it a whirl. You'll get words. You'll get pics. Sometimes a vid or two. You'll get tongue in cheek, the odd humble opinion and an honest insight into my travels and writing life. Maybe even a few gems along the way. I'll be musing on home turf as I see more and more of the UK and sharing my experiences further afield on holidays and adventurous trips across the globe.