Friday, September 2, 2011

Google Alerts: Usefulness and Non-Usefulness

A couple weeks ago, Sara Megibow, agent with Nelson Literary, tweeted the following:

It got me thinking about Google Alerts.  For published writers I can imagine they're a lot more useful.  (Or for writers with less, apparently, common names such as mine.)  I have four alerts set up at the moment:

"Chronicles of a Novice Writer" brings in results that more often than not match to my blog (despite being hosted on its own domain now).  But on occasion they take the words separately and I get very random results.

"Lodestar" (the title of my book that I'm currently possibly querying or not) has not once brought back a result from my blog wherein I talk about this project.  This one by far gives me the most random results, none of which I actually understand because they're mostly talking about missiles and aircraft and other science-y stuff.

"Stephanie L. McGee" and "Stephanie McGee" is another hit or miss one.  Back during awards season, I kept getting red carpet pictures of some producer or someone who was at the Golden Globes, the SAG awards, etcetera.  Sometimes it'll bring up a random tweet of mine from a few days before but this one doesn't come very often as there aren't that many results to mine.

So where does this leave me?  It leaves me questioning the usefulness of inundating my email inbox with emails of things that don't matter.

For any published writers out there who might be reading this, do you use alerts?  Or do you avoid them like they're the black death poised ready to choke your writing career before it takes off?

Unpublished authors, what about you?  Have you used alerts?  If so, do you find them useful?


  1. I am not published, but I might set it up out of curiosity. :)

  2. I think it's a good idea for a published author not to have them, but I could write about 80 blogs posts about that. Mostly, ignorance is bliss and we all have books to write instead of obsessing over our status online. :)

  3. I use alerts and I think it's a good idea. Now. Most of the alerts I get are on a positive note. After ARCs go out this month...who knows, maybe I'll turn that function off. ;)

  4. I used to get google alerts, but I experienced much of what you have. I turned them off. It seemed like a waste of time to me.

  5. Huh, I never thought about having alerts as an unpublished writer. But now that you mention it, I might check it out.

  6. I've never tried it. After reading this and the comments, maybe I won't.

  7. I use alerts. Sometimes a blogger reviews or comments on my book and otherwise I might never know it.


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