Savvy writers today are getting the word out--sometimes even before they have deals.
Beth Revis is one; she's been blogging about the writing process, among other things, for a while. Now that she has this book deal to announce, she's holding a celebratory contest:
High school teacher Beth Revis's debut ACROSS THE UNIVERSE, in the near-future, a reluctant teenage girl and her pioneer parents are cryogenically frozen for a 300-year trip to a new planet; she awakens 50 years early on a vast spaceship with a murderer on board, to Ben Schrank at Razorbill, in a major deal, in a pre-empt, in a three-book deal, for publication in spring 2011, by Merrilee Heifetz at Writers House (world English).
Not everyone will take this approach, but if you can, it's very smart. She's racked up more than 300 followers--way more than the average bookstore appearance, although those are great, too. Check it out.