Twitter can be a pain in the ass. No doubt. There is so much information whizzing by every second, how can one keep up? Why would anyone want to keep up?
I’ve had authors tell me they have no interest in reading what someone is eating or where they’re going. That, especially mixed with so very much SPAM twitted back and forth, gets old fast. It seems that either people are saying nothing of any importance or they’re trying to sell you something.
And, a lot of Twitter is that, unfortunately.
Still, as things are today, the absolute best way for you and your book to be seen is by effective use of Twitter, Facebook, and frequent blogging mixed with some in-person events.
To be the most successful on Twitter, you must take a four-fold approach. As outlined in my book, which goes into much more detail, it’s a blend of these four things that will help you connect with your potential readers and let them know you are an author with things for sale without seeming like the only reason you’re there is to sell books. Because, ultimately, you’re not. You’re there to connect with readers and colleagues.
You cannot just post links to your books on Amazon or to your blog, as all that comes across as very self-serving. You must see other people for them to see you, and this means RTing, carrying on conversations, and joining #hashtag discussions & communities. (The following is an excerpt from my book.)
Twitter is like being at a huge, diverse party. There are hundreds (thousands!) of conversations going on all at once, all in 140-character snippets. Your task is to find the group who is talking about and interested in reading and the types of books you write. Perhaps finding other authors or industry professionals. After all, I have a New York agent because she found me on Twitter. I’ve connected with countless authors at all success levels because of Twitter and have established some close friendships because of Twitter. It is a wonderful way to connect with agents, editors, other authors, and potential readers. This is where you get to know them and they get to know you around the central cyberspace water cooler. It is a powerful tool if you learn how to use it.
Utilizing Twitter for marketing your book, or any product, is four-fold:
1. Marketing/Industry Tweets. This is where you talk about your book and where to get it. This is where you quote a review of your book and link back to the review site. This is where you promote other people’s books (Cross-Promotion is GOLD). In every tweet where you mention your book, add a link (preferably an Amazon Associate link, to be covered in the Amazon section) so that whether they buy your book or something else, you get a few pennies for the sale. These tweets can also be about the publishing industry or your specific topic. Under @omgrey, for example, I tweet many things having to do with #Steampunk, as that’s the subgenre in which she writes. And…it’s all automated. I’ll get to automation shortly.
2. ReTweets (RT). When you RT someone, they see you. They see that what they say is important to you or interesting enough that you want to share it with your followers as well. You want to RT, and you want to be RTed. RT things that catch your interest. Things that are funny. Things that are informative or inspirational. When someone RTs you, send them an @Reply thanking them for doing so. Twittiquette.
3. Personal Tweets. These are tweets about that mocha you love so much or what you’re doing. Walking in the rain. Craving that first cup of coffee. Trying to type with your cat on the keyboard. Twitter is a community, and your followers will want to get to know you. They do this by reading your personal tweets and your personal interactions. Another great thing to tweet are inspirational or funny quotes. Be yourself. If you don’t have the gift of wit, then tweet to your strengths.
4. @Replies, or personal interaction. To get people to interact with you, you must first interact with them. An @Reply is when you reply to a specific tweeter, thereby carrying on a conversation with them. The more you @Reply, the more you build a community on Twitter. When you @Reply someone, it shows up in both your Twitter feed as well in the recipients “mentions” feed. DMs (Direct Messages) are a more private was to communicate for things that shouldn’t be public, like email addresses, phone numbers, etc.
This fourth one also includes participating in #hashtag communities and conversations. Next Friday, I’ll talk more about #hashtags.
As for the other referenced sections, like automation and Amazon Affiliates, among others, please get my book Publishing & Marketing Realities for the Emerging Author at Amazon in paperback or on Kindle. If you don’t want to pay for it, for a limited time you can get a PDF copy here.
What are some of the things you find most successful on Twitter?
What are the most annoying?
What kind of Tweet are you most likely to RT?