The next stop on our magical little journey of self-promotion is Twitter. I’ve done posts on Twitter before and most of you probably know I think it’s one of the best networking and promotional tools an indie author can have. I’ve talked about using different clients and how to set columns up and make sure you’re using hashtags, etc., but today I’m going to discuss a bit about the do and do nots of self-promoting on Twitter.
Firstly, there’s the follow/following. Obviously you want a large following so you can reach a lot of different people. That doesn’t mean you should blindly just follow everyone back. I found the way to get the most out of Twitter is to follow people whom you find interesting or could be a help to you and your career. Besides, do you want to promote your book to bots and Drunk Hulk? – I don’t know that he’d be interested in our writing- Break up the people you follow into lists and then make the important groups columns in the client you use. If everyone is lumped together, you’re going to miss out on tweets and conversations that may be relevant to you.
The amount of people who follow you should help determine how often you can get away with promoting your work. If you’ve only got 50 followers, it’s very likely those people are going to see your tweets often and get annoyed at seeing the same thing over and over. If there’s one sure way to get me to unfollow or boot you to a list of mine that I don’t monitor, it’s the constant spam-like promoting of your book. There’s no exact equation on how many tweets you can send in a certain amount of time, but use some common sense people. Better yet, use your client’s scheduling option to set up your tweets for throughout the day. That way you will know exactly how many times a day you’re going to promote and when. It’s also handy to have tweets set up for overnight. You will hit a whole new group of people from around the world and you won’t have to deprive yourself of sleep at the same time.
Another no-no? The direct message thanking for the follow while pimping your book at the same time. Drives.Me.Crazy. I know I’m not alone too. Many of my other friends have complained to me about that. I am more likely to buy a book from someone on Twitter if I get to know the person first. If you’re shoving your book at me in the first second, I’m not going to be interacting much with you and probably won’t look into your book. Just being honest folks.
When promoting your book, don’t be scared to change up the wording of your tweet. Add parts of reviews, a piece of your query, a pitch, a hook, whatever might catch people’s attention. Changing it up could catch the eye of someone who previously ignored another tweet. Besides, if you’re tweeting the same thing over and over, people will get bored and annoyed and perhaps unfollow you. Who wants that?
Also, don’t forget the hashtags people! There are plenty of publishing and book related hashtags that you can use to help your promotional tweets reach an audience beyond your followers. There’s #ebook, #indiepub, #indieauthor, etc. I haven’t had a chance to research and try them out yet, but I am sure there are tags out there specific for Nook and Amazon Kindle users that I think will be very helpful. Here’s a good article that lists a bunch of tags you can use: click here
Finally folks, remember, there is more to promote than just your book. Promote your website, your author webpage (Facebook or otherwise) and yourself. Talk to others, ask questions, comment on things. Personally, I am more likely to buy someone’s book if I’ve talked to them some. Maybe I like their sense of humor or their personality. Maybe something they said resonated and interested me. Those are the things that prompt me to check out someone’s work. If I like what they have to say, I will probably like their writing as well. Be sure to re-tweet things you like and help promote other authors too. They may be kind and return the favor.
Using Twitter can really help build your fan base and sell books. Just be smart about how you use it and don’t abuse your followers with spam. Take advantage of the hashtags and help promote your fellow indies. I don’t think you’ll come to regret it.