As a self-published author I turned to Twitter as a way of promoting my book BLUE SUN, YELLOW SKY, but over the past year, it sort of shifted into something more.
Twitter is a great tool for authors. Not only do we get to practice marketing 140 characters at a time, it’s a great way for us to send out 140 character snippets throughout the day. I look at it as short bursts of creativity.
However, if you’re expecting Twitter to sell your book, I hate to break it to you, but it’s probably not going to work. A year and a half, and 48,000 followers later here’s what I learned about using Twitter as an author.
Treat Twitter like a giant networking tool. I began by following as many writer’s as I could find every day. At first only a few of them followed me back, but then I made a dramatic shift in the way I used Twitter. Instead of pumping out blurbs or advertisements for my book every day, I began posting content with “added value.” This means I began posting content for the benefit of others.
As a writer, the things that really interest me have to do with writing. So I started looking up great writing quotes and posting those along with a short comment about the quote. Low and behold, now not only did writers start following me back, they started finding me through the retweets of my followers.
And then, a great thing started happening, people actually came to my Twitter page to look at all my Tweets and there they were met with my banner which advertises my book. Because they had an interest in my Tweets, I now had a greater chance of getting them to purchase my book. Yay! A handful of my reviews on Amazon, are from people who found my book through Twitter.
But I should remind you here, that I don’t sell a ton of books this way. However; that’s not the value of Twitter for me. Again, it’s more of a networking tool between myself and the hundreds of thousands of other writer’s out there.
Recently, having gained over 45k followers, I decided to see if I could help create a shift in the indie market. So every Sunday I host an event called ReTweet Sunday, where I tweet indie and small press books to my followers.
I love this event, because I get to see so many books pass through my Twitter feed and I occasionally buy one that interests me. Every one of us indie authors is fighting for FaceTime with readers surfing the internet, but sometimes we forget that writer’s are readers too. Very veracious ones at that!
Also, we indie authors are in this together so I think it’s important that we support each other by reading indie books. Actually, if I’m being honest I was severely disappointed in the books I’d randomly chosen to read by indie authors who’s path I crossed on Twitter. That was, however, until I learned how vet the indie books by looking for seals from book award contests and by reading the negative reviews left by other readers.
Why the negative reviews? I find they tend to be more helpful. Glowing 5-star reviews are great, but a 3-star review that highlight’s something I might actually like, has way more sway in getting me to read a book.
Another added benefit of using Twitter is that my feed, which is full of motivational tweets for writers, often times inspires my to write too! And anything that pushes me to get my fingers to the keyboard and working is a good thing in my opinion.