Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Using Twitter to Promote Your Books


If you wonder whether or not you should use Twitter to promote your book, Bob Sanchez, author of When Pigs Fly, Getting Lucky, and Little Mountain, provides good insights.

Use Twitter To Get The Word Out
by Bob Sanchez

Which is the harder job: writing or selling? You could argue that writing and selling require two different personalities, but I don’t think that’s quite true. In any case, we indie writers know that finding an audience—a paying audience from the general public—is a challenge. How do you get the word out about your book?

One approach that’s working for me is Twitter, and maybe it can work for you.

Let’s start with some assumptions. Sure, you can pay someone to do the marketing for you, with only one guarantee: it will cost you money. Sales are never guaranteed. Another person’s efforts may be helpful or they may not. They may work their tushes off for you or they may not. You can safely assume that no one cares about your success as much as you do. There is also a pretty fair chance that however much you pay for promotion to whomever you pay it, you will not get your money’s worth.

So what’s an indie -- self published author -- to do? This indie uses Twitter.

The main advantages to Twitter are that it is free and that it can reach a lot of people. You write a message of 140 characters or fewer and post it so your followers can see it. Then some of them can retweet your message to theirfollowers. The potential is for your message to reach many thousands of people. In my case, I have an Amazon author page listing my three Kindle books at $2.99 each. So my tweets typically include the URL of my author page along with a quote from a review, for example:

Getting Lucky bitly.com/bobsanchez #kindle #amazonprime #mysteries #crime "a page turner!"

So there are the title, the link, four subject categories denoted by “#” and a nice snippet from an Amazon review. The other tweets I post, and this is critical, are retweets for other writers who are promoting their work. A whole lot of reciprocity goes on with Twitter. When you promote for others more than you do for yourself, it will come back to benefit you.

There’s more to know, but none of it is hard to learn. Also, many third-party tools exist to help you use Twitter more effectively, such as Twellow and TweetDeck. For me, the combination of offering reasonably priced good books and a free advertising platform is a winner.
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Bob Sanchez's three novels have had over 70,000 downloads this year. His Twitter handle is @desertwriter, and he'd love to follow and support you on Twitter.






5 comments:

Morgan Mandel said...

Great advice, Bob! I do need to get better at my tweets!

Morgan Mandel
http://morgansbooklinks.blogspot.com

Maryann Miller said...

I agree that using Twitter is a good marketing tool. So glad you mentioned the importance of "giving back" on Twitter. If you are just on there touting your books, people tire of that in a hurry.

Marian Allen said...

Patience is important, too. Sometimes you have to show up on somebody's "Mentioned you" stream plugging them before they remember to reciprocate, especially if they're new to the game. I'm just starting to catch on, myself.

You're a model tweeter, Bob, that's for sure!

Marian Allen
Fantasies, mysteries, comedies, recipes

Bob Sanchez said...

I don't worry about whether people reciprocate or not, but I try hard to reciprocate myself. But if people retweet my posts, I try hard to retweet one or more of theirs. One thing I try to do is specifically retweet something promoting a book or anything containing a writing-related link. In other words, the tweet should look like it's useful or informative.

Maryann, you could argue that giving back on Twitter is selfish, because people quickly latch onto the idea of mutual support. How else to explain having more sales than followers?

gkadams said...

You are so right. I was "tweet master" for a forum, and I was amazed at what Twitter can do. Now, to do it for myself!