How to Market Your Book on Twitter
If you've been on the web at all in the last three years, you've probably heard of Twitter. You may have heard that people have used it to drive traffic to their sites. And, if you're an author, you've probably heard of other authors using it to sell copies of their books or ebooks.
Twitter can be a powerful social media tool for building awareness of you and your books. Many authors, however, do not use it well and see poor results. In this article, we'll discuss how to use Twitter effectively.
1. Gradually accumulate followers representative of your target audience
Some authors go out and follow everyone and their dog (sometimes using automated services to do so) while others only follow a few people, if anyone. While the first tactic can get you a lot of followers, it'll be dumb luck if any of them actually read books in your gen or area of ??expertise. If you do not bother amassing any followers, however, nobody is going to notice your posts or 'tweets.'
There are many third-party tools that make it easy to find followers who share your common interests, but we'll just use the basic Twitter page for now. Try searching for people talking about things related to your books. For example, if you're a space opera author, you might search for folks talking about science fiction or Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Galactica, etc. Folks talking about such topics are just the kinds of Twitter users or 'tweeps' you'd want following you, because they're the right audience. They're fans of the genre, and maybe they want to read your books and they just do not know it yet.
Try following people you've selected as potential fans (you can always un-follow them later if they ignore you). If you can, retweet one of their messages or send them a friendly comment on one of their recent tweets. Many people will not automatically follow back, but this lets them know you're a human being interested in the same things as they are. You can also look at their following / followers numbers to get an idea on whether they tend to follow folks back. People who have far more followers than people they follow will probably think they're too special to bother with you (hmmphf!). Those who only follow a few people probably use Twitter mainly to interact with friends. You can try following anyway, but do not hold your breath waiting for a follow-back.
2. Tweet interesting messages, not just promotional content
Another area where authors fail is by only – or predominately – tweeting about their books. People log on Twitter for a social experience, not to be sold to. This does not mean you can not throw in a promotional link now and then, but do not hound folks every day.
Instead, use your profile space to mention your book and add a link to your author site. In your actual tweets, work on becoming someone interesting people want to follow and read about. Share links to news-worthy blog posts or sites related to your book / genre. Retweet other people's tweets. Mention funny or unique things that happen in your life. Mix it up. People want to follow people, not link-spitting machines that never let their personality – or humanity! – show.
By using those tactics, you'll have no trouble growing a list of followers who might just become buyers of your books. At the least, they can help you spread the word.