Twitter is the perfect tool for writers looking to promote a book: it’s fun, it’s quick, it’s free. But you need to know some tricks.
1. Write tweets people want to read, not dull overtly promotional ones. Twitter is deluged with tweets of the “Buy my wonderful book!!! #mustread www….” kind. People simply tune them out. Instead, create tweets that entertain, amuse, help and inform. Doing this in 140 characters is a challenge – but you’re a writer, and can do this. Use your skill with words to craft great tweets.
2. Target your audience. What kind of people are most likely to buy your book? What topics are they interested in? Tweet about these topics. For example, if you write vampire romance, tweet a about vampires – the vampire movie you’ve watched, vampire make-up for a Halloween party. If you write books for children, it’s the parents you need to reach, so write about activities with young kids and homeschooling tips. These tweets will attract followers who are keen to read about these topics, and many of them will buy your book.
3. Use hashtags to emphasize keywords. They help people who are interested in the topic to find you on Twitter. Simply put a hashtag (#) before one or two words in your tweet. Choose words that rouse your target audience’s interest. If you write vampire romance, you may want to hashtag #vampire, #fangs, #paranormal and #twilight. If you write children’s books, you’ll attract parents’ interest with hashtags such as #parenting #children #homeschooling #mom #kids #playgroup.
4. Follow the kind of people who might buy your book. Search profile texts and tweets for keywords – “vampire” if you write vampire romance, “kids” if you write children’s books. Follow these people. A large number of them will follow you back. They’ll receive your tweets in your timeline, hopefully like them, and become interested in your book.
5. Chat with your followers. Read some of their tweets and respond to them. Comment on something they’ve said (especially if it’s about your topics), ask questions, show an interest. Notice them, and they’ll notice you.
6. Join other people’s chats. It’s ok to eavesdrop on other people’s conversations and to jump in. Ask questions, share tips, reveal your views. Chances are, these people will welcome your contributions, and will probably follow you to read more of your tweets. But resist the urge to tell them about your book. Hijacking other people’s chats for your promotions is bad etiquette and annoys rather than attracts.
7. Use a link-shortener. When tweeting about your book, include an URL. Shorten it with bit.ly, buff.ly or another link shortener (they’re free online) to fit it into the tweet. This way, you may be able to include two links, for example, to Amazon and Barnes & Noble. When tweeting an Amazon URL, use the universal Amazon link shortener BookLinker. When readers click the link, it opens the book’s page of their region’s Amazon – for example, Amazon.co.uk in Britain, Amazon.com in the USA.
8. Stay away from automation. You may think to save time by using an app to write and send your tweets, to thank new followers, to reply to tweets, to retweet your buddies’ tweets and so on. But these put the genuine followers off, and only lead to your tweets getting ignored. You don’t need to tweet much, but what you tweet needs to be real.
9. Use Twitter to invite reviewers. Write a tweet offering free review copies (ebooks) to anyone who wants to write an honest review on a bookselling site or on their blog.
10. Reply to your fans. Readers often tweet that they’ve enjoyed a book. Respond at once. Ask questions “Who was your favorite character?” or “Which part did your daughter like best?” This shows that you value their opinion. It also gives you an insight into your audience. Best of all, it encourages the reader to talk about your book (word-of-mouth is invaluable) and to buy your next books.
I hope you find these tips helpful.
If you follow me (@raynehall) and tweet that you’ve read this post, I’ll follow you back.
Rayne Hall has published more than fifty books in several languages under several pen names with several publishers in several genres, mostly fantasy, horror and non-fiction. She is the author of the bestselling Writer’s Craft series and editor of the Ten Tales anthologies.
Having lived in Germany, China, Mongolia and Nepal, she has now settled in a small dilapidated town of former Victorian grandeur on the south coast of England where she enjoys reading, gardening and long walks along the seashore. She shares her home with a black cat adopted from the cat sanctuary. His name is Sulu and he’s the perfect cat for a writer – except when he claims ownership of her keyboard.
Tags: promoion, twitter