A lot of people talk about Twitter and plenty of people use it (over 200 million!), but for the uninitiated it might seem like just another time-wasting distraction from your writing that you probably don’t need.
Well, it might be…(everything requires a degree of self-discipline!) but it can also be pretty useful for writers too. Here are some thoughts on why it might be worth a try and some ideas to help you get the most out of it.
Widen your network
One of the main benefits of Twitter is that it can widen the group of people that you are communicating with, so that ultimately you can find more people who might like to buy your book or comment on it and review it. But you have to remember that nothing comes for free (would you just order someone’s book that you don’t know?), so you might need to put a little bit of time in first.
If you’re trying to reach new audiences, think about what you are going to give back. Help people by using your expertise, or help your followers keep up to date with things that they might find interesting such as sources for your ideas, relevant political stories etc. Updates on the health of your dog might be interesting for your friends but probably aren’t going to get you an audience for your book. Unless your book is about dogs of course…but you get the point. That way you build more of a relationship with your followers and they’ll be more likely to help you out too.
Tweeting also gives you an opportunity to find other people going through the same process as you are. You can say hello and ask questions to other self-publishers – they might have some useful advice for you.
Still not sure what to say or do with Twitter? Try these ideas:
Finally, remember to try and sound like a normal person! Don’t just keep plugging your own book. It can get boring pretty fast. And like everything, it’ll probably take some time to find your feet and figure out how to get the best out of it. But it can allow you to tap into audiences and people with common interests that might lead you to new ideas and opportunities…so worth a try don’t you think?
You can see more ideas on how to promote and market your book here on our advice page.
And, of course, you can follow our wonderful example on Twitter Do let us know if you have any tips for us!
This works quite well and I have had the link to my book retweeted by a cricket commentator, two local newspapers, another author and a local radio station.
It is not problem free though, far from it. It depends on what you use it for or rather used it for, when you first started with them. If just for new friends all sending each other updates, you can lose all these very quickly if your posts are suddenly heavily punctuated with links to works where the desired result is a sale. But if this is of on consequence to the author, or they joined Twitter with this specific purpose, then yes, it is a good tool. As for me though, I got tired of being labelled a spammer, so now I just have the fixed link to my books as part of my bio on there.
I find mixing it up works. I occasionally post blog update links, or mention that my book can be previewed online etc. etc. or that I also have a Facebook profile, but I mix those up with more general (often even banal) comments and also comment on the things that followers of mine are saying. Occasionally they like these comments or messages enough to retweet them.
I find it irritating when irrelevant entities such as SEO companies, general timewasters, posters of links to Cialis and Viagra sites, etc. etc. start following- I never follow them back (after all that’s what they want- more people to spam) so eventually they tend to unfollow me. Irritating because for a brief moment you think they might actually be interested.
In a nutshell I’d say be active and be varied, show some interest in others’ posts.
You might also like this interview I did – http://audioboo.fm/boos/657444-creative-uses-of-twitter