Many authors misuse Twitter. Luckily, author Laurel A. Rockefeller shares great tips on how to REALLY use Twitter, including the method she used to double her book sales.
Books are for sale everywhere on Twitter. Spend more than ten minutes at a time and this much becomes obvious. As with other popular social media sites (especially Facebook), blind book promo posts are essentially the rule. It’s hard to find a single author who doesn’t do it. The problem of course is that these are blind posts and tweets. There’s rarely a method to the madness and even less engagement with readers and potential readers. Even Google+ is filled to the brim with this muck. Is anyone listening?
Rarely; if they notice your post at all odds are very good that what they notice is your blind desperation. The more promo bombs they see and the more in their face you get, generally the worse they feel about you and your book.
This is not the way to sell books. Nine times out of ten it will not even generate you negative word of mouth.
So what is an author to do? There are literally millions of competing book titles. How do you get noticed?
Engage With Readers
Engagement does not mean an in your face direct or private message. Engagement means CONVERSATION. It means spending time getting to know people and talking to them, not at them to sell a book. It means reading people’s profiles and posts and find out what their interests are before you throw in the promo. It means focusing your conversation on who they are and what they like, want, and need.
So here is what I do:
- Twitter search hashtags focusing on a trending or popular topic that has something to do with the content of one or more of my books. #amwriting and #amreading are nice general ones for readers and authors, but I like to go more current events, especially as I write mostly non-fiction. Pick something from the news that relates to your book to maximise your exposure.
- Retweet and respond to existing tweets. Start up a conversation relating to whatever twitter topic you picked. Remember that you are NOT an author and you are NOT selling anything. Just CONVERSE.
- Ask questions of the people twitter conversing with you. This is fact finding time. You want to know if what you wrote genuinely adds value to their lives (be objective here). Maybe the person you are tweeting loves vampires who have sex with werewolves and you wrote a beautiful regency romance. Don’t get cute and automatically assume that your book is for this person. If you are leaning in that direction anyway, simply ask “what do you think about regency romance?” Again, you are not the author of a book at this stage.
- Once you discover that yes, indeed, this person likes the kind of book you wrote or are interested in something that really stands out about your book, ADD VALUABLE INFORMATION that is related to, but not about, your book. Sometimes this is a photo; get creative!
- Once you know this person likes you and is genuinely interested in you and your work, allow it to slip into the conversation that you are an author and wrote ____ about ____ that they are interested in. Do not offer any links, but now you can share that your work exists.
- Assuming they are still interested in you and your book, they will initiate the question and ask you for the book retail information. Once they ask, give that information to them, but only if/when they actually ask you. Remember that a customer who asks “where can I get this book” is ready to buy. If s/he doesn’t ask you, you will lose your chance at a sale by giving it to them.
Double Your Book Sales
This approach takes time (usually at least 10-30 tweets exchanged), but it is very effective in getting sales. Since I started this, my sales have more than doubled on Amazon, Smashwords, Audible, and other major retailers.
When you keep your marketing focused on your readers and not yourself, you will get the sales and, perhaps just as importantly, the reviews and word of mouth that makes you financially secure.
And the best part: it only costs your time!
Historian Laurel A. Rockefeller shares her love of learning across over a dozen fiction and non-fiction titles. Best known for her young reader biographies “Boudicca: Britain’s Queen of the Iceni” and “Catherine de Valois” you can find Ms. Rockefeller’s books in both English and Chinese languages on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Laurel-A.-Rockefeller/e/B008YVJJFE and on Audible at http://tinyurl.com/AudibleBoudicca-USA . Audio editions narrated by dynamic British voice artist Richard Mann.