Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Twitter for Authors: Book Marketing and Publicity with Social Media

Why Twitter Is An Effective Marketing Tool

Many authors fail to see what the big deal is regarding Twitter. They read Tweets about what someone ate for breakfast or what color shirt they're wearing. They might sign up only to stare at a bare, lonely screen with zero followers.

Initially, it might be difficult to see the potential. But once you get started, Twitter has a tendency to “snowball” into a HUGE deal for authos – one that is absolutely essential for the growth of their platform and their exposure on the internet.

How Can You Use Twitter?

Here are just a few of the ways Twitter can help to benefit your global author platform:

Establishing rapport with your customers / readers.

Twitter allows for a bit more personal, less formal, more fun mode of communication. It allows them to catch a glimpse of you just as a regular person sending SMS texts from Wal-Mart, rather than as a serious, detached blogger or business owner.

Why is this useful? It allows people to connect and relate to you on a personal level – it makes you look just like a “regular Joe”, especially if you include random/fun tweets among the more serious, author-driven tweets.

Keeping your customers / readers updated.

With a blog, you might only update once or twice per week. With Twitter, you might send a handful of tweets per day, keeping your followers “in the loop” and reminding them of your existence.

Of course, it's not recommended to send a million tweets per day. This will only serve to annoy people and they will likely unfollow you.

Building a loyal, steady customer-base:

BUILD A LIST!” As a author, I'm sure you've heard this refrain many times over. Building a list is one of the most vital steps you can take in the advancement of your online business. Twitter is pretty much the same as building a list – although it might be even more effective in the long run.

When it comes to an email list, a large portion of your subscribers won't even glance at the emails you send. Their eyes will glaze over and they may even send it to the trash. With Twitter, your followers will see all of your Tweets. They'll digest its information in about half a second and if you include a link, they probably won't get offended.

Chances are, if you included an eye-catching description, they'll probably click it! Additionally, it won't SEEM like you are marketing to them, because you're just another Twitter user tweeting about random stuff!

Building up excitement for a book launch:
Just like with an email list, Twitter can be used to build up excitement about an upcoming book launch. It can start with occasional Tweets about your “new project”, and by keeping your followers up to date and offering freebies and cool stuff that they'll appreciate, you'll build trust and anticipation. When your book launches, a well-timed Tweet may likely be just as effective as a blast to your email list.

Driving traffic to your website or blog:

Wouldn't it be great if you could instantly notify hundreds or thousands of people every time you update your blog? Twitter makes this possible. It essentially acts as an RSS feed. By building a sizable list of followers, you pretty much have access to an instant source of traffic to your website or blog.

People who would otherwise not be aware of updates and new content will be notified, giving them a chance to check it out. If your blog is high-quality, people will keep an eye out for more of your Tweets.

Building relationships with business contacts.

Twitter makes it easy to keep in touch with business partners and contacts. Traditional instant messaging is on its way out, and you'll find that most savvy internet marketers use Twitter as their primary social networking tool. So take advantage of this fact! Hook up with your contacts so you can work on building a closer relationship.


Crowd-sourcing is a unique form of outsourcing. It works by calling on your friends, fans, followers, email subscribers, etc. to contribute ideas and solutions. Basically, it is a form of “group intelligence”.

By listening to the crowd, marketers and business owners can figure out the exact thoughts, needs, and wants of their customer base. In this way, innovative new ideas and strategies are born that are guaranteed to fall in line with the desires of the consumer.

By directly asking your followers what type of book cover they'd like to see developed, or what their biggest setbacks are, or what they liked/disliked most about your last book, you can gain an incredibly amount of insight!

Twitter provides a perfect platform for crowd-sourcing.

Going viral:

Social networking sites give us a great opportunity to 'go viral'. This means that you Tweet about something that really catches people's attention. Your followers are impressed, so they re-Tweet it.

In turn, each of their followers re-Tweet it, and so on and so on, and soon your little Tweet spreads like wildfire, snowballing into a huge storm of clicks and traffic.

Of course, TRYING to make something go viral probably won't work. It tends to just happen on its own. Tweeting “Hey guys buy my new book click here” will never go viral, obviously. But if you find something really interesting, little-known, valuable, funny, etc., you might have a chance.

Very often, Tweets go viral without anyone really expecting or planning on it. This is just one of the many amazing benefits of social networking.


  1. Thank for for this quick primer on the many advantages of Twitter as the mass media obsesses on the "dangers" of Twitter ala Weiner. Although the French government wants to ban the mere word Twitter, I've found it a powerful way to collect, share, analyze, and yes, promote my self-published English as a second language (ESL) textbook Compelling Conversations. While I've never really had any twitter go "viral" on a huge scale, I've sold class sets to language schools outside the United States that would not have otherwise found out about my small, niche speaking skills textbook. Consider me quite pleased to be on Twitter - even if I use the slightly different name (Compelling Talks) because I prefer to share TED talks that go beyond narrow book marketing.
    To Twitter sceptics, may I quote the classic American cereal commercial. "Try it - you'll like it!"

  2. I'm very new to this kind of thing. I can see where it would be a valuable tool to get the word out for my books. What I would like to see, though, is a little more specific info on just what to say when you begin.

    Just at the moment, my brain isn't coming up with anything earth shattering for a first tweet. I have two author accounts for Twitter as I write romances and novels for children and young adults. I guess the only thing to do is just jump in and learn to swim!

    1. Research what other authors in your genre are tweeting. Good luck.

  3. Aloha,
    I was also very skeptical about Twitter. I've just self published my fitness and nutrition book titled New Jump Swing Healthy Aging & Athletic Nutrition program. As I attempt to get my message out regarding how to increase your energy level and achieve your goals, I confess, I keep coming back to social media as a great way to get the word out.Just as a tease. I hold 3 Guinness World records in public speaking. This book explains how I was able to accomplish those records and the nutrition and fitness program I used.

    1. Tweet about fitness and nutrition. Write blog posts that are educational and tie into your book.

  4. By using the correct tactics while initializing your Twitter marketing operation, you can utilize the time put into Twitter. Make a clever approach and you can get great benefits from it.

  5. I've been attempting to learn how to tweet for about a month and a half now. I've heard there's a sort of protocol and not to get too far off-base from that. I did appreciate the information posted here, and would also like more detailed examples of the kinds of tweets described in this blog. Thanks.
    J. L. Chalfant, author

    1. Fill out the contact page and ask for my free book on Twitter for authors.

  6. Useful blog. Twitter is a must for marketing and networking for authors and eBooks - however there is a fair amount of Twitter-cowboys looking to spam you when they realize you are an author. I have just self-published my first fiction eBook, and I am getting to grips with Twitter and sifting out the industry professionals and those that want to genuinely engage with me and share tips, from those who are spammers and just looking to promote themselves. It has been a huge learning curve but I appreciate that in this day and age Twitter is a very valuable resource and its internationally limitless. I think it's important to use Twitter along with Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest etc. to get the most out of social media marketing (and I am getting to grip with those too so any useful advice on the other social media sites appreciated!)

    N P Postlethwaite

    1. I stick with Twitter and Facebook. I don't have time for more than two.

  7. Twitter is a good way to social networking, but where are the instructions? I don't understand all those letters and numbers that are put in a tweet. How do I learn to do this?

    1. Use my Contact Us page to request my free book on Twitter for Authors.


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