Saturday, April 27, 2013

Quick Promotion Via Twitter

A writing friend recently said that she did not see that Twitter was at all useful in promoting a new book. She sent a tweet noting where to find the book on Amazon and BN, and she didn't see any bump in sales at all.

There is no reason that she should.

People sometimes think of Twitter as they would their email inbox, believing that the 1,000 (or even 20) people who follow them will sign onto Twitter and see something a fellow tweeter posted a few hours ago. Not realistic. In the time it takes you to push the tweet tab there will be 10 or 20 new tweets that flash through your line of vision. Did you read them? Not likely.

Think of Twitter as the chance to "speed promote" several times a day, for perhaps five minutes each time. If you send a bunch of Tweets a couple of times a day, at least, you will randomly reach a certain number of people--the number varies with how you address the tweet. Who are these people? They are likely the folks who have just signed onto Twitter as your Tweet appears.

To tweet two or three times a day, you need two things:  a standard message or set of messages, and a list of tweet addresses or hash tags.

Create five or ten tweets that promote an individual book or series. Vary them a bit, which is not hard to do. You can't say all you want about a book in 140 characters. Here are three I use to promote Any Port in a Storm, the fourth book in the Jolie Gentil cozy mystery series.

#series  Fun Cozy. Any Port in a Storm. Who knew Talk Like a Pirate Day could lead to murder?

#cozy Mystry-humor, friends & occasional murder in a NJ beach town. "Any Port in a Storm."

#nook Now available for Nook, Any Port in a Storm, humorous mystery at New Jersey shore. Friends, fun & murder.

The number sign and word that adjoins it are hashtags. That means there are people who have associated themselves with this concept. If you like cozy mysteries, you will have 'joined' the hashtag cozy. If you have a Nook, you'll want to get tweets that start with #nook.

There are hundreds, sometimes thousands of people who associate themselves with some hashtags. Popular ones to use when you do a free book via Amazon's KDP Select are #freekindle and #kindlefree.

Once you develop your list of hash tags and a number of cogent tweets you can send 10 tweets in about two minutes. Twitter does not want you to repeat the same message many times, so you will need to vary them a bit.

At the moment, I have coupons for free books at Smashwords, so I rotate through the books in the Jolie Gentil series with some standard tweets and hashtags. For example:

#bookmarketing Free--Talk Like a Pirate Day and mystery-humor in a NJ beach town. "Any Port in a Storm." Coupon TM59W

It takes awhile to create your list and tweets, but it's worth the initial effort. My next post will contain a list of hashtags I find useful, as well as individual addresses of people who say they will retweet information about books.
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  1. Very helpful--common sense things I hadn't thought of. Thanks, Elaine!

  2. Thanks! I've found it's made a difference, especially in UK sales. Glad it was helpful.