Congratulations, you’ve written a book. Good for you! Now, do you think you can use 140 characters to successfully promote it? After all, what good is your book if no one (except your family) reads it? Twitter is a great tool to utilize while shamelessly promoting your book. As with most things, successful book promotion via Twitter is an art form not to be taken lightly.
The first thing you need to do is create an account with a not-so-boring username. In my case I used what I do in the name @aBookPublicist, you could create something clever or about your book. Then you’ll need a picture or headshot, it better be a good one too, it’s the only image people will have of you so make it clean, clear, and simple.
Twitter is reminiscent of the schoolyard playground, so play nice and make friends.
Upon entering the world of Twitter, your mission is to create a following. If people aren’t reading your tweets, they won’t read your book. The best way to gain a following is to follow people. Hopefully, you’ll pique their interest so they follow you in return. It won’t hurt to do a Twitter search for the subject area of your book. If you wrote a romance novel, search topics like “love,” “relationships,” and “romance,” Follow those people, pages, or groups and maybe they’ll want to follow you.
Look up magazine editors and tweet them specifically (using the @ function) to steer their attention to you and your literary masterpiece.
You should make nice with the book industry folks like book store owners, book reviewers, librarians, and your wonderful friends at Westwind Communications @aBookPublicist and let them know what you’re up to by following them. If you have a new blog post, find an article about your genre, or have new information on a speaking engagement; let them know about it by tweeting it.
You’re an author. You should follow other authors. That way, you can get tips on what is happening in the writing world, outside of your area of expertise. You’ll learn while you are promoting and what’s wrong with that?
About writing actual tweets: You’ve written an entire book, don’t ruin it all with a bad tweet. It is important, while tweeting, that you use a catchy headline and include a link. If your tweets are stupid, boring, annoying, or uneducated, no one will read them; or worse, people will unfollow you! We simply cannot have that nonsense. So, you should be sure to use keywords that relate to you and your book, attracting “tweeps” to your page and thus gaining your book recognition.
DO NOT make every single tweet a shameless self-promotion. People don’t like that. If people don’t like your tweets, that means they will not like you or your book. Tweet interesting things you come across, your genuine thoughts, and save the self-promoting tweets for about 20% of your total tweets.
Since tweets are limited to 140 characters, each letter is very valuable. Use www.tinyurl.com to shrink up those lengthy links containing fascinating information. This will give you more room to convey your personal message and to add your own touch to the tweet.
Once you gain a following, you should reward those who were kind enough to give a hoot about you in the first place. Reward your “twitterverse” by announcing a “giveaway” and give a prize to a follower selected at random. You could make them earn their prize, perhaps by re-tweeting a tweet of yours.
Remember how I said be nice and make friends? Well, Karma will help you survive in the land of social media. Re-tweet posts from people you follow. They’ll probably be flattered and thus, more inclined to re-tweet the things you post; especially if they’re interesting and relatable!
Still not convinced all this tweeting is worth it? The media follows Twitter posts as they are searchable by Google. If someone is commenting on a current event in the news and a reporter finds your tweet, you can get quoted directly or they may call you for an interview. Trust me, as a publicist I know it works.
The bottom line: Twitter is becoming a very useful tool that all authors need to utilize. Get tweeting today.