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randi.lee
02-03-2012, 11:51 PM
Hi All,

I've begun my dive into the world of e-promoting and I was wondering if you all could help me out...

Is Twitter a good promotional tool? What kind of things do authors tweet about? Should I start a Twitter account if I'm looking to market myself?

Thanks for any advice you can give.

veinglory
02-04-2012, 12:05 AM
Twitter can be used in a lot of very distinct ways. Self-promotion is certainly one of them but then you need to decide wither to chat to your close fanbase, draw people in and only occasionally self-promote, or take part on a reteeting promotion firestorm and hostile hashtag takeover--or something else.

ladyleeona
02-04-2012, 12:13 AM
It helps you get a feel for agents (if you're in the hunt). Their sense of humor, their submission trends, pet peeves, etc. All good things to know.

It can be used for self-promotion, but like veinglory said, it can be abused via the hashtag/retweet flurry. Hostile takeovers are not well accepted, obviously.

That's all I can come up with, but I don't tweet (I do read them, however. not in a stalkerish way, though). Blogging is a big enough commitment for me, LOL.

randi.lee
02-04-2012, 12:16 AM
Great. Thank you both for the feedback!

firedrake
02-04-2012, 12:17 AM
It's a good place for promotion if you're not tweeting about your new releases every five minutes.
It's a great place to 'connect' with like-minded people. It's also handy for picking up tips from publishers, editors, agents, as well as hearing about submission calls.

The minus side - some people seem to forget that their tweets are visible to people who aren't even following them. They can say things that make them look like idiots, Speshul Snowflakes or hypocrites and it's the virtual equivalent of showing their knickers in public.

randi.lee
02-04-2012, 12:22 AM
It's a good place for promotion if you're not tweeting about your new releases every five minutes.
It's a great place to 'connect' with like-minded people. It's also handy for picking up tips from publishers, editors, agents, as well as hearing about submission calls.

The minus side - some people seem to forget that their tweets are visible to people who aren't even following them. They can say things that make them look like idiots, Speshul Snowflakes or hypocrites and it's the virtual equivalent of showing their knickers in public.

That's good to know. I'm not the type to air my personal laundry on the internet, but it's still good to understand that w/e you say is public.

PulpDogg
02-04-2012, 02:44 AM
It's a good place for promotion if you're not tweeting about your new releases every five minutes.


This. Don't use the Twitter account for promoting your book with every tweet or even with every other tweet. That won't work.

Besides ... you need followers to see any promotional message. So just tweeting "Hey, I have this book out" over and over again won't help you one bit in attracting followers, let alone readers.

Follow some people and get a feel for the place. Don't think that if you start using it now, tomorrow will see your sales jump up or something.

Adobedragon
02-04-2012, 02:57 AM
I'm somewhat active on Twitter. But like Goodreads and most of the other social networking accounts I use, I don't do that much "promotion."

Why? Because I personally find the practice of constantly flogging your book, your blog tours, etc., uninteresting. I don't fault authors who do this. And I understand why they feel the need to do this.

But as a rule, it doesn't sell books to me. In fact, I ignore most of the author promotion stuff in my Tweet stream and on Facebook.

In general, the people I follow and interact with most on Twitter, Facebook and blogs, are those who post interesting content. Consequently, I'm more likely to buy their books, and retweet their promotional posts. (I also use Twitter to follow politics, culture, and anything else that interests me.)

So my advice would be, be yourself, be interesting, but don't endlessly flog your book(s).

randi.lee
02-04-2012, 03:00 AM
This. Don't use the Twitter account for promoting your book with every tweet or even with every other tweet. That won't work.

Besides ... you need followers to see any promotional message. So just tweeting "Hey, I have this book out" over and over again won't help you one bit in attracting followers, let alone readers.

Follow some people and get a feel for the place. Don't think that if you start using it now, tomorrow will see your sales jump up or something.

Oh, no worries, I know full well that I won't grow popular overnight. And no worries about the "see my book!!!" syndrome, either. I'll hang around for quite some time before I even mention it. :)

Toothpaste
02-04-2012, 03:04 AM
I read someone once comparing Twitter to a cocktail party and I liked it. You are in a room with a lot of strangers making pleasant small talk. Sure you're there to network, but you're not about to go up to each person and say, "Hi, I'm Toothpaste, buy my book!"

Twitter is about forming relationships really. And out of these relationships can come some awesome opportunities. But it's first and foremost a conversation.

Plus there are some pretty funny people out there to follow :) .

IceCreamEmpress
02-04-2012, 03:28 AM
Some of the best advice I've read about Twitter is that each tweet should either be part of a conversation or provide useful content--ideally, both.

Linda Adams
02-04-2012, 05:36 AM
Hi All,

Is Twitter a good promotional tool?


It can be. But it doesn't mean sending out tweet after tweet on "buy my book." I personally get tired of seeing "Five star review for My Book" and start tuning them out. Or worse, complaining about how no one is buying your books.


Hi All,
What kind of things do authors tweet about?


Don't think of it as authors tweeting -- you'll end up just tweeting writing links. That'll draw other authors, but not necessarily people who will buy your books. The whole point is for people to get to know you and connect to them. If they're interested in you, they'll pass the word about a great book by you.

Instead, tweet about things that interest you -- it might be a funny video you just saw, a photo of a place you just went to, interesting quotes -- really, pretty much anything. And don't forget to have conversations with people. When I first started on Twitter, I had a hard time with the conversations, because all I had initially was writers promoting their books (when you say you're a writer, they will gravitate to you). It's awfully hard to have a conversation with someone who is just plugging their book or only posting writing links. I had to go out and find other Tweeters who specifically weren't writers.

scarletpeaches
02-04-2012, 05:37 AM
Engage with other people; don't just be all about the bookwhoring.

blacbird
02-04-2012, 06:31 AM
You can communicate maybe with robins. I will "tweet" only when we have a social communication program that allows cawing.

caw

Renee Collins
02-04-2012, 07:05 AM
My theory is that Twitter and other similar social networking sites (Tumbler, Pintrest, etc.) are overtaking blogs in the "web presence" of choice. Twitter is faster and easier for all involved. Do tweets lack the depth of blog posts? Sure, but somehow I think that's a price many are willing to pay in this busy, ADD world.

I know I've transitioned. I maintain my blog in more of a website function. Occasional thoughts and updates. I certainly don't write daily posts anymore. It seems like many of my writer friends/acquaintances (published and unpublished) have done the same.

In the year or so that I've been tweeting, I've connected with so many more writers and acquired far more followers than my blogging years. And it's all *much* faster and easier. I could be wrong about the changing tide, but it doesn't matter much to me. I'm not going back.

Bubastes
02-04-2012, 07:28 AM
Twitter has noticeably affected my book buying habits. I'd say Twitter was responsible for 90% of the books I purchased last year. I find out about so many good books that I probably wouldn't have discovered any other way. So yeah, I think Twitter is an effective promo tool if used correctly. Be yourself, engage with others, and most importantly have fun!

Celia Cyanide
02-04-2012, 07:53 AM
I follow Batman on Twitter, and he is awesome.

I used it, initially, to update my facebook status while I was at work. Mostly, I just find it funny and interesting.

jjdebenedictis
02-04-2012, 08:12 AM
If you're on Twitter, you're on it to socialize. Spend most of your time having conversations with people. Joke around. Be friendly. Be interested in others. Say thoughtful things.

The self-promotion should happen very rarely, and only after you've established to other people that you're a valuable e-friend.

EclipsesMuse
02-04-2012, 12:00 PM
If you're on Twitter, you're on it to socialize. Spend most of your time having conversations with people. Joke around. Be friendly. Be interested in others. Say thoughtful things.

The self-promotion should happen very rarely, and only after you've established to other people that you're a valuable e-friend.

This. Even if you don't think you have anything interesting to say (I don't at times), just responding to others tweets and being yourself is the best. You can meet a lot of interesting people. Though it is true about writers gravitating to other writers.

Becky Black
02-04-2012, 12:34 PM
For me, Twitter is all about "promoting", if I must use that word, yourself, your writing persona, rather than specifically pushing particular books. Of course if you've got a new release you tweet about that, but if that's all you tweet about, you'll be a bore. The key is to put yourself across as someone whose tweets are worth following because they are interesting, funny or useful. (Or a mix of all of those.) Also as someone ready to engage with other Tweeters, including readers. I suppose you can just loftily issue tweets from your ivory tower and never interact with others, but that's kind of boring.

It's also a great place to connect with other writers and publishing professionals and to find blog posts and articles to read when people tweet about them. That's one of the things I value most about twitter. I find things to read about writing and the business I'd never have come across otherwise, thanks to people I follow tweeting and retweeting links. I collect links to insteresting stuff up over a month and do a reconmmended links post once a month on my blog and I'd say at least 75% of the links I post came from tweets.

I'm not even sure how useful Twitter is for promoting a book, since it's so "drive by". If you post a "here's a link to my great book!" tweet at 2am UK time, I'm probably not going to see it. So you could tweet that same thing once an hour, but then I'll think you're just a spammer! You need a more permanent place to post that kind of promotion and then have a link to that in your Twitter profile. Different sites suit different types of content and I generally don't replicate content across different sites.

charmingbillie
02-04-2012, 05:38 PM
If Twitter is a 'tool' of any kind (and for me it's more a place to have conversations with my friends), I'd say it's a networking tool more than a promotion tool. You get to know people you might not otherwise have contact with, find interesting links, have interesting (albeit brief) conversations.

Also, it's about pictures of your dog. MAYBE your cat. But mostly dogs. :)

randi.lee
02-04-2012, 07:48 PM
This is all great advice. Thanks, everyone, for chiming in!

maybegenius
02-05-2012, 12:50 AM
Coming from the position of an Internet Marketer, here are a few things I always advise Twitter users:

Twitter is not for significantly increasing sales. If that's what you're hoping for, you'll probably be disappointed. What Twitter IS good for is building community, making connections, and letting people know who you are and what you represent. THAT is what builds the investment and trust needed to gain traction in sales. There are typically three things that attract people to different users on Twitter: information, entertainment, or free stuff. You usually want to stay away from free stuff... people will come for the freebies, but will lost interest once there's nothing left for them to gain. Information and entertainment, on the other hand, will make them stick around and grow to appreciate what you offer.

I completely agree with those that say Twitter is a socialization tool, and that's the way you need to view it. Less as a means to the end of sales, more as a method of building a community of people who like and want to support you. Most importantly, though, you have to actually care and enjoy what you're doing. If you're just going through the motions and aren't invested, people can pick up on that.

MysteryRiter
02-05-2012, 01:44 AM
Coming from the position of an Internet Marketer, here are a few things I always advise Twitter users:

Twitter is not for significantly increasing sales. If that's what you're hoping for, you'll probably be disappointed. What Twitter IS good for is building community, making connections, and letting people know who you are and what you represent. THAT is what builds the investment and trust needed to gain traction in sales. There are typically three things that attract people to different users on Twitter: information, entertainment, or free stuff. You usually want to stay away from free stuff... people will come for the freebies, but will lost interest once there's nothing left for them to gain. Information and entertainment, on the other hand, will make them stick around and grow to appreciate what you offer.

I completely agree with those that say Twitter is a socialization tool, and that's the way you need to view it. Less as a means to the end of sales, more as a method of building a community of people who like and want to support you. Most importantly, though, you have to actually care and enjoy what you're doing. If you're just going through the motions and aren't invested, people can pick up on that.

QFT.
I thought Twitter was dumbest thing invented at first, but I really like it. It's all about networking, cross-promoting between authors, making friends and talking to readers WITHOUT blabbing about your book. I make about 6 tweets a day. Usually 2 are funny, 2 are informative, 1 promotes another author and one promotes myself. I'm no Twitter mastermind but in my few months tweeting, I feel like I've done pretty well in leveraging it. I also have a loyal band of 3? followers who retweet my ever tweet. :D I personally think it's one of the best resources for writers. But that's just me.