Quite awhile back I posted a blog about my beginning to use Twitter to help promote our books. I am still struggling with writing tweets, and I know many others are, so I wanted to share a few “epiphanies” that have come to me in my struggles. Yes, you have to keep struggling, because Twitter works.
Don’t let people tell you everybody hates sales tweets on Twitter. Twitter is becoming the new site for journalism, news, and all kinds of media. It’s not just “I’m bored at school” and “that guy is so cute” anymore. It’s full of Bible study fans, current events fans, fiction fans, homeschoolers, and people interested in every subject you could think of to write about. And don’t let people tell you that you should never follow other authors. People looking at Twitter look for interesting stuff. Readers are looking for writers. I can’t come to any other conclusion, because most of our blog followers and apparently book buyers come from Twitter, and I follow and retweet lots of other authors.
First, both Smashwords and Amazon have tweet buttons on each book page. You can hit that little bird, and an automatic tweet comes up. It’s ok to just send that critter right out as is. You even have some space to edit or add some original things, like hashtags, pricing, or a short quote from the book or a reviewer. But you don’t have to add anything.
Twitter also sends you emails saying “so-and-so retweeted your tweet.” This makes it easy to click the link to so-and-so and go to that profile and retweet a couple of his. Easy return of helpfulness to a person who took the trouble to retweet you.
Another kind of email is the one that says “So-and-so and six others have tweets for you.” These are recent tweets of people you follow anyway, usually, so you can retweet them right from your email.
You can join a tweeting group. There are quite a few on facebook. Some make a file into which people paste daily tweets. You can paste yours there as well if you commit to retweeting the others. They are supposed to retweet you also, Others just make a comment thread with a daily list of tweets. If you add yours, you should retweet the others in the list. A third kind of group makes up a special hashtag, for example #twitgrp, and you can do a search for that on Twitter and retweet everyone in your group who includes that tag. They can also find you and retweet you, without even going to facebook.
If you have many books like we do, and many sites where you book is sold, consider tweeting a group of them from one site. You can tweet your blog if they are linked there. You can tweet from Kobo, for example, where they have our books in a group by each author. I can tweet Sophronia Belle Lyon’s list there, and Mary C. Findley’s list, and Michael J. Findley’s list, and I have let the twitterverse know about all our books in three tweets.
Yes, it’s still a good idea to write original tweets. If you have multiple subjects or genres that you write about, try to concentrate on writing tweets for just one subject at a time. “Historical Romance” tweets Monday, “SciFi” tweets Tuesday, “Bible Study” Wednesday, “Literary Adventure” Thursday, and so on. Keep them generic so you can keep reusing them, but don’t always tweet the same ones.
Tweet lines from your books. Tweet lines from reviews. Tweet hashtags, to tell people what categories your books fall into. Twitter tells you what hashtags are trending. That means people are searching for #offbeatromance, or #electionpolitics or #deathofchild. (I made those up. I don’t know what the real hastags of the day might be.) Take some time to check for those trending hashtags and include them in your tweets for that day.
My next step is going to have to be figuring out some scheduler program like Hootsuite. If anybody is out there reading this blog, I would love to hear your thoughts on the best, easiest, fastest scheduler and how you make it work.