Book Marketing #11: Twitter

Book Marketing via Twitter |

Wikipedia defines Twitter as "a service, enabling its users to send and read messages called tweets. Tweets are text-based posts of up to 140 characters displayed on the user's profile page." Twitter isn't a hype anymore: Twitter has even swept up politicians, celebrities, sportsmen, entrepreneurs, and authors - not only for marketing purposes.

1. Twitter - why?

Of course, we cannot guarantee that you land a new bestseller via Twitter, but the more buzz you create for your eBook, the higher the chance of a sale! Twitter can be used for marketing and PR purposes - as a direct line to your target group. But meeting potential customers and stay in touch with existing readers is not the only reason for using Twitter. We have found some more ways authors can benefit from Twitter:

Twitter makes it easy to meet useful people and to develop relationships: other authors, writers, editors, publishers, lectors, experts, (new) fans, influencers...

Market yourself and your work
Twitter Marketing: You will enjoy using Twitter as a book marketing tool. But watch out! The formula for success doesn't change on Twitter: Quality (not quantity) is essential. Before you send a tweet, you should ask yourself if the content is interesting, useful or entertaining. Respect the time and the attention of your readers. More about "good tweets" later.

Inspiration and motivation
On Twitter, you are never alone! Authors use the hashtags #amwriting or #writegoal to get together into a sharing, supportive, creative community. Or they chat about "writing" (-> have a look at Twitter Chats for Writers.

Follow other authors to get inspiration, follow editors or writing schools to get writing tips, follow publishers to get information about "not to be rejected", follow XinXii to learn more about digital self-publishing... Twitter is a pool of useful information!

Industry insights
Publishers, editors, illustrators, lectors... they are all on Twitter. Now you have the opportunity to get a closer look at their work, to get useful links, to be informed about events and blog posts.

To avoid frustration, you should pursue your own personal goal on Twitter: Why you are on Twitter? Who do you want to reach?

2. Follow and to be followed - Start building your community

On Twitter, it's about following and being followed.

Follow others

Who are you interested in? What are your topics? Who is your target group? Who do you want to reach on Twitter? Potential readers, other authors, experts, editors, publishers? Having answered to these questions, you can start searching for "your" people to follow. The following services might help you:

Search engines and directories
- Followformation is a tool that helps you follow the top people on twitter by city
- JustTweetIt is a user directory for organized by genre
- Twellow is a search directory of people by area of expertise, profession or other attribute
- Twitter Directory to search by name, Twitter name or area
- Twitter Search in realtime - see what the world is doing right now
- WeFollow is a directory of Twitter users organized by interests

Twitter listings by theme
- 100+ of the Best Authors on Twitter by Cameron Chapman | Mashable
- Authors on XinXii
- Book publishers on Twitter by Gary Unger

... and last but not least: Have a closer look to the people you follow: Who do they follow?

Don't follow too many people at once. Following tons of people while having only a few follower makes you look bad (-> tweets of poor quality or spammer).

Be picky in your decision who you follow. Before you follow someone, you should have a look at his recent tweets.

Being followed

An important goal on Twitter: Finding followers who are really (!) interested in you. Spammers and auto-follower won't buy your eBook. Find as many followers as possible, but find relevant followers (= potential buyers of your eBook e.g.). But never ask someone to follow you! The following tips might support you in finding follower on Twitter:

Good tweets
- more on that later

- How FollowFriday Works

Share your Twitter-account
Promote your Twitter account everywhere you're listed online: on your blog, in your LinkedIN-profile, in your Email signature and on your author page on XinXii. Any visitor and recipient is interested in you, so tell about your Twitter account!

Being listed: Your Twitter URL in Twitter directories
- A Directory of Authors on Twitter
- JustTweetIt
- Tweetranking
- TwitDir
- WeFollow

Good articles about how to get Twitter followers
- How To: Expand Your Twitter Tribe by Aaron Lee
- How to Pick Up Followers on Twitter by Guy Kawasaki
- Why 150 Followers is All You Really Need by Srinivas Rao

Brian Solis gives a tangible advice on building a community the human way: How do you increase social influence? Don’t think about the score.

3. Book marketing on Twitter

To follow and being followed in a well-considered way is an important step in your book marketing. Now it's about your content on Twitter, it's about sending "good tweets".

As an author you should tweet about your eBook and inform about the source of supply, so it's about generating traffic to your eStore on XinXii. A pleasant side effect of generating traffic to your author page is that your eBook might be listed as Most viewed title today as well. But please don't spam on Twitter!

About your eBook

Talk about your eBook: background, inspirations, characters...
Link to free excerpts on XinXii
Link to eBook related cntent: reviews, blog articles, interviews, podcasts
Promote events such as readings and book signings
Build Buzz with a Twitter Contest by Dana Lynn Smith

About you

As a non-fiction author: Inform about your expertise (e.g. share your articles on the web). Help others by sharing information, while you gain a reputation as an expert
Talk about what you are writing at the moment
Tweet something personal from time to time (family, weekend, hobby...)

About others

Retweet good tweets - sharing is caring
Comment on interesting/useful/entertaining tweets
Recommend topic-related books, tv shows, articles


Welcome new followers (auto-DM are unpersonal)
Thank others for a retweet or mentioning you
Try to interact with your followers

Good articles about "Good Tweets"
- 5 Steps to Going Viral on Twitter by Dan Zarrella
- 7 Ways to Thank Someone for a Retweet by Angie Schottmuller
- How to Get More Retweet Action on Twitter by David Cantone
- How to Get Retweeted by Guy Kawasaki

Brian Clark gives you a great recipe for writing headlines on Twitter that gets clicks and retweets: The Art of Writing Great Twitter Headlines. In the best case, your tweets are a mix of interesting own content, useful information, commented retweets - flavoured with a personal touch and interactions with others.

Constantly tweeting the link to your XinXii eStore is intrusive and counterproductive! Make promotional tweets a small percentage of your overall tweets; they shouldn't be just a stream of sales pitches.

Follow us on Twitter | XinXii

4. Follow XinXii

... on as soon as you are on Twitter and say hello, so we know you are there, and we can support your book marketing! We tweet about us (updates, new features, press releases...), useful information about self-publishing, and about your eBook! Have a look on what we are tweeting at the moment:

If you have read this far, you are probably confused and overwhelmed. Our tip: Just get started, and you will see how easy and fun Twitter can be! To date, many authors lead their audience on their author page via Twitter. Don't underestimate Twitter as a marketing tool! Spread the word, create excitement and drive people to purchase and read your eBook. But to understand the benefits of Twitter, you need as many of the social networks, some time and patience.

5. Useful articles, tips and links

Filling in your profile information will help people find you on Twitter: Who are you? What are your topics? Why should I follow you? It's a real challenge to enter a bio in less than 140 characters... Don't forget to link to your XinXii eStore (-> you'll find your personal link on "My XinXii > Marketing")!

- 12 Twitter Mistakes You Should Avoid by John Paul
- Writers Guide to Twitter
- Twitter tips Tips for Twitter Users wanting to improve their use of Twitter

Twitter experiences from authors
- 5 Twitter Tips For Authors And Publishers by Cindy Ratzlaff
- How Twitter Has Helped My Writing by Jennifer Hammitt
- How Twitter can help you improve, market and publish your creative writing by Iain Broome
- Twitter for Writers: How to navigate the Twittersphere by Cheri Lasota
- Why writers should use Twitter by Alexis Grant

Useful Twitter Tools
- 50 Useful Twitter Tools for Writers and Researchers
- BackTweets See how many people you reach on Twitter
- Bitly helps you share, track, and analyze your links
- Followformation is a tool that helps you follow the top people by city
- shows you who you follow that is not following you back and vice versa
- TwitBlock Fan or Spam? Find out how many of your followers are junk, and block the twerps
- Twitter Chats For Writers by Debbie Ridpath Ohi

What are your experiences with/on Twitter? Any comments, useful links and tips are welcome!