I'm a firm believer that Twitter can sell books. In my own experience, it's proven true. I've had some wonderful promotional opportunities come my way through Twitter which -- judging from Amazon sales rank -- have had a direct impact on my sales. So... here are my top 10 Twitter tips for beginners!
1. Choose an easy user name -- your own name is best. You want your Twitter name to relate to your 'brand'. So if you write children's books, your Twitter name shouldn't be Porno101.
2. Upload an avatar. A photo of yourself is usually best, but if you're not comfortable with that then make sure it's something that stands out and reflects your brand again.
3. Fill out the profile information and include a link to your blog (rather than your website). The more information you put out there about yourself, the more people will want to follow you. Make sure the information you put relates to the kind of follower you want to attract. In my Twitter profile, I tried to include writer, novel, etc. People may also search by geographic location, so having your city is also important. I've experimented with the blog vs website link several times and I've found by putting your blog as your profile link, you can get more blog followers.
4. Follow others. Twitter is highly interactive -- even more so than blogging. It's not meant to be a one-way conversation. One of my pet peeves on Twitter is when people have 5000 followers but they follow 5. To me, that's just missing out on the fun of Twitter. The more people you follow, usually the more that will follow you. Not only that, but you'll have more of a chance to jump in and join the conversation when you see a topic that interests you. If you're having problems finding someone to follow, find a famous writer on Twitter (Margaret Atwood, for example) or agent (Nathan Bransford) and follow their followers.
5. Don't be afraid to jump in! Twitter is all about interaction. People expect - and want - others to respond to what they're saying. Don't get put off if they don't respond; just keep responding and they'll notice you.
6. Don't use Twitter solely to promote your book. Like anything else, if you only push a product, people will get turned off.
7. The more you Tweet, the more followers you'll get. If you tweet once a week, chances are your followers will grow quite slowly.
8. Retweet, do FollowFriday (where you recommend other people to follow) and, in general, take part. Just like blogging, the more involved you are, the more followers you'll get.
The curse of eight strikes again!
Twitter is not just about what people had for breakfast. It's fun, it's a great way to network and more importantly -- for those of us who want to sell a few books here and there -- it's a fantastic promotional tool that authors really can't afford to ignore!
*climbs down off soapbox* If you want to follow me, click here for my Talli Roland account and here for my Marsha Moore account.
Happy Tuesday! I'd love to hear your tips!