In 2019 I posted a series on the subject of book marketing.. which is available as a pdf if you would like to read the whole series. (Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org). I follow every author in the Cafe on Twitter if they have an account, and I always tag them in posts when I promote.This tweet which includes the tag for an author, is distributed to my 31,000 followers on Twitter which is often retweeted by them onwards.
I do a regular analysis of my own traffic statistics and whilst the majority of blog views is driven by WordPress reader, the next most effective referrer is Twitter.
I am also on Facebook, but as far as book marketing is concerned it is the groups that you belong to which drive book traffic, not the personal timelines.
With that in mind, and understanding how bewildering it can be when marketing your first book, here is a repeat of my post about using Twitter as a book marketing platform.
Twitter has changed its interface in the last year, so I have updated some of the graphics to reflect that.. but the fundamental elements of using the platform effectively remain the same.
Twitter – Step by step guide set up for authors
The look and functionality of Twitter has changed recently, and I have to say that I am not a fan (as yet). It is now designed for mobile devices and whilst there are a couple of useful upgrades, for someone starting an account (and some of us who have been using it for 7 years) it is over complicated for what you want to use it for.
However, as a watering hole, for your blog and certainly your books it is a useful platform to establish yourself on. There are some useful marketing features, including paid advertisements, but there is a great deal of free functionality that you can take of advantage of first. To be honest I don’t use all the bells and whistles as I do everything manually, but do find it helpful to use some of their basic marketing options.
I will work my way through the new interface with some of the key elements that you need to focus on as an author with books to market.
And the first place to start is your profile.
On the left of the page you have the new menu and if you click on Profile it will bring up the above page. When you sign up for your account you will be offered a similar page to the one below and also should you wish to edit in the future.
It is important that the image that you use as your profile photograph is one that potential readers of your books can connect and relate to. Leaving it blank is not an option as most people think it suspicious that you don’t want to show your face and won’t follow you back. If you are an author then I suggest a good photograph of high quality that you can reduce in size and still retain the definition. Some people will share the picture of a pet or flower but they won’t necessarily sell your books for you.
As an author looking to market your book then your author name should go here. Even if it is a pen name. It should also be the same name as that you use for your blog and any other social media so to develop your author brand. You have up to 50 characters to use in this segment to don’t worry if you have a very long name…
What is it that you would like the readers of your Twitter feed to do? As an author you want them to buy your books. So here is were you put the genre you write in mainly – Children’s, Fantasy, Memoir, Thriller, Crime, non-fiction – Your Amazon Author Page Link – If you have a blog then you have enough room to briefly describe what readers will find there.
You have 160 characters for this piece so work on it offline to make sure you have your selling message clear cut before you add.
Update your bio on a regular basis with new information.
This is where I actually live as I have an Irish themed book. But you don’t need to fill this in if you don’t want to.
Author website or Blog link
I use this for my blog link as it is effectively my website too.
Date of Birth.
You don’t have to fill this in.. and I don’t.
Expand your Profile with a Pinned Tweet.
Most accounts that I follow have a Pinned Tweet and you can use as a 280 character extension of your profile…or to announce news of your latest release, review, book signing, etc.
At the moment I am promoting my latest release for a few weeks but would normally change weekly to my blog round up.
How to pin a tweet.
- Prepare your tweet that you want to use in the normal way, using all your 280 characters, and post.
- Go into profile in the menu and click on Tweets.
- Find your prepared tweet and click the three small dots to the right of your name and it will offer you a number of options including Pin this Tweet to your profile.
- A box will come up that allows you to cancel or pin. Click pin and the tweet will now appear under your profile.
Tips to building your author network on Twitter.
This is a networking site and as an author you want to engage with others. – Like any cocktail party you need to mingle. The first steps are daunting but if you are a blogger or are on Facebook, you will already know some other authors and the first step is make a list and track them down on Twitter and follow them.
For example you know me and I am always happy to follow other authors back. And you can really get in any author’s good books if as well as following them, you retweet their pinned tweet. Usually they will reciprocate.
If you go into my profile page you will be able to see who I follow and who follows me. Click on either of those and then check the first 50 or so names and see who you also know and follow them too.
You can follow up to 2000 before Twitter will put the breaks on until the number of people who follow you is also at 2000, So it is a good idea to select 20 authors at a time and retweet their pinned tweet but also over a couple of days one of their new tweets. They will usually follow you back.
Some hashtags (identifiers and pop up to the top of the pile) that are useful for an author to use, including #writingcommunity, #amreading, genre specific such as #fantasy #memoir, location #Londonauthor, activity driven #Review and the weekly invitation to follow..#FF – Friday Follow where you can list a fair few of those that follow you to invite them to connect with each other.
Share blogs that you read that are of interest to #Writingcommunity on twitter as that will grab the attention of other authors. Writers are readers too and engaging them will lead them to your books.
When you share a post from WordPress to Twitter, if the blogger has an account you can add in other Twitter users. So for example. If someone reblogs a Cafe and Bookstore post I can move the link down by clicking just before the https and pressing enter to leave a gap. You can then @ plus the name or twitter name of the authors in the post and usually Twitter will bring them up for you. This means that the authors you add will see who has reblogged their post and it is another way to add to your network. You can see here that I added Jemima Pett in as she was the featured author, you have room to add about five tags with the average blog link.
If you are writing guest posts for other bloggers, remember your social media links including Twitter.
To tag another Twitter user simply @theretwittername…so for example if you @sgc58 me, it will show up in my timeline.
When someone retweets a post about another author on my blog, such as the Cafe and bookstore new book on the shelves, I always respond and tag the author in question.
Firstly if that is you, thanking the person who retweeted in the first place will win you extra points, and a possible new reader.
Also if you are the person who retweeted the post, you have someone else to follow.
Avoiding the desperate and scammers on Twitter.
Although not specific to authors, there are some people that you don’t want to follow or following you. You can prevent most of that by using your advance filters.
Go to More in your menu
Select notifications and then Advanced Filters
You can select a number of options about who you receive notifications from.
I have chosen not to receive the notifications of those without a profile photo (even if it is a cat) but no profile photo, no email, no phone usually leads to someone using a fake profile (I am followed by most of the generals in the Pentagon!) or bots on phishing trips.
I think that is more than enough for one post and I hope you have found useful as always I love to receive your feedback .. Thanks Sally.