Using Twitter to promote books

Joanna Penn – Why use Twitter to promote my writing / book?

Because it works. But it takes time so be aware that you’ll need to invest a fair amount of energy before things start happening. Joanna Penn started with 0 followers and within a year she had 12’000. She built up a network of followers by tweeting useful tweets that other people who followed her (authors/writers/book promoters/ reviewers etc) would find useful. She also made a point of understanding how twitter works.

It paid off. She now has over 18 000 followers and when she has something that she wants others to know she has a captive audience who are interested in what she says. And many of her followers will retweet her tweets to people they know will be interested so the word goes out.

So what is Twitter exactly?

A way of telling everyone what you’re up to but keeping it SHORT! 140 characters max. It’s enormous popularity shows the value of communicating with simplicity and humor.

May 20th 2011 – OK, I now have a twitter account. What next?

How can tweeting on Twitter  help me promote my novel?

Hmmmm – The best way of finding out is to ask on Twitter itself but I don’t even know how to ask yet!

Twitter Lesson 1 – # Hash symbol.

I found that if I wanted to see things that authors were saying if I typed #writers in the search box all topics that were related to writers appeared. If I put in #erotica (which got my partners interest if nothing else) I got a load of erotica related tweets and twitterers… interesting. Search #romance and I got a load of romance authors.

Twitter Lesson 2 – Directing a question to the right audience

So I figured if I typed:

‘#writers #authors – Am writing an article – How can tweeting on Twitter help promote a novel? Can you help? Will quote/link you.’

I would be asking the right people. So I did. But I got no replies….

(Hindsight speaking here – I tweeted at the wrong times, didn’t have enough followers and had no relationships)

Twitter Lesson 3 – Contacting a particular user

If I wanted to contact one user in particular I typed the @symbol followed by their username – for example if you wanted to contact me you’d type @heather_w66 and then your message

Twitter Lesson 4 – Find followers …

I feel a bit like Billy No Mates so I need to find followers but this appears to be a whole exercise in it’s self and needs a whole new page.

I found followers by following others, being friendly, writing good tweets and being patient

Twitter Lesson 5 – Update 8 months on

If you want Twitter to work for you you have to Tweet, RT, reply and build relationships. Working for a few weeks then stopping is like pushing a car a few yards down a straight road then thinking it’s gonna carry on if you jump in. Unless you’re on a slope of luck, it wont.

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