#PromoteMyBook: Twitter

Last week, we wrote a blog offering our newly published authors a few easy and affordable tips to help them promote their books. This week, we want to build off of that concept and focus our attention on promoting your book to the wide range of people accessible through social media; in particular, Twitter.

Twitter is a fantastic tool to use when promoting your book. This social media platform allows users to post short (140-character or less) “tweets” to their followers. While Twitter isn’t the instant fix to propel your book sales, it can help you reach users who might be interested in your book’s genre.

Here are a few tips that could help you maximize your Twitter presence.

Back to basics- Before we delve into the particulars of Twitter, let’s review the basics. First, create a username that is relevant to your name or book so that if someone searches for you or your book online, your Twitter profile will appear in the search results. Maybe it’s your first and last name, or your first initial and last name. Essentially, make it as easy as possible for users to find you.

The next step in this process is to choose a clear image of yourself to add to your profile. This will allow your followers to identify you with your book and will add both a personal and a professional flare to your profile.

Once you have finished these initial steps, you now have the capability to tweet, “retweet” another user’s post, mention another user by including their Twitter name in your tweet or employ the use of the pound sign, now known in the Twitter world as the “hashtag.”  All of these different options enable you to cultivate your Twitter persona.

Be a follower- The point of promoting your book on Twitter is to gain a following, and to do so, you have to follow others. However, randomly following people won’t help boost your credibility. Instead, look to follow people in the industry or significant people in your book’s genre. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to follow local book stores, libraries and other places that support local businesses. This will allow you to engage and eventually start a conversation with them via Twitter about promoting your book at their establishment.

Hashtag-The hashtag (#) could be the most useful tool in your Twitter promotion arsenal. The hashtag is used to identify specific topics. This little character has taken the Twitter world by storm by taking seemingly ordinary topics and creating buzz around them. Perhaps you wrote a book about a popular sports figure. Adding a hashtag with the sports figure’s name, their sport and other keywords that apply can help label the content of your book.

A caveat: As we mentioned before, quality posts are better than quantity; the same principle applies to the use of hashtags. Refrain from overusing hashtags in your tweets.  For instance “#Do #Not #Tweet #Like #This”. This will cause your followers to raise an eyebrow and question your credibility. Instead, strategically place hashtags before words that you feel will drive the most traffic to your Twitter page.

Quotes- Tweeting quotes from your book can be a great way to “tease” your followers about the content of your book. In order to maximize the suspense and intrigue your followers, choose quotes that are interesting and insightful, but don’t tell the entire story. When you pull a quote from your book, make sure that it’s concise and will allow you the opportunity to include your book title and relevant hashtags in the tweet.

One important rule of thumb: in order for people to read your book, you have to get them to read your tweets. It might sound contradictory, but do not make every single tweet relate to your book.  They say, “variety is the spice of life,” and this applies to Twitter as well.  Do not shamelessly promote your book in each tweet; instead, tweet genuine thoughts or interesting links. If something piques your interest, share it with your followers. And always use catchy headlines and proper grammar when composing your tweet. You don’t want to spoil all of the hard work you put into writing your book with a poorly written tweet.

These are just a few pieces of advice that you can use on Twitter to promote your book and help you create a following that will join you on your future endeavors!

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