By Sarah Citrenbaum, Publicist
When used effectively, social media is a game changer when it comes to book promotion. Twitter in particular is one of the most powerful ways for authors to raise awareness about their work. By posting about their books, their writing, and their interests, authors create an engaging digital presence that supplements and increases promotion efforts. Here are five tips for authors to keep in mind when using Twitter:
1. Tell the world about your book in 140 characters: Twitter is an easy, efficient, and cost effective tool for promoting your book. First off, sign up for a Twitter account (best part, its free!). Write something about yourself in your bio and be sure to include a link to your blog or website. I recommend using a photo of yourself, or a photo of your book cover. Begin to curate a list of users to follow. A good start is to look for famous authors or people who tweet about books and book markets. By receiving all of their tweets, you may find information that intrigues you and ideas for your own tweets. In order to gradually build up your network, it is crucial to establish a correspondence with other users and tweet regularly.
2. Post about your interests: In addition to telling the world about your book, posting about your interests and hobbies creates a more transparent connection between you and your followers. With the many millions of users, there’s bound to be someone with the same interests as you. Making your tweets more personal helps followers connect with your human side and learn more about you as a person, rather than just an author. When you can, relate your interests to the subject of your book. For example, if you wrote about overcoming an illness, it makes sense that you tweet about that topic and what it means to you.
3. Re-tweet other people’s posts: If someone you follow sends a good tweet, it is beneficial to re-tweet it. By doing this, you imply that their post is interesting, and forward the tweet to your followers as well. People like it when you re-tweet them, and sometimes they will decide to follow you as a result.
4. Use hashtags: Tweets that are marked with the # symbol are called hashtags and they are extremely useful. A hashtag is a label for content. It helps others who are interested in a certain topic quickly find content on that same topic. For example, if you have a writing tip, you can mark it with the #writetip hashtag, and anyone looking for tips will see your tweet, which is also a good way to get new followers. Some other good hashtags for writers are #amwriting, #writing, and #bookmarketing.
5. Interact with other authors: Try searching for tweets by other writers. For example, by searching the #amwriting tag, you will notice that there’s a large international community of writers. Join in the conversation, make friends and get networking. In this way, you can make contact with a bestselling author. Who knows, maybe your correspondence will eventually result in you two working together on a cross promotion where everyone benefits.
And there you have it! Remember to be patient, posting one tweet will not suddenly drive hundreds of followers to buy your book. The most successful authors use Twitter regularly to build a following over a matter of months or years. It’s a powerful tool, and if used well it’s almost certainly guaranteed to help you market and sell your book.