5 Things NOT to do when promoting your book on Twitter

I love Twitter. I’ve been using it for five or six years on various plaforms, and when I first took to the micro-social networking website, it was largely undiscovered. I’ve learned how to use it over time, and I love connecting with people and being social. I’d even go so far to say that because I’m so hermity in real life, tweeting people throughout the day helps me fulfil some of my social fix (SAD, I know).

Using Twitter to promote and sell eBooks

I’ve had quite a lot of success selling Inside Evil and The Tower of Souls through Twitter. I know that some authors hate the platform, and scorn anyone that promotes using it as a marketing tool. But, from first hand experience, it’s worked for me. It doesn’t sell vast numbers, but it’s sure better than being lost in Amazon’s algorithms.

Twitter won’t work for everyone, but it’s worked, and is still working, in helping me get the word out about my books. You can make friends, RT reader’s compliments to your own followers, connect with other readers – it really is a great tool.

However, over the past few months I’ve noticed that a hell of a lot of authors are just going about it completely wrong. Hell, there are some authors I follow that I seriously need to sit down and have a word with. If they’re driving me crazy when I’m trying to support them, then they must be turning potential readers off left, right and centre.

So, with that said, here are five things not to do when promoting your book on Twitter.

1. DON’T SPAM.

I truly do not care if you’re ‘promoting‘ your book, but tweeting every five minutes, hell, tweeting every 10 minutes about your book is SPAM whether you think it is or not. It fills up the Twitter feed with useless rubbish that IS NOT GOING TO BE READ by readers. Worse than that, it will cause people to unfollow you. Yes. It’s really not a good move to make. In my personal opinion, if you end up in Twitter jail, then you’re tweeting way too much and need to reign it in a bit.

2. DON’T ONLY TWEET LINKS

OK, this isn’t quite as spammy, but tweeting your book link and only your book link is not going to gain the attention you want. If you are going to tweet about your book, at least give your followers some information, as ‘Inside Evil available now at ________‘ simply doesn’t cut it. Give your followers something interesting to read. Provide a hook for your book, use weekly events such as #samplesunday to attract people to your sample chapters, or tell folks that your book’s a bargain if they’re looking for a new read. Fill out those 140 characters so your tweets are read, rather than falling into the virtual slush pile.

3. DON’T MESSAGE FOLLOWERS WITH BOOK LINKS

Oh my, if there’s one thing that infuriates me, it’s when mutual followers send me their book link out of the blue. Not only will I rarely click the link and take a look, but that author immediately gets a black blot on my copy book. You want to be remembered as a fun and interactive Tweeter, not someone who sends unsolicited messages. Of course, if you’ve had a full conversation with someone first and they’ve shown interest in your book, then by all means send them a link with a ‘here’s the link if you want to find out more‘.

4. DON’T RESPOND TO DM’S FROM NEW FOLLOWERS

This is a little bit of advice that I’ve learned myself in the past few months. I’ve always let my past Twitter accounts grow organically, but I’ve been a bit more aggressive in building my professional account. This entails actually going through Twitter, finding readers and following them. It can be highly rewarding if you meet new people, new friends and ultimately manage to get some sales. BUT beware responding to DM’s too quickly. DM’s (Direct Messages) are a great tool once you’ve got to know people and want to have a quick bitch, ahem, chat off-screen. But, returning DM’s from new followers before you’ve sussed them out can lead to some strange and uncomfortable conversations.

5. DON’T EXPECT MIRACLE SALES OVERNIGHT

A lot of people join Twitter to promote their book and think that the 1,000 followers they’ve followed are going to buy their book. This is NEVER going to happen. If you’re lucky 10 or 20 might check your book out. Five or six might buy it. Twitter isn’t an immediate promotional tool; you need to talk to people, engage, make friends. People WILL look at your profile, so put a link to your website in there. People WILL ask you about your book, especially if you tweet about it’s progress, about what you’re writing, about sales, covers, even other books you’re reading.

It’s been a pleasure getting to know readers over the past few months since I started my official author profile. I talk with many about far more than my work, I’ve made friends, and in return these folks have bought my books. If they’ve liked them, they’ve tweeted about them. I’ve RT their tweets.

If you’re using Twitter for book marketing, then please go in with open eyes. Twitter should be used about increasing your branding and exposure, not about sales…these will come later. Go, tweet, make friends, debate, and sales will come from the most unsuspecting places.

Increase your July book sales with Smashwords promotion

Promotions can often be key in marketing. Getting people to buy your book is no easy thing, as I’ve discovered myself, and a few freebies and discounts here and there can offer great incentives for readers to download your book, read it, love it and hopefully spread the word.

If you currently sell with Smashwords and received their email this morning, don’t bin it to your delete box before reading because they’ve announced their Summer/Winter sale. This site-wide promotion starts on July 1st and lasts a month, allowing you to discount your books. You can make them free, 75per cent off, half price, or 25per cent off. If you want to enrol, then do so before July 1st for maximum exposure.

As you can see from the form above, it only takes mere seconds to enrol and you might find a jump in sales. I’ve never used the promotion before, but anything to offer readers a little extra incentive to buy your book is a good opportunity to utilise. Inside Evil will be 50% off for the month, and you’ll be able to buy it at the reduced price using the SSW50 code.

May’s increasing sales

May’s been a great month for me. Today, not to blow my own trumpet ‘too’ loudly, it’s my birthday. I’m 31 on the 31st of May…if only I could get 31 sales today too. 😉 Talking of sales, May has, by far, been my best month and I’ve noted a 233% increase in my books rocketing off the shelves. OK, ‘rocketing‘ may be a bit of an exaggeration, but I’ve increased from THREE sales last month, to 10 sales this month. See, I’ve had so many sales that it’s now not grammatically correct to spell out the number!

I know that hitting the lowest possible double digit figure for monthly sales may seem a ridiculous thing to be celebrating, but I’m moving in the right direction and that’s a good thing. I’ve had a unsolicited five star review on Amazon.co.uk, I’ve had an email from a reader asking if I’m writing another book, and I’ve been getting great feedback from a couple of reviewers. I’ve had Inside Evil proofed from tip to toe so as to remove as many errors as possible (there were quite a few, I’ll admit it). And, let’s not forget, I had a new cover created.

When you’re first starting out in the publishing world, it’s little things that thrill you. Any sale is very exciting, a positive review makes your jaw hit the floor, and moving into a Top 100 list offers so much excitement that it’s almost impossible to stop screaming and dancing around the house (yes, I did this). I could never understand the rankings. I was listed as at some stupid seven millionth and something in the Kindle store, yet I didn’t appear in any other category lists. I wanted to know exactly how awfully low I was for specific genres. Then, I sold a few books and suddenly I was #87 in Horror and #93 in Occult in the co.uk listings. I didn’t stay there for very long mind you, but I don’t really care. I, me, Geoff Wakeling was, for the briefest moment, in a top 100 list. Awesome.

With May almost over, I’m already looking forward to June. This lovely summer month should see me feature on a few website reviews. In addition, my LibraryThing promotion finishes on June 5th. I’ll then be sending out 50 copies of Inside Evil to readers for reviews, so I hope that a few more positives may come back from the promotion. Ultimately, I hope this will lead to more sales as news of the book is spread across the web.

In the meantime I’m cracking on with the second book of the Inside Evil series. I’m almost ready to reveal the name, I just need to ponder it a little more before it’s set in stone. I’m also readying for a tiny weeny competition, the winner of which will have their idea featured in Book Two. Details to come.

For now, I must go and celebrate my day with another cup of tea, maybe some cake, and definitely some more writing. 🙂