Image Courtesy of Authors Win

More than any other social media site, it seems that Twitter is the place to be for self-published and indie authors. I’m not quite sure why, but Twitter seems inundated with people of our ilk. If you’re like me, your Twitter feed is packed with reviews, books, giveaways, interviews, promotions, and on and on and on. it never ends.

I’m certainly not pointing the finger here. You know what they say, there would be four fingers pointing back at me. My tweets contain plenty of information about my own book. We seem to each of us be chasing the same thing and asking the same pool of people to support our dreams. Authors supporting Authors.

We can’t all buy each other’s books, can we?

This got me wondering, does all this author promotion actually work? Is Twitter actually helping to sell books?

While this is only anecdotal, I found Derek Haines‘ article about his success rate an interesting gauge to help answer this question.

Mr. Haines boasts a 15% conversion rate of Twitter profile visits to site visits. Out of 17,000 Twitter profile visits in a given month, 2,723 of those visitors clicked through to visit his page. This is a pretty darn good number.

He digs a little deeper, though, and I’m glad he does. Mr. Haines presents a recent example of a book promotion he ran. The Twitter stats showed that 4,435 people saw the tweet, but only 43 people engaged with it. This is a very small conversion rate, but one to which I think most Twitter users can relate. (I certainly can attest to that kind of low conversion rate.)

Even more significant, not a single one of those 4,435 viewers and 43 engagers bought Mr. Haines’ book due to that promotion.

This is reflective of my experience with Twitter as well. It has not been an avenue to say, “Buy my book!” and then just kick back and watch the sales role in; nor should it be either.

If you’re using Twitter simply to pimp out your book and seek immediate sales, I think you have an uphill battle in front of you. However, if you’re looking to be involved in the Twitter author community and interact, you can create awareness of your brand and book.

This is the paramount rule of thumb for most all social media. People treat it differently than they would real-world, face-to-face interactions, but they shouldn’t. You wouldn’t walk into a bar and announce to each person there that you have a book, and then incessantly talk about your book when you sit down at the table with your friends. So why do you do it on Twitter?

Besides, it’s probably not selling many books for you anyway.



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