By Indie Authors for Indie Authors.

Tag: twitter for authors

Social Media for Authors

Social Media for Authors

 

I have done a poor job keeping the website updated over the past two weeks. I realize that. (And with no warning to you, the readers! Sorry!) Sometimes life just gets in the way of living. Alas, we press on!

When first joining twitter back in 2010 (this is my second go around with the social media platform), I found myself in a place that many indie authors find themselves. We know that twitter and other social media platforms are important for the marketing and sales of our books, but we don’t exactly know why or how. So many authors simply resort to what I call the chicken-with-its-head-cut-off routine.

Marketing for most authors equates to the chicken-with-its-head-cut-off routine.Click To Tweet Most authors run around with no direction or purpose in their social media marketing efforts. Most of us simply scream into the void that is social media. We don’t have much of a strategy nor do we even know where to begin creating a strategy. Later this week I’ll share some additional resources for twitter book marketing tips, but today I want to explore the concept of marketing on social media in general.

Here in Portland there are activists on nearly every street corner downtown. There are companies that maintain a workforce of young energetic youth. These companies are hired by political lobbyists, politicians, or large corporations to get signatures on the proposal of a new bill or legislation. Most new legislation needs to have a certain number of signatures in order for it to be presented for consideration. These young twenty-somethings will do everything to get you to stop and talk to them in an effort to get your signature.

This is the approach we need to have on social media. No, I don’t advocate hiring hordes of youth to market your book, but if you have the funds for that, go for it. I also am not advocating being obnoxious or in-your-face with your marketing tactics. What I am advocating, however, is to engage.

These energetic young ‘uns, through the sheer number of hours they have spent on the streets of Portland stumping for signatures, have learned the art of engaging their customer. They know how to navigate different personality types and different brush-offs as people pass them on the street.

They extend their hand to shake yours in hopes you will return the gesture forcing you to stop. Engaged.

They smile excitedly like an old friend happy to see you. Engaged.

They compliment your wonderful shoes; comment on the logo on your shirt; or ask you if you support starving children. Engaged. Engaged. Engaged.

I’ve worked in downtown Portland for a long time now and I grow weary of having to politely smile and pass by them, but I respect their energy and their efforts. They know not everyone will be receptive to their approach, but they just keep on keepin’ on. They have learned to let rejection roll right off their backs.

I find this to be quite similar to our experience as authors. We have to learn to deal with rejection, (it happens often). We also have to learn to connect with potential readers. In this regard, we can learn a thing or two from these young Portland activists.

We must engage our readers. You must engage others on social media. Don’t simply yell for them to buy your book. Don’t simply say the same thing over and over and over again, hoping it will finally reach the right audience. Engage your potential readers. Talk to them. Ask them about who they are and what they love.

Engage your readers. Don't simply yell for them to buy your book.Click To Tweet

 

We are all communicative beings and we yearn to communicate. If you’re looking to better engage potential readers, start learning to listen to your audience first. It’s the key to engaging. Listening will do far more for you in your marketing efforts than telling ever will. Then, once you’ve listened and learned who they are, let them realize that your book is perfect for them, not because you told them, but because they came up with the idea on their own.

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

 

 

Twitter Hashtags for Indie Authors

Twitter Hashtags for Authors

 

 

If you’re like every indie author on my Twitter timeline, you’re trying to sell your book. I have my own opinion on the success of just screaming out to everyone and anyone to buy your book, but I’ll let @Gavrusik do it for me this time.

 

 

 

 

Get the picture? As I’ve said before, you’re not going to walk into a coffee shop and scream out to everyone there to buy your book. Why do you do it online?

However, you have a twitter account to meet other authors and readers with similar interests. That’s great. There are simple #hashtags that every indie author should know to help their tweets be seen. This list is not exhaustive, but it is some of the most important ones.

 

The Core #Hashtags:

These are about as basic as it gets, but you should know these:

  • #AmWriting
  • #AmReading
  • #WritersLife
  • #IndieAuthors

 

Reach Readers:

There are times when you want to reach readers–any and all of them. These hashtags will help you shout into the void with just a little bit more purpose.

  • #BookGiveaway
  • #FridayReads
  • #MustRead
  • #GoodRead

 

Reach Specific Readers:

Sometimes, you want to find those readers that have the highest likelihood of having interest in your book, not just anyone who’s ever read something in their life. Try sending tweets with targeted hashtags. These are some of the top genre-targeted #hashtags:

  • #SciFiChat
  •  #YALitChat
  • #YA
  • #FlashFic
  • #Romance
  • #Horror
  • #FanFic
  • #History
  • #Biopic
  • #RWA (Romance Writers of America)
  • #MemoirChat
  • #RomanceWriter
  • #KidLitChat
  • #PoetTues
  • #ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers)
  • #MGLit (Middle Grade Lit)
  • #SCBWI (Society of Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators)

 

Connect With Authors:

Maybe you’ve learned a thing or two from me and you’re not just trying to sell your book. That’s great. Congrats on making your social media profile not completely psychotic and one-track-minded. (Minded? This guy’s an author?)

Here’s some great #hashtags to connect with authors:

  • #IndiePub
  • #SelfPub
  • #WriterWednesday or #WW
  • #SelfPublishing
  • #ScriptChat (for Screenwriters)
  • #WordCount
  • #LitChat
  • #BookMarket
  • #ZineChat
  • #WritingParty
  • #NaNoWriMo

Get Writing Help:

Sometimes you just want specific advice on writing. Try these #hashtags on for size:

  • #Grammar
  • #AmEditing
  • #WritingTips or #WritingTip
  • #Writing
  • #WritingPrompt
  • #WriteChat

 

Industry Tags:

Finally, let’s bring this full circle–from the broad general #hashtags getting more and more specific by the middle, and now back to some brand general industry tags.

  • #Ebooks
  • #Publishing
  • #GetPublished
  • #BookMarketing
  • #Digital
  • #AskEditor
  • #AskAgent

 

There you go. 48 #hashtags for you to consider when you tweet about how amazing your book is and how you will drink gasoline if I buy your book. (How did this become a thing? How is the “I will do X crazy-ass thing if you buy my book” a real thing?)

Fine, I’ll give you an even 50 #hashtags because you’re neurotic and OCD. If you need two other tags when trying to sell your book, consider #DoesAnybodyHearMe or #IKnowSomethingYouDontKnow. You’re welcome.

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

Does Twitter Actually Sell Books?

Twitter-for-authors

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.

 

 

Find more writing and publishing tips at Nothing Any Good.

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