Using Twitter for Book Marketing

Last weekend I tried something new, a Re-Tweet Weekend. I asked my Twitter followers and Facebook friends, and LinkedIn Crime Fiction people, to send me their book links. Then Saturday and Sunday I re-tweeted them randomly and often.

Authors! Planning an RT extravaganza. Post your book tweet w/link and @LiseMcClendon and I will RT Saturday & Sunday #indie #books #ebooks

  1. @LiseMcClendon Really cool! Everyone should go over and look at this girl’s wallpaper. (Proud of myself–I know the lingo)

About twelve or fifteen authors played with me, from all my social networks. Not a huge response but that was probably good for the first go-round. (Luckily I didn’t have too many things going on!) The auto-scheduler on HootSuite was a big help. (My question though is how do you cancel an auto-scheduled tweet, or even find out if it’s scheduled and when?) The re-tweets continued until about Wednesday because the auto-scheduler figures out when is the best time for them.

Everybody got about five or six re-tweets over the weekend. The idea is have somebody else tweet your book links because tweeting about yourself is kind of … over. Really, people. Do your followers click on your links about your own books? And more importantly, do they buy books because you the author say they’re awesome?

Like most social marketing there’s a fine line between being excited about your book and just flogging the everloving hell out of it. The latest etiquette is not even re-tweet when somebody says something nice about your book (although I see that all the time.) Re-tweeting compliments is seen as just the same as complimenting yourself. Sadly I see this all as the advice my mother always gave me (and I totally hated): “Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back.” Sigh.

Here was my advice to my own kids: “Don’t hide your light under a bushel basket.” (Totally old school, my mom and me.) The problem is with indie-published authors, they rarely have reviews to get the word out. Yes, sometimes you can use your Amazon and Nook reviews to promote your book, but those reviews, as we’ve heard, are not all that trusted. Independent reviewers like Publisher’s Weekly, Library Journal, BookList, and the like have a lot more credibility.

This is not to say you can’t tweet about your novels. You wouldn’t be on Twitter if you didn’t. But spreading the love around, re-tweeting other authors (I also re-tweeted people who hadn’t contacted me), and reading  blogs and news and tweeting links to those if they’re interesting, is more friendly. I see people with hundreds of thousands of followers on Twitter and they are posting links to their own website or books. More power to them, I guess. I’d love to know if that works for them. Does it work for you?

I’m planning on more Re-Tweet Weekends, hopefully one a month. Send me your book links in mid-May! Here’s my Twitter link: @LiseMcClendon

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