"It will involve the first of the social networking bits of the 'selling-your-books-and-your- author-self' platform. I know this will be terrifying for a lot of people—and I should warn you now, it will eat your soul if you let it! Mwahahaha!" (Sorry about the demonic laughter--it gets away from me sometimes.)
Are you terrified yet? Because I'm going to take you into the scary soul-eating area that is
YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
If I had a pound for every person who's asked me ‘what’s the point of Twitter?’ I would be able to buy myself several designer handbags, and probably outfits and shoes to go with them. From my own point of view, I can tell you that I have made more contacts, got more author gigs and generally found more useful stuff on Twitter than anywhere else on the internet. There is a whole community of reviewers, agents, authors, illustrators, librarians, booksellers, publishers both digital and paper, journalists, parents, and readers all in a great, glorious global mix. Here's what my bright and cheery profile page looks like. As you can see, the background is the cover of one of my books, Hootcat Hill. Subliminal marketing, if you like.
But the real question you want me to answer here is:
does Twitter sell your books?
Well, just think about this for a moment:
My Twitter account puts me in contact with people in all areas of the book world and beyond including those all important book buyers
That's a selling tool with pretty amazing potential, I reckon.
So how can you capitalise on that as an author? There are really only two important rules to remember as far as selling your books on Twitter is concerned:
- What Twitter is NOT is a direct marketing tool. So you can’t go putting ‘Buy my books Buy my books’ on it every day—the ‘me me me’ author is an absolute no no—you will alienate follower people immediately by doing that. So don't.
- What Twitter is is a place for mentioning stuff casually, as in a conversation. I’ve bought lots and lots of books through Twitter recommendations or links—and I know I’ve sold many many copies of my own (including in markets like America and Australia where I’m not yet directly published with my current series) through just those casual mentions of something that I’ve been doing, or a review link, or a link to this blog, or just because someone is interested in me as an author. And for every person who has told me directly that they’ve bought a book, you can be sure there are others who are doing and not saying. Also, if you've liked another author's book, why not say so? Goodwill generates goodwill...I'm a great believer that casting your bread upon the Twitter waters will return it to you a thousand-fold.
That's from left to right: @ninadouglas (who is hiding out of shot because she's shy like that), @MayhewJ @jabberworks and (of course), me @lucycoats
Next up will be that sink of time-wasting, Facebook! Betcha can't wait!