Guest Expert: Dana Lynn Smith
Twitter is a great tool for building an author platform and promoting books. Here are some of the top ways authors can benefit from Twittering:
1. Help others by sharing information, while you gain a reputation as an expert. Nonfiction authors can post links to helpful articles, recommend resources, and teach mini-lessons. Fiction authors can talk about their genre. Children’s authors can promote literacy, share information about the benefits of reading for children and young adults, and offer tips on how to select age-appropriate reading material.
2. Meet potential customers and stay in touch with existing customers. Promote your Twitter URL everywhere you’re listed online, and include keywords in your tweets to attract followers who are interested in your topic or genre.
3. Stay on top of news and trends in your field or genre and get ideas for your articles and blog by reading the tweets of the people you follow.
4. Promote live and virtual events such as book signings, podcasts, virtual book tours, book fairs, teleseminars, and book launches.
5. Gain visibility and new followers by hosting a Twitter contest where you give away a prize to a randomly chosen winner, or give a free gift to everyone who follows you and re-tweets your contest message. See this post for tips on creating a Twitter contest.
6. Ask for help and get instant responses. When you request product recommendations, referrals to experts, or help with a technical issue, it’s amazing how helpful folks are.
7. Spread good will by helping your peers. Introduce other people in your field or genre, or recommend other related books or products. Re-tweet interesting posts from people that you follow.
8. Promote your book and other products and services. The key is to be subtle and make promotional tweets a small percentage of your overall communications, so people feel like they gain value from following you, not just a stream of sales pitches.
9. Meet other authors, experts, publishers, marketers, and vendors. Twitter is ideal for networking and it’s a great place to meet potential joint venture partners.
10. Keep in touch when you’re on the road. There are a number of applications that facilitate twittering from mobile devices.
Have fun! It’s fascinating to meet people from all over the world, gain a glimpse into their lives, and develop a cyber-relationship.
Excerpted from the Twitter Guide for Authors by Dana Lynn Smith.
Dana Lynn Smith is a book marketing coach and author of the Savvy Book Marketer Guides. For more tips, follow @BookMarketer on Twitter, visit Dana’s book marketing blog and get a copy of the ‘Top Book Marketing Tips’ ebook when you sign up for her free book marketing newsletter.