So, you’ve finished your book and you’ve self-published it. Congratulations! Luckily for you, the hardest part is done.
But now that it’s complete, how do you get people to read it?
Today, authors have the luxury of choosing to self-publish their own books, giving them complete autonomy over their creative process and product. However, the disadvantage to self-publishing is that self-published authors lack the marketing support (both manpower-wise and financially) that accompany a publishing deal from a large publishing house. But if you’re a self-published author looking to market your book, fear not! Chances are you've heard of tons of ways to get word out about your book – and many of them won’t cost you a dime. That's true. One of the most successful and easily utilized methods is via social media – and, in particular, Twitter. Twitter, the 140-character short-message sharing platform is a remarkable way to get the word out about your book, and it can be easily utilized to get it in the hands of readers. So let's talk about ways to use Twitter to advertise your work:
1. Find other authors.
Twitter, in particular, has a wonderful community of writers, many of which are connected and share information and material all the time. It's important to note that Twitter can feel a little like walking into a party with a lot of people you don't know, and they're already in the middle of conversations with other people. So how do you jump in without being awkward?
First, search for a keyword hashtag that is relevant to writing. Some examples to check out are #amwriting #BookBlaster #Writers #Authors and #WritoNamo. Search hashtags around your genre so you can find authors who share similar interests. Start following those who you find interesting.
Create a List in Twitter of authors you find interesting. As they post new things, jump in and start talking to them. By befriending other writers, you can begin establishing a network to cross-promote books and material, and also give each other advice and support. This will come in handy because you'll want other writers to Tweet about your book (in exchange for a Tweet about theirs). It's a great way to make friends with other people who appreciate the same craft!
2. Tweet quotes.
Obviously, you believe in the content of your book. So use it to bring in readers! Tweet some of the best or most intriguing quotes from your book so that people can get a taste of what’s inside. If you share enough great material, people will want to invest so that they can get even more. Also, get creative about your content. Consider bringing your readers into the process a bit. Maybe share locations you visited for your book, inspirations for objects or character development. Use photos and videos whenever possible—it doesn't have to just be typed out quotes from your book. Remember to not always be so focused on selling your book, people may tune it out if you don't spend a portion of your tweets adding value to their lives.
3. Share other unrelated (but relevant) information.
Nobody wants to follow a Twitter account that is simply marketing all the time. This is social media, friends. People want quality content that is informative and entertaining. So, try to tweet relevant information about writing or the content of your book about 50% of the time. Look for news articles, other books you've enjoyed, YouTube videos and more that relate to your product or its content, but don't directly mention it. You want to establish yourself as a thought-leader and begin to build an author brand so that people trust what you write and want to read it – and tweets are a great way to do it.
4. Build your audience before you need them.
In order for social media to work for you and be worth your time, you need to build and nurture an audience BEFORE you need them. Here's what I mean: it's way too tempting to get on Twitter and start asking people to buy your book. Using my party analogy, you would never walk up to the first person you see at a party and immediately say "Hi, buy my book." Yet, authors do this all the time on social. Ok, maybe they don't say it quite like that, it's usually more like this, "Hey, I just released my new book. Check it out (link)." Then when you look at their tweet history you quickly see all they have talked about is their book. That's a party foul, friends! To build an audience, I suggest you focus on the following: Make friends. Talk about them, too. Share (don't sell) your brand story (who are you and why should we care about you?). Add value to your audience. What do I mean by that? Look for content or create content that will help, first.
Here's another good rule of thumb: "Good deeds leads to good will which leads to good sales. :)
5. Enlist your fans.
Once you have built an audience, now start to enlist their help. Ask fans to re-tweet information about your book or to send a tweet out about something specific (their favorite quote from the book, what they learned from it, etc.) Consider creating a small group of "influencers" to help you spread the word. Give them advance copies for free to read and review. Then coordinate a release or launch where they talk about your book. Make this as easy for them as possible. Many authors will provide cover graphics and craft sample messages for them, making it easy to share on Twitter. Once you do that make sure you request that they do so multiple times in a day. This ensures their followers will see the messages, allowing the network of people who know about your book to grow exponentially. (You can offer incentives for people to do this, too – like free copies of the book or a discount when they or their friends buy!)
Find @booklaunch_io on Twitter and let us know you how you’re using Twitter to market your book. We’re in your corner!
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