How to Use Twitter for Book and Author Promotion


Social media and other marketing gurus have taken to using the phrase “discoverability” as the ability for potential audiences to find you and your book.  Twitter’s capacity to make authors “discoverable” makes it very appealing to writers.

Note the word potential in the previous paragraph. Like so many things in life, Twitter is easy to use, but it takes a little practice to use it effectively. The good news is it won’t take long to get up to speed.  Follow these simple guidelines:

    • Get Tweeting now! While it’s never too late to start, it’s really never too early either. Even if your publication date is a year or more out, you can begin building followers for your topic, and finding your Twitter “voice” before the pressure of the publication is upon you.
    • Make sure your Twitter handle and your profile reflect your goals. It’s generally recommended that you use your @firstnamelastname as your Twitter handle—but that’s not always possible. Just make sure that your handle and your profile reflect what you want your followers to know about you. Whether it’s “Marathon runner, business owner, mother of seven, author of Delicious Dinners in 10 Minutes or Less,” or “Former championship arm wrestler, arm-wrestling coach, author of It’s Not About the Bicep,” your profile should attract like-minded souls.
    • Remember it’s “social” media; treat Twitter like a conversation. Sure, you have a book to sell—but how would you feel if every time you spoke to an acquaintance he tried to sell you something? You’d avoid him like the plague, right? It’s the same with tweeting. Think of Twitter as a conversation, not a hard sell. The more someone likes what you have to share in your tweets, the more likely he or she will be to check out your book.
    • And speaking of sharing… Twitter is the place to share yourself, your worldview and your topical expertise via how you curate what comes at you every day. Tweet and retweet only what you truly value in some way (you should show you value colleagues and friends with generous retweets and mentions.) Share your latest article, your friends’ latest articles, your comments on what you love. To engage your potential book audience, offer up yourself.

FINALLY, remember to offer up your best self. You want to use Twitter to showcase your personality and offer your opinions and even share some personal details—but your tweets shouldn’t be a running commentary on the mundane details of your everyday life, such your fascination with your own toenail clippings (note: this rule does not apply to comics or celebrities).  And while you should feel free to have opinions, be careful that you don’t come off as rude or insulting or overly negative. Again it helps to remember that Twitter is a conversation—don’t do anything that might shut the conversation down: it could also turn off potential book buyers and the goal, of course, is to engage them.

So… are you ready to dip your toe into the Twitterstream—or ready to make your tweeting more effective?

MarketingWriting Life

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