Selling Books on Twitter

With approximately 140 million users, Twitter continues to be the social media platform of choice for many people. Whilst many of those visit Twitter just to chat, more often than not about Justin Bieber, most of our Feeds are saturated with people promoting their wares, books probably being as prevalent as any.


I’ve come across books on every conceivable subject and others that I could never have conceived; a nuclear war allegory with My Little Ponies being the most pertinent example and Alice in Zombie Land arguably the most lamentable.

I am also on Twitter at least in part to promote my novel, Charles Middleworth, so I am always interested to see what other authors are doing and hopefully to learn from them. In this post I will be analysing authors’ Tweeting habits; for purposes of simplicity I will be classifying authors into groups, which is probably rather unreasonable, after all authors are very much individuals, but there you go.

Mellow Minglers – Mellow Minglers’ are adept at communicating effectively with their audience. They are naturally personable, energetic, fun loving and generally optimistic people, who like to share with others and make new friends. Mellow Minglers’ consistently reply to messages and are always prepared to help others wherever possible.
Tweet Composition: Tweets are made up of conversations, some RTs’ (generally not more than x5 per day), updates on their daily activities (non-complaining ones – e.g. physical activity updates/composition of meals). On average the promotion of their book/s constitutes between 10% & 25% of their Tweets.

Prolific Proselytizers – Prolific Proselytizers’ are energetic and enthusiastic Tweeters that are to be found throughout the Twitter sphere, including amongst the author population. They are generally very liberal with their use of the hashtag; eight #’s have previously been recorded in a single book promotion tweet. Prolific Proselytizers’ are voluminous in their Tweeting habits and are capable of Tweeting as much as every 19 seconds.
Tweet Composition: Tweets are usually neither part of a conversation or aimed at starting one. Prolific Proselytizers’ promote their own books constantly as well as the RT’ing and mentioning other authors within their genre. Prolific Proselytizers’ are usually well disposed towards others and will more often than not reply on the rare occasion someone responds to one of their Tweets.

Aggressive Agitators – Aggressive Agitators are very much in the minority amongst what is generally a friendly author population. Their intrusive Tweeting style embraces the use of capitalisation and exclamation marks (e.g. BUY NOW!!! AWARD WINNING!). Aggressive Agitators though universally sporadic Tweeters, Tweet in bursts, often Tweeting an identical Tweet every minute, sometimes for up to ten minutes at a time.
Tweet Composition: Tweets are generally divided into two categories, self-promotion and opinion. These opinions are often radical in nature and risk alienating potential readers. Aggressive Agitators always Follow many more people than they have Followers.


Next week I will be discussing some book related Twitter experiences.



What happens when Adrian, an actuary, has his banal and predictable existence turned upside down by sinister forces that he can neither understand nor control?  How will he react to a revelation that leaves his life in turmoil?  Will he surrender or strive for redemption in an altered world, where rationality, scientific logic and algorithms no longer provide the answers?

‘An insightful and humorous tale of the unexpected’ – Reader

‘A sardonic delight.  If Thackeray had lived in the 21st century, then he might have written Charles Middleworth.’  – Reader

Charles Middleworth is available through most regional Amazons on Kindle (£1.96/$3.17) and in paperback.

United Kingdom –



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  • Interesting categories, and I like your definitions. With so much traffic on Twitter, I don’t see how anyone can get their Tweets noticed. It’s hard for me to keep up with the people I’m interested in following.

  • Looks promising Guy. But consider this. If I were not reading LinkedIn, and received your link, the pleasure would have been missed. I hate closed loops, and that is what we are creating, series after series of closed loops–like “preaching to the converted.” Maddening. Can we ever find fresh air, or did the last bit of pure air leave the planet over Utah about 1974–as someone wrote in those interesting–possibly hopeful–days?

    • Good point Gwendoline. Perhaps you’re right about the last of the pure air! It is apparent that authors sending out blanket Tweets is about as logical as a dog chasing its own tail. Personally I’ve been fortunate to meet people on Twitter, who have been kind enough to buy my book and in some instances leave reviews on Amazon. Above all I’ve enjoyed my Twitter experience and am looking forward to many more years of using it, but I am no illusions it will ever make me rich.

      • If we didn’t live in a profit focused world, and I could afford it, I’d deliver hundreds of copies of my books to schools, after-school centers, and such. When I taught it was so that students had information and points of view for thinking and acting. I, also, know that if you give someone a book–or anything “free” it is not valued, so something must exchange hands. Thanks for your reply.

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