Today during an idle hour spent on Twitter, I noted that a higher percentage than ever of my Twitter feed consisted of book promotion Tweets. As an author myself this comes as no real surprise, as many authors follow me and vice versa. But the question must be asked, is it really effective in a congested market place to be sending out blanket promotional book Tweets, especially if those Tweets are only being read, if at all, by other authors. I have already devoted previous posts to how authors use Twitter, but today I’ll be making generalisations about the actual composition of the Tweets and commenting on their effectiveness.
Of course there are famous authors who have embraced Twitter, Brett Easton Ellis being a prominent example. These authors can Tweet about anything, even their choice of sandwich filling at lunch, as whatever they Tweet their Twitter disciples will lap up eagerly. Some of these followers may even find themselves wondering if the sandwich filling related Tweet is perhaps a comment about post-modernism or global warming. And then there are the rest of us authors, myself included, struggling for visibility in the book promotion saturated world that is Twitter.
The following is a simple breakdown of the types of Tweets that authors use to promote their book/s, along with some commentary on how effective I perceive the given method to be.
Repetitive Repetition – The practice of sending out book promotion Tweets 24/7, 7 days a week. In severe instances several hundred times per day. The rationale being that if you drive the message home and do it often enough, people will buy your books.
Comment: There may be instances where this method has worked, but more often than not it appears to be akin to a dog chasing its own tail – just because it keeps doing it doesn’t mean it will ever catch it.
The Spin Dryer – An author sends out their book promotion Tweet/s along with Tweets promoting other authors’ books. This in turn leads to those authors RT’ing that author’s book promotion Tweet and so the cycle continues, with the book promotion Tweet getting exposure to a wider and wider audience, as it continues to be RT’d.
Comment: As one requires exposure to become well known, it is evident that this method is a logical way of putting your product in front of as many of Twitter’s 140m users as possible. However in the majority of cases these book promotion Tweets appear to be RT’d by other authors, whose Followers also consist largely of authors, not the target readership for the given book. Another case of the dog chasing its own tail perhaps.
The Sandwich – This is the method in which an author sandwiches their promotional Tweet/s between non-promotional Tweets (i.e. quotes/links etc) as if it were a slice of cheese or ham.
Comment: If new/non-famous authors are to be welcomed in the Twitter sphere they need to be accepted as communicative/interesting people and not merely narcissists, who discuss only their own work. Thus the sandwiching method is embraced by nearly all authors on Twitter though there are some exceptions.
The Snippet – This is a much practiced method in which authors utilise the 140 character limit to insert quotes from their books.
Comment: These can be memorable and in some instances amusing, but there are many examples where they are not. Here is a slightly altered one that I read last month – ‘… and he reached into the drawer, took out a red pen, took off the top and begun writing on the piece of paper on the desk.’ And one is left asking, Why?
I also use this method to promote my book, Charles Middleworth, a humorous tale of the unexpected. Here are two examples from Charles Middleworth:
‘Well if being related by internet marriage is family, I suppose we are.’
‘…her skills more akin to the baking of macaroons than solving the complexities of the universe.’
Click here to read part 2.
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 – www.amazon.co.uk
USA – www.amazon.com