Find Out How Twitter Can Help You as an Author

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If you’re an author, then Twitter is the forum for you. It is the easiest form of social media for writers to use. You can post short and simple tweets, and you have the potential to reach thousands, even millions, of followers. You don’t need to be particularly tech-savvy to learn how Twitter works. It is an easy site to get the hang of, and it can help you promote your brand to new audiences.

In just a few minutes, you can let your followers know what you’re working on, what you’ve published, and where you’re planning to do a meet and greet. In addition, you’ll connect with a multitude of wonderful readers and other authors as you continue to build your platform. Follow the steps below to get started on Twitter.

Are you an author who needs help getting a manuscript ready? Do you need help promoting or publishing your book? We offer a wide variety of professional services to authors.

1. Know the fundamentals and begin today

Before you dive into Twitter, learn the basics of how to communicate on the platform. You can post short relevant statements that contain 280 characters or less. If you find it necessary to tweet more, then break up your message into a couple of posts.

When you “retweet,” you share something another person has tweeted (posted). You might do this to share funny or important messages or just relate to others. As an author, you might want to retweet another author or a fan who raves about your book. Feel free to retweet things outside the realm of publishing and writing, but be mindful about what you post. Each tweet could potentially be seen by thousands of people, so you want to make sure that you are representing yourself as professionally as possible.

Your “handle” is your Twitter username. Choose it carefully; make sure it presents you in the best possible way and is easy for followers to recognize and remember.

A “direct message” (DM) is just what it sounds like—you are sending a message to another user. Note that you can often only send a DM to someone who follows you.

A “hashtag” (#) is a way to get your tweet out there to others interested in the same topic or conversation. It allows you to discover other tweets and have your own discovered. Hashtags can get readers’ attention and help them find your books, but be careful not to overuse them. Though you want to promote yourself and your work, you don’t want to come across as desperate for followers or engagement. 

Don’t wait to create your Twitter account—do it today! If you use the medium wisely, you can gain readers with the help of this free marketing tool. 

2. Learn what’s out there

Twitter is not just about building your platform. It’s also about learning from those with more experience than you. Follow people you admire or who are successful in what they do, whether they are other authors or celebrities. You can always pick up hints and tips about how to be successful on Twitter. It’s also wise to follow publishing companies to see what they’re working on or looking for.

In addition, don’t hesitate to join conversations or ask questions. It is a great way to get your name out there and learn more.

3. Build your brand

Let people know what you do and what you’re all about. Give them someone to relate to. One of the best ways to do this is by creating a welcoming and attractive profile. Use a suitable background and a flattering picture of yourself. Followers always enjoy seeing the person with whom they are interacting. They also want to learn more about you, so make sure to post about things other than your writing. What are your hobbies? Do you have a favorite TV show or a movie that you quote a lot? Who are some of the most important people in your life? All of these details can help your followers get a better sense of who you are outside of your work.

Do you have a website as well? Provide a link to it so followers can get more in-depth information about you or your books with one simple click. 

4. Interact but be careful

Fans love to interact with authors and celebrities. It makes them feel special when they connect with someone they admire. When people respond to or comment on your tweets, respond back. Make them feel like they know you or are a part of your world. Remember to have fun with it. People love photos, so include pictures of your dog, your latest vacation, or something personal.

Tweet consistently. When you engage your followers, you are on their minds. If you disappear for weeks or months, they may lose interest and latch on to someone who tweets regularly. This is not to say that you can’t take a break. Sometimes, you need to get away from social media. In such case, let your followers know you’ll be absent for a few days or a week or two. If you tell them when you’ll be back, they’ll anxiously await your return.

Keep in mind that you always have the option of muting or blocking people. You want to avoid rude, condescending individuals. No one should be subjected to negativity. Social media should be a fun experience, but if there comes a moment when you dread looking at your comments or even opening your Twitter app, then it’s a good idea to take a break and focus on other things. If you see people engaging in this type of behavior, state that your Twitter is a place for interesting and positive comments only. In the same vein, be careful with what you tweet. Stay away from objectionable or controversial topics because you could turn some fans away for life.

5. Promote wisely

Yes, you have created a Twitter account to promote yourself and your work, but you need to be careful about how you do it. No one likes self-absorbed people who are constantly telling others how great they are.

So, how can you promote yourself in an inconspicuous way? Instead of posting rave reviews about your work, show followers what they want. Share exciting excerpts from your books or ask your readers questions about their favorite scene or character. Conducting Q&As with your followers helps you connect with them, and you can see what they are interested in learning more about. Let them know where your book can be found and post (or retweet) pictures of your fans holding it. Create contests that your followers can enter, and promote your book with a giveaway to the winners. There are many ways to avoid a boring and self-centered promotion.

It’s smart to promote other authors as well, especially if they work in your genre. They are likely to appreciate the attention and may reciprocate by tweeting about you on their timelines, which may get you more readers and followers. Doing this also creates a feeling of community—you’re all in this together.

So, authors, get out there and try Twitter if you haven’t already set up an account. You can build your fan base and support and encourage others along the way. It’s a wonderful and worthwhile way to build your platform and enjoy the process of becoming a well-loved and respected author.

Before you start promoting your book on Twitter, you should make sure it’s optimized for marketing, which means having, among other things, a killer blurb to hook the reader and a punchy tagline great for social media. With our comprehensive marketing package, you get these and other necessary elements to maximize your book’s marketing potential.

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