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Question: Who has success on Twitter?

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

I keep hearing people say, use Twitter, tweet, tweet, tweet at least 30 min a day and follow people. Can anyone give me examples of how Tweeting daily updates helps in sales? Why should I add another more time to my already hectic schedule of maintaining social networks? Is it better than GoodReads? LinkedIn? FaceBook?

I mean this in a genuine way. If I'm missing out, I'll Tweet. But I want to know if is worth my time.


message 2: by Reena (new)

Reena Jacobs (reenajacobs) | 95 comments I don't know how effective tweeting every 30 minutes a day about a book is. I've never tried it myself. Sounds a bit obnoxious though. I will say that my first sales of Shadow Cat came from social networking. I announced the release of my novel on Twitter, Facebook, my blog, and one other blog I frequent. I started receiving DM and emails from my online buddies saying they'd just purchased my book.

They didn't purchase Shadow Cat because I spammed them with buy my book every 30 minutes. They made the purchase because we'd been on friendly terms long before the release. They also shared my news with their social networks, which is invaluable. Having someone else promote your work is far more effective than doing it yourself.

I followed an author who spammed his book non-stop. Eventually, I stopped following him. And by his Kindle ranking, I don't think the time he put into spamming folks paid off.

Social networking can be effective. But the focus shouldn't be on selling, but rather getting to know people.

But like I said, I've never tried being an obnoxious spammer.


message 3: by Shirley (new)

Shirley Wells (shirleywells) | 13 comments I think writers who tweet about nothing but their books lose followers in record time. The aim is to interact with people, add something to the conversation, get to know them, be friendly, etc.

As Reena said, the focus shouldn't be on selling, but rather getting to know people.

I'd only been using Twitter for a week when a 'friend' I'd made there said she'd ordered my book. She liked it and then ordered my backlist. She then told her friends. That all happened without me even mentioning by book.

Yes, it's time consuming but, in my opinion, it can be worth it.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

No, Reena, you misunderstand. I was told to devote 30 min a day to Twitter using the follow for follow rule. I am well aware of social network etiquette and totally agree. I mainly engage in conversation and only do the occasional announcement of an event or upcoming release.

I just want to hear and/or see hard numbers relating to sales as a result of Twitter rather than adding one more daily social task because someone says it may help increase traffic, etc.. All the same arguments given to authors to dive headlong into social networking.

Like my fellow indie authors, I must pick and chose what is the most effective use of my resources and time from among the vast array of social networking options. Tweeter seems like the less effective, except it keeps being thrown at me but rarely with any backing of effectiveness. That's what I asking for - effective results.


message 5: by Reena (new)

Reena Jacobs (reenajacobs) | 95 comments Haha. I gotcha now, Shawn. :) 30 minutes a day isn't that long. Only problem, twitter can be addictive. Now that you said that, I might start putting myself on a timer.

Like Shirley mentioned, it can be worth it. I've met a lot of great folks through twitter. I'll be honest, most of my followers and people I follow are writers. I have connected with a few book review bloggers though. As for readers on twitter... I have no idea where they are. :) Seems like Goodreads is a great place to find readers specifically.


message 6: by J.P. (new)

J.P. McNeill (mcneillink) | 21 comments Flooding twitter with tweets about your book is only going to annoy the people who know how to use twitter. I'm not saying you shouldn't try and use it to advertise your novel, what I'm saying is market...join in conversations about things other than yourselves, offer advice to others who ask, try and befriend your followers... If I meet someone on twitter that I enjoy talking to and they take the time they could have spent writing to talk to me, then I'm gonna buy their book because they sold themselves and not just a spam tweet of "I wrote a novel, buy it at amazon. Its titled 'I Have No Idea How To Sell'".

Trust me on this... people will ask you about your book if you can show them that you are a human and the world doesn't revolve around yourself.

Be more than a published author... offer advice. If you have a background in a topic a writer is asking about help them, they will pay you back in the long run... (shout out tweets, free signed copies of their books, blog reviews of your work, or help u get your foot in the door) Twitter used in the right ways will open doors to a ton of free advertising, friends, free books, and fun...

Tweet wisely...and keep writing!
J.p. McNeill
Www.mcneillink.com or follow me on twitter at @mcneillink


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

lol, J.P. I already mentor some young writers who I met online or on a school visit as well as blog about writing and the publishing industry, and with some guest authors lined up. :)

http://allonbooks-thekingdomofallon.b...


message 8: by J.P. (new)

J.P. McNeill (mcneillink) | 21 comments Shawn wrote: "lol, J.P. I already mentor some young writers who I met online or on a school visit as well as blog about writing and the publishing industry, and with some guest authors lined up. :)

http://allo..."


Sorry, I didn't mean you directly... my statement was more for the new authors who will read this because they are trying to understand the great mystery of twitter... I wanted to make the point that the idea of "if you tweet it, they will come" will not sell your book, but marketing yourself and befriending other writers will...

J.p. McNeill
Www.mcneillink.com or follow me on twitter at @mcneillink


message 9: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 16, 2011 12:32PM) (new)

That's exactly what I'm trying to understand - the mystery of WHY people keep telling me to twitter. :D

In reality, no amount of social networking is 'do it and they will come'. It takes time to build up credibility on a personal level before making that so-called break through. Publishers used to 'groom' the persona of their authors for public consumption. Same as Hollywood did during the 'studio system'. Now, we must do it ourselves, and sometimes we are not our best handlers. lol


message 10: by Reena (last edited Feb 16, 2011 12:49PM) (new)

Reena Jacobs (reenajacobs) | 95 comments Twitter isn't for everyone. If it's not something you want to do, then don't. :) What I've found during my short time in the writing industry is plenty of folks have a LOT of advice. "You have to do this, this, and that." However, most are just using a method called trial and error. Ever heard of that? ha ha In fact, quite a few give advice which they've received from others but aren't following the advice themselves.

If you look at the folks who've risen to the top, you'll find they all have vastly different stories.

Try a few things and if it works for you stick with it. If one avenue makes you uncomfortable or seems like a time sink, don't bother with it. As folks sometimes say, you don't have to do anything but pay your taxes and die.

Shadow Cat


message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Oh, I understand. lol I hit my head several times since Fall of 2009 and I followed advice and jumped in feet first for pre-promotion of my first book and backed off to where I feel comfortable.

It's the Twitter angle that keeps cropping up and finally lead me to ask WHY? What's so great about a blue bird???

I've come to see the benefits of FaceBook, GR, LinkedIn and several others sites, but Twitter? That escapes me, but those who tell me think its fantastic.


message 12: by Reena (new)

Reena Jacobs (reenajacobs) | 95 comments I use Twitter more than FB, GR, and LI. I think it's the simplicity which is attractive. It's not pretty, just 140 characters, though folks keep finding ways around it.

I find the interface a mixture between an instant messenger and a gigantic chat room. If you haven't tried it out, perhaps give it a go. It's not something folks can say it's this or that. It's more of a thing you have to experience for yourself to appreciate... or not appreciate. :)


message 13: by J.P. (new)

J.P. McNeill (mcneillink) | 21 comments I agree that twitter is not for everyone. I use twitter, more than the other social networks via Tweet Deck for my Droid. I started using twitter because other authors told me I had to in order to sell my book, but now I use it, purely for the fun of it... yes, I may sell more books because of it, but the fun of talking to other authors from all genres, all walks of life, and all over the world is far more fun


message 14: by Zee (new)

Zee Monodee (zee_monodee) | 35 comments I actually gave up Twitter a few weeks ago, preferring to concentrate more on Facebook. The thing is, I never got the hang of twitter, and it all seemed like a huge time warp for me.

Find what platform works best for you, and stick with it. Success will come from places in which you're dedicated. Your heart has to be in it. :)


message 15: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 61 comments Like Zee, I prefer Facebook because you have more room to waffle! I also like the fact that when someone comments on your post or on a post you've commented on, it's easy to see. Like everyone else's opinion here, flooding Twitter with "buy my book" puts everyone off. I must admit I don't re-follow when someone follows me. I must re-think that.


message 16: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Scott (michellescottfiction) Last year, I was at a writer convention and every publisher/editor I heard kept drumming into our heads the need to build a platform (a social presence on the Internet). It was the mantra of the convention!

The golden number of Twitter followers is apparently 1,000. I'm at about 240 after a few months of serious Twittering.

I actually enjoy Twitter quite a bit. If I didn't like it, I wouldn't bother. And I'm not sure that I actually have gotten sales from Twitter. But I guess if you are out to impress agents or publishers, having a lot of followers is the way to go.


message 17: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 17, 2011 04:21AM) (new)

That is exactly what I mean, Michelle, the 'build a platform mentality'. In general I agree with the mantra and have done so, only not Twitter, since I'm not convinced of the effectiveness to add more time. FB, GR, LinkedIn, my blog and others have yielded great interaction that I enjoy and some sales. And as Susan said, better communication than 140 characters. Take this discussion for example.

It seems like everyone in the marketing business KNOWS best how an author should behave or do or say, but slow with the facts/proof to back it up. Then when something doesn't work as advertised, they back pedal with the excuse, Oh, it's different for everyone or try harder.

PR people are quick to take money and blast a press release, but I've only encountered a few who are willing to listen and tailor a campaign that works for the author, their time, personality and budget.

I wanted to hear from fellow authors about Twitter rather than listen to the pushy hype. And as I suspected, I'm getting varied answers.


message 18: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 61 comments The problem for me Shawn is that I have no idea how many sales Twitter generates. Do you?

I do try to vary my postings - real life, news, stuff that catches my eye, sometimes writing or reading tidbits.


message 19: by Shirley (new)

Shirley Wells (shirleywells) | 13 comments People have different preferences. Some prefer reading blogs, others spend hours on Facebook and many hang out on Twitter. All these people are potential readers so I think we have to go to the platform they prefer to use.

It can be time consuming, but it's also enjoyable (at least, I find it enjoyable). Writing can be a lonely profession so I enjoy interacting with readers, writers - well, just about anyone really.


message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Other than being told about a sales, no, I don't know either. But if PR people, publishers, editors and agents are pushing Twitter so hard, they should have the facts to back it up. They could put out a survey or ask a question when a person orders online - how did you hear about this book? and include Twitter as a choice.

After being published, I learned the hard way to question a methodology to gauge it's effectiveness before doing it. Although Twitter was something I wondered about since it started. How effect can such short posts be? And why would I care if a celebrity grabbed a cup of coffee at Starbucks? I would get tired of clogging my email or phone with constant dribble. At least these forums offer the chance for good, sustainable and informative conversations.


message 21: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 61 comments What kind of posts generate more responses from followers? Amazingly enough, for me, it was when I published my article on my blog about public loos!


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Loos! Great! LOL I blog about writing, and my followers quadrupled in 3 months.

From this conversation I don't think I'm going to Twitter, just keep plugging along at what I'm already doing, enjoy the ride and wait to see what happens. I really like the interaction.


message 23: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Gallup (kidsbright) | 25 comments I don't even know HOW to tweet (mentioned in another thread that I'm a late adopter of things). But I'll agree with everyone who has said it's important not to be obnoxious. If anybody here has been involved with authonomy, you know what I mean. That started out as a great site, and still has some wonderful manuscripts posted for feedback, but more and more people were aggressively pushing their books in pursuit of the site's meaningless rating system that I and most of the people I knew there quit in disgust.

From what I understand, the only way to get serious media attention for your book is to be willing to talk about a larger topic, and then try to mention your book on the side (e.g., knew somebody who'd written a novel in which the character was very angry, so he got on a radio call-in show to discuss anger management).

My book does have a fledgling website, and maybe the time has come for this luddite at least to learn about tweeting...


message 24: by Michelle (new)

Michelle Scott (michellescottfiction) "It seems like everyone in the marketing business KNOWS best how an author should behave or do or say, but slow with the facts/proof to back it up."

Amen, Shawn.

And I'll have to check out blog posts about loos, Susan, lol.


message 25: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Alley (traceya) I hated Twitter at first, had no idea how to use it and thought it was basically 'book ad' time but now I use it a lot, am gaining more followers daily and just chat about whatever comes into my head. I still mention the books and talk about interviews and things I've done but I also just talk. It can become very addictive though and I now find it a lot of fun


message 26: by Nike (new)

Nike Chillemi I think this is the effective way to do it. But tweeting now and then helps too. I think Twitter can be an assest. But I wouldn't get chained to it.

Reena wrote: "I don't know how effective tweeting every 30 minutes a day about a book is. I've never tried it myself. Sounds a bit obnoxious though. I will say that my first sales of Shadow Cat came from social ..."


message 27: by Ottilie (new)

Ottilie (ottilie_weber) | 131 comments I just opened an account last night, I'm curious on how this does


message 28: by Nike (new)

Nike Chillemi I spend more time on FB than Twitter because I can have more interaction on FB. But if you've written a blog article, by all means, put the title and a link up on Twitter.


message 29: by Ottilie (new)

Ottilie (ottilie_weber) | 131 comments that could help


message 30: by Reena (new)

Reena Jacobs (reenajacobs) | 95 comments I'm like Nike, but opposite. I have more interactions on Twitter, but auto-link my articles to FB... and twitter. :)


message 31: by Ottilie (new)

Ottilie (ottilie_weber) | 131 comments Okay cool, thanks for the tip!!


message 32: by [deleted user] (new)

Well, I took the plunge and also opened an account. In March I'm starting my spring events season and people may ask if I'm on Twitter. Now, I can say, yes.

I too like FB better, but I don't want limit myself if the people interested in my books are on Twitter.

@slamballonbooks


message 33: by Susan (new)

Susan Roebuck (sueroe) | 61 comments Shawn - off the topic of Twitter (again!): I took a look at your website which is so impressive, but there isn't a way to follow it, is there?

I also see you have a marketing app - expressmail somethingorother. Does that work?


message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

The Expressmail Marketing is actually used for the Allon Books Newsletter, which is a way to "follow". I only update the site for major news events and forthcoming releases.

I send out a Newsletter about once a month or more - depending of the need - and is for alerts to those who subscribe about upcoming releases before the public, events, writing tips, surveys, special discounts and promotions. Kinda like what you would get from any retailer you subscribe to.

I use a 'Contest' as incentive to sign-up. Those who do are automatically entered to WIN - usually a signed copy of the upcoming release or their very own discount code for purchase.

I can't say I've heard of following a website by the click of a button like FB or Twitter or a blog.


message 35: by Nike (new)

Nike Chillemi Reena, I guess I'm long winded. I have a hard time whittling it down to 140 characters.


message 36: by Nike (new)

Nike Chillemi Shawn wrote: "Well, I took the plunge and also opened an account. In March I'm starting my spring events season and people may ask if I'm on Twitter. Now, I can say, yes.

I too like FB better, but I don't want..."


Shawn, You will find people on Twitter interested in your books. And don't tweet only about books. Give something "personal" about yourself. By that I mean something generally personal, not really, deeply personal. If you just made the world's best cup of coffee say so. Also, if you've made the world's worst. :)


message 37: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks, Nike. I'm actually trying to take everyone's good advice from this forum. I took a humorous approach. Example for Oscar Night:

Oscar says - watch the nominee for Best Homemade Book Promo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2Yc0s...

I also greeted everyone who chose to 'follow' and mostly 'followed back' and made personal comments to some posts.

So, thanks, everyone! Great wisdom.


message 38: by Nike (new)

Nike Chillemi I like your book trailer a lot.

Twitter is a good place to tweet about it repeatedly, as different people tweet at different times and on different days. But you have to becareful not to over do it. :)


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks, both for watching the trailer and advice. :)


message 40: by Nike (new)

Nike Chillemi Shawn, Did you make the trailer youself, or have someone make it for you?


message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

We made all the videos. My daughter drew all the characters for the videos and the website. She does feature film conceptual design and storyboards. My husband worked in the animation business for years and knows how to use Adobe Flash and Photoshop so he did all the technical. I did the narration with a faux British accent.


message 42: by Nike (new)

Nike Chillemi So, you guys are professionals. It shows. :)


message 43: by [deleted user] (last edited Feb 28, 2011 03:23PM) (new)

Thanks. Like your blog, BTW.


message 44: by Gene (new)

Gene Doucette (genedoucette) | 14 comments If you treat Twitter as a "micro-blogging" site, i.e., post things that are interesting, and mix in sales tweets, you'll do fine. I've been on it for eight months now and I can honestly say I wouldn't have and eighth of the sales for IMMORTAL if I hadn't gotten involved in it. It's entirely possible to use it to promote your work if you do it wisely, find some writer chats to participate in, and make yourself known.


message 45: by Nike (new)

Nike Chillemi Thx Shawn, I try to keep my blog centered, for the most part, on crime fiction issues.


message 46: by Nike (new)

Nike Chillemi Gene wrote: "If you treat Twitter as a "micro-blogging" site, i.e., post things that are interesting, and mix in sales tweets, you'll do fine. I've been on it for eight months now and I can honestly say I would..."

Gene, I post things about inspy crime fiction, murder mysteries, detective stories. That's what I'm interested in. I sometimes go on a tangent where I look up interesting facts about the early days of crimer fiction writing and tweet about that. When Edgar Allen Poe published his fist story, or Agatha Christie, etc.


message 47: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks, Gene. I'm taking baby steps, but coming along.


message 48: by Gene (new)

Gene Doucette (genedoucette) | 14 comments Nike wrote: Gene, I post things about inspy crime fiction, murder mysteries, detective stories. That's what I'm interested in. I sometimes go on a tangent where I look up interesting facts about the early days of crimer fiction writing and tweet about that. When Edgar Allen Poe published his fist story, or Agatha Christie, etc.

Right, exactly. I treat it like my blog, only briefer and more transitory.


message 49: by Ottilie (new)

Ottilie (ottilie_weber) | 131 comments I am slowly figuring otu what I'm doing on there.


message 50: by Nike (new)

Nike Chillemi Gene, Thx for affirming the value of micro-blogging.

What I'm confused about is how an author or even a blog owner can tell if they're getting sales or traffic trom Twitter.


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