Tweet your self-published book to popularity

One of the best ways to connect with readers who might be interested in reading your book is through Twitter. The idea of Twitter is to send out brief 280-character messages, known as “tweets,” to all who become your “followers.”

The first step is setting up a Twitter site. That’s easy enough to do, but you’ll then have to decide the site’s name, the picture or avatar that accompanies you tweets, and what your background looks like.

You want to keep the Twitter site’s name as close as possible to your website’s name, though that’s not always possible as your book’s title may be too long to fit into a Twitter name; if so, abbreviate and come as close as can. There’s a spot under your site’s name where you can explain that visitors are at the official Twitter site for your book.

The avatar should be of the book’s cover. If you’ve written several books in a series, you might use the series’ logo (if you have one) or a picture of yourself.

The background can be plain, but if you’ve got a clever idea that will help make your page look more attractive, go for it. Just make sure the colors in your background work well with your book cover.

The next challenge is to start tweeting. You can tweet the exact some topics that you might write a blog about, such as upcoming book signings/readings, when the book appears in newspaper or magazine articles, expert tips/advice you might give, and so on. Because of the similarities, I simply tweet my daily blog entry when promoting my books. The blog entry’s title and URL appear in each tweet. For example, the blog entry “How to avoid and treat altitude sickness” would be tweeted as:

How to avoid and treat altitude sickness
http://hikeswithtykes.blogspot.com/2012/04/how-to-avoid-and-treat-altitude.html

You also might retweet other entries that would be interesting to your readers. A retweet is tweeting a tweet that someone else already has tweeted (confused yet?). For example, if you’re a science fiction author specializing in space opera, and astronomers discover a new exoplanet, you might retweet an article about it that you saw on your favorite news website. Be careful of retweeting competitor’s work, though. Remember, you’re using Twitter to sell your book, not theirs.

The best time to tweet, according to studies, is between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. Pacific Time. That’s when the largest percentage of Twitter users are online. Since Twitter users go to the site at different times of the day and often are inundated with tweets, there’s nothing wrong with retweeting your original tweet at another time. More than one tweet per hour, however, probably is overdoing it.

Finally, your tweets will simply end up in Twitter oblivion if you don’t tackle the next challenge with gusto: Finding followers. All followers receive your tweet. Begin finding followers by stating on your blog and other social media efforts that you have a Twitter site. Then, start following other people who tweet, especially those with topics and interests similar to your own. To find followers for my hiking site, I daily type “hiking kids” and “hiking children” into the Twitter site’s search engine. When other tweets with those words pop up, I follow the person who tweeted it. Ultimately, a few of those you follow will in appreciation follow you. Your tweets then will appear on their Twitter page – and in that way those who follow your followers will be introduced to your book.

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My name is Rob Bignell. I’m an affordable, professional editor who runs Inventing Reality Editing Service, which meets the manuscript needs of writers both new and published. I also offer a variety of self-publishing services. During the past decade, I’ve helped more than 300 novelists and nonfiction authors obtain their publishing dreams at reasonable prices. I’m also the author of the 7 Minutes a Day… writing guidebooks, four nonfiction hiking guidebook series, and the literary novel Windmill. Several of my short stories in the literary and science fiction genres also have been published.