Friday, September 9, 2011

Using Twitter to Market Books & Blogs Part 2

Here are some more tips on how to use Twitter to market your books and blogs and build your audience. This is a continuation from Part 1.

If you're promoting a book or blog, be sure to include the name of your book(s) and website in your Twitter bio that goes beside your photo. You have about 160 characters to write something to introduce yourself. Here's my Twitter bio as an example:

In the website space in "profile settings" I inserted the link to where readers can buy my book: . This goes underneath your bio. You want to include your website in your bio, because that gets emailed directly to people every time you follow someone, and it gives people the opportunity to click on your website link right from their email. The designated website space below the bio allows you to post a second link to a blog, Facebook page, or Amazon page of your book.

Now that your bio is set up to best promote your book and website(s), you want to search for people who are most likely to read what you write. There are a number of ways you can search Twitter for readers that fit your demographic. I will cover many of them in this series of blog posts. Today I'm focused on searching for key words in the Twitter search. If there's a certain author in the same genre that you write, then do a search on the author's name. This brings up a list of everyone talking about this author and their books. Those tweeters would be good ones to follow because they have an affinity for your niche. For my genre, I might do a search for a popular horror author or key words like zombies, werewolves, ghosts, vampires, supernatural, or horror novels to find my audience. This will take me to a results page with people talking about horror novels. I scan the tweets on this search list and read not only their tweets, but their bios as well. I look for key words in their bios like: avid reader, love reading, book junkie, love horror, or love Stephen King. These are the booklovers that I choose to connect with.

If I were a cookbook author, I'd search for people talking about recipes. If I were promoting a health book or diet book or a how-to book, I'd search for people tweeting about topics that matched my subject matter. When you follow them, they are now aware that you have a book that matches their interest. You've now introduced yourself, your book title, and your website to a person who has a high-probablity of buying your book. If they follow you back (and many of them do with gratitude and enthusiasm), you can message them with a "thank you for following" and start a dialogue. In social media, selling books is about building relationships with people who share your common interests. The more time you spend getting to know readers and letting them get to know you, the more likely you are going to sell books. What's phenomenal about Twitter is that your fans that you connect with will eventually become your promoters, as well. They will tweet about your books with high praise and spread the word, attracting you more fans and book sales.

I have more Twitter tips to come ... to stay tuned, subscribe to this blog.

My author website:

Using Twitter to Market Books & Blogs Part I

Here are some tips on how to use Twitter to market your books and blogs and build your audience. For those who are new to Twitter, it's a social media site where you set up a profile and post short messages about what you're doing. These messages are called "tweets." People from all around the world can "follow" you and read every message that you post. Just about every celebrity imaginable now uses Twitter to give their fans a personal connection. Twitter is also great for authors connecting with their readers. This is a goldmine for marketing books and blogs.

Once your profile is set up, search for hundreds to thousands of people who match your reading audience, click on the person's name and follow them by clicking the "follow" button beneath their name. Their descriptions and what they tweet about will tip you off to what they love. Whatever subject or genre you write about, type in key words in the "search space" next to the Twitter logo, then hit return. It will pull up a list of recent tweets from people talking about your topic. Go down the list and follow each profile that you like.

For instance, I write horror fiction. I also blog about writing, publishing, and the adventures of being a professional author. On Twitter, all I have to do is search "horror" or "horror novels" or use the ashtag #horror, and there are hundreds upon hundreds of horror fans out there who say so in their descriptions.

"I'm an avid reader of horror.

"I love skiing, my dog, watching movies, and reading horror."

"Reading novels is the air I breathe. I love mystery, romance, and horror."

When you follow the people who fit your reading audience, they often follow you back. Now they know who you are, and since you blog about a topic they enjoy or you write the types of books they love to read, they will most likely visit your website at least once, and if your blog or book is engaging enough, they become fans.

In one sitting I might follow 20-30 people who are my target market. Often within minutes, I get emails from Twitter showing me who's following me back. I've made a lot of new friends this way. And several times new followers have written to tell me that they just bought my book on Amazon. Thanks to the world of Twitter, it has never been easier to find your fans.

Brian Moreland is the author of the horror novels Dead of Winter and Shadows in the Mist. He also writes for two blogs.