Being a self-published author means doing a bit of self-promotion to get the word out around your book. Fortunately, social media makes that all quite a bit easier. Twitter gives you the ability to broadcast your message to (potentially) millions. And you’ve probably noticed that Blurb has some social sharing tools, including a built-in Twitter button, that helps you to do just that. Just click the little twitter-bird and we pre-populate a tweet for you, with a link to your book:
It’s nice, sure, but let’s be honest: It’s a bit generic. Here are some ways you can spice up your tweet to gain attention and sales. As an example, we’ll use our own blog book, Camerathursdays, which showcases the cameras that Blurb employees love.
1) Be descriptive. People want to know what they’re getting. Of course you only have 140 characters to work with, so you want to be succinct.
Default tweet: Check out the book from @BlurbBooks: camerathursdays http://www.blurb.com/books/3250439?ce=blurb_ew
New tweet: A book about our favorite cameras from @BlurbBooks: camerathursdays http://www.blurb.com/books/3250439?ce=blurb_ew
2) Use hashtags. Hashtags (words proceeded by the # symbol) help people to find common tweets by popular subjects. Choose hashtags people are likely to be looking for. For this book we might choose some of the cameras featured in the book.
Camerathursdays from @blurbbooks with our favorite cameras: #Polaroid, #Lomography, #Leica http://www.blurb.com/books/3250439?ce=blurb_ew
3) Participate in conversations. Find individuals on Twitter who are talking about things that are relevant to your book. If there’s an opportunity, use an @mention to share your book with them. Be relevant – no one likes to be spammed. Here’s an example:
Let’s say that CameraFan98 tweets: Here’s my #camera collection. What’s yours?
We could tweet back: @CameraFan98 Here’s a book of the #cameras we shoot with: http://www.blurb.com/books/3250439?ce=blurb_ew
CameraFan98 will be more likely to follow our link if they know who we are, so it’s a good idea to cultivate relationships with Twitter personalities who are talking about what you love. If you’re lucky they might retweet your book.
4) Appeal to emotions. If you have a lot of close friends who are following you, it’s ok to let them know your book is a labor of love, and how much you’d love for them to buy a copy. Example:
We’re so proud of our new book from @BlurbBooks. Pick up a copy and show your love http://www.blurb.com/books/3250439?ce=blurb_ew
5) Mix and match as appropriate: Should you use all of these tips in one mega @mention-#hashtag-descriptive love fest? The best tweets are natural, well-worded, and relevant. Always think to yourself: Would I check this out? Would I retweet this? Tweets that are littered with unnecessary @s and #s can turn people off.
Also, you may be wondering why you should keep the @BlurbBooks mention in your tweet. Well, frankly, we like to see your books. Frequently the books that we feature in our staff picks section come right from those tweets. And you know what? We usually check out the tweets that are the most descriptive and most original.
Got more tips? Questions? Let us know in the comments section!