Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Tips for Authors to Leverage Twitter

I am still struggling with how to use Twitter. I feed my blog into it and have tweeted a few reminders for reading and workshops. Yesterday I splurged to the tune of $1 for a pocket-size Twitter for Dummies book at Office Depot. I haven’t opened it yet, but it sits so handy in my bag.


But last week I saw an article by Dana Lynn Smith – Ten Great Ways Twitter Can Help You Promote Your Book on Book1Blog. Incidentally this a blog that I keep meaning to unsubscribe from in an effort to declutter my inbox, but they keep feeding me with excellent resources such as this one.

Twitter is, she says, not about selling books, but provides  an excellent way to build your networks and reputation. We all know that we  sell books when people meet us, whether face-to-face or online. Here are a few of the tips that Ms. Smith recommends. To read all ten, click here.

  1. Help others by sharing information, while you gain a reputation as an expert. You can post links to helpful articles, recommend resources, offer tips and discuss other books that you enjoy.
  2. Stay on top of news and trends in your field or genre, and get ideas for your articles and blog by reading the tweets of the people you follow.
  3. Ask for help and get instant responses – things like feedback on your book title, cover design or website. It’s amazing how helpful folks are.
  4. Spread goodwill by helping your peers. Introduce people to one another, recommend other related books, or re-tweet interesting posts from people you follow.

What I like about Ms. Smith and others who seem to be recognizing this trend: we make friends online by asking for help and helping others. There is something very cozy and intimate in this otherwise virtual and detached world. I still believe in meeting over a cup of coffee to help someone who asks for your advice. But time and geographical restraints means we can reach and be reached more efficiently in the age of the Internet. We can still, however, leverage this medium to create a supportive community.

Dana Lynn Smith, by the way, is a nationally recognized book marketing coach and author of The Savvy Book Marketing Guide.

In the spirit of this article: please share your best Twitter practices in the comments below.

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Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/and on Twitter (#alonshalevsf).

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4 thoughts on “Tips for Authors to Leverage Twitter

  1. No one is more a believer of networking than I. But my jury is still out on the whole social networking corner of the ‘net. Facebook has bite-sized pieces of content that is posted to friends (some are a real stretch) and friends of friends. Twitter has much less credibility. You know you are not selling books in a forum based on teens announcing their zits. In fact, you know you are not selling books on any social networking site. What you are doing is driving people to your web site or blog, whichever is the primary site where you are building your personal brand and selling your books. I have one more problem, do I really want to be a brand? You can follow my blog, A Year on the Road at: http://allevenson.wordpress.com

  2. Great job on the blog, it looks great. I am going to bookmark it and will make sure to check back weekly

  3. Pingback: More Twitter Tips for Authors « Left Coast Voices

  4. Pingback: Web-based Media Applications

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