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You Can Sell Your Book on Twitter (With This Stupid Secret!)

by David Masters · 3 comments

DA Secret 1All of us writers want our books to sell millions of copies.

But most authors make a horrible mistake on Twitter that scares away readers.

Is this you?

Your Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

The mistake begins when you finish your book and upload it to Amazon. You wait, with baited breath, for the inevitable. The world will recognize your genius, and a flood of sales will start pouring in.

Three months later, you’ve sold two copies. One of them, you bought for yourself, for the pride of seeing your name on your Kindle. The other, you’re pretty sure it was your mom, though she denies it.

You swallow your pride and realize the sad truth that your book won’t sell itself. However genius or magical the story, it’s not genius or magical enough to make copies of your book walk off Amazon’s bookshelves and onto Kindles all around the world.

What’s the mistake? Nothing really, at least, not yet.

So far, you’re doing pretty good. You made the small mistake of having too much faith in your book, but in the scheme of things, it’s easily sorted. You need to work on your marketing, and you’ve realized that. You’re on the right track.

It’s now that the mistake really begins.

DA Secret 2You’ve heard how you can reach out to hundreds, thousands or millions of people on social media. And it’s free to use! What’s not to like? You sign up for a Twitter account, follow a few tweeple, and bingo, you’re ready to tweet.

You let it rip.

“Check out my book! http://amazon.com/mywork ofstaggeringbeautyandgenius”

Immediately, you check your Amazon stats, watching for an hour, waiting for the sales to roll in.

Nothing happens.

You shrug, go to bed, and check your sales the next morning.

Still nothing. Maybe no one heard the first time. You’ve watched TV. You know the tricks of marketers. If you really want people to listen, you have to repeat yourself. So you send out the tweet again:

“Check out my book! http://amazon.com/myworkofstaggeringbeautyandgenius”

Hold it right there, cowboy.

You just pulled the trigger with your gun in your pocket. That pain in your foot? It’s a bullet. Not smart. Not smart at all.

While you’re tying up your bandage, let’s talk about what went wrong.

First, your tweet is terrible. Worse than terrible. It’s atrocious. It doesn’t say what your book is about. It doesn’t give potential readers a reason to buy. And by not using hashtags or buzzwords, you’re making it incredibly difficult for anyone to find you on Twitter.

But none of that is the real problem.

The real problem is that you ignored the dumb-ass, counter-intuitive secret to promoting your book on Twitter.

Maybe you ignored it because you didn’t know it. Or maybe you ignored it because it seemed dumb-ass.

How you hobbling along there?

The Dumb-Ass Secret (That Works) For Using Twitter To Promote Your Book

Are you ready for this? It really is stupid, and I’m sure you’ll hate it.

Okay, here goes.

The dumb-ass secret to promoting your book on Twitter is:

Don’t tweet about your book.

Shouting about yourself and your achievements (which is exactly what you’re doing when you tweet about your book) is the fastest, easiest and laziest way to get ignored on Twitter.

Essentially, you’re saying “I’m a pompous, self-centered, arrogant, vain twit with nothing better to talk about than me and my staggering work of genius”.

Are you beginning to see the flaw in this strategy?

DA Secret 3Twitter is a conversation. Think of it like a cocktail party, or a networking event. If you want a good chat, and if you want people to think of you as interesting, the last thing you should do is go in and talk about yourself. No, no, no. Instead, you take an interest in other people.

You build up a following of fans on Twitter not by shouting about your book, but by being an interesting, engaged person, who shares fun stuff and is interested in other people.

That way, some of the people who’ve come to know and like you will want to know more about you. They’ll check out your Twitter bio (where you link to your website, where you link to your books), and will maybe buy a copy.

Twitter is all about sales and marketing, but it’s not about selling. No, cowboy.

Oh, and sorry about that hole in your foot. Maybe as you’re limping around you can ingrain the dumb-ass secret in your mind.

Need one last reminder?

Don’t tweet about your book!

Got it?

the_10_commandments_for_authors_on_twitter

Want to know more about marketing your books using Twitter? Check out the Social Caffeine ebook, 10 Commandments for Authors on Twitter. Download your copy from Amazon here. Amazon UK users: get your copy here.

David Masters

David Masters is Social Caffeine’s lead writer, idea spinner and super-blogger. You’ll find his inky fingerprints all over the web at blogs from ProBlogger to Men with Pens to The Change Blog. He’s British, and he lives in Wales, but we don’t hold that against him.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

susan mccann August 11, 2013 at 7:10 am

Great article, so true, how many of us are sick of seeing those type of Tweets. I hardly ever read my DM’s for the very same reason, people are only interested in pushing their products on you. I love Twitter, but like you I love connecting with people in a different way. The best Tweets I read are the ones that add value to my day. That brighten up my life, make me smile, feel good or laugh out loud. Tweets that have links to articles that inform, motivate or inspire me. Thanks for sharing your advice, it really is great advice delivered in such a fun way. Look forward to reading more of your posts. Sue x

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