Twitter Tips: It’s Not as Scary as You Think

Everybody relaxed and smiling?  Good because I’m going to go over a few things that might terrify some of you.  Seriously, I’ve talked to a lot of people who avoid Twitter out of fear.  I used to be one of these people, but now I’ve found how powerful a tool it can be.  I don’t Tweet about my life because that’s not me.  All of these tips are to help promote your book.  So, here’s a set of tips to make it easier and more useful:

Getting Started and Followers

This will be the hardest part, but if you’re already blogging and on Facebook then you’ve done this drill before.  The challenge will be picking your first Twitter Feeds to follow.  It is not as daunting as you think.  I went for Daily Show, Colbert Report, Readfulthings, Rome Construction Crew, and an actor who I now forgot.  Done and able to do whatever you want at this point.

Yes, most of these people will not follow you back.  How do you get that type of follower? This is where time will be needed and blogging is a boon.  Most of your WordPress friends have a Twitter account connected to their blog.  Go to their page and click on it to start following.  Also, check for publishing companies and favorite authors.  You have to take it easy because follow too many in a short period of time will get you frozen because the system will mistake you for a bot.

Yahoo Image Search

Yahoo Image Search

What About Content?

This is easier than you think.  There are a few types of tweets you can do:

Retweets from other authors in the hopes of reciprocation.  Don’t get mad if it doesn’t happen because everyone is busy and you still get some attention from it.

Blog posts by connecting your Twitter Feed to your WordPress page.  This is the easiest and takes no effort on your part.

Tweet from pages like your book’s Amazon page or review sites.  Look for the Twitter symbol and click on it.  You’ll get a Tweet page with the link and just add your own opening and adjust the given information to what you want.  For example, I delete the ‘by Charles E Yallowitz’ when I tweet from my books’ Amazon pages because my Twitter Feed has my name.  Another benefit of this is that your tweet is connected to their page through an @ thingy like @Amazon.  You’ll see this is how you communicate through Twitter.

Finally, you can build tweets from the ground up.  These are where your creativity is going to shine.  Be creative, use hashtags (explain in a bit), and add the link (get to that next).  I’m going to focus on this method  for the rest of the post because it’s where a lot of the tricks will be used.  These tricks can also be used for the ‘Tweet from a Page’ method.

Tiny URL

You only have 140 characters to make your point and that Amazon page link can be brutal on there.  So, get a Tiny URL from the site I linked to.  Keep a file where you have one of these for each book (beats have to get it again each time).  One thing I always do is chop the original URL to this:

http://www.amazon.com/Prodigy-Rainbow-Legends-Windemere-ebook/dp/B00E8WUD5S/

This removes all of the added junk from an Amazon search and makes it a cleaner URL that you get.  It becomes this:  http://tinyurl.com/k3t8ezc and that gives you a lot more to work with.

#Hashtags!

Yahoo Image Search

Yahoo Image Search

What is a hashtag and what does it do?  First, a thank you to Danielle Taylor for teaching me about these months ago.  Now, a hashtag are those things you see with a ‘#’ in front of them and this turns those terms into search items.  A person searches on Twitter by using these hashtags.

So, what do you hashtag and how?  Go for keywords like your genre, platform (Kindle, Amazon, Nook, etc.), and any other special words.  For example, I put hashtags on fantasy, sale, weekend, magic, action, humor, adventure, demons, and others when I use them.  One thing I do with hashtags is I use the words as part of the message.  An example Tweet from me:

Sharing the #humor & #action of the 1st book, Prodigy of Rainbow Tower adds an edge to this lighthearted series #BYNR http://tinyurl.com/k3t8ezc 

Grammar Cheats

This is simple.  To save space use & instead of ‘and’.  1st, 2nd, & other shortcuts can be used.  Avoid going for the Text Speak like ‘U will luv this buk’.

Set Your Mood

Basic informative is good, but push for the mood of your book to get attention.  If there’s humor and epic adventure then make it sound like that.  Bring up courage, heroism, or heavily armored battle sheep (only if you deliver).  If your book is full of suspense or romance then write accordingly.  Think of these tweets as small book pitches.  You don’t even have to say the title every time because the link will bring people to it.  One thing I also do is make character specific tweets to sell the cast.  Fizzle, Nyx, and the Hellfire Elf seem to work very well here.  Fritz too if I mention womanizing gnome.  See how this works?

Once is Not Enough

I know people get annoyed if you’re always tweeting your book promos, which is where retweeting and connecting to your blog will help break that up.  Still, this is to push your book first and reveal what you ate for breakfast second.  I try to put out a book Tweet every 3-4 hours and vary between straight from my Amazon page and a freshly made Tweet.  The reason for this is simple.  You have people in different time zones and schedules, so you need to keep things moving.  Don’t expect most people to read back on your tweets.

That’s all I can think of sharing.  Sorry for the long post, but I hope this helps out a lot of people.  Two final notes:

BUY LEGENDS OF WINDEMERE VOLUME 1 & 2!

About Charles Yallowitz

Charles E. Yallowitz was born, raised, and educated in New York. Then he spent a few years in Florida, realized his fear of alligators, and moved back to the Empire State. When he isn't working hard on his epic fantasy stories, Charles can be found cooking or going on whatever adventure his son has planned for the day. 'Legends of Windemere' is his first series, but it certainly won't be his last.
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27 Responses to Twitter Tips: It’s Not as Scary as You Think

  1. Papi Z says:

    Reblogged this on The Literary Syndicate and commented:
    A handy how to for Twitter from Charles. Check it out my friends!

    Like

  2. C.K. Hope says:

    This was great, I actually understand how to use twitter a bit now!

    Like

  3. Thanks much for this! I’m always a little fearful that I’ll do too much promoting and people will get tired of it, but your point about time zones makes sense. Not everyone is seeing every promo. Duh!

    Like

    • Some people will get tired of it, but that’s the nature of the beast. Everyone has their own limit to how much promo they can handle, so there isn’t much you can do about it. This is why I try for a 3-4 spacing instead of hourly like some people do.

      Like

  4. Jae says:

    I’m glad you don’t do it hourly. I’ve unfollowed people whose only tweets consist of promoting their book. It wouldn’t hurt to add little tips about writing a person has learned to their tweets or even humorous things they’ve found about being a writer. AKA let the people know that you’re a real person behind that tweet occasionally. Then people don’t mind the book plugs. You can even use the hashtags #amwriting or #wordmongering sometimes as you’re writing to not only help motivate yourself to do so but to keep the tweets more personalized. I’ve also met a lot of good writing friends that way. And there’s always #myWANA too (created by Kristin Lamb).

    Great tips!

    Like

    • I hope my blog posts function in that respect. Honestly, I’m usually so busy writing and editing that it never crosses my mind to Tweet about it. Guess I still feel weird posting stuff like that because of my experience on Facebook. Sifted through a lot of bacon memes, Doctor Who memes, and game updates to find out what my friends were actually doing with their lives.

      Maybe I’ll tweet milestones as time goes on.

      Like

  5. Great post, Charles – I don’t have anything to promote (yet) but I do keep my feed moving with blog posts and interesting reads across the internet. Have yet to get to the personal side of twitter, though and I’m terrible at interacting. Baby steps!

    Like

  6. LaLa says:

    Reblogged this on Sunshine, Lollipops, and Stilettos and commented:
    I am…. no so bueno at Twitter… these seem to be some good tips, and I am reflagging simply becauseI want to be able to find this later!

    Like

  7. Tweeted post via @authorrbaustin

    Like

  8. You can also use http://amzn.com/B00E8WUD5S
    For your other books, just change the ASIN at the end (for paperback, use the ISBN instead).
    This is also fairly short, and makes it clear to people that it will take them to Amazon (well, maybe not perfectly, since Amazon is shortened).

    Like

  9. Reblogged this on chrismcmullen and commented:
    Excellent tips for how to use Twitter.

    Like

  10. Pingback: The Druid Dazzles with Daring-do | The D/A Dialogues

  11. One other very important use of Twitter is engagement. I blog on the Huffington Post, and when one of my posts went viral recently (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/valerie-alexander/mean-photos_b_3900997.html), I spent hours over the next few days replying to every person who tweeted it, thanking them personally. Not sure if that sold any books, but several of them followed me after getting that note. Everyone should be searching for their book’s title or twitter handle daily to see if anyone is talking about it, and if they are, jump into the conversation.

    Like

  12. Oloriel says:

    Thank you very much for this! I am one of those people that are scared of Twitter and this really really REALLY helped me!:)

    Like

  13. sknicholls says:

    Thanks you Charles. I understand it a bit better. Still not sure if I can take this own, but I know where you live, HA!

    Like

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