Thursday, October 09, 2014

Book Publicity via Twitter

By Stacey J. Miller, Book Publicist
S. J. Miller Communications

Can Twitter be part of your book marketing and book publicity campaign? It can, according to what this book publicist has seen and what novelist Helen Clark has experience (see her excellent Huffington Post blog, "Making Twitter Work for Your Book").

Twitter, like blogging, can connect authors with their target readership quickly, and can be instantly gratifying. Book marketing means making those connections, and using those connections to build your brand, and Twitter can be an important part of the platform that you use to sell your books and your expertise. In other words, yes, Twitter can be part of your book marketing and book publicity campaign.

But here's the down side of using Twitter as part of your book promotion campaign. Unlike other book publicity strategies, such as participating in media interviews and writing articles (that byline you as their author and include a link to your book web site), Twitter doesn't have a beginning, middle, and ending. Building your brand via Twitter isn't something you can schedule into a few hours a week, and it isn't something you'd necessarily want to outsource and have a book publicist do for you.

Finding the right followers on Twitter, and reading (and responding to, or retweeting) the tweets that those you follow compose, takes time. Composing tweets, and deciding what to post, and when to post them -- and, perhaps, figuring out what not to post and learning why not to post it -- is an infinite pursuit that can occupy endless hours of your time. Now, if you're going through a dry spell as a writer, or if you're such a successful author that you can afford to take time off from writing in between book promotion campaigns, then you might well have the time that building your brand, and expanding your name recognition, on Twitter takes.

Otherwise, if you're like most authors, you'll tweet as a small (but important) part of your book promotion campaign. You'll set a limit on the number of hours you'll devote each week to Twitter, and you'll use that time wisely. And, the rest of the time, you'll engage in book publicity activities that may lead to slightly delayed gratification.

But, if delayed gratification leads to book sales, who's complaining? Not I, says this book publicist.