I joined Twitter because just about everything I read about marketing for Indie authors said I should. Twitter is touted as the place to be if you want to build a social network that you can ‘sometimes’ promote your books to. I say ‘sometimes’ because most of the gurus who tout using Twitter to promote whatever you’re trying to sell recommend that no more than one in ten to one in twenty of your posts be about something you’re pushing. Constant sales messages cause other users to unfollow you or, at minimum, to just tune you out.
Followers have come to me pretty quickly but, guess what? The great majority of them are fellow authors. Most of the rest are entities that exist, it appears, to promote books on Twitter. Ninety plus percent of the authors and all of the promoters seem to have missed the Twitter gurus message and, rather than being selective about what they promote and when, they pound sales pitches out constantly. It’s very annoying to me, even as a fellow author who understands what they’re trying to do. Can you imagine how this constant barrage of sales pitches must feel to the casual user?
I no longer post about my 1st book on Twitter. When book two is released, it will get a mention on debut day and then I’ll move on unless something specific comes up about it. All of the marketing I need to do on the site is handled by my banner (which was adapted from the one that tops this blog) and in my little profile blurb. I do tweet these blog links out but the rest of the time I tweet things of interest to me that may be of interest to others and I retweet a wide variety of things from a select list of Twitter users I follow.
That last bit brings me to an important point: Twitter gives you the ability to make lists to categorize the other users that you follow. To make a list, you simply click your profile icon and, in the drop down menu that appears, choose ‘Lists’. On the page you’re directed to, chose ‘Create New List’. First, you’ll be prompted to give it a name. Call it whatever you want. Then you can add users that you follow to the list that you’ve created.
I have several lists. One is called ‘Cover Creators’ and another is called ‘eBook Promoters’. I’ve added my followers to both of these lists that fall into those categories and I’ve made these lists public so other users that desire to do so can access them. My own profile appears on the public lists of some other users and I’ve subscribed to them so that I might access those too.
The most important list that I have is the private list that I’ve simply titled “Personal”. Who’s on it? Well, currently there are 37 people or entities. Admittedly, a couple of the ‘entities’ are sports teams I’m a fan of. Adding them to a list like this is a great way to keep up with what the teams are doing. They often tweet out quick links to articles and blog posts where I can get more in depth info and feed my passion/addiction. Other entities on the list are organizations I support who tweet fairly regularly about issues that are important to me personally.
The key components on my personal private list are the individual Twitter users who I find have something entertaining, inspirational, instructional or otherwise of value to say on a fairly regular basis. Some are authors, some are not, but they’re there because what they typically tweet isn’t overtly trying to sell anyone anything. They’re people like:
- Fiona Quinn – an author who uses the Twitter handles @ThrillWritingFQ and @FionaQuinnBooks – She writes a blog that’s a treasure trove of information for mystery and thriller writers.
- Chris Hill – an author with a couple of books out who writes a blog that focuses a lot on writing and self publishing. As an experienced indie author, his insight is invaluable to aspiring authors and debut authors and, frankly, I’m betting to some very experienced ones. His Twitter handle is @ChilledCH
- Mike Lehr – Mike’s a business consultant, trainer, author and more. His tweets and his blog focus on business. His insights are often mind blowing, especially if your background isn’t business because, make no mistake, marketing your work as an indie author is a business. His Twitter handle is @
- Brandon Shire – a friend and fellow LGBT author who tweets about books (not just his), issues that I care about too and so much more. His Twitter handle is @TheBrandonShire
- Goodreads – Adding them to your personal list goes without saying if you’re an author. If you can’t visit the site as an author every day you should at least know what they’re Tweeting because the tweets highlight some of the not to be missed stuff. Follow them @Goodreads. Not a member of Goodreads? Why not? It’s free and it’s where your readers are. More on that in a future post!
Those are a few of the key members of my personal list that are important to authors. I add – and sometimes remove – people every week. As I make new connections, I check out their tweets to see what they add to the Twitterverse. Some make the list, others don’t. Remember, a list is only as good as you make it. Make one that makes sense for you and pay attention to what really matters to you as an author and a human being. Just ignore the rest of the daily chatter.