Sunday, May 13, 2012

Book Marketing for Nitwits: More Twitter

Last week's encounter with Twitter left me feeling a little raw.

But Internet book marketing experts say Twitter is the way to go. So, I'm back at it. (My Twitter page)

Quick review of last week's Book Marketing for Nitwits article about Twitter:

Step 1:  Determine how much time to spend on Twitter.
I set a goal of 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes in the evening. Ha! Spent twice that the first day, but my goal is to whittle it down with tool suggested in Step 2.

Step 2: Downloaded a bunch of tools.
Only one I'm using is Hootsuite, which makes tweeting, responding to other people's tweets, and scheduling tweets for the week relatively painless. It also let's me follow certain discussion groups, such as #pubtips and #amwriting.

Now, on to this week

Step 3: Find Good People to Follow

When considering who to follow on Twitter I had two goals:
- Stalk agents and publishers in hopes of getting them to notice me and buy my book manuscript, if I ever finish it.
- Attract followers who might visit my blog or one day buy my book.

a) Stalking
First, I searched Twitter for "literary agents" and got a bunch tweets from desperate people like me asking where they could find a literary agent. Then I looked up an agent I had met at a conference and looked at who she was following and who they were following. I followed and followed. I lost track of where I began or why I was doing this. After two hours, I stopped and asked myself: Why am I bothering with all these agents who will probably never follow or notice me? And does it matter? We'll all be packing boxes for Amazon in six months. 

Can't give up. 
Experts say Twitter is the answer.

The next day, I returned to following and stalking with a better attitude. I checked out more agents profiles and looked to see what hashtags they used to post their tweets. (That's how I found #pubtips. Here's a good list of existing hashtags and info about how they work.)

I also used Twitter's List feature to create my own private list of agents who were active tweeters. It turns out some of these agents mainly tweeted about their love of artichokes or their clients' books. I will soon dump them.

Two agents that seemed worth following:

Then I created a separate list of publishing experts and added an industry pundit that many agents followed:

I also added a few book editors who were cited in agent tweets.

Finally, I tried to track down authors in my genre (comic novels about whiny white guys) and their agents. One author, Sam Lipsyte, didn't have a profile (at least not one I could find.). Another author, Jonathan Tropper, had a profile. I followed him, but couldn't find his agent.

The nice thing about the List Feature: When I'm in a rush, I can check only tweets from people on my lists instead of scrolling through tweets by everyone I'm folllowing.

b) Attracting Followers

- The more I've been tweeting, the more followers I've gotten. (No surprise.) Some have even read my Twitter profile and clicked over to read my blog. (Nice surprise.)

- Would they ever buy anything from me or click my "donate" button on the right side of this page? Unclear.
(You did notice my new "donate" button, didn't you?)

- I've stopped automatically following anyone who follows me and I've abandoned some of the sleazy book marketing tactics I adopted earlier.

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