Monday, May 27, 2013

Nine More Twitter Tips for Writers Confounded by Twitter

These tips cover the gamut from adding and managing followers to working around a common error message to punching up your Twitter page design. There are also several more tips for better Tweets.

Adding Followers

If you follow too many people and don't have enough followers, Twitter considers you a loser and will eventually prevent from following more people. Also, other Twitter users will consider you a loser and may choose not to follow you back. Don't be a loser! Here are some things to consider as you follow people.

1) Will they follow you back?

Look at the number of Following versus Followers: If they're following too few people, chances are they won't follow you. In the example below, this literary agent has 14,000 followers and is following 187 people -- chances our she's not going to follow me. If she's someone I want to query about my book, I may follow her. If she's Tweeting fascinating insider publishing information, I'll follow her. Otherwise, she's may not be worth following.

2) Error Message "You are unable to follow more people at this time..."

Once I reached 2,000 following, Twitter wouldn't allow me to follow more,until my ratio of following to followers improved. (Twitter won't disclose the ratio. On a new Twitter page I started, I'm following 470 people and have 200 followers, yet I'm still able to follow more people. Maybe Twitter feels sorry for my pathetic little page.)

Solution: Use a free tool like Manage Flitter to dump people you follow who aren't following you.  Tip: Pick people who you've been following for weeks or months who haven't followed you back. Don't dump people you recently started following -- they may just be a little slow to respond. Note: The free version of Manage Flitter will only let you dump 100 people every 24 hours.

3) Manage the Mayhem by Creating Lists of Most Important People You Follow

It's been said that you can only have meaningful online connections with 250 people. I'm guessing the number is more like 50. So once you're following hundreds of people, how do you keep track of them? Organize your best connections into subsets using Twitter's List feature. Then you can check the list periodically and see only what your most important people are Tweeting, instead of skimming Tweets from hundreds of people. The feature is located under the gear icon on the Twitter toolbar. (double-click on image below to enlarge.)

Tweeting Tips

4) Brown-Nosing

Remember all those influential people you added to your lists? If they post something interesting, retweet it using a hashtag they didn't use. Be sure to include their Twitter handle, so they know you did them a favor.

5) Vary Your Tweets

- Include some full statements that don't include links.
- Include some photos.

6) Keep Tweets Short

Leave 15 or so characters at the end of each Tweet so people can retweet you without cutting off text. So, instead of using all 140 characters for a Tweet, consider using only 125.

7) Repost your own tweets at Different Times

Post one at 9:00 a.m. one week and at 5 p.m. the next.

8) A Good Blog Post about Tweeting

The 12 most confusing things about Tweets, Retweets, Replies and Direct Messages

Design Tip

9) Add a Background and Look More Professional

Go to Settings/Design, click Change background, and upload a professional photo of you or your book. I added a photo of me performing and clicked the Tile background check box.

More Twitter Tips

Is Online Book Marketing a Waste of Time?

Quick, Dirty Twitter Tips for Writers

More Quick and Dirty Twitter Tips for Writers

Art attribution: Twitter logo at top of post by ( [CC-BY-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons


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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Book Marketing: Resources for Getting Started

Here is an updated list of book marketing resources and tools that I recommend to my "Self-Promotion for Writers" class.The list includes books, social media blogs, an old school PR blog, an SEO blog, publishing industry blogs, and some Web based tools that I continue to like -- even after using them for a year.

I) Getting Started

For getting started with a new technology or a social media tool, a book is the way to go. No dough? Borrow them from the library. Though most books are out of date by the time they hit the shelves, you can still learn the basics, then sign up for a blog to stay up to date.


- Good Overview of book marketing
"Online Book Marketing" by Lorraine Phillips
- Books for skeptics: "Social Media is Bullshit" by B.J. Mendelson
-  "Talk up your book: How to sell your book through public speaking, interviews, signings, festivals, conferences, and more," by Patricia Fry.
- Dummies books and other how-to books on social media, blogging, twitter, e-mail marketing, public relations, are all useful and will save you a lot of aggravation.


Blogs on publishing industry: agents, trends, marketing

Writer Beware: Sleazy agents, sleazy publishers, and other sleazeballs writer's need to be aware of.

Self-publishing and book marketing

Self-promotion for writers:

Blogs on blogging:
- (lots of free guides on blogging and SEO)
- Article: Is Blogging a Waste of Time?
- Article: types of articles that get traffic.

Social Media Blogs:
- Facebook:

- Article: Getting started with Twitter.


- Article: Keyword Basics

Old-School bookmaketing: PR
- publicity hound

II) Tools

- Easy, do-it-yourself blog platform (Blogger):
- Find free, legal art for your blog:
- Free image editor (crop and tweak photos and art)
- Audio tools: 
*free audio editor; tricky to use: 
*a Youtube-like storage site for audio:
- Capture subscribers for your blog:
- Monitor traffic to your blog:
- Round-up of Blogging Tips, Tools, and Resources:

- Google Keywords Tool (you may need to sign up)

Twitter tools:
- Dump people who don't follow back: 
- Organize Twitter, pre-schedule Tweets, plus and easy tool to capture and Tweet pages you find on the Web.
- Automatically post new blogs to your Twitter, Linked In, and Facebook accounts. Note: this tool will truncate your blog's headline and some of the text. Double-check posts once they appear in Facebook and Linked In to make sure the headlines read OK.

E-mail management service:

Toolkit image: By Davidpk212 at en.wikipedia [CC-BY-2.5], from Wikimedia Commons


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