How to Promote Your eBook on Twitter
By Felix Strasser On March 18, 2015
Are you writing a book? Maybe your book is already written and you’ve just begun the publication process. Good. I’ve caught you just in time.
Now’s the time to work on your marketing plan, before publication kicks into high gear.
Yes, you love your book. It’s your baby. You’ve poured your heart and soul into your book.
On the other hand, you’ve been around the block a time or two and you know that no book sells itself, no matter how good it is. If you want a book to fly off the shelves, you’ve got to give it a good shove.
Whether you’re a self-published author or you’ve gone the more traditional route, unless you’re Stephen King, you’ve been left pretty much on your own with regard to marketing your book. And now it’s time to take matters in hand.
Be sure to include a Twitter flap in your marketing campaign planning.
Twitter can help you launch your book successfully into the marketplace, but you’ll need to take into account Twitter’s unique limitations as you plan.
You’ll need to set up a landing page, perhaps your already-existing website, or a new one custom built for your new book alone. Use a URL shortener such as bitly if necessary so you can insert a link in your tweets to where fans can find your book.
Rework Your Title
You love the title of your book almost as much as you love the book itself. You’ve spent many long hours honing its poetic perfection until you’re certain the title alone will assure your book’s success. But wait. Will it fit into the 140 characters a tweet is limited to?
One recent title I came across surely would not: David John Mampel’s Coyote Spirit: The Improbable Transformation from Minister to Clown. Hmmm. Might be an interesting read, but the title is certainly nowhere near tweetable. Considerable shortening of the creative variety is going to have to do in this case.
One-word titles work best for tweeting; Adam Begley’s Updike comes to mind. But we can’t all have one-word wonders for our titles. The title of any book must be compelling and inviting, not only tweetable.
What to do? What to do?
Well, keep it short for one thing, or as short as you can. Lively and lyrical would do the trick, something like Sarah Waters’ The Paying Guests, which could be shortened for tweeting to PayingGuests. Do you see where we’re going with this?
Rethink Your Author Name on Twitter
Your author name on Twitter needs to be short enough to fit into a good tweet, too. If you have a longish name, consider using a shortened but still understandable version of it and use only one or two of your initials, something like, in Mr. Mampel’s case above, DMampel.
Use a Hashtag
Use a hashtag with the shortened form of your book title so you can keep track of fans who are talking about your book. Twitter users created hashtags so they could categorize messages, and now hashtags are used all over social media so that a quick electronic search can find messages about a certain topic. The hashtag for Ms. Waters’ book, for instance, is #PayingGuests.
Figure Out How Much Room You’ll Have for A Message
Given that the absolutely essential pieces of your tweets, such as the link to your landing page, your shortened author name, the shortened title of your book, and the hashtag will take up a certain amount of space for each of your tweets, how much room will you have left for a message about your book?
Deduct the character count for each of the essential pieces from one hundred forty, the maximum number of characters allowed for a tweet, to know how long your message can be.
Also, in order to allow for hygienic retweeting, you’ll also need to account for the characters that will be taken up when anyone retweets your tweet, so that nothing critical gets knocked off the end of the retweets. It will do you little good when your tweets get retweeted if the link to your landing page or the title of the book falls off in the process.
For example, let’s say you’re Don Smith and your twitter account is @dsmith99999. That’s twelve characters.
You’re tweeting about Dave Mampel’s book, Coyote Spirit: The Improbable Transformation from Minister to Clown, which you’ve shortened to CSMinisterClown. With the hashtag that’s sixteen characters.
Your landing page is http://yy.com, giving you another thirteen characters.
Finally, your author name is DMampel, for another seven characters.
So, let’s see. That’s twelve plus sixteen plus thirteen plus seven, giving a total of forty-eight. Subtract that from one hundred forty, the maximum number of characters in a tweet, and you have ninety-two characters for a message.
Develop Some Messages
Find some short and pithy quotes from your book to use in your message, and keep them under ninety-two characters, even if you have to (shudder) edit your own work a bit.
Here are some examples from Coyote Spirit: The Improbable Transformation from Minister to Clown:
“I am living the life of my dreams, but it was not always so.” (62 characters)
“I wanted to be an entertainer, preferably a rock star.” (57 characters)
“I knew that I loved to laugh and make others laugh.” (54 characters)
“I started to feel as if I were wearing a suit that was too small for me.” (75 characters)
You can easily see that any one of these short quotes could work in a Twitter message that contains all of the other essential ingredients, too.
Put Your Tweets Together
Assemble the elements of your tweets into several tidy packages such as, for example:
Find #CSMinisterClown by @DMampel:
“I started to feel as if I were wearing a suit that was too small for me.”
At one hundred twenty-three characters, this message is well under the maximum limit of one hundred forty.
Schedule Delivery of Your Tweets
Keeping in mind that a prime directive of social media is keep it light and not to bombard your followers with messages urging them to buy all the time—in other words, to give much more than you get—sparingly schedule your tweets, sending out no more than one or two a day. You can do this manually if you prefer, but to simplify your life, ask MyHelpster to automate the delivery of your tweets for you.