I've been thinking about this whole Twitter thing for awhile, about how effective it actually is, and then when I had a conversation with a fellow writer today, I cemented my belief system about marketing via Twitter. I'll be using novelist as an example, because I'm a burgeoning author, but needless to say, novelist are not the exception. Lots of people are doing this, for a myriad of items, from acne cream to classes on how to promote yourself on Twitter.
On Twitter, I see so many people advertising their books, including myself, and I've been wondering, a lot, if it is the least bit productive. There's all kinds of pitches. There's the READ MY BOOK pitch, the one that is in your face. There's the I've just written the Great American Novel and you should read it pitch. And then there's the So-n-so said This is the Greatest Book since the Iliad and you'd be a fool not to read it pitch. These can all be interchanged or combined. And none of these are bad, until someone decides to tweet it flood-style. Buy my book. Buy my book. Buy my book. I've gotten to where I ignore certain tweeters almost immediately because they've saturated my sense of appreciation for their message.
I usually pitch once a week and try to add some humor. For example, I'll tweet something like What better #read on Good Friday than a story about obsession and #voodoo? Ok, maybe a stretch. Read COUILLON anyway.
And that brings up a question I've been pondering. Do people actually read other people's tweets? I don't think so. I am following less than 350 tweeters [I have very few compared to most, some in the 100K range], and I can't even read a tenth of the tweets I get. That's when I have time to read tweets. So if I'm not reading their tweets, they're probably not reading my tweets. Which begs the question is this worth doing.
I even asked the question, in a tweet, if any of the authors I am following feel like they have sold books based on Twitter pitches. I got zero response. Which, to me, emphasizes both of my points: pitches don't really work and no one reads other people's tweets. Unless you're already a celebrity. I'm never going to have a real following until I'm a celebrity, but I'm never going to be a celebrity without a following. Kind of like the old credit catch-22 [it was like this a long, long time ago], if you don't have credit, you can't get credit. [Now days, anyone can get a credit card, even my ex-husband.]
Now, I'm not dumping on Twitter. I've built a hand full of relationships there, and I enjoy a lot of the tweets. Just not the marketing ones. Besides Twitter, there are also tons of Facebook pages out there that do same. And blogs. For example, many FB pages are centered around indie authors. I liked several of those pages when I was told I needed to get into social media if I'm going to be somebody. My problem is that all I see on those pages are posts from other authors pitching their books. No readers. Just writer.
So am I going to dump Twitter or FB? No, absolutely not. But I'm also not the type to flood the twitter-verse with Buy my Book messages. I don't know what it'll take for me to start selling books, but tweeting to other authors ain't it.
I'd love to hear from other authors, not represented by agents/publishers, as to how they market their work. But just finding those people is a job in and of itself. I followed GoodReads discussion groups for awhile, too. You know what I found? I found that with all this tweeting and group participation, I didn't have time to write.
So if you have some sure fired way of marketing your books, please please please share the information. I'm not looking for the easy way, but I am looking for the most effective way.