C h a z z W r i t e s . c o m

Write and publish with love and fury.

Book Marketing: World Literary Cafe Tweet Teams and how to tweet more effectively

More tips and tricks to steer your authorship. This book is free to you until Saturday! Please click to get it now.

More tips and tricks to steer your authorship. This book is free to you until Saturday! Please click to get it now.

 You can now vote for the funniest and bestest entry in the Seven Words or Less Contest to determine who gets their name in my next thriller, Hollywood Jesus. Just take a look at the comment thread here and email your vote for the best entry to expartepress AT gmail DOT com. Enjoy!

Do you use World Literary Cafe Tweet Teams? It’s a free promotional tool for authors and, with Christmas approaching, I see a lot of new faces over there today. To use the tool, go to the Tweet Teams menu at World Literary Cafe. Each team has ten members, so you’ll tweet nine others through the day and they’ll tweet you in return. Here’s how it works to spread your word:

1. You will input two Twitter-friendly messages, so make sure you stay under 140 characters. (When people don’t, it’s annoying and I feel bad editing the author’s tweet to make it fit.)

2. Your message must begin with RT @yourtwittername and end with #WLCAuthor

3. Tweet all your team members the same day. Use TweetDeck or some other tweet scheduling program so you don’t beat your Twitter following over the head too hard.

4. You must also tweet the WLC daily tweets as a payment and courtesy to the folks at WLC. They provide and maintain this service free, so do that. They do a lot for authors at World Literary Cafe, so check out all their services. They’re useful for lots more besides Tweet Teams.

5. Please read and reread the instructions carefully to make sure you’re compliant with the rules. Daily tweets are randomly audited to make sure everybody plays fair.

Those are the basics, but I’d like to add something more: Add something more to your tweets besides, “Here’s my book + Amazon link.” I understand doing it that way. I’m not saying don’t. I’m saying do something more and different. If that’s all you tweet, it’s not seductive. I see some curmudgeons handwring over how much Christmas book spam clots our Twitter feeds. As I’ve said before, I’m not some tweet narc telling you what to do. However, there’s stuff you can do to tweet more effectively. For instance: 

People like gifts. Do a giveaway so you’re giving them a sample of what you’re about:

RT @rchazzchute FREEBIE! Write Your Book: Aspire to Inspire Jedi mind tricks to get it all done + much more http://amzn.to/TuXSxB #WLCAuthor 

RT @rchazzchute Free to download Write Your Book Top 10s so writers become authors, #promotip tools http://amzn.to/TuXSxB #WLCAuthor #inspire

RT @rchazzchute #GIVEAWAY Write Your Book: Aspire to Inspire For anyone who wants to #publish http://amzn.to/TuXSxB #WLCAuthor #Amazon #free

Instead of just tweeting “Orangeberry Book Tour”, make it funny or informative: 

RT @rchazzchute Author interview for the #crime thriller Higher Than Jesus  at http://www.ravinaandreakurian.com #WLCAuthor #hardboiled #sex & #violence

 Or send them to a useful link on your blog or a podcast:

 RT @rchazzchute #PODCAST The Death by Ewok Edition #Unicycling is cool http://bit.ly/UQOLYK #WLCAuthor + free book @ #writing & #publishing

 RT @rchazzchute Marketing Your Book: #11 is really harsh. Sorry. http://bit.ly/X2QAzw #WLCAuthor plus a #free book @ #writing & #publishing

Sure, it powers your tweet if you’ve got a podcast or your free Amazon days are on, but you’ve got a blog so bring them back there a bit  instead of just shooting out the sales link without context. Give people a chance to fall in love with you a little. If they like your tone, your information, book covers or even your amazing eyebrows in your author photo, that’s a better shot at a sale.

Some of those curmudgeons I mentioned don’t like quotes from books showing up in tweets. So what? I love quotes. If you love it (and have compelling quotes that nab eyeballs, hearts and minds) then go ahead and do that. And if you don’t love it, don’t do it and unsubscribe. This is the Internet. There aren’t many rules, only guidelines. That’s why I love the Internet. 

Think about what works on you. What compels you to click a link? Then do that.

How about it? Really. What does make you click a link? Does it all come down to the title of the book, area of interest or mentions of sloth genitalia? Today I mentioned that the book that I’m giving away cures bad breath, pigeon toes and athlete’s genitalia. That worked.

"You will laugh your ass off!" ~ Author of Cybrgrrl, Maxwell Cynn

“You will laugh your ass off!” ~ Author of Cybrgrrl, Maxwell Cynn

~ Robert Chazz Chute is the author of books about writing and publishing, the Hit Man Series, suspense and very quirky self-help. Write Your Book: Aspire to Inspire is free until Saturday. Since you’ve endured reading all the way down here, you’ll no doubt grok it. Grab the giveaway here and if you love it, please review it. Cheers!

Filed under: publishing, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

#Writers: How much should you tweet?

Emergency "Twitter was down so I wrote my...

Image via Wikipedia

This article in the Globe and Mail advises you drop tweeting from your schedule. The main point is, writers waste time tweeting when they don’t have something to sell.

Well, yeah, but…

I’m not sure why anyone thinks a writer’s e-marketing time should be all or nothing. It’s probably useful to market to your audience, present or future. Your marketing time should not cut into your writing time. If it does, you either aren’t writing enough or not prioritizing. Blogging and tweeting to your market (present or future) should be a fun thing for you to do. If you don’t like it, then don’t do it.

I tweet, but always during time that would otherwise be dead time (e.g. waiting for something, while suffering insomnia or during commercials when I forgot to PVR something.) I enjoy blogging about writing and I make time for it. As a result, I watch a lot less TV than I used to do.

But writing time has to come first. The real question is, must you blog or make a book trailer or tweet to your followers? Can’t you just leave that to someone else when the time comes? (Answer: No. Selling anything means selling yourself.)

The Globe article suggests that it is often contests that curate bestsellers (especially in Canada.) Mm, yes, but what if you don’t write the sort of fiction that’s likely to even be considered by the Giller Prize panel? You can’t leave your book’s promotion to the whim of a handful of people, not when the power of the Internet is right in front of you.

It’s worth noting that publishers expect authors to shoulder most of the responsibility for promoting their books. Your publisher and agent will want you to have a blog as a home base that all your marketing efforts feed. If you’re into self-publishing, it’s all you, though that’s arguably not much different from what it ever was. (I’ve been a publicist and I’ve worked with publicists. What they’re doing is not rocket science. You can do it and if you won’t do that, at least control it.)

Do people follow you on Twitter and then buy your books based on those interactions? I bought a Scott Sigler book after he shot me a kind tweet. If Margaret Atwood alerted to her Twitter followers that she was holding a book signing at a particular bookstore, not only would they all get her message, that’s free targeted marketing to a group very likely to show up if they can.

Is social media marketing the norm for book marketing? Answers: Yes, no and not yet. Yes, because it’s the cheapest way to go. No, because the are many authors and publishers out there who haven’t embraced the full power of social media’s potential. Lots of people still think Twitter is about letting people know about that spicy burger from lunch backing up on you. They don’t get that Twitter can push information you want to you (sometimes information you didn’t even know you needed.) And finally, not yet, because I wouldn’t count on that “no” remaining stable.

Yes, there have been authors who did not promote themselves. JD Salinger became a recluse and never tweeted. However, that’s a lousy example for two reasons:

1. He was JD Salinger and we aren’t.

2. The world (and the world of publishing) has changed drastically, even among those who are reluctant to embrace new models.

For instance, the number of book sales reps has plummeted. Interactions through Twitter and Amazon Reviews and Blogs and search engines: All that technology has turned up the volume on the marketing environment so it’s hard to hear the tiny books by unknown authors who aren’t stepping up to speak for themselves.

Yes, I know you have lots of books on your shelves and most of your buying decisions were not influenced by anything you saw on Twitter. You’re right. But as e-books flood the market from self-publishers, you won’t be right about that for long.

Build your following now so when you do have something to sell, you’ll have lots of people to spread the word. If you don’t begin to market yourself until you have a book to sell, you’re already late.

First I have to buy in to you. Then I consider your product. Twas always thus, but now more than ever.

Filed under: blogs & blogging, book reviews, Books, links, Media, publishing, Rant, self-publishing, Twitter, Useful writing links, web reviews, , , , , , , , , , ,

Winner of Writer's Digest's 2014 Honorable Mention in Self-published Ebook Awards in Genre

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