Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Social Media Marketing for Authors: Part 2

(My user pic at Twitter)


Alrightyyyyy! Now that the branding issue is outta the way, let’s talk about Twitter.

Twitter ROCKS for reaching your market and selling books. Yes, it does! My ex-agent is the one who convinced me to sign up for Twitter. But it took me a while to get the hang of it. That’s because everyone kept telling me I needed to post links in every tweet. And that’s it.

Yeesh! What a snooze.

So I did what I always do when I approach a new social media site. Research. Turns out there were only four articles on the web about how to sell more books with Twitter. Not much help. Most of what they said would work for a business, but not for an erotica novelist. So I tested my own ideas and came up with a system for working Twitter that’s not only major fun, but also sells lots of books and expands my readership every day. What more could a slutty novelist want, right?

First if all, be very clear about what you’re doing at Twitter. I’m at Twitter to network with my fans and sell books. That means I don’t let just anyone follow me there. I started working Twitter the end of January. At this moment (the second week of July) I have 431 followers. Why don’t I have several thousand followers? Because I block 90% of the people who follow me. Why? Because I’m at Twitter to network with my fans and sell books. Duh. Therefore I only allow people to follow me who are readers of romance and erotica. The exception would be a handful of personal friends. And authors.

Okay, let me stop right here and mention a major mistake many authors make at social media sites. I don’t know what it is about authors, but they do this thing where they friend every freakin’ author they can find at a social media site. Huh? What kind of sense does this make? Yeah, we all have a few author buds. But if you’re at Twitter to network with your fans and sell books, why are you spending all your time chatting with other authors? I hear authors complain constantly that they don’t sell books at Facebook, Goodreads, or Twitter. Duh. Look at who you’re following, dude!

Because of this insanity, authors follow me all the time at Twitter. I may be a kinky slut, but I’m a nice one, which means I’d feel bad if I blocked all of them. So I allow those authors to follow me who write romance or erotica or something close to it. Then I block the rest.

After reading this you may be wondering what’s so important about your followers at Twitter? Everything. The way to reach the people who read the kind of novels you write is to follow them. That means when they get a notification that you’re following them, they’re gonna check you out. And one of the things they do is look at the people who follow you. If they see a bunch of porn bots, marketers, and authors who write everything under the sun, they won’t follow you, and they might even block you. Horrors! NOT what you want. So make sure the people you follow and those who follow you read the kind of books you write. It’s all image, and you wanna project the right one. And the right image is the one that leads to more sales of your books.

On your profile page you’re given the opportunity to write a very short description of yourself. This is a selling tool as powerful as any signature line (sig) you might use at a forum. It should include your name, your subgenre, and a few sentences telling your market exactly what they wanna hear about your books.

As for tweeting, don’t pay attention to all those biz experts who say you shouldn’t tweet more then 16 times every day. *rolls my eyes* If you’re engaged in a bunch of conversations with your fans, trust me, you’re gonna tweet a LOT. It’s a good thing for novelists. Not a bad thing, so don’t sweat it.

To expand your readership look no further than the people tweeting with the people you follow. You don’t need to do complicated keyword searches. You don’t need to use fancy apps. Although I highly recommend HootSuite for shortening links (http://www.hootsuite.com/). Your potential readership is right there. If you’ve been careful to follow only those people who read the kinds of books you write and read then your market is chatting in your Twitter stream all day long. Cool, huh?

One last thing about Twitter. You already know you don’t wanna be one of those authors with 10,000 followers and you have no idea who these people are. But you also don’t wanna do what some authors on Twitter do. They spend all their time chatting with their author buds and ignore tweets from their fans. Some authors only answer one tweet from a fan. But most say they don’t have the time to chat. However you can see on their profile page they ARE chatting with their author buds. I know some of these authors. I was DMing with one the other day, and I mentioned how much I love Twitter. She responded by calling Twitter a time-suck. *shakes my head*

Wanna piss your fans off really fast? Ignore their tweets. Or say you respond to every tweet from them, but you don’t. Then tweet with your author buds every day for the entire Twitter world to see. I hear complaints about this from readers all the time. They say, “Hey, we spend our money on their books, yet they don’t have time to talk with us, but they do have the time to talk with their author buds for hours????!!!!” Yeah, it pisses them off big-time, and many have told me they stopped buying an author’s books because of it. Don’t make this mistake.

Believe me, I know we don’t have enough time in the day to do all of the marketing and writing we need to do. But our readers are fab people. They’re the ones we write for and the ones who pay our bills. I LOVE these people!!! And if you treat them well, social media will be as profitable for you as it is for me. No doubt about it.

At any rate, I guess you know what I’ve been doing while writing this series of blog posts. That’s right. I’ve been tweeting with my fans, growing my readership, and watching my eBooks sell in the Kindle Store all day long. Gotta love Twitter, ya know?

Laura Stamps is an award-winning, paranormal erotica novelist, whose daily blog is wickedly naughty. Her work has been published in over a thousand magazines, literary journals, and anthologies worldwide. The recipient of a Pulitzer Prize nomination and seven Pushcart Award nominations, she is the author of more than forty-five books. A Wiccan Faery Witch, Empath, and Psychic, Laura enjoys writing novels about lusty Pagans living in the Deep South. Here’s how you can find her on the web:

Email: laurastamps@mindspring.com
For info about her novel series:
Her verrrrry naughty blog:
Her “Laura Stamps” Fan Page at Facebook:
To follow her on Twitter:

Thanks Laura for guest blogging this week. I’m off to check on my Twitter “Followers” list and heed your advice!