So, what are some do's and don'ts for marketing on twitter?
So, you've published your book. You've got it in ebook format on Smashwords. You want to shout it from the rooftops. Congratulations. Now lets use that same creativity that helped you write the book to sell it. Anyone will tell you that tweeting, "Buy my book. Buy my book. Buy my book," over and over again is a terrible idea. In fact, what I've found (from my experience on the receiving end) is that the best way to go about it is to never even mention it. Don't mention it. It's okay to say that your book just got published and is on Smashwords. Once, maybe twice. That's cool for those followers that have been waiting impatiently for you to finish. Remember, if somebody is impatient enough to actually care that you've published your book, they can always check your twitter profile directly for the much awaited update. For the rest, you need to draw them in. Think covert, not overt.
Pick quotes from your book and post them with a link to your book's Smashwords page. If you want, you can even mention that it is from your book. I am still undecided as to which would be better, but knowing that it is a quote is important too. You don't want people to give up on checking your links because they think they are always the same. By using quotes from your book, you have a massive supply of varied content to pull from. You could tweet about your book dozens of times a day without actually being repetitive. This is important. There is nothing that will lose you followers faster than repetitiveness, especially for a new author that hasn't established him/herself yet with a reader base.
So, you've published your book. People are reading it. They're raving over it. Again, rooftop shouting time, right? Wrong! Seems like a good idea at first, but eventually reviews get repetitive and if all you do is retweet your reviews, people will stop listening. It's okay to retweet good reviews, but be selective. Pick a few you really like and make it be only a small portion of your tweets. If you do 30 tweets in a day, maybe retweet one review.
Free books. Everyone likes free samples. The quotes thing above falls into this category. A lot of new writers give away books for people that will give reviews. I have a growing number of books that I received that way and look forward to getting to all of them. But it doesn't hurt to come up with little games for your followers to get a free copy. After all, an ebook doesn't really cost anything to give away. Selling it on Amazon or Smashwords costs money (from 15-40% of the book cost), but emailing a free copy is easy and, well, free. A great game that Jacquelyn Frank does is to ask her followers questions from her previous books. The follower has to find the book it is from. "But I don't have a previous book," you say. That's fine. Make them find something from your website or your tweet feed. The first person to get it right gets a free book. Free books = word of mouth = great marketing! People love free and they love to talk about things they got for free. They give reviews, tell their friends, tweet about it, tell their facebook friends. In today's world, a single free copy could reach a massive number of potential readers when it comes to exposure.
Give you an example. I'm just starting with twitter and blogging. I've only been at it a week. Today I have 39 followers. I get about 50 unique visitors to my site a day. I have only 39 friends on facebook. So if I assume overlap, I probably reach about 70 readers directly. Most people have more followers/friends than I do. If one person retweets or comments on it, that's probably at least doubled the exposure of the book, changing that one free book into exposure to anywhere from seventy to tens of thousands of viewers, depending on the follower. That type of exposure would cost a lot of money. More than the average author can afford, for certain.