Twitter’s Emotional Vaccuum (or, NEVER sell your books on Twitter)

Posted on 01/14/2012


Yeah, you heard me right.

Don’t sell your books on Twitter

Don’t freaking do it.  It’s a waste of time, dumb, and categorically repugnant. If you do this, stop. You’re not using Twitter in the correct way to sell your books.  I will tell you the correct way below.

I’ve been at this whole “social media” thing for a long time now. I don’t pretend to be an expert like every third person out there does. (How is it there are so many self- proclaimed experts on something that has zero barrier to entry? Oh…wait…did I just say that?) I can tell you what SEO means, I can tell you all about Google Analytics, how to create a blog, blah, freaking blah blah. All that is shit you can learn on your own, if you just spend enough time on the int4rwebz.

I follow a lot of writers on Twitter. Why? Because I like to write stories of dubious worth and I like to hang out with other writers. It’s a lonely business, sitting in front a monitor and keyboard, typing. A little camaraderie is in order.

But first, a step back. I joined Twitter a very long time ago. Like as soon as it started. But I found no reason for it to exist (sort of like I see no real reason for 4square to exist except to stalk people) but then someone said, “Hey agents tweet.”

Well hell. That was all I needed to know. How else better to befriend people who could help my hopes than the somewhat controlled area of twitter. I started using my account to follow agents. And then other writers starting following me, so I followed them back.

You still with me? <knocks on the screen>

Good, because you see, out of all these writers I was following and who were following me, there were a ton of them, HAWKING THEIR BOOKS EVERY OTHER TWEET.

That is completely STUPID.

You see, NO ONE BUYS BOOKS OFF TWITTER. You’re going to get maybe 2 people to buy your book (out of the ten thousand you tweet every day), and annoy the living shit out of everyone else.  Sure, you’re going to get more followers, but that’s only because you’re following everyone and their uncle trying to get a broader audience.  You’re lazy. You put on an automatic tweet that goes out X number of times per day and call that your freaking marketing plan.

What you need to do is use Twitter properly. Use it to sell your brand.

YOU are the brand. NOT the books. They are the products.

You need to sell yourself to people. You need to get into conversations. You need to do RTs. You need to just be yourself and interact with people. Why? To get them to do some research on you. To get them EMOTIONALLY INVESTED IN YOU. That’s how you’re going to sell books.  Not with an hourly tweet: “Janice’s heart is ripe for the taking, but will Tom take it–or break it? Find out in “Jumping Janice” a romantic thriller! #pubtip #writing #amwriting #as many other effing hashtags as you can fit into the tweet.

Good GOD.

So go onto twitter. Type in what you had for breakfast. Or that you hate it when someone puts too much peanut butter on your PB&J sammich. Tell them how you hate the smell of a wet dog, and like it when the sun shines in your breakfast nook. Those are small things. Those are the items that will get people to comment on you and look you up and find out about you.  You want people to buy your damn book? Let them into your world. Sure you’re an introvert, but you want to sell a book, right?

THAT’S how you use Twitter to sell books.

Posted in: Writing