Richard Savage, the owner of Black Velvet Seductions and I have been talking a lot about book promotion recently. As an author myself, and as someone who works with other published and aspiring authors I would like to see authors making a good, solid income from the books they write.
As I’ve always said, readers can’t buy books they don’t know exist…which means to be successful as authors we have to let readers know that our books exist. In the old days we created press kits and sent them out to bookstores, newspapers, radio stations, and others that we hoped would provide some word of mouth advertising to help let readers know our book existed so that those interested in it could buy it.
Times have changed. Nowadays more books are bought in ebook format than in paper format. More promotion is done through social networks than is done through paper press kits. In some ways this is good. It makes it so that we can all hold the megaphone. We can all have some of the power to promote that used to exist in the hands of just a few. Nowadays we can all create a social network which we can use to promote our books. And yet…when I look at my Twitter stream and I look at book related groups on Facebook, most of what I find are ads that repel me rather than attract me to the books that they are supposed to make me want to buy.
Maybe I’m an odd duck. But most cases just reading a title and seeing a cover isn’t enough to make me stop what I’m doing on Twitter or Facebook to go and buy a book…even a book that I might like if I did buy it. Some ads are even worse in that the cover doesn’t give much hint as to even what genre a book falls into. Often the title isn’t much better. Bad covers and bad titles are difficult to overcome. But even a great title and a great cover won’t necessarily catapult one to success. People buy books because they want a certain type of experience. They use titles, book covers, reviews, blurbs, and excerpts to help them decide whether a given book will give them a type of experience that they enjoy.
I’ve learned not to rely heavily on covers and titles to tell me what kind of experience I’ll gain by reading a given book…and so those things have less power to make me stop doing what I’m doing and buy a book than they used to have. I doubt I’m alone in this. What will generally inspire me to stop what I’m doing on Twitter or Facebook to click through to look at a book on Amazon, Audible, or elsewhere is most often either a blurb of the book (on Facebook), a one sentence blurb of the book (on Twitter or Facebook) or an excerpt.
With this in mind I have created a new Twitter account for the express purpose of promoting books. At this point this is a VERY NEW account with no followers. But it will grow as all my Twitter accounts have grown over time from zero to over 2000 followers. This is mostly something I am doing for current and former students, authors published by Black Velvet Seductions, and other friends who’ve written books or short stories they want to promote. The types of promotions I will be tweeting through the new Twitter account are very specific. This is because I want people to find only tweets that make them want to buy in this stream. There are plenty of other streams for other kinds of posts. The types of tweets I will be including include the following:
- A mini blurb with a link to buy the book
- A short (140 character excerpt) with a link to the book
- Guest blogging days
- Graphics which include an excerpt or a blurb as part of the graphic
It will take a period of time to grow the following of the new account. And it will take a while to add all of the tweets to software that will tweet them automatically. However, once the setup is done the tweets will continue to go out around the clock, seven days a week, until they are removed from the software or the software is paused. If you’d like to get your book or short story included you will need to send me the following items:
- An Email – The Subject line should tell me what kind of tweets you are sending – for guest blogging tweets include the date you are guest blogging first, followed by your name and then guest blogging in the subject line.For guest blogging send the tweets WELL IN ADVANCE so they can be scheduled well in advance of your guest blogging day and can run for days in advance. Include your pen name, the title of the book, what you will be talking about and if there will be a giveaway, and the link to the blog where you will be guest blogging.
Include a list of your guest blogging tweets. You can write several of these that are similar but which are worded slightly differently.
Mini blurb tweets and excerpt tweets can be mixed together within the same email because they are handled the same way…as the date is not important…they won’t become out of date. 🙂
Whether you are emailing guest blogging tweets or blurb/excerpt tweets your email should include the name you write under and the tweets themselves. There is no limit on the number of tweets you can send.
For excerpt tweets, I would aim for quite a few different excerpts pulled from different parts of your book and several versions of your short blurb tweet. Don’t forget to look up and use appropriate hashtags within your tweets. These can really expand your reach. Your email should also include a list of links to the places where your book can be purchased. I typically send out the same tweet but with different purchase links…this makes it so that I can post the same excerpt more than once in a given 24 hour time period.
There is no limit to the number of tweets you can include for each book. Please send tweets for EACH BOOK in a separate email as that will make it easier to manage…especially if your links change at some point…say when a book is recovered, re-released, or goes out of print.
- Please attach a jpg of your cover to the email so that I can include it with some of your tweets.
- If you are sending graphics which include an excerpt or a blurb as part of the graphic please send the links/graphics for each book separately. You can include multiple graphics…up to the limits of Google/your email provider.
Email regarding promotion and those including tweets should be sent to me at MoreBooks2Read979 at gmail dot com. Please use the email that you check most often for emailing your materials to me as I will communicate with you through that email.
Please follow MoreBooks2Read@twitter.com and retweet some of our tweets. Retweeting allows more people to see the promotion tweets but also allows more people to see and follow MoreBooks2Read which means more potential eyeballs seeing and responding to your tweets and more people potentially retweeting.
At this point, I am not charging anything for promoting through MoreBooks2Read. It’s just something I’m doing to help authors published with Black Velvet Seductions, those I’ve worked with, know, or published when I owned Black Velvet Seductions. I won’t say that I won’t someday charge for the service but if I do someday charge for it I would not charge for the tweets that are already in the software. I would only charge for adding new tweets.