The great thing about indie publishing is that there are no gate keepers between you and a published novel. The flip side is that the market is flooded with indie-pubbed books. The key to getting your book into the hands of readers is marketing.
There are many ways to do that. This month, we’re going to talk about one of the quickest and easiest ways to start building your following: Twitter.
Why Twitter Works
Every social media platform functions differently. Twitter is beautifully designed to connect you with other people using a minimum of effort. Every time you turn around, you keep bumping into new people to follow and to follow you back. That’s what makes Twitter such a powerful medium for finding and growing a following and networking with other writers and readers.
“What about Facebook?” you may ask. Great question! Facebook is great for keeping in touch with your friends, but from a marketing perspective, Twitter is far more friendly. Facebook is dedicated to protecting its users’ privacy, which actually creates barriers preventing you from connecting with new people and growing your following. In addition, Facebook sees itself first and foremost as a place for friends to connect. Businesses, organizations, and anybody else interested in marketing play second fiddle. Sadly, Facebook is structured so that your posts on your public page will only be sent out to 25% or fewer of your followers.
Not that Facebook is null and void as a marketing tool; just that Twitter will get you results faster and with less effort. It is positively streamlined to meet new people left and right. If you’re pressed for time and have to choose between one and the other, you definitely want to go with Twitter.
Choosing Your Niche
Your first task is to define your audience. Who are you trying to reach?
Don’t lump all of your interests together or you’ll never gain much of a following. Here’s why: People will only follow other people who have something of value in their Twitter feeds. Just like no one will follow a blog that is irrelevant to them, no one will follow a Twitter feed that is irrelevant to them. So unless you’re amazingly famous and people want to follow you to know everything you do, you should set up separate Twitter accounts for separate interests.
I have three separate Twitter accounts for my three separate websites:
- Embark on Adventure (@EmbarkOnAdventu) – My “for fun” blog where I write about outdoor adventures with my dog Molly.
- Indie Plot Twist (@IndiePlotTwist) – That’s where you are now! Carrie and I run this blog to share writing ideas and record our journey toward indie success. I run the Indie Plot Twist Twitter account.
- Danielle Hanna: Novelist (@DanielleLHanna) – My author’s website where readers and fans can find me.
Now to illustrate what I mean about tailoring your Twitter account to your audience, my @EmbarkOnAdventu following is drastically different from my @IndiePlotTwist following. The people I interact with at Embark on Adventure are avid outdoors people who tweet about recent hiking trips, gear they recommend, and the joys of packing up a rain-soaked tent. The people I interact with at Indie Plot Twist are avid writers who tweet about POV, WIPs, and word count goals.
The only common thread between Embark on Adventure and Indie Plot Twist is that I’m interested in both of them. But my audience would be quite small if I tried to run just one Twitter account on both interests. Hikers would be like, “What’s this about word count goals?” and writers would be like, “What’s this about mile goals?”
So your first assignment is to choose your niche. As an author, you’re probably looking to connect with readers on Twitter. But what kind of readers? What’s your genre? Are your readers mostly women or men? What age bracket?
As an important side note–all you need to create multiple Twitter accounts is multiple email addresses. Twitter uses the email address you provide as the account’s ID. You only get one Twitter account per address. So make sure you have an email address that you want to associate with this Twitter account and no other.
- If you don’t already have an email address you want to associate with your Twitter account, go set one up.
- Now answer this question in the comments: Who is your niche?
Next week we’ll continue this discussion on Twitter for Rank Beginners and walk you through the steps of actually signing up. Hope to see you then! If you want to stay up-to-date on this series and other good stuff here at Indie Plot Twist, you’re more than welcome to subscribe! You’ll get a free copy of Carrie’s book Writing a Novel Is Like Walking a Cat (a very entertaining read!).
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