Have you, truthfully, ever been able to see the sense of Twitter as a marketing device? It’s unclear to me that it’s as effective as people claim.
Consistent tweeting adds up to an unholy time-suck — in the most vivid sense of the word: time sucked down the drain and wasted, washed out to sea. I’m willing to try it if it will help me link with people who might enjoy reading Camptown Races books and consequently might buy them. But Twitter crawls with independent publishers who “follow” each other and then post nothing but ads for their self-published bookoids.
Few of the tweeters I’ve followed seem ever to have heard of the “Give, Give, Give, Right-Hook” concept of social media marketing. Obsessively posting images of your latest Kindle book cover — over and over and over — does nothing to help your cause. It gives the reader no information, other than that you publish things in a given genre.
I’m left with questions:
• If you don’t read, review, and tweet other writers’ books, why should other writers buy and read yours?
• How many Twitter customers can be expected to bite on one’s advertisements?
• Is building a readership of people who compete directly with you a wise use of Twitter?
• What can one learn from this experience?
If you want me to care about you as an author, you need to persuade me that you’re a human being, not a marketing bot.
If you want me to buy, read, and review your book, you might consider buying and reading my book. And use Twitter to let me know about it. Use Twitter to let others know if you did or didn’t like my book. And why.
But figuring out how to make it work that way is a challenge. Maybe, one suspects, an insurmountable challenge.
Recently it dawned on me that rather than following people who are like oneself, the trick is to follow those who fit some other model. The Internet swims with lists of “Top NN People to Follow on Twitter.” I stumbled on one listing people and sites in the book industry. They’re not up-and-coming publishing companies or writers. They’ve arrived.
And what do you find when you read their tweets? Rarely do they flog their books on Twitter. Instead, they comment briefly about issues or post links to interesting articles or notices.
Clearly, if you want people to read you, you should bestir yourself to write something worth reading. In admanese, we might say something like “Don’t sell them; tell them.”