The Twitter Experiment: Can I Increase My Following on Twitter and Sell More Books Than I’ve Imagined?

The marketing technique I’m about to share with you should apply to fiction or non-fiction, self- or traditionally published.

I have two works-in-progress (WIPs)–one fiction and one non-fiction.  They will be self-published, after being edited to high heaven and approved by beta readers.

But, I’m discouraged. The book-marketing experts tell us that our first books will not sell well because we haven’t developed a large-enough following. I say “large-enough” because even if we build a platform before we publish, it usually isn’t enough for a new author to sell many books.

What is supposed to happen, the experts say, is that our audience builds with each blog post, each speaking engagement, and each book. When we have a fat backlist, our newest book sells all the rest to new fans.

But, all this takes time!

I believe in building a platform. I don’t care if it takes time–except when it comes to my first few books. To think that my first few books won’t sell as well as they deserve because my audience is so small, makes me cry. And, it discourages me to finish them because I’m writing them so people can hear the message (and be entertained while receiving it, of course!).

Little audience, little impact.

I know there are Christians dying to tell me that it’s the Lord’s message and He will impact who He wants…blah blah blah. Yes, but I don’t want to hide my light under a bushel. So, I think there is some responsibility on my part to do what I can to increase my audience.

I am happy to say that after much whining, I have found three books that have given me hope. They all focus on the use of Twitter to boost your sales.  The choice is Twitter because Twitter’s limits for followers are HIGH. Facebook is effective for some, but they limit followers on your personal page. Twitter does not, if you do it right.

Putting these three books together,  a two-step process emerges: 1) you increase your Twitter followers by thousands and then 2) you go about the relational business of Twitter: retweets, @replies, promoting other people’s work, and launching your book via Twitter. (John Locke’s book will be used primarily for this part, but see my disclaimer here.)

Thing is, Step 2 is ineffective until you do Step 1. And yes, I said thousands.

The reason huge numbers are important is only a small percentage of your audience/followers will buy your book, even if they are like minded. In direct sales books, they tell you that a direct mailing, when sent out to the general public, will only garner a 1% positive response.

But what if you only send your mail piece to everyone in your city that LOVES the kind of thing you’re selling, and have bought things like that before? The response will be a whopping 10% percent! (Insert sarcasm mark here.)

Thus, pumping your numbers up high is important AND you need to make sure those numbers are people who would reasonably buy your book (have somehow demonstrated that they like what you’re selling.)

The three books that I used to cobble together this method are all ebooks, so if you really want to try this you’ll have to get yourself a Kindle or other ereader. I have mine on my Kindle. Here are the titles:

(The John Locke book doesn’t cover the quick-add method, but does talk about how you handle your followers once you get them. Again, see my disclaimer here.)

For those of you who are thinking Cool, we get permission to spam, uh, NO. And for those of who who are thinking, Stay away from this, it’s spam, absolutely not!

This is not about spamming people. It’s about getting real followers who like what you like and may very well want to buy your book! The only thing I’ll be experimenting with is speeding up what before was a very slow process. Hallelujah, there’s hope!

In a couple days, I will post Part II of this and give an overview of the method I stuck together from these three books and how it’s worked for me so far.  I will not give away every single detail, I’ve done some real work on this, but I will give you enough to get you started, and if you read the three books above (and maybe even more) you may find you can tweak my method to suit your own way of thinking and doing things.

Talk to you soon!

Follow me, Denise Miller Holmes, on Twitter!

Follow Words for the Journey Christian Writers Guild on Twitter!

The Twitter Experiment 2; The Twitter Experiment 3; The Twitter Experiment 4

 

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2 responses to “The Twitter Experiment: Can I Increase My Following on Twitter and Sell More Books Than I’ve Imagined?

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