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Three ways to use Twitter to spread the word about your book, without being salesy

Like many authors, you may be worrying that using social media sites to promote your books will look too much like cheap advertising. You don’t want to seem pushy and salesy. You’re uncomfortable trying to sell your books, as you don’t see yourself as salesperson – you’re a writer after all!

But if you’re serious about writing as a career, you also need to be serious about how you’re going to pay the bills. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about. Think of all the brands that market to you on a daily basis – Starbucks, Coca Cola, Kelloggs. They’re not worried about trying to sell you their products in case it puts you off and you think they’re too pushy.

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There are many simple ways you can promote your book to make it easy for your fans to find. And Twitter is one of them.

Here are three ways you can use Twitter to help spread the word about your book, without being too pushy.

1) Put the space at the top of your Twitter page to good use.

This space is crying out to show off your book and it’s cover, show a series of books you have written, display an image of something that’s inspired you to write… anything really. Just don’t leave it blank!

Ask your designer (cover designer or web designer), or anyone handy with photoshop to create an image which shows off your books, their covers, and their content.

This will help people instantly recognise your work when they see it elsewhere. It will also grab their attention immediately when they see your Twitter account.

Don’t be afraid to swap out this image from time to time, to make your followers sit up and pay attention when they realise something has changed. It could be as simple as showing a close-up of an element of your cover design, instead of the whole cover. Changing the look of your page will prompt your followers to take another look.

2) When you tweet, use words that you think your readers will be searching for.

This is really useful for helping your target audience find you.

To explain briefly, when you search for something on Google, you’re shown a list of results that match your search.

How does Google decide which results to show you? It looks at all the content out there on the web, and sees the words and phrases used on a website.

It then ranks the results by using these ‘keywords’ to determine which web pages are the most relevant to the search term.

Google will show links to the web pages with the most relevant keywords at the top of the page.

Put really simply, if you use appropriate keywords in your tweets, it’s more likely that Google will show your content to potential readers who have done a search for something you’ve been talking about.

A way to do this is to put together a list of words your typical audience will be searching for. Keep this list beside your computer and try to use some of these words every time. Don’t let the list restrict what you say, but actively try to add a keyword or two each time you tweet.

3) Remember, you’re not trying to get people to buy your book!

Well, not yet anyway!

People choose to follow you and read your tweets. They are interested in you and your writing. Tweet links to your website and blog so they can continue following you, and they can buy your book from there. No pushy sales-tactics involved.

Change the perception in your mind. The purpose of being on Twitter is not to get people to buy your book there and then. It’s to interact with your peers and fans, share content with like-minded people, and ultimately to connect with your potential audience.

Each time you share content on Twitter, remember this. It will affect the way you write as you won’t feel like you’re outside your comfort zone by trying to sell your book. Just do what you do best – write – and the rest will follow.

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We’re Peter and Caroline O’Connor. Creating beautiful book cover designs for authors all over the world is our passion. Every author should be able to benefit from a beautiful book cover design (not just the lucky few who get signed by a big publisher). We design, podcast, and coach authors full-time so we understand your struggles. Currently accepting new clients.