Use Twitter to Promote Your Book

Congratulations, you’ve written a book. Good for you! Now, do you think you can use 140 characters to successfully promote it? After all, what good is your book if no one (except your family) reads it? Twitter is a great tool to utilize while shamelessly promoting your book. As with most things, successful book promotion via Twitter is an art form not to be taken lightly.

The first thing you need to do is create an account with a not-so-boring username. In my case I used what I do in the name @aBookPublicist, you could create something clever or about your book. Then you’ll need a picture or headshot, it better be a good one too, it’s the only image people will have of you so make it clean, clear, and simple.

Twitter is reminiscent of the schoolyard playground, so play nice and make friends.
Upon entering the world of Twitter, your mission is to create a following. If people aren’t reading your tweets, they won’t read your book. The best way to gain a following is to follow people. Hopefully, you’ll pique their interest so they follow you in return. It won’t hurt to do a Twitter search for the subject area of your book. If you wrote a romance novel, search topics like “love,” “relationships,” and “romance,” Follow those people, pages, or groups and maybe they’ll want to follow you.

Look up magazine editors and tweet them specifically (using the @ function) to steer their attention to you and your literary masterpiece.

You should make nice with the book industry folks like book store owners, book reviewers, librarians, and your wonderful friends at Westwind Communications @aBookPublicist and let them know what you’re up to by following them. If you have a new blog post, find an article about your genre, or have new information on a speaking engagement; let them know about it by tweeting it.
You’re an author. You should follow other authors. That way, you can get tips on what is happening in the writing world, outside of your area of expertise. You’ll learn while you are promoting and what’s wrong with that?

About writing actual tweets: You’ve written an entire book, don’t ruin it all with a bad tweet. It is important, while tweeting, that you use a catchy headline and include a link. If your tweets are stupid, boring, annoying, or uneducated, no one will read them; or worse, people will unfollow you! We simply cannot have that nonsense. So, you should be sure to use keywords that relate to you and your book, attracting “tweeps” to your page and thus gaining your book recognition.

DO NOT make every single tweet a shameless self-promotion. People don’t like that. If people don’t like your tweets, that means they will not like you or your book. Tweet interesting things you come across, your genuine thoughts, and save the self-promoting tweets for about 20% of your total tweets.
Since tweets are limited to 140 characters, each letter is very valuable. Use www.tinyurl.com to shrink up those lengthy links containing fascinating information. This will give you more room to convey your personal message and to add your own touch to the tweet.

Once you gain a following, you should reward those who were kind enough to give a hoot about you in the first place. Reward your “twitterverse” by announcing a “giveaway” and give a prize to a follower selected at random. You could make them earn their prize, perhaps by re-tweeting a tweet of yours.

Remember how I said be nice and make friends? Well, Karma will help you survive in the land of social media. Re-tweet posts from people you follow. They’ll probably be flattered and thus, more inclined to re-tweet the things you post; especially if they’re interesting and relatable!

Still not convinced all this tweeting is worth it? The media follows Twitter posts as they are searchable by Google. If someone is commenting on a current event in the news and a reporter finds your tweet, you can get quoted directly or they may call you for an interview. Trust me, as a publicist I know it works.

The bottom line: Twitter is becoming a very useful tool that all authors need to utilize. Get tweeting today.

YouTube – A Powerful Arrow in an Author’s Book Marketing Quiver

In the history of marketing the hottest marketing spots are the locations where the most people can be found, whether it’s the town square, bazaar, train station, airport, MySpace, YouTube or Twitter.

There are more than 75 million videos on YouTube, for instance, and when these videos go viral they register millions of views per video. And while many authors know how to use YouTube to share videos with family and friends, very few understand how to harness the power of YouTube to earn money, market themselves, connect with customers, grow their business and sell more books.

I am using YouTube in every way possible for all my clients. I truly see opportunities for every type of client I represent including, authors, doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs and even charities.

In fact, I used YouTube to help Angel Acres Horse Haven Rescue make it to the “Top 10” in a $1 Million shelter makeover contest sponsored by Zootoo.com, a web site for animal and pet lovers. As part of their effort, I asked Mike Ball who, along with being an award-winning columnist, is an accomplished musician, if he would be willing to write and record a song that could be used in an online video and for public service announcements. That emotional song with the photos of horses helped Angel Acres in their online voting campaign. View it on YouTube athttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzt4ral3Qso

Another client, Mr. Duey, a school teacher who uses music to teach kids math, science and history, is also having great success with his video. Called “Mr. Duey Fractions” it’s featured on Teacher Tube which is like YouTube but it’s for teachers, parents and students. The “Fractions” video we promoted is now one of the top ten all time most viewed videos on TeacherTube with 567,000 views. You know you are hot stuff when the kids in your school ask a teacher for an autograph! The exposure has led to CD sales, media coverage and other exciting opportunities Mr. Duey and the label Kaas Records. As I am writing this Mr. Duey is finishing filming a new series of videos which tie in his musical talent with a new “book type” product… cant’ tell you what it is but it came about as direct result of the that video! Check it out at: http://www.teachertube.com/viewVideo.php?video_id=24266 or visit: www.mrduey.com

Another very successful application for YouTube videos is through video book trailers as part of a book marketing campaign. In an effort to obtain book publicity for my author clients we’ll create a book trailer about the book. A book trailer is like a movie trailer in that it allows someone to preview a book both visually and via audio. A video book trailer brings the book to life and gives the potential reader a sneak peak at the contents. We’ll then post that book trailer on YouTube and… here’s the best part… we add it to more than 41 additional video sites online for even greater exposure.

One of the big benefits of a book trailer is how is improves search engine ranking for an author’s main web site, providing you carefully select traffic driving key words and titles. An example of book trailers we’ve created can be viewed at Westwind Communications YouTube Channel at: http://www.youtube.com/thebookpublicist

How can a book trailer help? A couple months ago we landed a terrific article for one of my authors in The Patriot Ledger outside of Boston. First, they ran a photo of the author holding his book. They mentioned the upcoming book signings I asked him to arrange after we had this story confirmed so he could capitalize on the PR.

The Ledger also included a link and screen shot of the book trailer video we produced for YouTube. The best part?ABC-TV CH-7 of Boston then saw the article and book trailer, realized it was a good visual story and came out to the author’s house and shot their own story! http://www3.whdh.com/news/articles/local/BO104915

It really proves my point that “PR Begets PR, the More You Get, the More You Get!”

There are a lot of ins and outs when it comes to YouTube. If you are serious about using it then I suggest you buy a new book How to Make Money With YouTube, by Brad and Debra Schepp. In this insightful guide the authors unveil specific steps to harness YouTube’s power to turn a profit. The Schepps offer in-depth, easy to understand instructions on everything from shooting and uploading videos to fundraising and marketing, to building buzz, and how to get your videos noticed.

They also draw on one infamous company’s humorous “Will it Blend?” video that brought thousands of new customers to its website. You’ve probably seen it. A guy in a lab coat blends everything from food to iPhones in their blender demonstrating how powerful the blender really is. The book is filled with valuable advice and practical tips to allow readers to maximize their earning potential on YouTube. Check it out at: www.bradanddeb.com

One of the most valuable features of How To Make Money With YouTube are real-life success stories from video marketers who used the site to launch successful consulting businesses. A featured success story is from my own firm about Mr. Duey mentioned above. (www.westwindcos.com).

The bottom line: Get a book video trailer created and get it on YouTube right away and use it to promote your book online. You can’t go wrong.