Writers, Rethink Your Twitter Strategy


Photo Credit: Book Cover Cafe

First off, this isn’t geared toward a particular person. But I’m betting that some of you will realize that I’m speaking directly to you. Cause I see so many writers doing this. Of course, you have no idea what I’m even talking about yet. Let me explain.

One of the things you hear a lot about as a writer/author is your platform. Social media platform or author platform or whatever you want to call it. I know you’ve heard the term. Anyway, Twitter is obviously an avenue that many writers utilize. Maybe they’re trying to get the word out about their new book or they’re hosting a giveaway or whatever writers do on Twitter. But what I’ve seen A LOT of writers do just doesn’t work. And it’s not even a real strategy.

I first got on Twitter way back in 2009. I didn’t know anyone on the site. I then proceeded to abandon my account for four years until September of 2013. Why did I start using it again? My book, of course. I started out only tweeting writing tips. Yeah…because I know so much. Ha. And then I literally just said screw it and now my Twitter is as close as anyone can get to me unfiltered. But that’s not the point.

I tweet about all the same things I discuss on here. So I’ve attracted hundreds of other writers and bloggers to follow me on Twitter. And what do I find when I click on their name to view their profile?They follow EVERYONE. And this is basically an everyday thing. And it’s hilarious.

I’m talking things like this: Patty Green. Following: 5,918. Followers: 5,617.

Jason Rogers. Followers: 91k. Following: 84k.

I mean, really? Do y’all not see what a joke this is? You can’t even refresh your TL because there will be way too many tweets for you to possibly read. What can you possibly get from following so many other writers? And no, don’t you dare say that they’re going to be interested in your writing. THEY’RE PROBABLY DOING THE EXACT SAME THING YOU ARE!

A strategy is not following as many people as you possibly can, and then hoping that they’ll follow you back and eventually buy your book. You just look like a fool.

And the best part of this is seeing posts with titles like this, “Come see how I gained 5000 Twitter Followers in two Months!” *clicks Twitter link* And you come to realize that this particular person gained 5000 Twitter followers by following 15000 people on Twitter. *insert laughing emoji here*

Fun fact: most of my favorite authors don’t use Twitter at all.

PS: follow me on Twitter here. I don’t tweet all about writing 24/7. I tweet whatever I feel like tweeting. And I cuss. Oh how funny it is that I’d write all that and then say to follow me. Eh. I don’t care if you actually do.

Blogging Doesn’t Sell Books

I know this isn’t news to most of you. Cause you’re a blogger. And a writer/author, whatever you want to call yourself. And your book isn’t selling as well as you’d hoped. And the thing about this is that it is not only self-published authors who face this problem. You always see posts about author platforms on social media to help sell books or even get a publishing deal, but let’s take a step back.

Author platforms are great. But are authors selling more books because they follow 50k people on Twitter and have 45k followers? I think not. Are authors selling more books because they have 25k followers on their blog? Perhaps. But how many authors have that kind of following on WordPress or Blogger? I know A LOT of bloggers. If I’m just looking at book/writer blogs that I know of, I’m only thinking of a handful who even have a larger following than I do. And I’m just barely over 2,000.

Of course, a blog and Twitter aren’t the only social media sites out there for authors to use. Facebook is still used by a number of my favorite authors. And then of course YouTube. But just about every social media site is difficult to find an audience, especially for authors. I’m certain that my blog could grow exponentially faster if I wanted to write about news or pop culture or music or movies, but I don’t. I write about books. I write about writing.

Blogs seem like the obvious choice for authors to start their platforms, but selling books is difficult for everyone who doesn’t have a household name. Which is like 99 percent of us.

PS: If you’re going to point out one or two or ten bloggers you know who are selling a lot of books, then that’s nice. Except for the fact that there are literally thousands of others out there who aren’t. Cause blogs just don’t sell books like one might expect.

I have the perfect question for this post. If I were to release a book today, how many of you would seriously consider buying it? I’ll even do my first ever poll to make it easier.