As an indie writer I am told that marketing is key to selling books. Well, that’s pretty much a given. To sell books you obviously have to have a successful marketing campaign and the operative word here is ‘successful’. So many so-called marketing experts will regale you with the need for a social media campaign among which Twitter is also key. As an author you have to have a Facebook fan page also. Here’s the thing though, unless you are already successful as an author or your campaign reaches out to ‘actual’ readers with something like an interview on national tv or radio or puts your face out into the public arena where potential readers can actually see you and your book, none of them matter. Now I know this comment will stir up a debate on the validity of Twitter and Facebook and that’s good. The point is though and to any potential authors who may read this, unless you try something radical with them don’t bother because you will just be wasting your time and money. Facebook is slightly better than useless whereas Twitter is simply the home of those with attention deficit disorder, the more followers you have the less you get seen. That may sound like a contradiction in terms but sadly it’s true. If you post a tweet and you have 3 followers all of them will see it because it will remain on your twitter feed until you or any of your 3 followers tweet again but if you have 2.5 thousand followers your tweet has vanished in a blink of an eye. Like I said with Facebook you have more chance of being noticed, you only have the administrators of the site and the actual number of people following you to contend with. The administrators control what you see on your feed so with a fan page you need to build a following, people who read your book. If you don’t have them then having a fan page is worthless. Get on an author’s fan page you admire and interact with them and their fans you have a better chance of being noticed there than on Twitter. To prove my claim about Twitter I did a little experiment last night. Before I go any further I’ve had several marketing campaigns run by reputable agencies who all told me that I needed a twitter campaign to progress as a writer. They all told me I needed to engage my readership, which is a fair comment. What any of them failed to do, except get richer from the money I paid them for this invaluable knowledge, was engage any form of readership. Each consecutive campaign increased my followers which is a good thing, right? Wrong, and if you’re asking why is it wrong I’ll tell you. All it did was target the wrong type of follower. Instead of targeting people who may want to buy your book it targeted other authors or marketing agents. I now have over 2.5k followers and not one of them has bought a single book. They have tried to get me to buy their book or to buy their book which will show me how to sell my book. My experiment ran for around an hour. I basically had a rant about how useless Twitter was extolling the points I had just explained earlier and ironically the only tweet that got any notice was one about being able to say anything on there because no one took a blind bit of notice. That does not prove me wrong, it actually just proves that I’m not the only one with this opinion because the tweet got ‘liked’ not replied to with a rebuttal. So there you have it, the sad reality of it is this. If you are a writer you need readers, that much is a given. Please do not waste your time on Twitter though it’s nothing but a distraction. What you need is a campaign that actually works. You need someone to push your book into the faces of the buying public. You need exposure on TV, on the radio anywhere that will get you noticed by people who read books and not on Twitter. How do you do that? I would say, if you have the funds employ a professional marketing company that deals with PR, if you don’t have the funds available, like me, then all I can say is good luck.
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