I follow a lot of writers on Twitter, and one thing that is quickly becoming an annoying practice is the spamming that some practice on a regular basis. "Buy my book!" they exclaim. "Check out my cool new review I may or may not have paid for."
To those who spam...please stop.
I can completely understand the notion that if we tweet about our books in front of hundreds or thousands of tweeps that those tweeps will possibly buy the book. However, I will call your attention to the following facts about advertising:
- We DVR programs and DO NOT watch the commercials....unless its the Super Bowl.
- We watch streaming programs on Hulu and lament the fact that we have to watch the same commercial over and over again.
- We give magazine ads a quick glance before going to the article we want to read.
- We put up "no soliciting" signs on our property to keep advertisers from popping onto our porches.
- We hate pop-ups so much we block them.
- We ignore the flashing words in the margins of websites.
The point is that in this digital culture, people are becoming harder and harder to reach with advertising. It is such a problem that advertisers are coming up with many more interesting ways to grab our attention. Spamming Twitter is nearly worthless. Here are a few ideas that I have tried that have garnered some success:
- Offer a .99 cent Kindle book for a limited time. The urgency will drag people to the link to buy the book before it goes to $2.99.
- Offer a free Kindle promotion for a week. I was able to get nearly 800 copies downloaded by using this. Out of those people, some will read it, and those people will tell their friends if they like it, and the friends will buy it for $2.99.
- Create a weird podcast that has nothing to do with your book (or maybe it does) and then link it to a page with links to your books.
- Use Twitter for what it was intended: socialize with professionals. If you can follow and gain a following of publishing industry people, one of them might take an interest in you but not if you are always hocking your wares.
- Submit short stories to online or print mags that will publish the stuff you write. This is a good way to get some street cred as a writer and build that ever important platform.
- Twitter's Favorite Spam Account, Horse_ebooks, Is A Big Fake (embargozone.com)
- 62 Twitter Tips in 140 Characters or Less (simonstam.wordpress.com)
- Could Bots and Spam Smother the Twitter IPO? (businessweek.com)