Authors who are not backed by the huge publishing houses have to work really hard to get their books noticed. Mercifully, social media like Facebook and Twitter provide a handy mechanism for doing just that. If you have ideas that you are willing to share, please contact me or post a comment on this blog. In the meantime, I wanted to share an approach that has worked really well for me just recently.
The approach is predicated on being able to identify a group of people who would be interested in your book and therefore the type of people they might follow on Twitter.
I believe my book has broad appeal, I have received as many positive comments from women as I have from men. Nonetheless, the book is about the Thai bar scene and the people who fall in love, or think they are in love, with the country and its women.
The scatter gun approach may work for some, by that I mean:
1. Do whatever you can to get as many followers as you can
2. Tweet other users asking them to read your book.
I have avoided both methods, in favour of:
1. Identifying those people on Twitter who will have followers who might like your book. I chose users who run forums on Thailand and the bar scene in particular, those who run bars and clubs and authors who have written exclusively about Thailand.
Clearly you should follow them but it's their followers you are really interested in.
2. Either manually or using a free service like JustUnfollow (@justunfollow on Twitter) you can look at their followers and select those you think might be interesting. I chose those who looked like they had a strong presence on Twitter and appeared, from their profile, to be most likely to buy a book (trust me you can tell that quite a few won't be).
3. At this stage, you could obviously tweet the person you have found. Instead I just followed them, believing that most people follow back if your profile looks interesting.
4. As soon as I get a follow back message - I send them a thank you, with some reference to my book, my web-site or the free stories i have posted on Facebook, depending on what they appear to be interested in.
5. Once a week I use Justunfollow again to clear out the people I followed who have shown no interest.
The method sounds a bit laborious but it has had a clear impact on sales. People I have found on Twitter have subsequently posted 5 star reviews on Amazon.
If you have ideas you are willing to share please post them here or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org