Monday, April 8, 2013

Using Twitter to Promote Your Book

Last week, I released my first novella, Saying No to the Big O [Amazon | Smashwords].

Instead of reading a book description, you can view the trailer for SN2BO below.

As I began promoting Saying No to the Big O, I thought about how I would use Twitter in the promotions. I tweeted the obvious posts that brought people to my Website to read the novella's description, to watch the trailer, to read a sample, and to read commentaries I wrote on the novella, but I wanted to do something that was fun and intriguing and that would be a challenge for me. Back when I was promoting my mystery Into the Web, I pulled several lines from the story and tweeted them along with the link to purchase the novel. Tweeting lines from the story generated a lot of interest. Many people messaged me to talk about how much they enjoyed the tweets, many retweeted the lines, and others went directly to the purchase link to buy a copy of the novel.

With the success of the tweets, I decided to do it again for Saying No to the Big O; here are a few of those tweets:

  • “I’m a sexual person. I sleep with a lot of men. Have done so for a long time. A week can’t change what’s me.”
  • “Perhaps if you were happy, you wouldn’t look around thinking everyone with someone was boring.”
  • “I can be any man’s type.”
  • “We don’t do coffee, Daph. And we definitely don’t do much talking. We have sex.”

I wanted to find lines that would pull potential readers in. I wanted them thinking, "Who is saying that?" "What's going on in this scene?" "Why would s/he say that?"

Anyone that uses Twitter knows that it can be difficult to say one "good" thing in 140 characters. I enjoyed that challenge, scouring the book to find a line, a phrase that might be good enough to quirk an eyebrow and get a reader clicking to learn more about the story.

I plan to do more scouring soon for more lines from the story, and I also plan to write some character sketch tweets to give readers some insight into the characters of the story. I'm also thinking about generating tweets in the voices of some of the characters, too.

As you promote your books, what are ways in which you use Twitter?

Shon Bacon is an author, doctoral candidate, editor, and educator. She has published both academically and creatively while also interviewing women writers on her popular blog, ChickLitGurrl: high on LATTES & WRITING. In 2012, her second mystery, Into the Web and her short story "I Wanna Get Off Here" (in the short story collection, The Corner Cafe) were published. Her first novella, Saying No to the Big O, was published April 2, 2013. You can learn more about Shon's writings at her website, and you can get information about her editorial services at CLG Entertainment. Currently, Shon is busy pursuing her Ph.D. in Technical Communication and Rhetoric at Texas Tech University ... and trying to find the time to WRITE.


  1. Food for thought. Twitter is my neglected child and I don't utilize it the way I should. I never considered tweeting that way! Good tip.

  2. Interesting way to utilize Twitter to spur interest in a book. I think the lines from the book are definitely more intriguing than even the quotes from reviews, which is what I often Tweet.

  3. You used more than "several" one-lines to promote! I've been seeing hundreds here, there, and everywhere, and it's a great way to show off writing style. I haven't quite gotten the courage to read this book, Shon. LOL. I'm curious if you can track hits to your buy page based on these tweets.

  4. Hey there, Diana! Thanks for stopping by. I have to admit, I really enjoy Twitter. It's actually been one thing that has helped me get to the point in some of my other writing.

  5. I use review quotes, too, Maryann, especially those that are a bit "different." One had a reader tell me that one of my mysteries was the book birth child of "Murder, She Wrote" and Lifetime movies. LOL That... was different.

  6. It takes a wee bit of courage, Dani. Just a wee bit. Ha!

    You know, I never thought of the tracking hits, which is bad of me.

  7. Great ideas, Shonell. You're getting your characters to promote the book.

  8. Twitter has always been the last resort for promotion, but I love this idea (Look out followers!)

    Terry's Place

  9. I forgot to ask. Did you mention the book title in your tweets, or just post those snippets and a link?

  10. Thanks, Helen. And hey, those characters have to pay their dues somehow. LOL

  11. Terry, it's interesting, because I think my Twitter followers are much more broad and diverse than say my Facebook friends, yet the Twitter peeps seem quicker to check out the things I post, like the tweeted lines from my story. OH, in the first tweets, I mentioned the name, but then I started using the hashtag #SN2BO for all tweets to cut down on characters.

  12. I hope some more commenters show up with Twitter marketing ideas. So far I see more examples in my feed of what not to do and I'm ready to soak up some creative solutions!

    In general I find single lines from books disorienting, so I think that hashtag is probably a good idea, Shon.

  13. I think this is just brilliant, and funny. But how do you do that with nonfiction? Unless your book is highly controversial.

  14. It's a smart approach...and the quotes are well chosen...well congrats with the book and maybe I'll give it a shot for my book as well :)


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