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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just began tweeting within the last two weeks as part of the Facebook group, "Writing Kindle Books". I use a tiny URL from a site that tracks clicks, so I know when anyone clicks through from a tweet. Not only do I tweet, but the members of the group re-tweet for me, so the tweets are making the rounds. I reword them, so I've tried several approaches.

This far, virtually NO ONE has clicked through those links from a tweet. I am concluding that this may not be the best marketing strategy, and I may be inclined to give it up.

Does this work for anyone else? Do you have actual figures? Did it take time to build steam?
 

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No idea.
I follow a lot of the cool peeps from that group, but I can't keep up with all of the tweeting and retweeting.
And frankly, to me, it almost seems like no one outside the group is listening.
But I don't have anyway of knowing that for sure.

Shana
 

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Tweeting by itself? No. Tweeting using hashtags? I pick up a follower here and there. Make sure you leave room on a tweet about your writing for the genre (#romance or #fantasy or whatever) and #amwriting. They're usually pretty popular. Not sure how that translates to sales, but you typically want people to know what you're up to in terms of your writing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
JJWestendarp said:
Tweeting by itself? No. Tweeting using hashtags? I pick up a follower here and there. Make sure you leave room on a tweet about your writing for the genre (#romance or #fantasy or whatever) and #amwriting. They're usually pretty popular. Not sure how that translates to sales, but you typically want people to know what you're up to in terms of your writing.
I've been using hash tags. I pick up new followers here and there, but no one has clicked through. I think it may just be the group shouting out to each other.
 

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Blogger tracks where your viewers click to go to your site, and Twitter has gotten me three or four visits.  Not too bad, but also with numbers that small, one must wonder if its worth the time and energy.

For me it is.  Even if I get one new reader a month through Twitter, it's still a new potential reader.  Need as many of those as I can possibly get, so I don't mind.

For me, Facebook has been more productive than Twitter.
 

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Hi Nell. Here's my thoughts on this. Twitter is just one piece of an overall networking package (blogging, Facebook, etc.). Trying to track connections to sales can be a bit misleading. The more you tweet and follow and get followed (and help others along the way), the larger that part of your network becomes. The more established your network, the more exposure and name brand you have as a writer. And that's pretty valuable. Again, it may be hard to directly connect sales to tweets or followers but as part of your overall networking package I believe it to be quite helpful.
 

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Nell Gavin said:
I just began tweeting within the last two weeks as part of the Facebook group, "Writing Kindle Books". I use a tiny URL from a site that tracks clicks, so I know when anyone clicks through from a tweet. Not only do I tweet, but the members of the group re-tweet for me, so the tweets are making the rounds. I reword them, so I've tried several approaches.

This far, virtually NO ONE has clicked through those links from a tweet. I am concluding that this may not be the best marketing strategy, and I may be inclined to give it up.

Does this work for anyone else? Do you have actual figures? Did it take time to build steam?
Nell, it takes time to not only build steam, but to build relationships with your network. Using Twitter means interacting and getting to know people, rather than just sharing "My link, my link, my link," in hopes of garnering interest.

Twitter has worked for me. The first weekend my book The Goblin Market was live on Amazon and Smashwords, I sold 54 copies and I know for a fact that at least 45 of them were from people within my Twitter network. They were also very enthusiastic in helping spread the word as well.

A lot of the time people think networking is a one way street where you walk down handing out your "business card" and everyone who takes it will in turn share it with everyone they meet. But it just doesn't work like that. You have to build relationships, and for some people the effort it takes to do that is too much work.
 

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Well, from what I see, you have 62 followers on Twitter, and the majority of your tweets are Sample Sunday retweets while the rest are self-promotion tweets about your books. Since February 20th you have "@" replied two people.

This tells me that you're not using Twitter to build relationships, but are looking at it as purely a platform to stand on and shout about your books. That right there turns me off and doesn't make me want to click on anything you tweet because A) I don't know who you are, and B) I'm not on there to buy stuff.

Twitter is a great "networking" tool, not a great tool for hocking your wares. It is through the relationships that you build that sales come, as people get to know you and "chat" with you and want to support you and the things you have to offer. Only then will you see results from it. Like when you have a new book come out, folks will want to help you spread the word about it, thus retweeting your announcements to their network of friends, who in turn might be interested in it and yes, purchase it, but you can't just expect to be tweeting about your books all the time and have people be interested in you and what you have to say if you never interact with anyone. You have to treat it almost like a micro-forum, posting stuff, answering people back, getting to know one another.

The way it is now, you come across as a telemarketer, and no one likes a telemarketer.

My wife and I have been on Twitter for a good two years building friendships (hell, we met on Twitter and ended up getting married), following other writers and creative types, and getting to know them as people, not salesman. But you got to be willing to put in the time and effort to do all this. It's not an overnight thing, but it can yield great results. Jenny sold 54 copies of The Goblin Market the first weekend it was out, and the majority of that came from Twitter, with so many people helping her spread the word about the new release. I raised $1000 in three hours for a book promotion I was doing through my network of friends who wanted to see me succeed and helped spread the word about it.

So yeah, that's just my two cents on the matter. Nathan Lowell is another good one to talk to about the effectiveness of Twitter. Sorry if some of my comments come off a bit harsh, it just annoys me a little when all people use Twitter for is a megaphone and then wonder why no one's listening to them. Look at your Twitter stream, would you want to know you?
 

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Ok... so most of you know yesterday was my first day "tweeting".   So far I think the most beneficial thing has been having some of the people message me with encouraging things and I can tell from the message that they went to my website and read something there so I hope it will be a way to connect with potential new readers. :)  BTW Thanks to all for the help.
 

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I think twitter is great for sharing information and links and to help drive traffic to where you want it to go. At the Write It Forward blog about half of all real clicks come from Twitter. We get some from Facebook, some from Bob's website or the Who Dares Wins Publishing website.

Twitter is a tool and used effectively, it can be very useful. One of the keys is to build community and to build it outside of your facebook group. I think one of the best ways to be effective on twitter is to spend a half hour just talking to people, sharing links, and joining #hashtag conversations. Then shut if off and go write. Then maybe come back to it later in the day and respond to those people who responded to you and again, talk and share.

A lot of people on twitter who follow me know I'm going to put out links to things I find valuable to the writing world as well as links to blogs I have written. Many of the links I share are not necessarily from people I know. This helps expand your community.

Again, it can be a huge time suck, the key is to do it in small spurts, have a purpose to doing it, don't make it all about I, I, I, be real, and don't spend hours upon hours tweeting, but be consistent.
 

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Yesterday's clicks on my blog, were 18.

Today, so far, I'm at 57.  So yes, #SampleSunday works for me.  But I'm not selling books, as I haven't launched yet - I'm looking to have more people look-see my work, and respond.

I took a risk today, and didn't do a sample of fiction, but put out a purely for my own eyes, vampire biography.  Because I've found I get lots of interest when I talk about writing.  Which suits me, as I'm thoroughly enjoying doing so.  It's new to me, and I'm enjoying the marketing and somesuch.  I've had more comments today, than ever before, and the hit rate is similar.  It's been very rewarding for me, personally, as I'm still in the throes of butterfly tummies and 'oh my ghod am I doing the right thing'.

However, those 57 hits are coming from Twitter, Facebook and Kindle.Boards, not just from Twitter.  In fact, I got more traffic from here.  Last week it was Facebook.  Although I do pick up a load of new followers on Sundays, and lots of them are writers, or reviewers or book sites.  I find that useful.

My novel blog, which is about 4 weeks old, has over 1500 hits so far.  Quite a few of them will be repeat hits, for people who came back to read the next bit.  However, the biggest hit rate of all time, was when I posted the covers for my ebook, and asked people which one to choose.  I got over 300 hits, and most of them were from here.

I guess my answer is... that #SampleSunday works for me.  And that Twitter is one part of that.  And also, it works for what I'm actually after - which is simply to find my own way on this path.  It seems bonkers to me, that 4 weeks ago I was starting up a novel blog as I 'should' and now it's helping me to form my own sense of self in my work: what I'm doing and what I'm wanting for me. 

So I'd suggest what you're asking is #SampleSunday is worth your time, as opposed to Twitter.  Does that make sense?  And if you are seeing no benefit to you, either in process or sales, and you've given it enough time, then maybe it's not for you.  But my Twitter life is about me, and I post a lot about normal doings and stuff.  I don't use it only for tweeting about #SampleSunday.

I also enjoy the moments I get to read everyone else's work, and so try and comment.  So the spirit of #SampleSunday is there.  But I'm time constrained, and I'm not managing that as well. 

At base, I like the feeling that I'm paying my way here.  I tweet other people's samples as I'm genuinely interested in community, and feeling I'm doing something, and hopefully it will pay back, but if it don't, I don't mind.  But I try and post honestly, and not spam out.  That's because I've been on the 'Net since the good old days of Usenet, in the '80s.  Net life is a normal part of me.  :)

There will be a point, when this is a chore, and I won't have time for it.  It takes a lot of time for me to sit down and set up all the tweets, and it's frustrating to me that I have 'spots' that go unused when I'm asleep on Saturday night, as I couldn't rake up enough from others before to got to bed.  But that's being on the Greenwich Meridian for you!  But at the moment, the process is benefiting me.  And that's about all I can ask for, I suspect.  ;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
JMelzer said:
Well, from what I see, you have 62 followers on Twitter, and the majority of your tweets are Sample Sunday retweets while the rest are self-promotion tweets about your books. Since February 20th you have "@" replied two people.

This tells me that you're not using Twitter to build relationships, but are looking at it as purely a platform to stand on and shout about your books. That right there turns me off and doesn't make me want to click on anything you tweet because A) I don't know who you are, and B) I'm not on there to buy stuff.
Actually, what this SHOULD tell you is that I have been using Twitter for two weeks, very sporadically, and just today learned that if I hold my cursor over a tweet I can click "Reply" to reply to that person. Three days ago I learned about the hash tags. I also don't know 95% of the people who follow me (or know them just from the boards) and feel uncomfortable tweeting that my cat threw up a hairball on the carpet.

I guess the whole point is that it DOES take time. I'm still getting my feet wet, and still figuring out how to do it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
JMelzer said:
So yeah, that's just my two cents on the matter. Nathan Lowell is another good one to talk to about the effectiveness of Twitter. Sorry if some of my comments come off a bit harsh, it just annoys me a little when all people use Twitter for is a megaphone and then wonder why no one's listening to them. Look at your Twitter stream, would you want to know you?
Harsh to a newbie? Just saying...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
tammieclarkegibbs said:
Ok... so most of you know yesterday was my first day "tweeting". So far I think the most beneficial thing has been having some of the people message me with encouraging things and I can tell from the message that they went to my website and read something there so I hope it will be a way to connect with potential new readers. :) BTW Thanks to all for the help.
That's so nice that everyone did that for you!
 

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I use Twitter to connect and keep in touch, occasionally to advertise my books. I've built relationships with others through Twitter and it's taken time, same with every other social network I use. I ignore the tweets that are purely promotion, but I retweet the ones that also build relationships. I agree with the comment made earlier that building your online presence requires time, patience, a willingness to be social, and a combination of all the different social media sites, not just one.
 

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Yes. I've gotten many hits on my websites, sales and interviews through Twitter.
The key is, follow people in the writing/publishing industry, follow celebrities, follow people you know, follow all sorts of media.
Do NOT bang them over the head with marketing. It's a huge turnoff. Twitter is about dialogue. Talk with people about your interests. I follow people in the wine industry (second novel was about a winery), chefs, gardeners, people who speak the Irish language (I teach it), politicians, local people and all sorts of TV and print media (I'm a former journalist—once a news junkie, always a news junkie). That gives me a broad base of people to interact with about questions I have for my writing, what's happening around the world at the moment and even sharing non-related live events with, such as last week's Academy Awards.
You need to tweet regularly, so your followers begin to associate your tweets with a "voice," a certain "tone."
Through Twitter I had a front seat to the Green Revolution in Iran, following total strangers tweet-broadcasting what was occurring on the streets around the country at the moment. I saw photos and videos days before they made it to mainstream media. It was amazing, and later repeated with Egypt.
Twitter is a very powerful tool. Like any computer program or social media, the more you use it, the more you see it has many options you can use to your advantage.
Must also add how much I have learned about self-publishing through people I follow on Twitter. It's great!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Mary Pat Hyland said:
Yes. I've gotten many hits on my websites, sales and interviews through Twitter.
The key is, follow people in the writing/publishing industry, follow celebrities, follow people you know, follow all sorts of media.
Do NOT bang them over the head with marketing. It's a huge turnoff. Twitter is about dialogue. Talk with people about your interests. I follow people in the wine industry (second novel was about a winery), chefs, gardeners, people who speak the Irish language (I teach it), politicians, local people and all sorts of TV and print media (I'm a former journalist-once a news junkie, always a news junkie). That gives me a broad base of people to interact with about questions I have for my writing, what's happening around the world at the moment and even sharing non-related live events with, such as last week's Academy Awards.
You need to tweet regularly, so your followers begin to associate your tweets with a "voice," a certain "tone."
Through Twitter I had a front seat to the Green Revolution in Iran, following total strangers tweet-broadcasting what was occurring on the streets around the country at the moment. I saw photos and videos days before they made it to mainstream media. It was amazing, and later repeated with Egypt.
Twitter is a very powerful tool. Like any computer program or social media, the more you use it, the more you see it has many options you can use to your advantage.
Must also add how much I have learned about self-publishing through people I follow on Twitter. It's great!
So I guess my question is, is Sample Sunday a bad idea for a newbie? It sounds like it!
 

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Twitter isn't a place to sell books.  It's a place to network and get information.  I click on probably 5-10 links a day to blogs and articles that keep me up to speed on the latest news in publishing.  I also 'meet' many people on twitter.  Like everything else consistency, and politeness help, although I have on occasion crossed words with agents who publicly critique query letters on social media.  I tweet back infamous rejections of famous books and that usually shuts them up.
Also, your twitter avatar should not be the cover of your latest book-- it should be your headshot.  After all the brand is, not the book.  Unless you've written To Kill A Mockingbird, you're probably going to have more than one book eventually.
 
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