Twitter can be a great marketing tool, but many authors have no idea what to tweet after they've announced that their book is available. On the flip side, many authors tweet all day long about things that are so irrelevant and/or annoying that it makes me not want to read their books.
Here's my advice for how to do it right:
If your book is non-fiction, a smart marketing strategy is to position yourself as an expert in a particular area, and Twitter can help you do this. Let's say your book is a guide to financial management for parents with young children. Of course you can tweet tips and statistics pulled directly from your book, but you can also tweet interesting tidbits, articles, and general news about financial management that aren't in your book. You can even provide links to information about parenting in general. The key is to be seen as a trusted resource for information that is relevant to your target reader. (If you write novels, like I do, you can tweet about writing or publishing, or maybe even things related to the themes in your book.)
How do you find this information? One way is through Google Alerts. If you set a Google Alert for a particular term (e.g. financial management), the search engine will notify you any time that term pops up in a new piece of online content. Then you can quickly evaluate the link and decide if it's something you want to share with your followers. (To set a Google alert, do a web search for the term "Google alert." It's very easy.)
The key to building a Twitter following is to provide useful information in a consistent manner. Unless you're a celebrity, people don't care what you ate for breakfast (except maybe your mom).
Maria Murnane is the best-selling author of the romantic comedies Perfect on Paper, It's a Waverly Life, and Honey on Your Mind. She also provides consulting services on book publishing and marketing. Learn more at www.mariamurnane.com.
This blog post originally appeared on CreateSpace.com. Reprinted with permission. © 2012 CreateSpace, a DBA of On-Demand Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved.