By Sonja Hegman
Marketing. Public relations. Promotions. These words used to bring horror to my mind. Lately, however, they’ve become my best friends.
Book promotion is actually kind of fun. And, yes, I am slightly off my rocker. My first book, Trials of an Entrepreneurial Virgin, was released Oct. 1 and it has been a trip. No way my 13-year-old self could have imagined that becoming an author would have so much side work attached. Writing is my full-time job, but in recent weeks, marketing has taken its place.
Marketing is actually pretty awesome. I never thought I’d write that, but it is. I suppose I write that because I’m having an affair with Twitter, at least that’s what my guy tells me. The reason for the affair is that I’ve been hosting a Twitter chat since July – related to my book – and I wanted to reach 2,000 followers before my book launched – and I did. To some, that number is nothing. To others, it’s amazing. I think it’s pretty good considering I’ve done it in less than a year, gaining about 1,000 of them in the last three months. This is how:
1) I started a Twitter chat. What is a Twitter chat? It’s like any online chat. A chat happens when a group of Twitter users gathers together, usually at a scheduled time, and tweet about a topic using a particular hashtag that allows anyone who’s interested to follow the conversation. My chat is #WritersChatStew and its general focus is the business of writing.
2) The writing community is huge on Twitter. Since my book is for writers, it’s been easy to find and market to them and become “friends.” This tactic can be used for anything. If you write a book about finance, healthcare, women’s issues or any myriad of topics a book can possibly be about, you must find the people interested in those things. It’s as easy as that.
3) Be yourself. I can’t stress this enough. Twitter is noisy. Everyone is out to sell something. If you constantly shout at people in real life, they’re likely to run away. The same thing goes for Twitter. Communicate on Twitter, or any social networking platform, as you would in real life. Ask people questions about themselves. Comment on a link they posted. It really doesn’t take much effort to build that coveted “author platform” if you do it right.
Have you utilized your social networks to their fullest? What else can you do to build those relationships? Don’t be afraid of Twitter. It’s not as scary as it seems and could take your book to the next level.