I've read a few people saying recently, oh, everyone's fed up with all the 'buy my book tweets, they don't work anymore, it's so hard to sell even one book these days, you can't sell books/find new readers via Twitter, blah blah blah.
Well, actually, yes you can.
Then there are those who look down on we writers who advertise our books on the site, too. As one writer friend said to me recently, we don't complain about our feed being filled up with their conversations, do we? The friend in question chats to people alot, helps support others, blogs regularly and posts items of general interest, as well as advertising her books - yet still she has been criticised for this terrible sin. I think people should tweet what they wish ~ you can always unfollow if it's not to your taste. (Incidentally - if someone does too many retweets for your liking, but you still want to follow them, you can do so by turning off the retweets. It's in the little cog wheel thing by where it says 'following' on their page).
Anyway - back to the big question. Can you find readers for your books via Twitter?
My newest book, Kings and Queens, has been out for five and a half weeks. It already has twenty-two reviews. To give credence to the two green words above, I shall now break these twenty-two down:
Two are from book bloggers from whom I requested a review and to whom I supplied a review copy.
One is from a real life friend (who does actually read all my books, without being forced/bribed!)
One is from a long standing Facebook friend (ditto!)
One is from someone who (I think) 'discovered' me via Facebook.
One is from someone on an avid readers Facebook group (for readers, not writers).
One is from someone who started to read me after reading a short story of mine - but the story was in an anthology compiled by.... someone I met on Twitter!
All rest are from people who have started to read me through Twitter - and they're not one-offs from chums, they're all from people who have read more than one of the others, too; some have read them all.
Thus, were it not for Twitter, I would only have six reviews for this book so far! You could even argue that I would have even less; the book bloggers were found via Twitter.
HUGE thank you to anyone who has ever enjoyed one of my books that they acquired via Twitter, whether free, half price or a whole £1.99, and another HUGE thanks to anyone who has reviewed me, ever, ever. I have many, many more reviews from people who have got to know about me via Twittering, be it through a tweet, a free promotion, a blog feature, a recommendation, or whatever. I know that loads of my writer friends can say the same, too, and will, I hope, be nodding to themselves if they're reading this. So, if you've only just started using Twitter to promote your book, don't take notice of the negativity, and stick with it.
If you use Twitter in an effective way, you CAN find readers. I think it's a marvellous site, and not just for this purpose. So many interesting people and articles, so many great photos (especially lately) ~ it's something all those people who use apps for auto tweeting/retweeting never find out about. Ah - perhaps they're the people who say Twitter 'doesn't work'....
If you've just started using the site and are a little unsure about it, you could do a lot worse than to buy Twitter for Writers by Rayne Hall ~ it's by far the best book of its type.
Thank you, Twitter, and all who tweet in her!!
(ps, from June 1: I was just twittering with someone who shares my Tudor fascination, who then said, hang on, I have to read your book (Gemma Lawrence @TudorTweep, she writes great historical stuff on wattpad HERE), so she nipped onto Amazon and bought Kings and Queens. A moment later another lady, Becky, chimed in with 'I've just been looking at that - sounds like just the thing for my long train journey from France!', and bought it, too. She didn't have a Kindle, but I told her how you can download the app to your ipad, phone, etc, which she didn't know. Yes, I know that's only two books, but it was two in five minutes, and that sort of thing happens to me a fair bit. Established readership often comes one, two or three at a time. And it's is something the "Contributed Tweets are provided by @SomeCrapApp" crew miss out on....)