My Way Of Twitter Promotion & Marketing

I don’t give advice, much, but I feel ... compelled to write about how I go about my marketing activities (the little I do). So I’m starting with

Twitter is a simple concept. Real-time communication in 140 characters or less. Communication. Not a one way relationship/conversation. Your primary goals on this platform should be to network with other industry professionals, and extend the reach your other social networking accounts. Your secondary goals should be to learn new information, keep in touch with industry developments, and sell eBooks. Simple, huh?

Here are the basic Twitter words you need to know and understand;
  • Tweet: An update from a Twitter user profile, which is traditionally 140 characters or less
  • Twitter Handle: This is a Twitter user’s unique identifier
  • Twitter Stream: Real time interface of all Twitter users you are following’s tweet
  • Direct Replies: This is when someone uses your twitter handle in a Tweet, directing it at you
  • Direct Messages: Private messages between you and another tweeter. You can only send Direct Messages to people who are following you
  • Hastags: These are keywords prefixed by a hastag (#) allowing your tweet to be searched for by anybody who searches for that keyword using either the search function provided by Twitter or an API
  • TwitterVerse: The universe that is Twitter. Also known as TwitterLand

For a comprehensive list of terms see the Twitter Glossary.

There is etiquette to how you should use this popular social media platformA basic ethos to keep in mind would be:

Distribute. Share content (videos, articles) freely. Twitter is real time, it never sleeps, and technically neither should you (to the naked eye).
Eavesdrop. Twitter is one huge conversation that echoes. Nothing is safe (unless the tweets are protected). Know which conversations to jump into and which to avoid. Monitor tweets mentioning your books and respond to these people. Favorite their tweets, and engage them in conversation.
Question Everything. Everyone has an opinion. Give yours. Inspire others to join in by letting your personality and inquisitiveness shine through. Prove to your followers you care by responding to their tweets, even just to say thank you for sharing.
Reply. If you do not reply to a Tweet directed at you there should be a damn good reason. It does not matter how famous you are, get your head out of your ass, and talk back. If it’s someone you talk to a lot, fair enough, but if it’s someone new even a smiley face is better than nothing.
Payback. Loyalty is hard to earn, and when it’s given up front by a follower taking the action to follow you, you should repay this with little rewards, and by not marketing to them from sunrise to sunset.
Retweet. Reply publicly to people who deserve some recognition.
 Voice. Find this fast. Are you funny. Deadpan. Sarcastic. Demented (*giggles*). Monotone. You need to find the pitch and maintain it. This voice should tie in with your brand as a whole.

You need your email address, your username, your mini bio, your blog URL, your avatar, your most recent eBook release cover.

Example Profile
  1. Selecting your Username (a Twitter Handle) should be easy. Just use your name or a logical variation until Twitter says it is available. It's up to you if you wish to set your location in the world, but I suggest you do, as people are generally interested in that piece of information.
  2. Set your external web link as your blog URL (this can later become your website URL should you wish).
  3. Set your Background Theme as your newest book cover release. You can set this to something else, but your latest book cover release makes sense. Though I personally would prefer a thousand words to a single picture, we are visual creatures, and your cover can speak volumes to somebody simply clicking past.
  4. Your Bio should be relevant and reflect your Voice. Briefly note any credits or large accomplishments. I would suggest your mini bio reworked, or you key "voice" words and themes at least mentioned.
  5. Your Profile Picture should be your Avatar.
  6. Browse Twitter for other writers and you will see more examples.
The best way to use them is to incorporate them into your Tweet so it is less invasive and less like marketing.
Example A
In the Tweet I have:  Mentioned my book title, genre, and two large distributors where it is available. Used four popular and relevant hashtags in a seamless and coherent sentence, posted two links, and shown my followers the value of my eBook, and what they would be saving downloading via a different distributor. Example A is purely a promotional Tweet that should only be used maximum once a day, but better once a week. I have three eBooks available. That means once a week could I stagger three promotional Tweets. As it is, I rarely do this, but should I wish to increase the amount of this kind of selling technique, that is how I would do it.

This is an example of what I think you should not do:

Example B:
Lunar Light #kindle #ebook #romance #wendigos #books #bestseller #AnyOtherHastagICanThinkOfBecauseIDontKnowWhatIAmDoing

*flatline* Why? It's hard on the eyes, tells me little, and is annoying if done on a regular basis by multiple people. I follow near 350 people, about 200 of them are Indie writers. Can you just imagine if they all did this? I would lose the will to live. There will be some who strongly disagree with me on this point and use the above format for promotional Tweets. All I can do is show you an alternative, what you choose to do on Twitter or any social networking platform is down to you. But pause, and ask yourself, if you were following me would you want to receive Tweet A once a week per title, or, Tweet B every single day per title. Would you honestly keep following me if I did the latter?

I have no doubt (like me) when you first start using Twitter Example B is what you will do, because so many people do it. What I expect is that after a month you will recognize it's not the best way to go about things, and do something else that works.

Straight Retweet: Literally hitting one button to share the tweet with your followers. This is best for forwarding on quotes of interest. You do not have to retweet everything that appears in your stream. It's okay to be selective.

Remixed Retweet: You edit the tweet before you send it on. This is good if you are Retweeting promotional tweets that do not fit your less invasive style, or to comment if you have read the book to bring your own recommendation into play.

Sometimes you need to do more than just Retweet content. Take it a step further. Know your followers and what they are up to. This way you can target content and information that will actually interest them.

From @Miss_Fletcher to @TymothyLongoria, @DmslinaDrtyDrss and @MeganSDuncan
Hey @TymothyLongoria @DmslinaDrtyDrss @MeganSDuncan ... @TNBBC is looking for Indie Book Trailers and you guys have pretty cool ones....

Here I have engaged three other Indies who I knew were actively promoting their book trailers at the time. It only takes a few moments to make a retweet worthwhile for others to engage.

Here is one example of how I found a reader through Twitter. I followed the ‘book’ hashtag and saw the following tweet from someone I have never met before:

@_Sarki to TwitterVerse: #Indie #Writers I need a new #book to #read & #review. Send me a link and i'll do the rest. Ta very muchly.
@Miss_Fletcher to @_Sarki": Still looking for books to read? ;)
@_Sarki to @Miss_Fletcher: Yep, anything goes, so let me know. Thanks.
@Miss_Fletcher to @_Sarki: I have three! #Paranormal #Romance And a #YA# Fantasy series & :)
@_Sarki to @Miss_Fletcher: Thanks. I've gone for Demon Day as you have only the one review so far, so I'll add another real soon.
@Miss_Fletcher to @_Sarki: Okay. That is book two of a series though ... if you want book one free from Smashwords let me know, and I'll send you a code.(See here I give the reader a freebie to say thank you!)
@_Sarki to @Miss_Fletcher: just got that one too! lol. Looking forward to them, look intriguing. (No need for freebie, he’s already bought it!)
@Miss_Fletcher to @_Sarki: Cool! I hope you like them, feedback is (mainly) positive :)
@_Sarki to @Miss_Fletcher: ty.. and started book 1 last night. Love the opening. Intrigued where its heading.
@Miss_Fletcher to @_Sarki: Wonderful! People tend to prefer the end to the beginning, so hopefully you will continue to enjoy it.
@_Sarki to @Miss_Fletcher: sorry to say, but you are a ***** for writing such a good read as Demon Girl ... cant put it down
@Miss_Fletcher to @_Sarki: 
*squeal* I can't wait till you see how things develop! Let me know when you're done!
@_Sarki to TwitterVerse: kindle #review #fantasy #ebook @Miss_Fletcher - Demon Girl Fantastic new writer. 5/5. Please RT

The end result of this 10 day back and forth was a glowing five star Kindle UK review. That is a proven result from observing, responding, and interacting with Twitter, and how that interaction lead to a sale (two, actually), a five star review, and a wonderful reader who is not in my target readership, and works on an oil rig in the middle of the ocean.

Ask yourself: Did I need this reader? I was selling over 100 books a day at this point, and was closing in on the Kindle UK Top 100. Did I need to put all that effort in for one single reader? The answer is a resounding yes. I would not have had that review. I would not have had the honor of meeting such an interesting individual.

That is how you find new readers and sell books via Twitter. Not by mindlessly tweeting links to your book listings every day. That is not the only example I have, but it is a complete end2end best case scenario that anyone can achieve by using Twitter properly.

When you do reach a point where you are selling a healthy amount each day, don’t lose your head, keep interacting and searching. Each new reader is growing your readership (I call my readers my Lovelies, lol). Would the above example work every time? No, but I have done this a number of times, and not just for myself, as the next case study shows.

Sometimes you have to accept that you may not what is best for a reader. If you identify that give them away to another Indie, and build up your good Karma.

@VinoLondon Vino to TwitterVerse: Anyone got any good book recommendations for #kindle?
@Miss_Fletcher to @VinoLondon : Would you read an Indie book on your Kindle? :) 
@VinoLondon to @Miss_Fletcher : totally. I want good recommendations
@Miss_Fletcher to @VinoLondon: What genre are you into? I read pretty much anything so I have loads of good recommendations! (note how I do not instantly throw a link at her, I ask a meaningful and targeted question)
@VinoLondon to @Miss_Fletcher : been reading loads of vampy stuff lately but seriously - ANYTHING. Just a good book that I can get lost in for a while.
@Miss_Fletcher to @VinoLondon: Okies, well I'll suggest mine first

@Miss_Fletcher to @VinoLondon : And The Lost Book of Souls by @MichelleMuto is pretty cool too, I read that a few weeks ago (The reader gets two options from me. I don’t wax lyrical about how great my book is, I let her make the choice).
@VinoLondon  to @Miss_Fletcher and @MichelleMuto : MEGA - thanks so much x
@Miss_Fletcher to @VinoLondon: No problem! Let me know what you think if you read mine, and I'm open to suggestions too, lol ;)

Did this gain me anything measurable? Hopefully, yes. Hopefully, it gained me the respect of the Indie I shared that potential reader with. I don’t know is this resulted in a sale for me, as I get a steady daily amount, but this was a good example of sharing the love. This scenario will probably only come up if you adopt my way of selling via Twitter, but at least you know what to do if it ever happens.

You’ve sold a book. You’ve found a tweeter talking about it. Excited? Hell yeah! Is that it …game over? No! Time to engage and amplify what they are saying about you.

@jaysim6 to TwitterVerse: Reading 2 awesome books; • The Demon Girl by Penelope Fletcher • Perfume - the story of a murderer by Patrick Süskind

For me this is a great tweet to amplify. Mentioned in same breath as a known magic realism author who is niche – different – I am reaching people readers I need to be reaching for my style of prose. I favorite and retweet this tweet. My response to this user:

@jaysim6 to @Miss_Fletcher: You're reading my book (Demon Girl)? Rock on, hope you like it :)
@Miss_Fletcher to @jaysim6 : 
OMG UR PENELOPE FLETCHER!! I am a huggge fan! I wanna be a writer lk u. I'm up to the bit in ur bk when raefindsoutboutconal (most times this is the response you get. I have never had a negative response introducing myself to a reader on twitter)
@jaysim6 to @Miss_Fletcher: Yup, hiya. Lol. I love hearing from people who read my stuff, pretty awesome. I hope you like the ending :)

The above is a simple way of saying thank you to that reader. It matters! It is my hope she will remember that interaction, and if she ever stumbles over another one of my books, she may choose to buy it over another. Everything you do and say has an effect (heard of the Butterfly Effect?)

There we have it, a few proven ways of using Twitter to attract new readers and sell eBooks, using nothing but the interface of itself. I’m not asking you to abandon your current marketing techniques, but try mine, and see if you can put these examples into practice effectively to get measurable results.

Do not go out and start SPAMMING all the Twitter readers, my god, I will find you and destroy you with my scary mind control powers! 

There is a fine art to being polite and soft selling your work to the right people who ASK for it, than to just being a living Twitter SPAM BOT. Know and appreciate the difference

Hope this helps somebody, somewhere. 


  1. Thanks for the twitter info, Penelope.

  2. Excellent article, Penelope.

  3. That's excellent, especially the remixed retweet, that's something I've yet to try but do want to do! I've still got mixed feelings about Twitter, it's a community unlike any other. Thanks for sharing your insight : )
    I'm @YasminSelena on Twitter btw x

  4. I am case study six aha :)

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