So, you want to use Twitter to promote your new book or Kindle freebie or $0.99 promotion? While I don’t think Twitter is very effective at selling books, in general, I do think it’s a great platform for promoting Kindle deals. And besides, tweets are free, so why the heck not?
For my new book, 15 Secrets Successful People Know About Time Management, I launched at $0.99 and wanted to spread the word on Twitter. I have 11,500 followers and get a fair number of retweets. (I’m @Kruse if you want to follow me by the way.)
[Ahem, you did notice that was a live link in my book title, right?
You do want to learn how to crank out your next book
in less time, right? Oh, I’m just teasin’…]
In addition I decided to experiment and use the services of Georg Gray (@Georg_Grey) who offers a “Twitter Blitz” service for $50, where you give him three tweets and he sends them out over a ten day time period.
There are 4 keys to selling a book in 140 character or less.
- The hook
- The call to action
- The link
- The hashtag
First, the hook. For most Twitter folks, they aren’t using Twitter to just to find daily Kindle deals, and many might not normally be interested in books at all. So what I DON’T do is start my tweet with “NEW BOOK” or “FREE BOOK” or any of those kinds of things.
You also probably don’t want to use your book title, unless your title happens to be a great hook. Most aren’t.
Instead, you want to hook everyone and anyone with a short benefit-curiosity combination. Think click-bait. Review all those crappy article headlines on BuzzSumo. Look at Inc.com and Entrepreneur.com and see what the most popular articles are. They almost always make outrageous claims, leave you on a cliff hanger or are listicles (ie, a number appears in the headline).
One example of a good hook, “4 keys to selling a book in 140 character or less.” Which, ahem, should look familiar to you (scroll up four paragraphs).
I can’t overstate coming up with great hooks enough. You will use this hook on Twitter, all other social media platforms, maybe even in your book description, etc. I actually A/B split tested dozens of different hooks using low cost Facebook ads to come up with my top three:
- 15 Things Ultra Productive People Do Different
- How Top #Entrepreneurs Schedule Their Day
- Want 10x #Productivity? Secret Habits of Millionaire Entrepreneurs
Again, notice that none of those are my book’s title. I tested my book’s title, and it peforms well, but those 3 hooks outperformed it.
Second, the call to action. You need to tell people to buy your book, but you want to add two things: price and scarcity. Normally in sales you don’t mention the price, but when you’re doing a free or $0.99 deal the price is a benefit.
In addition, you want in to add in one of the most powerful persuasion techniques on the planet: scarcity. That’s why QVC has a count-down clock. That’s why everything is “while supplies last.” That’s why you get an EXTRA Ginsu knife you are one of the first 100 callers.
Even if your discount deal is set to run for 5 days, you’ll want to add “Today Only” or more ethically “Today”. People do NOT take action when they think they can come back to it later, or think about it, or ask for permission. When you say it’s Today, they know they have to click now or they might miss out.
Third, the link. You need to grab the link to your book from Amazon, but that God-awful mess of a url takes up way too much room on Twitter, so you’ll want to use Bitly.com or a similar link shortening program to clean it up.
For example, my Amazon link looks like this:
(For those of you who are MacDaddy Gangsta Ninja book marketers, you’ll notice I’m using the search result url. Shhhh…)
But after putting that link into Bitly.com it gets beautiful:
[Ahem, you did notice that those links above are–oh never mind.]
You can track clicks using Bitly if you’re into that kind of thing, and I like that it shortens the link using “amzn.to” which lets readers know you’re sending them to Amazon, which of course is a very trustworthy site.
Fourth, the hashtags. So, back in the day, the four or 40 co-founders of Twitter didn’t think to come up with a way to categorize tweets, so users just figured it out themselves. Put a hastag symbol (#) in front a word, and that represents the subject or topic. Now you can search on that #Topic and discover or follow people and tweets related to it. Voila!
(Unfortunately, social media culture now means the hashtag is used to express emotion in an ironic way, which makes me want to #PokeMyOwnEyesOut whenever I see one.)
By now though, you’re running out of room on your tweet. So pick your hashtags carefully. (Or, just plan to send out A LOT of tweets with different hashtags…mildly annoying to your regular followers.)
There are some generic hashtags you should consider like #Kindle, #Bestseller, and #Kindledeal (although that gets used a lot less than #Kindle). And some book lovers track @amazon so you can throw that at the end, too. But you’ll want to make sure to reach people who are interested in your topic.
Begin by brainstorming all the topics or keywords you think people use for your topic. For my new book I thought of things like: time management, time, productivity, productive, hacks.
NOW, figure out which of your hashtag/topics have the most activity on them, which is a proxy for most popular.
So I do a Twitter Search on “#TimeManagement” and then click the “Live” tab and count how many tweets went out with this hashtag in the last 10 minutes or so (you can see how many minutes ago a tweet was sent out to the right of the Twitter handle on each tweet).
I repeat this process for my other hashtags and learn for example:
#TimeManagement = 5 tweets in last 10 minutes
#Productivity = 16 tweets in last 10 minutes
So, if I can’t fit both hashtags on my tweet, I’m going with #Productivity.
Also, if your book has already achieved “Bestseller” status in its category (or whatever…everybody is a bestseller I know), you can use #Bestseller which seems to get followed by book lovers.
Last, it’s not a hashtag, but a lot of Kindle deals are promoted using the Twitter handle @Amazon at the end. So that’s a nice to have if you have the space.
So how do you put it all together?
I typically open up Notepad or a word processor and start putting my hook, call to action, link and hashtags all together. But! If they’re too long they won’t fit in the 140 character limit, and if they’re too short, I’m leaving valuable selling characters left unused.
So I copy and paste my draft tweets into Twitter to get a character check, and iterate until I’ve created the perfect tweet.
For example, I drafted this beauty:
But then pasted it into Twitter and discovered that I’m 12 too long (insert your own joke here).
So I play around with it and ultimately I delete “#bestseller” but keep “@amazon” and end up with one character to spare.
That’s it for now, got to go sell some books on Instagram! (hehe) And we didn’t even talk about using GRAPHICS in your tweets…more later.
But really, this article took me 90 minutes to write–if you think it will help YOU to sell a couple more books over your career, will you tip me by grabbing a copy of my new book for $0.99? Click the link below!