Ten Twitter Tools to Help Launch Your Book
Writing and launching a book is vastly different now compared with 10 years ago; Amazon has had a huge impact on how books are distributed and promoted, e-readers have sky-rocketed in popularity in the last few years - not only affecting how books are read - but also which books, and there are an increasing number of tools available that help authors to self-publish. The modern author has had to adapt to this changing landscape, and the rise of Twitter presents another challenge and opportunity.
Twitter is the pulse of the Internet - authors can connect with their fanbase in real-time as well as other authors or influencers. So whether you’re ready to promote your next book or just want to build a fanbase, you’ll most likely find Twitter an invaluable network. If you haven’t read Twitter’s best-practice page for authors you’ll be delighted to know that they have one (https://media.twitter.com/best-practice/twitter-for-authors). Otherwise, this blog post contains some lesser-known tools to help you make more effective use of Twitter when launching your book.
Note: some of the more common tools such as TweetDeck have been omitted, so if you’re a Twitter beginner then you may find this post more helpful (https://blog.kissmetrics.com/10-twitter-tools/). Also, this post is aimed at authors whose book launch date is imminent. If you have more time, then you’ll find it valuable to build a following on Twitter first (http://blog.hubspot.com/insiders/twitter-following-growth)
- Klout (http://www.tintup.com/). On a scale from 1 to 100, your Klout score is a measure of how Twitter influence. It’s a great way to get the conversation going by finding influential people who might want to tweet about your book launch.
- Topsy (http://topsy.com/). Topsy lets you search for any tweet that has ever appeared on Twitter, so it’s invaluable for unearthing journalists who write about book launches. You can then send them a tweet or an email (journos often have their email in their Twitter bio).
- Followerwonk (https://followerwonk.com/) - created by Moz.com (one of the SEO giants), Followerwonk helps identify influencers based on their bio. For example, you could find all Twitter users with ‘art + journalist’ or ‘book + journalist’ in their bio, and then use filtering to only show those who are based in London.
Land News Coverage
- JournoRequests.com (https://www.journorequests.com/). Journalists need content, interviews, and quotes for upcoming stories they’re writing. A book journalist might tweet “looking for London-based authors”, which is the perfect opportunity to get your book-to-be some coverage. JournoRequests.com is an email service that finds opportunities like these from Twitter and delivers them to your inbox.
- Mention (https://en.mention.com/). Mention is like Google Alerts on roids. You can set up alerts for your brand or similar books by other authors or even “fantasy book”. Have a play around with the customisable settings to pinpoint exactly what you need alerts for.
- Storify (https://storify.com/). What’s the story of your book launch? Did it all start in your garage? Maybe you travelled the world for inspiration? Storify lets you create and share beautiful stories, and can be a great way to attract new followers and engage with your existing ones when you have a launch coming up. You can even make your followers part of your story by including their tweets with Storify’s simple drag-and-drop interface, and you might want to use the end story as a press release that you send out to journalists.
- Visible Tweets (http://visibletweets.com/). Will you be hosting a launch event? Why not suggest your attendees post their thoughts to your very own hashtag. First make sure you check that the hashtag isn’t being used for anything else, and then you can use Visible Tweets to publicly display what people are saying about your book launch in real time. Try it for yourself (http://visibletweets.com/) - it’ll only take a second.
- hashtagify.me (http://hashtagify.me/). If you can find the right hashtag, you’ll be greeted with bustling community of people that share your passion, will tell their friends about your book launch and buy copies themselves. hashtagify.me helps you find the right hashtag - I just searched for #booklaunch, and discovered that #booklove and #author might be good hashtags to post to as well.
- Bitly (https://bitly.com/). If you thought Bitly was just a URL shortener, then you’re missing out! Bitly provides insight into your web traffic - where they’re visiting from, what time they’re clicking on the link, and where the link to your book launch was shared. In short, you can use Bitly to measure the effectiveness of the links you share on Twitter (and elsewhere), then optimise these for maximum book sales.
- Thunderclap (https://www.thunderclap.it/). Imagine if instead of people tweeting about your book launch in dribs and drabs, you could spark a conversational fire with tens or hundreds of tweets going out together. Thunderclap lets your supporters pledge you a tweet so that on launch day you have plenty of people talking about you.
Thanks to Ross Tavendale of Ideas Made Digital (http://ideasmadedigital.com/), Tom Bourlet of Spaghetti Traveller (http://www.spaghettitraveller.com/), and Charlie Southwell of Transmute (bit.ly/1o2iFox) for their suggestions.
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