Everybody has a plan for getting rich through Twitter. The plans pretty much come to the same selfish thing: gather a half-million followers...Tweet a hundred times a day, pitching the same books...achieve a 'conversion' rate to sales of even 10 percent. Result: 50,000 sales at 70% of 2.99/copy. Yeah, $100,000--hopefully, each month--ain't exactly chump change. And some may succeed through doing this.
But, I suspect, not many.
For the most part, we grow blind and deaf to nothing but pitches from strangers. BUY MY BOOK! FREE TODAY! ONLY .99! 5-STAR REVIEWS! We ignore these for good reason: they have nothing to do with us. No attempt has been made to engage us. We're not even treated as readers. We're like sexual partners with bags on our heads.
These writers conclude from their sales figures that Twitter doesn't work. It does--for those who not only use Twitter but who consent to be used. Used in the positive sense of the word. The more we do for our followers, the more devoted and loyal they're likely to be.
I adhere to the following three basic rules:
1) Maintain a healthy balance between my shout-outs and my reach-outs. If I tout my books once or twice a day, I try to produce at least two or three interesting, funny Tweets that reveal something about me and my writing style while they entertain.
2) Remember that my followers have their own dreams and ambitions. Some of them are following me because of the strength of my follower base: about 15,000 and growing. I'm happy to RT for them and to be of use.
3) Share, now and then, lessons I've learned about writing and the publishing business through occasional links to my blog. With nine published books to my credit, it's time to open up and share.
We're far more likely to see the upside of Twitter if we show it due respect. Let me close with four examples:
1) Last year a Twitter contact conducted my first interview. This year three more Twitter contacts have led to three more interviews.
2) A playful Tweet about my most popular ebook, Nobility, led one follower to write that she'd downloaded the book on the strength of that Tweet, which she'd enjoyed immensely.
3) Some fine reviews have come my way from those who discovered me first through my Tweets.
4) A referral from a Twitter friend led to my becoming the first American writer on the collective British blog Authors Electric.
In closing: don't be too quick to write off Twitter because it's not selling your product or books. You'll see different results if you approach Twitter in a different spirit. Try!