The One Thing An Author Should Never Do On Social Media…

Biggest Author Social Media Mistake

Yesterday, while I was listening to a debate on my car radio about the future of books, the station suddenly cut to an advertising break – that seemed to last for an eternity.

Eventually I switched it off in sheer frustration.

But it didn’t stop there.  After arriving back at my house I logged onto Twitter, only to be hit by an avalanche of authors all shouting “Here’s my new book, please buy!”, which was equally tedious.

It struck me right then that many authors think social media should be used to ‘run advertisements’ the same way retailers do on radio stations.  But in doing so, those authors are making a critical error – and run the risk of being ‘switched off’.

Here’s the crucial thing to understand:

If you constantly advertise instead of being interesting, readers will tune out.

Thing is, after you have developed a relationship with your Twitter followers by interacting and being genuinely interesting for a while, you might get away with sending out 5 or 6 Tweets during the day for a 99 cent, special-price promotion of your Kindle book, or even sending a sequence of intriguing descriptions of your book at a regular price.  You probably will get a spike in sales doing this, but it’s a terribly short term way of operating if that’s the only thing you ever do.

People are on social media to chat, interact and be entertained, in a similar way to talk-back radio listeners.  They are certainly not there to be ‘pitched’ at.   So authors who constantly ‘shout’ their books on Twitter and Facebook, and do nothing else will soon find themselves being ignored.  i.e. It doesn’t pay off in the long run.

But if you mix it up with interesting content, then people won’t mind seeing limited promotion amongst it.  Don’t promote all the time.  Promote at the RIGHT time. i.e. after you’ve spent time giving out value first.

Here’s a (fictional) example of an author using Twitter the wrong way – endlessly sending out nothing but promotional Tweets like an advertising radio station, relentlessly blustering “Buy my book!”

Book Shout Tweet

Note: This is a fictitious Tweet based on similar Tweets I have seen cluttering up Twitter

Don’t get me wrong, I understand the almost-irresistible temptation to do this, because it seems to make perfect sense.  After all, we’re surrounded by advertisements that shout about products – on TV, on websites, in magazines, and on the radio.   This is known as ‘interruption’ advertising, and yes – it does work on TV and radio (to an extent).

But it only works because people are already tuned into that station.  And why did they tune in to begin with?  Because the station has lots of interesting, entertaining content on it.

Now, you might be thinking: “That’s ok – everyone else’s Tweets and Facebook posts can be the entertaining stuff, and mine can be the advertisements in between”.   Sounds like a good plan, right?

Unfortunately it doesn’t work that way, for two reasons:

1.  People will only see your updates if they have deliberately chosen to follow you.  And no-one will choose to follow you if they can see your account is full of ads for a book they know nothing about.

2.  Even if someone does choose to follow you, they will usually unfollow you once they see that all you do is shout about your book.  At best, you’ll be completely ignored.

No matter how interesting you may think your book is, relentlessly shouting about it without Tweeting anything else at all will be viewed as annoying spam, not entertainment.

The Exception:  Already Famous Authors

“But authors like James Patterson shout out their books on Twitter, so why can’t I?”

James Patterson Tweet pattersontweet2

Famous authors like James Patterson can do this because they are already newsworthy. The fact that he has a new book out is an interesting thing to his followers because they are already huge fans of his previous books.   He’s a celebrity, and can get away with being an ‘adverts only’ radio station, because his fans are already highly interested in him and hang on every word.

But if you’re not yet a famous author, this won’t work.  Potential new readers that you interact with on social media won’t know anything about you or your writing, so the fact you have a book is not interesting or newsworthy.  It’s just annoying spam, and you’ll be given a wide berth if you ‘shout’ about it.

So is there any point in using social media if you can’t shout about your book?

Absolutely.  Let me explain…

How To Promote Your Book on Social Media – Without Shouting

The solution to getting attention is to create a high degree of interest first, and only then introduce your books.  You become likeable and well known, because you share interesting genre material and don’t constantly talk about yourself or your books.

For example, you write Tweets and Facebook posts that link to fascinating content you’ve written that isn’t immediately about your book, but that readers of your genre would find interesting.

The ‘secret’ is that your blog post content is written firstly to gain the interest of readers, and you only mention your books later in the content, once their attention is captured.

Twitter Blog Books

This will also generate discussion and sharing of your material on social media, which further increases interest – leading on to sales.

Remember, once you successfully take them across to Amazon from your blog, Amazon will do all the heavy lifting from that point, provided that your books are listed correctly, and you use their promotional systems properly.   Your task using social media (and all the other promotional tactics covered on this blog) is to ignite the initial sales needed to get the process started.

You can even take people to Amazon directly on Twitter if you are determined to do so, but in the first instance, make the majority of your Tweets interesting to readers with intriguing content and interactive chat that’s not about your book, but about your genre – the ‘world around your book’.  After a while when you feel convinced that you’ve become familiar and interesting because of positive feedback, then you can Tweet directly about your book.  But even than, only about one in ten Tweets at most – as a rough guideline.

Let me make this even clearer:  ‘Engage first, sell second’ is the secret sauce.

Like the talkback radio host with his listeners, the path to being effective in social media is to create a meaningful connection so they take an interest in you and your writing.

Furthermore, doing it properly is really enjoyable!  Social media doesn’t need to be a chore, it can be fun and extremely interesting once you start to interact.

‘Conversation’ makes both Twitter and Facebook the perfect home for an author.   Holding conversations, particularly with readers with a common interest, does a number of important things:

  • It sets you apart as a real person in whom they’ll become genuinely interested
  • They’ll become part of your fan group – your ‘author’s inside team’
  • They’ll share your Tweets, Facebook posts and blog posts with their own communities
  • They’ll want to spread the word about you and your books
  • They’ll eventually become your book buyers

The bottom line:

Social media is named that way because it is best used socially.  So avoid shouting, take the social path, and you’ll be well on the way to igniting the viral ‘word-of-mouth’ promotion you need to ignite book sales.

If you’d like to know more, I teach how to do this, step-by-step, in my ‘Twitter For Authors’ mini-course.

What do you think?  Be honest – have you ever ‘shouted’ your book?   Do you interact with readers the right way on social media?

Jonathan Gunson

Article written by Jonathan Gunson

Author / CEO Bestseller Labs

 

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Comments

  • January 30, 2013 at 8:15am

    I have mentioned on occasion, but I hope not in a shouty way. Mainly when it was on special. I may have been a little shouty when I got nominated very unexpectedly for an award. But mostly I try to keep it nice. I must admit, after offensive content, it’s my chief reason for unfollowing, or not following in the first place.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2013 at 8:31am

      Imelda, I don’t recall you ever shouting on Twitter. Besides you have an intriguing blog to take people across to. BTW. What was the award nomination? A very exciting moment.
      ~ Jonathan

      • January 31, 2013 at 2:43am

        After reading your article I think I must do a 50/50 shout … I invite my FB friends to look at book reviews, check out competitions, sample chapters and news items on my Merlin’s School site. I have purchase information on there as well as readers reviews. I post regularly but always try to come up with a new catch phrases. I believe I leave the choice with them … but I could be wrong. Your opinion would be appreciated.
        Cheers Margaret Blake.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          January 31, 2013 at 3:37am

          Margaret
          We have similar obsessions. Bodium castle I visited at length long ago, and my own life-long interest in Merlin culminated in my bestseller ‘The Merlin Mystery’ – which you may have seen a little of in my Bestseller Labs Publishing Guide For Authors.
          Your book ‘Merlins School for Ordinary Children’ sounds like sheer delight, especially since it is the start of a planned series. See http://bestsellerlabs.com/the-hottest-tip-no-fiction-writer-can-afford-to-ignore/
          Re your question. The clearest way to think about promotional activities is to put yourself in a reader’s shoes and ask the question. As a reader, would I really be interested in this stuff? Like REALLY? You have to be honest about this, and it will guide how to do your promotions on FB. Creating fascinating content that isn’t always self-focused and about your book, and that truly appeals is the key.
          In the end it is the book itself that will spread by word of mouth – your task is simply to ignite that process.
          ~ Jonathan

      • January 31, 2013 at 9:16pm

        Jonathan, I am a finalist in the 2012 Australian Romance Readers Association (ARRA) awards for favourite contemporary romance. It was COMPLETELY unexpected and I’m so touched an honoured to be anyone’s favourite anything! Especially with my first published book. I know it’s not the best book of 2012 but to be someone’s favourite is such a thrill and very inspiring.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          January 31, 2013 at 9:49pm

          Hi Imelda. Wow! In a word… Congratulations. Another terrific step along the road.
          ~Jonathan

      • Michael Stewart says:
        April 8, 2013 at 2:03am

        Johnathan,

        Being the newbie on the block here and having reactivated my Twitter account. what is your feeling about “teasing” one’s book. For example, as I am proofing and updating my book. I thought I’d try to garner potential reader interest by posting short blurbs about some of the characters on Facebook. I thought this might intrigue readers, wet their appetites.

        Also, seeing that the book falls into the Vampire fiction category, I thought audiences would be intrigued. Again, I am going about this by trial-and-error, hoping for the best result possible in advance of publication.

        I’d like to know your thoughts.

        Thanks

        Michael

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          April 8, 2013 at 11:09am

          Michael

          Not wishing to burst your balloon, but (without exaggeration) Twitter is super-saturated with tens of thousands of people every hour dropping blurbs about the characters in their books in order to drum up interest. No-one pays any attention. Why would they? All of it is barely disguised shouting “Buy my book!” And there are literally millions of books out there.

          So you need to present something distinctive that will stand out before anyone will pay attention. Something that is teasing about Vampires will be attention grabbing for fans, yes, but the way to do it is not Tweet about your book, but Tweet links to your blog that has intriguing lateral information, closely related genre stuff, that’s also not directly about the book.

          Blog fascinating info or stories from about the world around the book, that mentions your book only at the end of the post. The content is actually about your book, but this is not apparent until the end by which time you’ve captured their interest. Headline for the post might read: “Why does sunlight burn Vampires?” or “Why do certain girls ALWAYS fall for Vampires?”

          The Tweet you send would use the same curiosity generating question with a link to your blog. (e.g. Why do certain girls ALWAYS fall for Vampires? Link) That would be FAR more effective. LOTS of people would click the link, because they are being given something of interest and not being spammed with a barely-disguised pitch.

          So many authors spam book titles, reviews and character blurbs on Twitter and Facebook and waste an awful amount of their time doing so. I don’t judge them for this, because they simply don’t know any better. They don’t realise just how ineffective it is, when it is SO easy to do it effectively. I give out this advice constantly, then watch people go ahead, spam away anyway, then wonder why there’s no result.

          But (fingers crossed) you sound more onto it than most Michael.

          ~Jonathan

  • January 30, 2013 at 8:23am

    Hi Jonathan,

    Wish every author can always think of the name “Social Media Network” that all Twitter, Facebook and co are whenever the urge and temptation of this “buy my book” occurs. It’s pretty natural to want the whole world know about our works, but the more interesting we are on these platforms,the more we “sell” books – to use the right words there.

    Sharing and being useful is my form of being interesting,it follows the natural laws of give and take where we have to give first before taking.

    Insightful post here Jon and wish every authors using social media (everyone should as a matter of fact and necessity) should read this.

    Regards

    Mayor A Lan
    TheSavvyIndie.com

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2013 at 10:04am

      Mayor: “It’s pretty natural to want the whole world know about our works” Yes, this lies at the heart of the matter.
      ~ Jonathan

      • January 30, 2013 at 10:21am

        Yea Jon,Smart Self Publishing,what I called the SSP is asking ourselves WII-FM (What Is In For Me) when we think of others most especially our social media followers.

        WII-FM – that is the favorite station people want to tunes in.You give first (in their loads) before asking for a take.Taking as when authors shout “buy my book” all around is like withdrawing a checking account without depositing. You deposit first (in it’s load also) before you can withdraw..

        Hope we all remember to play this people’s favorite station WII-FM when on any of the many social media network promoting ourselves and our works.

        Just my 1 cent to every Indie Author

        Thanks

  • January 30, 2013 at 8:36am

    One thing that you didn’t mention that I see a lot is writers selling to other writers.

    Writer groups on facebook are often littered with the type of ‘advertisements’ that you talk about. They are all over facebook. I put it this way, and use a church analogy: It’s like a preacher preaching to the choir rather than the congregation. In an attempt to find ways to reach readers rather than other writers, I have created a book marketing discussion group on facebook.
    The link — https://www.facebook.com/groups/bkmktdiscuss/

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2013 at 8:45am

      Jacqueline
      I constantly see this ‘readers’ issue on forums, Twitter and Facebook: “I can find writers, but how do I find readers?” Well, I’ve covered this point in an article that is perfect for your group: (Link:) 3 Great Ways To Find Readers For Your Books On Twitter.

      I’ve also checked out your FB group, and applied to join, in case I post anything of a similar type here that’s useful for the group.
      ~ Jonathan

      • January 30, 2013 at 8:51am

        Great! Just added you. Great to have you in the group. And thanks for the link. I’m hoping we can come up with some great ideas for reaching readers through this group. It’s a whole new game in publishing now.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          January 30, 2013 at 9:43am

          Thanks. I’ll try to contribute. Just hassle me from time to time, and I’ll be in. My own FB page – http://Facebook.com/bestsellerlabs
          ~ Jonathan

      • January 30, 2013 at 9:26am

        Thanks for the the FB group,I’ll definitely be a part of such wonderful gathering of authors.

        Thanks to Jonathan for this post bringing out this.

        Cheers!

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          January 30, 2013 at 9:41am

          Savvy. We’re all on this journey together. I’ll see you in Jacqueline’s FB author group from time to time. ~ Jonathan
          PS. Do follow my FB page – it’s here: http://Facebook.com/bestsellerlabs

          • January 30, 2013 at 10:12am

            Thanks Jon,

            Lovely to connect with you here and at the FB group.I surely like your FB page.

            Lovely world we have been a writer and author..Lot in the waters of Self Publishing and I’m happily drunk in it.

            Thanks for the good work here at the BestSellerLabs.com

            You can be my friend too on my FB page at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMayorALan

            Cheers!

      • January 30, 2013 at 5:38pm

        Your article about finding readers on Twitter was so helpful. I think all of this is developmental. We all make mistakes as we slog our way through the process. The key to using social media is finding readers for your genre. Learning how to develop sharing relationships with your followers doesn’t just happen magically. You have to work at it consistently and suddenly you start to make excellent connections. Thank you so much for posting such excellent “How To’s” for those of us who are trying hard to use social media correctly.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          January 30, 2013 at 8:21pm

          Mary – new post in the works re the ‘slog’ you mention. Very encouraging commentary thank you. ~ Jonathan

      • Joy Dent says:
        January 30, 2013 at 7:06pm

        Jacqueline,

        I’ve just asked to join your group, as well. I’m struggling as to how to reach readers, too.
        I write as Darcy Flynn.

        Thanks,

  • January 30, 2013 at 8:40am

    I think you’ve hit the spot here, Jonathan. Although not yet published, I’ve tweeted about my manuscript and blog posts in the past and always felt slightly uncomfortable with it, so I avoid it as much as possible. Sometimes I’m tempted, mostly through frustration that the process isn’t moving quickly enough – finding an agent and being published is the pinnacle for me. I’ve yet to receive comments from any of my followers on Twitter so I don’t think it makes the impression I’ve hoped for.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2013 at 8:55am

      Valentina, I can help a little…
      1.) You can locate agents here (as one suggestion) http://www.writersmarket.com/cms/open/agent
      2.) There’s nothing wrong with Tweeting about your blog posts – it can be very effective if it’s written to be of interest to the market, and not just about your book. (It can lead to your book, but works best by opening first with something fascinating in your genre.) (News?)
      3.) One way to start getting comments on Twitter is to be quietly social to begin with. Pick a couple of people each day, retweet and comment on what they say if you find them interesting. Sooner or later they’ll reciprocate.
      ~ Jonathan

    • January 30, 2013 at 8:55am

      Valentina – Do you have a facebook author’s page yet? That’s a great place to make posts about how your writing is going, and to share links for your blog posts.

  • January 30, 2013 at 8:50am

    Thx Jonathan!
    Spot on.
    Make it interesting.
    Learned this obvious lesson the hardway…

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2013 at 8:58am

      Alex. We all discover this sooner or later. It puts an author one giant leap ahead of their competitors when using social media. ~ Jonathan

  • AdrijusG says:
    January 30, 2013 at 9:21am

    I like the Radiohost host metaphor, I use Party metaphor myself. Online is a huge open party where you can say Hello to many people and pick your circle of friends you want to hang out. Then slowly get to know them through tweeting about common interests and gaining trust like that. Eventually, people will start wondering what you do and what you write etc.

    What’s your opinion on Autofollow and then Unfollowing those that don’t follow back. Seen it done constantly and honestly don’t like it, but have heard that it works still.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2013 at 9:36am

      Adrijus.
      Re ‘autofollow’: Personally I don’t do that, but hand-pick every single person – that way I get Tweets only from people in the publishing industry and closely allied interests. It has taken over 4 years to hand follow over 60,000 people. Sometimes I’ll unfollow those who don’t follow back, but haven’t done that for months. The very few people I do unfollow are usually those who never interact, or just pump out automated messages.
      But to build up an account in the early stages, following and then unfollowing those who don’t follow back still works quite well, although one has to be very careful to avoid ‘follower churn’. Twitter doesn’t like people following and unfollowing en masse.
      A great tool to manage this (and avoid mistakenly refollowing people you’ve unfollowed before) is http://Tweepi.com
      ~ Jonathan

      • AdrijusG says:
        January 30, 2013 at 10:11am

        Cool I’ll try out Tweepi. Thanks

        I can’t even imagine how fast your Twitter feed is changing with 60k following.. wow You’re a List user?

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          January 31, 2013 at 11:41pm

          Adrijus.

          I use Twitter lists to keep track of people I find especially interesting, and the ‘connect’ function to display all the latest interactions – although sometimes even that can become overwhelming. Additionally, I’ll often skim down the timeline to see what jumps out.

          These are the three ways that make it relatively easy to keep track of everyone without spending all day on Twitter.

          ~ Jonathan

          • AdrijusG says:
            February 4, 2013 at 11:25am

            Cool. Thanks for sharing.

            Looking forward to more posts! ;)

  • Fran says:
    January 30, 2013 at 10:24am

    Hi Jonathan, I only recently joined Twitter and starting to find my way around. I never follow anyone who is selling me a book. I have my own way of finding something to read – so leave me alone ‘shouters’. My book isn’t published until this year and so I will do my very best not to shout about it but learn how to become a more engaging blogger/writer. I’m sure that takes a while.

  • January 30, 2013 at 10:31am

    I love this post. When I first put up a new book, I post a blurb plus cover photo. Then post all my other content as per usual. The only other time I make specific posts about my writing is when I offer free promotions. Again, only once.

    Otherwise, I add a link once or twice at the bottom of my regular posts – to my website or my Amazon page – but there is another photo or quote taking the space where a link thumbnail would be.

    When I first learned to do Kindle conversions, I went nuts for about a week then realized my page wasn’t “pretty” anymore. I deleted all but one. Good stuff, Jonathan.

    Shayne

  • January 30, 2013 at 11:15am

    Hi Jonathan,

    I have un-followed people on Twitter for this very reason. It’s good advice to entice with genuinely interesting content then naturally flow into mention of your product (book or otherwise). John.

  • Dale Ibitz says:
    January 30, 2013 at 11:49am

    Good post and very informative. I personally try not to shout, and rarely tweet myself…I agree it’s very annoying when all you see on FB and Twitter advertisement after advertisement. I ignore most of them, which is a shame because I’m sure there are some books out there I would be interested in!

  • January 30, 2013 at 12:08pm

    Is it still 80% non-ads to 20% about me posts? I have found that by really searching for things that interest me that I can re-tweet that I get new followers every day. So for every mention of my book (not buy me, but a tiny blurb about what it is about from different angles) I post pr retweet a minimum of 5 helpful messages before I post another blurb. I also set up a different twitter account to test this out with. I have over 3,000 followers on my @OldOrderTweeter account and I don’t want to turn these people off. But my new account @StoryandLogic is growing daily, and not just from followbacks.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2013 at 9:53pm

      Sharon

      “I have found that by really searching for things that interest me that I can re-tweet that I get new followers every day..”

      You clearly have the ‘secret’. I’m already following your @StoryandLogic account on Twitter. It’s an Aladdin’s cave of value! An object lesson in how to run a author’s Twitter account.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Mark Nystuen says:
    January 30, 2013 at 1:46pm

    Jonathan, you are SPOT on with this. I regularly stop following authors who do this – and the ones that retweet fifteen OTHER authors who do it which is even more annoying. Thanks for this!

  • January 30, 2013 at 2:02pm

    Another fabulous post!

    I generally ignore any tweet asking me to buy a book, etc.

    I’m more interested in making connections with people on Twitter. Then if I do say something about my book, once in awhile, it’s meant to share good news. I also try to pay it forward whenever I can. How much effort does it take to retweet something?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2013 at 9:49pm

      Collette. Yes, simple in essence – although the temptation to run ads is hard to resist for the majority.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2013 at 2:04pm

    I couldn’t agree more. I do not read the majority of the tweets I receive for the exact same reason, nor do I read most of the blogs I am invited to look at. Teach me something that will enhance my writing and perhaps I you will capture my attention and I will want to read your writing.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2013 at 9:47pm

      Perfect.

  • January 30, 2013 at 2:18pm

    Hi Jonathan,

    No, fortunately I do not do this. Almost the first tweet I saw when I joined twitter was your tweet about NaNoWriMo with a link to Twitter for Authors which I immediately got. So I am happy to say you saved me from spamming my friends.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2013 at 9:47pm

      Karen. One Twitter soul saved!
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2013 at 3:07pm

    Hi Jonathan,

    Another well written post with excellent advice.

    Yes, it’s true about advertizing your book… if you’re a newbie, it’s probably not going to work. What’s your opinion about informing followers (and new followers directly) of a promotion you have running for your book? Like a free giveaway? Or the latest book review? Would be great to share your thoughts on this :)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2013 at 9:44pm

      Anju
      “My book has great reviews!” is really the same as shouting ‘Buy My Book!”
      It’s more effective to be interesting first with chat, interaction and getting people across to your blog posts to get attention, and only THEN introducing your books. By which time the Twitter user’s attention has been captured.

      Thing is you have a beautiful blog at http://www.anjugattani.com/ that you’re not using to full advantage. I see in a guest post on another blog you ask an intriguing, very engaging question about how a book based in ‘Indian’ culture can fit into a western fiction genre. I would expand that blog post a little … by which time you’d have the user’s attention. It would be very Tweetable

      e.g. “Author help question: Which genre does my book belong to? I’m truly puzzled. http://booksbywomen.org/fitting-in-a-genre-by-anju-gattani/ Answers greatly appreciated.”

      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2013 at 3:12pm

    Hi Jonathan,
    Two comments if you don’t mind.
    One: When I “shout” about my books I include a link to my blog for about 2 pages of what I hope is interesting reading, and usually get 15-20 hits.

    Two: I bought your three books about how to do Twitter. I open and they don’t last more than a couple clicks until the screen gets faint and says “Adobe not responding.” I have the free Adobe. Do I need to buy something?

    This is the first newsletter from you I’ve received, and it’s been very interesting.
    Thank you,
    James W. Nelson

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2013 at 9:21pm

      James
      Thanks for ‘joining the team’. The number of TFA buyers is very large now. Do you have the latest edition released a month ago? (Email me if not)
      When Tweeting, it’s best to tease about the blog content, ansd interact about that, not so much your books. Blog posts also need to be at least a little remarkable. (I’ll be blogging about blogging soon.)
      Re Adobe. No-one alse has had any issue with reading the ‘Twitter For Authors’ PDFs. It may be your PC, or your PDF reader.
      I suggest three things:
      1. No need to buy anything!
      2. Update your PDF reader – it may be corrupted. (You can see how to do this under ‘help’ at the top of your reader. Or remove it and re-install.)
      3. As a last resort only get a copy of Foxit – a free PDF reader from CNet. But be sure to read the options to tick if and when you install. (“No I don’t want the toolbar” etc.) http://download.cnet.com/Foxit-Reader/3000-18497_4-10313206.html
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2013 at 3:47pm

    Hello Jonathan,
    how’s is going? I advertise my two books on my bio on Twitter with the odd advert for the books every two hours or so, and people have commented on them on a good way while others call it spam. [ you can't please everybody!]. I have also found that newspapers and magazines look down on self – published books, which I find to get them to do an article on them very hard. I have paid for five adverts in the newspapers in Ireland – £ 1400 – and yet the sales are still low. I writing my third book at the minute but am thinking of submitting it to an ” ordinary ” traditional publisher, although the waiting time for a response from them is around six months. what are your views on the above? Thanks Johathan, Patrick.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2013 at 8:58pm

      Patrick
      Advertising books in your Twitter bio is ideal. It’s in Tweets it needs to be avoided. That’s the place to interact and put out interesting info (not directly about your book) but that leads to your book at the end. (See Twitter -> Blog -> Books image above.) Same applies with Facebook.
      I would not spend more money on newspaper advertising – it’s too ‘broad brush’ for reaching your target.
      Nothing wrong with submitting to a traditional print publisher. Their form of ‘promotion’ is to distribute to bookshops. In light of that, do read these two articles: (Click and they’ll open in separate pages.)
      http://bestsellerlabs.com/if-printed-books-die-can-you-still-get-a-publisher/
      http://bestsellerlabs.com/why-your-amazon-kindle-book-will-be-far-bigger-than-you-imagine
      Plus in case you missed it, here’s how to find readers on Twitter:
      http://bestsellerlabs.com/how-to-find-readers-on-twitter/
      ~ Jonathan

      • January 30, 2013 at 9:21pm

        Thanks for your reply Jonathan:
        I get your great points and info’ regarding selling books online. My daughter – who’s far smarter than me – uploaded my other two books onto Amazon, including the Look Inside facility for both. But my problem is when I asked the two self – publishing companies, last September, to give me the numbers of sales that I had, I’m afraid I’m still waiting for them to produce them – the orders for the books go to both them, and Amazon also has the Kindle and book sales. I don’t know who to trust, thanks Jonathan.

  • January 30, 2013 at 3:51pm

    Jonathan I forgot to mention that I have over 9000 followers on Twitter for my books, BY LAND BY SEA and THE TWILIGHT PEOPLE on Amazon, although I’ve lost another 8000 followers. do you think my books as advertised are a turn – off for them or they are habitual unfollowers?Patrick.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2013 at 9:07pm

      Patrick, people unfollow for all sorts of reasons. Depends on why you followed in the first place. (Are they relevant to your interests?) Another reason is if you just bang on about your books. That’s a recipe for losing followers… unless you have something really interesting to say about them – such as a news event that matches something in your books. (Sometimes dubbed ‘news-jacking’.)
      ~ Jonathan

  • LaToya Rosario says:
    January 30, 2013 at 4:05pm

    Hi Jonathan! I have been tempted to shout my book even though I am annoyed and turned off by other authors who do the same. But I am redirecting my focus to be interesting using blog content tied to social media. I have seen more response in that than saying “Buy my book!”

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2013 at 8:32pm

      LaToya – welcome back. Remember to interact too. React to Tweets from a couple of new people each day. With a blog to refer you have something to eventually send them to – once you’ve exchanged chats over a week or two. Exactly the same applies to Facebook. Look at the activity stream and interact. ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2013 at 5:14pm

    Totally agree! And I have unfollowed authors who used Twitter as a billboard for their books instead of the coffee shop it was intended to be. Thanks for explaining this so well!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2013 at 8:23pm

      Marji. Re coffee shop. Not so tempting to jump up on a chair and bellow ‘buy my book’ there is it! (Someone would probably throw a donut.) ~ Jonathan

  • Heidi_g says:
    January 30, 2013 at 5:48pm

    Always good to be reminded of this:) I had a recent good run and it is a bit addictive and easy to get carried away, but when I started Twitter I had no website and no books out. It was just me, trying to see what in the heck was going on. That was my situation for about nine months and I really enjoyed it. It also allowed me to experiment with Twitter and find my voice.

    I do think it’s a mistake to think you’re going to hit every note right from the beginning. There is such a huge learning curve. But I think if you give yourself room to experiment you can learn a lot and have fun. I have gone through many iterations in my first year on Twitter, and just feel like now, I am starting to find my groove.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2013 at 8:19pm

      Heidi. RE ‘finding your groove on Twitter’ at last. Takes time yes? It was almost about a year before it clicked fully for me. It’s a career investment thing. ~ Jonathan

  • January 30, 2013 at 9:32pm

    I’ll admit I’m not crazy about Twitter and Facebook. I’m a little bit shy when it comes to social media because it seems a bit futile trying to be interesting amongst all the “shouting”…but that’s the problem. Everyone is shouting about his/her books. And not just once a day, but hundreds of times a day. And they Tweet the same message over and over and over…it’s a big turn off.

    I nodded all the way through this post. I was just telling someone how off-putting all the shameless ads are on Twitter. I completely agree with what you’ve said; if an author can’t find anything creative to provide on social media, I’m going to assume they aren’t very creative in their fiction writing, and that won’t prompt me to buy their books.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 30, 2013 at 10:10pm

      Lauren
      Re ‘being lost in the shouting’. That’s mostly an illusion in your case fortunately. You’ll be noticed very quickly if you quietly choose a couple of people a day to interact with – comment on what they say or better still ask a question. Pretty soon you’ll start to gain the right type of non-intrusive, constructive attention.
      Note: I’m already following you on Twitter, but I see that the link to it on your blog takes folks to the Twitter home page. May I suggest updating it to http://twitter.com/lauren_gilley.
      ~ Jonathan

      • February 1, 2013 at 8:18pm

        Thanks, Jonathan!

        I had no idea my blog link sent people to the Twitter home page because I was already logged in and it hopped straight to my page. Yikes! That would be a big help.

  • Charmain Z. Brackett says:
    January 30, 2013 at 10:31pm

    I have Twitter. I don’t like Twitter. I don’t get Twitter. I found most of my “interacting” has come on Facebook. Out of a whopping 1,400 followers on Twitter, I’ve probably only really talked to about three or four, except for the real friends that I already had before I started on it.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 31, 2013 at 1:28am

      Charmain. Sounds like you may not have actually read the post. Chatting for chat’s sake on Twitter is unproductive. It requires reaching out, commenting on what people say each day with a specific purpose in mind. It won’t directly sell books, but if you engage and build interest over time, it leads to sales. ~ Jonathan

  • January 31, 2013 at 1:17am

    Love this post. It’s what I keep ‘shouting’ in many of my blog posts, that Twitter is about social media, not ‘in your face’ selling. Not enough writers get it. They think that if they say ‘buy my book’ enough, we’ll give in and eventually buy it, just to shut them up. Nope, we’ll just unfollow and stop listening to you.

    We all want to sell our books – it’s part of why we’re on Twitter in the first place. But interact first – advertise last!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 31, 2013 at 1:31am

      Riley
      “Interact first – advertise last” or “Engage first – sell second.” It’s remarkable how simple this marketing principle is for authors.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 31, 2013 at 3:32am

    Jonathan,
    This is solid advice. And I couldn’t help noticing that you “walk the talk”. For example the time you’ve spent here in the past day responding to so many comments and engaging with readers could have been spent writing a chapter or two of your next book. Of course both activities are valuable but engaging with your audience is what builds the platform. Cheers!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 31, 2013 at 4:23am

      I’m here for the duration Gary. Requires patience – not something that’s in my genes I suspect. Growing this blog and the associated business, including the mailing list means that there’s several years of work ahead. My view is that people remember if you help them. For example I have some testimonials from the early stages I’ll be using soon, from several ‘Twitter For Authors’ customers who say I have changed their lives. For me it doesn’t get much better than that.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 31, 2013 at 4:25am

    Another excellent article. I try to mix it up on my social networks, but I’m guilty of advertising a bit too much. As usual, you make a sound case for doing otherwise. I’ll definitely try to improve on being more socially engaging…

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 31, 2013 at 4:30am

      Bard, good to hear. And you’re not alone. It’s tempting to ‘advertise’ partly because we’ve all been trained to think that way. (“It Pays To Advertise.”) And social media is so new that we’re having trouble adapting. But adapt we must. Dinosaurs and meteors come to mind for some reason. ~Jonathan

  • January 31, 2013 at 9:26pm

    [...] recently, in the last month or two, came across two blogs of interest. The first one here made perfect sense to me. I will be adjusting what I tweet about, what kind of posts I put on [...]

  • January 31, 2013 at 10:47pm

    Hi Jonathan
    Fascinating stuff. I have been on Twitter for a few months now, and have found it a really good way to interact with writers; not so sure yet about readers as such. My response to comments about ‘only’ chatting with a few people would be that if those people are the right ones and well connected, then that is a good result. It’s the ‘six degrees of separation’ thing. I have made around 10 or 12 regular contacts and I’m very pleased with that. I think it has also helped that I have not actually had anything to sell so far, so there’s no point in me shouting … I’ve had a few short stories placed in an anthology, which I’m very pleased about, but I am constantly re-writing my own collection to make it as good as it could be before I do anything about it. By the way, Jonathan, your interaction with me back when I was starting was a great encouragement.

  • Jonathan Gunson says:
    January 31, 2013 at 11:59pm

    Martin. Re: “It’s the ‘six degrees of separation’ thing.” True indeed.

    Furthermore, developing a few solid connections is extremely valuable. But also opening a few new connections each week is very effective for increasing the number of people you attract to your ‘author central’ blog.

    ~ Jonathan

  • Debbie Simorte says:
    February 1, 2013 at 3:37am

    Thanks, Jonathan. I’m new to Twitter, so I thought it was just me that didn’t appreciate all the shouting, as it seems everyone is doing it. Links to articles like this one are things I’m more likely to retweet than YEA BUY HIS BOOK!!!! By doing it right, you are giving a gift rather than begging people for attention (and money). And who doesn’t love a nice gift?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 1, 2013 at 5:59am

      Perfect Debbie. Thank you! ~ Jonathan

  • JamieLynn Boothe says:
    February 1, 2013 at 5:24am

    Thank you for sharing this!! I am glad I read it. I am a new author and I need the publicity but i don’t want to scare anyone off. I am definitely in the learning process on all of this.

  • Ed Wyrd says:
    February 1, 2013 at 9:34pm

    I’m shy when it comes to shouting announcements. I generally just use social media to be social, then once in a great while I’ll quietly slip in a “so-and-so fiction magazine just published a story by some Ed Wyrd guy” and that’ll be it.

  • February 1, 2013 at 9:39pm

    Re: Your post on “The One Thing an Author Should Never Do.” I agree, Jonathan. Neither being entertaining and engaging on the one hand, nor hard-sell on the other, may guarantee any book sales, but it’s better to draw people in than to push them away. By way of analogy, the stand-up comic realizes that the audience must decide to like him or her, before it will respond to the jokes. The blatant plea, “Here’s my book! Read it!” is unjustified at best, and is, in any case, presumptuous.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 1, 2013 at 9:49pm

      Tom. Re Literature and stand-up comics, someone sent me a comedy clip that says it all in about 20 seconds http://youtu.be/aDTwO0TlwOU ~ Jonathan

  • Jane says:
    February 3, 2013 at 3:34pm

    You are SO correct!

    I try NOT to shout about my book because I find it off-putting and egocentric. But then again, I am terrible at self-promotion.

    Fortunately, my novel is about baseball, so I have plenty of sports-related topics to tweet about. If a follower is interested (in me) they can go to my profile to learn more. I leave it at that.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 3, 2013 at 10:26pm

      Jane.
      Baseball? There’s no shortage of ‘related to’ material to blog about there. Fact is, you can get away with talking about your book in a blog post, if the main focus of the post remains focused on the topic, and also starts off that way – such as outlining a baseball event (photograph?) or movie (The Rookie?) that motivated a particular scene. ~ Jonathan

  • February 3, 2013 at 4:36pm

    Hi Jon,
    Thought I sent this question before but maybe not.
    I received your three-part series about how to work with Twitter. I can open them but can’t seem to “hold” them. I can read the first page, then try to click down and the screen turns faint. A message appears saying “Adobe not responding.” I just got Adobe updated but it’s still the free one. Do I need to buy something?
    Thanks,
    James W. Nelson

  • February 3, 2013 at 4:40pm

    Hi Jon,
    Sorry, I looked thru the questions and found your answer. I guess I thought I’d get an email from you to let me know. Anyway, I’ll check your suggestions.
    Thanks!
    James W. Nelson

  • February 3, 2013 at 5:55pm

    Hi Jon,
    One more message: Fixit by Cnet is up and running fine!
    Thanks again,
    James W. Nelson

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 3, 2013 at 9:20pm

      Hi James
      I sent an email with the same info as well. Disappeared in your spam folder maybe? Glad you found the info here anyway. re Fixit PDF reader – That’s great news!
      Email me with any other questions re Twitter – glad to help.
      http://bestsellerlabs.com/contact/
      ~ Jonathan

  • February 7, 2013 at 7:12am

    Hey Jonathan,

    Great post, thanks. What would you recommend for someone in my position: Quick summary: I just launched my short story project/website Short Story Guy this Tuesday and it’s very exciting times. But also very difficult times obviously because I must balance that excitement with the shock that no one might even visit the site and read the content.

    So in my case, I don’t have any books or anything to shout out, but I definitely want people to know about the newest short story I have written on that particular day or week. I don’t try to spam it out there, but I do tweet it out with a link.

    I think the reason people (and I) have been doing this is because they just don’t know how else to market it or get the word out. Ironically, tweeting the announcement out does little to bring in people to read it, as some of my analytics have shown, so it is not a productive habit, like you have mentioned. However, I do feel the need to let people know of my new content, since it is so new and since no one knows about it.

    It is almost a catch-22. Get what I’m saying?

    Thanks for the advice,
    Jose L Cervantes

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 7, 2013 at 10:51am

      Jose

      Thanks for your kind remarks

      WEBSITE TRAFFIC: The question you ask reflects the single biggest issue facing all website owners: “How to get people to my site?” (It’s the same issue central to all businesses – “How to get customers?”) In fact there is an entire industry built around teaching how to solve this ‘Web site traffic’ issue, so to answer it in a single comment is not possible of course, but I’ll be blogging it through the coming year.

      But to get you started I can tell you this much: There are five ways to get traffic:

      1. Free traffic from social media
      2. Borrowing someone else’s traffic
      3. You build up an email list gradually, and therefore have a captive traffic source
      4. SEO – Google or Bing find ‘publishing’ words on your site, and it shows up in the search results
      5. Paid advertising

      The methods I recommend authors focus on are 1,2 & 3.

      The central idea is to get people to your site by making it interesting to your followers on Twitter and Facebook. Spamming out a link in not very effective as pointed out in this post. But instead an intriguing post with an equally intriguing Tweet (with a link in it) to attract people to it works beautifully. That is an example of #1. It’s also where the majority of traffic to my own site comes from – it took me four years to build up Twitter to 86,000, so traffic doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen.

      An example of # 2: Leave useful comments on a popular publishing or author blog, with a link to your own website address included (usually happens automatically), or write a guest post for someone else that has your own website address included, or get a book blogger to review your book and include a link to your site. People will be intrigued and come to your site.

      More ideas here:
      http://bestsellerlabs.com/how-to-find-readers-on-twitter
      http://bestsellerlabs.com/how-to-get-massive-free-publicity-for-your-book

      ~ Jonathan

      PS. I’ll be posting more about this through the year.

  • February 7, 2013 at 3:27pm

    I can’t stand shouty authors on Twitter. It’s like being force-fed a SPAM sandwich.

  • [...]  People are on social media to chat, interact and be entertained, in a similar way to talk-back radio listeners. They are certainly not there to be ‘pitched’ at. So authors who constantly ‘shout’ their books on Twitter and Facebook will quickly find themselves being ignored. [...continue reading...] [...]

  • Jacky says:
    February 8, 2013 at 1:48pm

    I’m no where near being a full ‘author’ but it’s something I’ll remember when I do become one!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 8, 2013 at 10:46pm

      Jacky… start now.
      “The best time to plant a tree is 10 years ago.” By this I mean that most authors, on the day they grandly launch a book, suddenly realise that there’s nobody listening – there is no audience gathered to buy it. You need to start building your audience WAY in advance, by blogging, chatting and all the ways discussed on this blog etc to collect people around you a good year in advance.
      ~ Jonathan

  • CC says:
    February 9, 2013 at 2:21pm

    Hi Jonathan,

    My tweets are mainly all people who are pitching their books or other people’s books? I don’t mind – And another thing, I never have the impression that anyone is reading posts, only writing them. I have asked questions (not often because I have not had the time yet to dedicate myself to this medium) and none ever get answered. So, I’m wondering if anyone ever really reads twitter messages unless they come from celebs.

    I just read your last comment again, and you’re absolutely correct. I still find it hard to find all that time to blog, chat, etc., when I’m trying to write my second one, and everything else that reality brings to everyone’s plate.

    I know you know what I’m talking about. How much time did/do you spend? and how did/do you delegate the time around doing the ‘marketing’ aspect of yourself and writing?

    Thanks in advance for all your advice,
    CC Dailly

  • Jonathan Gunson says:
    February 10, 2013 at 12:15am

    C.C.Dailly I understand.

    You ask whether anyone really reads Tweets, or answers questions; Actually they do. Thing is they simply don’t read uninteresting self-focused Tweets or questions. But make it extremely interesting and relevant to them, and about their interests, not yours, and they certainly will. This blog attracts a huge amount of traffic from Twitter for this very reason. (The detail of exactly how I do this I teach in my ‘Twitter For Authors’ course, and you can also see how by looking through all my Tweets.) Plus it also depends on who you’re following, and who is following you. Are they your type of person? I have spent the last four years tracking down and following authors almost exclusively, and a majority follow me back. This is the process to follow.

    Time spent? I spend about 60% of my available work time on my project, and about 40% on marketing – including social media – mostly Twitter & Facebook with a little G+. More than that and I’d turn into a social media train wreck!

    See: http://bestsellerlabs.com/social-media-train-wreck-that-authors-must-avoid/

    ~ Jonathan

  • Theresa says:
    February 14, 2013 at 4:36pm

    I agree with this 100%. My publisher always exhorts his authors to be themselves when connecting with people. He always says, “When they like you, they will want to buy your book.” So, one is really selling oneself, and the bonus is when one’s product gets purchased. People like interaction and when one shows interest in people, they in turn will show interest. It’s the way the world goes round. I only shout out my book once in awhile. I guess we must do that sometimes. But I try to be very careful about it, and I do it with folks whom I have interacted with about the weather and what not. Thanks for this. It reiterates what I already believe. Bless you!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      May 30, 2013 at 6:04am

      True enough. In fact it is personal referral – ‘word of mouth’ from reader to friend that actually sells most books.
      ~Jonathan

  • February 14, 2013 at 4:53pm

    Jonathan, thanks for writing this. I cringe every time I see it, because you’re right. I’d take one thing a step farther: Even in your positive example, that needs to be limited to a fellow-authors audience only. As soon as potential book buyers enter the audience, let others who have read the book speak instead.

    One way to connect with readers might be to ask for specific feedback, being careful not to sound like you’re soliciting love. You* can do this when you find several readers who have already commented on the book, either directly to you or not. Ask probing questions about reactions, or maybe feedback on directions for the next book.

    Always, always, however, after establishing yourself as helpful and interesting, as you (Jonathan) spelled out in the secret sauce. Bingo! (Us content strategists call this “content strategy.” Heh.)

    *”You,” of course, being the author looking to use social media the right way, not “Jonathan the author of this post.” ;)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 18, 2013 at 12:57am

      Christie, that is a handy piece of overall advice – good framing of what to do: “One way to connect with readers might be to ask for specific feedback…”
      ~Jonathan

  • Rob van der Hilst says:
    February 18, 2013 at 12:37am

    This tweettext definitely does the trick: DON’T buy my book :-)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 18, 2013 at 12:45am

      Rob. Do I spy a contrarian view? Fact is another author I know does something very similar – she Tweets: “… Be careful, my books are specialized and may not be your thing.” Gets a sales spike each time – but only if she’s spent a longer period being interesting first.
      ~Jonathan

  • February 21, 2013 at 12:52am

    I’m new to twitter and have found what you write to be so true. I scroll down through the feed, skipping the “buy my book” tweets. By tweeting links to my own blog posts and retweeting interesting posts I read, I’ve gotten some sales of my book. I just can’t imagine how tweeting “Buy my book” will get me anywhere for exactly the reason you mention; it’s simply annoying.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 21, 2013 at 5:23am

      Susan
      The more interesting your blog posts, the more interest you’ll build. Of course it’s OK to occasionally point out that your books are on special – as long as your audience has grown used to you bring interesting first. One great way to drive people to your books is to write a blog post that links a news event to something that matches in your story. ‘Author predicts event… ‘ The post will ostensibly be about the news event, but in fact takes people straight at your book at the conclusion. ‘Newsjacking’, as it’s sometimes called, also makes for highly attention grabbing Tweets.
      ~Jonathan

  • February 21, 2013 at 6:08pm

    [...] why her 6-figure Twitter following isn’t all that it seems to be; Jonathan Gunson highlights the biggest mistake authors make on social media; and Thomas Umstattd has 10 ways to bring readers to your [...]

  • February 26, 2013 at 6:06am

    Hi Johnathon,

    I’m not sure if you are still answering comments in this section, but nevertheless.
    You mention authors tweeting their novels. What about book tweeting services that plug the same novel at least fifty times a day? What are your thoughts on this?

    Kind Regards,
    Suzanne

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 26, 2013 at 9:38pm

      Suzanne

      Re ‘Book Tweeting’ services.

      Virtually all traders on the internet are looking for a way to shout their message to as many people as possible in one hit. Mass advertising in other words, which runs completely counter to the social way Twitter works, so mostly people tune out and unfollow such accounts for exactly the reasons outlined in this blog post.

      I’m asked this question every day – e.g. How can I mass message all my followers by direct message? (You can’t.)

      Thing is, Twitter works like a big cocktail party. If you’ve built up an audience by being interesting first, then you can probably get away with occasionally throwing a new book title out. But a ‘service’ that spams out book titles non-stop? Remember that the only people who see those Tweets will be people who have chosen to follow that account. Why would anyone follow such an account just to be spammed? Probably the account mostly relies on people who follow back without thinking.

      I don’t know which book Tweeting service you’re referring to, but some questions to ask:
      - How many accounts does the service run on Twitter? One or 50? Do any of them do anything other than spam?
      - How many of their followers are readers or just anyones?
      - How many of their followers are authors who follow just to see what their own Tweeted ads look like?
      - How many of the service are fake accounts? (I know someone who just bought 5000 fake ‘followers’ to fool his clients into thinking he is successful and influential on Twitter. Scammy.)
      The book Tweeting service may be a perfectly legit account, and in fact you can test it for fakes here: http://fakers.statuspeople.com/

      But personally speaking, I wouldn’t use it for the reasons outlined in this post.

      ~Jonathan

  • February 26, 2013 at 10:58pm

    Hi Johnathan,

    Thank you. Your reply makes complete sense. How can a book tweeting service ‘tweet’ to all my followers, or all the people on Twitter unless they are following them.

    Off to check out the link.

    Thanks once again,

    Suzanne :)

  • [...] The One Thing An Author Should Never Do On Social Media via Bestseller Labs – If there is one article you read from this Links Roundup, let it be this one. If you’re a regular Twitter user who follows fellow authors, you’ll recognize the mistake right away. And if you’re one of those authors who make this mistake…well, we’ll let you read it and find out! [...]

  • May 29, 2013 at 2:04pm

    Jonathon,
    Thanks for the reminder. I think I’ve gotten a bit off track trying to get the word out about my husband’s new series. Will read some of the articles you’ve suggested in the replies to the comments above. Social Media is definitely a learning experience. It’s a fine line between letting others know about a new series to read and being annoying.

    Have a great day,
    Tracey

  • Don Eudy says:
    July 10, 2013 at 8:10pm

    Amazing. I don’t ever post, usually just read, but your work is so astonishing that I felt like telling you what a great job I think you are doing. Not a flatterer either. Just an interested reader. How do you do it? I think I will follow you here and on Twitter, my first follow other than news outlets. I hated Twitter and thought it was for those with ADD but I see your logic. I still think facebook gives you more room to express yourself. I cannot limit myself to 40 words. I spend more time revising my comment trying to get it all in than it’s worth. I’m sure I don’t fully appreciate the medium yet. At any rate, thanks for being such a great encourager. Oh, I have a book I think everyone would be interested in….Oops! Keep up the great work.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      July 11, 2013 at 9:49pm

      Great comment Don. Keep coming back Sir.
      ~Jonathan

  • August 1, 2013 at 1:01am

    I appreciate your advice and will work at doing what I do with the formula of my school work for students K-12, Engage. I hope that my tweets, just got started, have not hurt folks eyes our ears.

    This is my 1st book and yes I’m excited to share all of the great information we developed over the years to help principals, teachers as well as parents.

    I will check out the links you shared and work at doing a better job on the social networks.

    Thank you,
    Akil

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      August 1, 2013 at 4:38am

      Thanks for your comment Akil.

      I always (ALWAYS) make time for teachers of children. Social media is best used to form relationships, and also to bring people across to your own site where you can collect them up with an email list. (Using e.g. http://Mailchimp.com) That way you get to keep them as a growing, captive audience for each of your next works.

      ~Jonathan

  • August 1, 2013 at 3:52pm

    This was incredible… and just what I was talking to my husband about yesterday!

    I believe that I need to build the relationship through commenting with my FB and blog followers. I ALWAYS comment back… I address them by their NAME and I show I CARE that they took the time to comment to me.

    My followers are across the world and they know how much I love dragonflies, hence the name of my blog/FB page. I’ve had people post them for me saying they took the photo just FOR ME… all the way on the other side of the world. They KNOW it MEANS something to me PERSONALLY.

    Thanks for confirming my thoughts… so appreciate the article.
    Best,
    Jean

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      August 1, 2013 at 8:40pm

      Jean
      Fantastic. Yes, it’s all about making a meaningful connection.
      ~Jonathan

  • August 8, 2013 at 6:01am

    This is really addressing my present situation, because I have n’t been socializing that much these days…mostly just posting links to my blog page.
    Thank you sir for the wakeup call.

  • Mason Weatherby says:
    September 4, 2013 at 8:12pm

    The one thing bugs me is that people never respond to my direction messages. I try to be friendly but they never respond back to my Tweets. Shouldn’t rudeness be a mistake that Twitter authors make? It’s kind of rude to not respond back. I understand people are busy but I find it hard to believe they’re too busy to respond back to my Direction Message. Especially if they’re on Twitter a lot. It makes me think that they think they’re too good of a writer or author to talk to me and that I’m not worthy yet or something. I do have some followers who are very friendly and respond well to me so I suppose I shouldn’t be complaining. But I do wonder why some fellow writers on Twitter seem so stuck up.

    I just wish people on Twitter were more interactive that’s all.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      September 4, 2013 at 10:10pm

      Mason
      Most people on Twitter get a ton of direct messages and Tweets. It’s not being’rude’ to ignore them, because it’s very like being on a footpath with a crowd of strangers walking to and fro. No one is obliged to reply to a stranger who suddenly says ‘hello’ on the footpath, and so not many respond. It can be frustrating, but perhaps try offering to help someone (not talk about yourself or your work) and that may make a difference.
      ~Jonathan

  • Mason Weatherby says:
    September 4, 2013 at 10:22pm

    Yes, but I doubt they’re receiving that many direct messages. I could see if they were receiving hundreds then yes, but usually authors on Twitter who received that many disable their Direct Messaging. And they’re usually semi-famous or famous. But for the average joe who only has a thousand or so followers or less than that it’s kind of unlikely they are receiving a significant number of DM’s. How do people expect to be an author if they don’t interact? You have to interact with your readers. You can’t interact with all of them, but you should interact with as many as possible. Maybe that kind of interaction is ahead of it’s time, but I know of several authors who do that. I’ve sent messages to numerous authors on Twitter and though they were very popular, they found the time to respond to me in a very friendly manner. I always talk about them by the way. I ask about their work. Not mine. It’s usually always about them. I don’t know.

    Maybe I should stick to regular social media websites? Twitter doesn’t seem very interactive sometimes.

    On the other websites I’m on, people are very interactive and always respond to your messages.

    I’m sure you would. If I sent you a Direct Message, despite you having 100,000 followers you’d probably respond, wouldn;’t you?

    Sorry about this. I don’t mean to complain. Just I’ve held this in for awhile, and you seem very knowledgeable about how Twitter works so I thought maybe you cuold provide an explanation for certain user behavior.

  • Mason Weatherby says:
    September 4, 2013 at 10:25pm

    Oh and none of them are strangers. Nor am I a stranger to them. They’ve followed me for awhile and vice versa. So it isn’t like I’m some random person.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      September 5, 2013 at 12:15pm

      I’ve given you my views Mason. Take care.
      ~ Jonathan

  • September 8, 2013 at 8:24am

    Thank you for this great advice, Jonathan. I am a new author. I will try not to ‘shout’ my book.

  • Jonathan Gunson says:
    September 8, 2013 at 9:55am

    Emmelie
    Let me say again…. just choose a couple of Twitter people a day to interact with – comment on what they say or better still ask a question about their fiction books. i.e. Form a meaningful connection. Pretty soon you’ll start to gain the right type of non-intrusive, constructive attention. If your Tweets are all like that plus have interesting information in other Tweets, then you CAN push your books on Twitter from time to time. It’s a matter of balance, not a blind never ever.
    ~Jonathan

  • August 14, 2014 at 6:17pm

    I have to admit, my first blog posts were rather directly about my novel, altho not in a shouting “BUY IT” kind of way. I then shifted to “get to know me” and after an unintended hiatus, I will focus on what I write about, identity issues and multiple personalities. I have also started sharing others’ blogs on my facebook author page, and on my blog when apropriate, and on Twitter. Next up: learn to do a decent review!!!

  • August 15, 2014 at 5:46pm

    I’d like this opportunity to mention my brilliant space opera novel called….

  • August 15, 2014 at 6:03pm

    In all seriousness now, however, what I really want to shout (and don’t) is REVIEW IT!!!

    I’ve had a good number of sales, and reviews posted are generally positive (was really happy when I got my first negative review, however, because who believes only good reviews right?), but goodness how I wish more people who write to me and say they liked it would put reviews up on Amazon…

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      August 18, 2014 at 5:47am

      You’re not alone TLE.
      ~ Jonathan