3 Ways To Find Readers For Your Books On Twitter

Twitter Book Readers

The question I’m most frequently asked by authors on Twitter is “How on earth can I find readers?”

Every author I’ve met with a Twitter account is keenly interested in the answer to this question, because they know that directly engaging with readers can lead to significantly increased readership of their books.

twitter logoBut while it’s easy to locate fellow authors on Twitter,  how to find readers baffles almost everyone.


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Jonathan Gunson

Thank you

Jonathan Gunson

Author / CEO Bestseller Labs

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  • January 16, 2013 at 12:50am

    Jonathan, thank you for another excellent post, and the Twitter book update.

    I’ve only just discovered your excellent work and it has given me a long-needed boost in my writing career. For too long I’ve been going to “old way,” wondering and getting frustrated why it was not working. Now, thanks to you, I know and I am now surfing this new wave of enthusiasm and knowledge.

    What I’ve learnt from you I’ve already applied and saw immediate results, in the number of visits to my site and the Amazon rating of my first book The Trout Diaries, both in the US and UK. I’ve got another book in production now, still the old way, and I’m also even more excited about self-publishing my biotech thrillers on which I have nearly given up as I could see no reasonable way to get them to the market and give them exposure that’d make it worthwhile. So thank you again. You have made another writer happy and enthused again about his work.

    I look forward to your book on Facebook and the insights to be learnt from there


    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 2:25am

      Derek, re your Biotech thrillers – let me know when they are due to be published. Thanks also for your feedback re Twitter for Authors (TFA). The post here is helpful, but as you will now know there are so many ways to find readers. In fact the updated version of TFA has had 100% positive feedback. Basically the responses are similar to yours – authors now have clear pathway to growing readership. ~ Jonathan

      • Ruth Gilbo says:
        January 16, 2013 at 7:38pm

        Can this be done with Facebook? I mean, is Twitter the better avenue for this, and why? Thanks.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          January 16, 2013 at 9:20pm

          I’ll be writing about Facebook soon. Couple ways to find readers on FB is via groups and by searching the same way as with Twitter to locate pages set up by fans – same thinking do you see? You can’t ‘follow’ on Facebook in quite the same way, but you can ‘like’, then leave comments on posts with a link to your blog. Be sure the comments you leave add to the conversation. ~ Jonathan

    • January 17, 2013 at 12:38am

      Thank you, Jonathan, for posting this! What a wonderful resource you have provided!

  • E.S. Ivy says:
    January 16, 2013 at 1:36am

    Searching author names and book titles in your genre – brilliant and so obvious, why didn’t I think of that? :) Thank you!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 2:30am

      Ivy. There are legions of ways to locate fiction readers. I’ll post a few more from ‘Twitter For Authors’ from time to time. ~ Jonathan

  • January 16, 2013 at 8:14am

    just smacked my forehead. Thank you!!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 10:39am

      C.A. It’s exciting when it is so easy yes? Twitter is the bomb. ~ Jonathan

  • suzanna says:
    January 16, 2013 at 8:16am

    I think this sounds like a plan that might work for many genres but I’m unsure about YA. My book is aimed at teens, how many of them will be on twitter?????

    • Kate Papas says:
      January 16, 2013 at 8:31am

      In my opinion, the question shouldn’t be about how many of the teenagers are on twitter but about how many amongst them still read books, ha,ha,ha!

      • Jonathan Gunson says:
        January 16, 2013 at 10:43am

        Kate. Young people are not only as good as they ever were, but they are reading at least as much or more than we did at the same age. I have huge confidence in the future of books as a result. I suspect in fact that we’ll see a mass of very high quality YA material from these same people start appear over the next few years as they move from being just readers to writers as well. ~ Jonathan

    • January 16, 2013 at 8:32am

      @Suzanna, you never can say how many of Young Adult readers can be on Twitter. If I’m to answer you, I will say there are lot of YA book readers on Twitter than you might even think of. Twitter is a broad platform and gathering of various people. You surely will have your own YA audience in their thousands if not millions on Twitter. You just gotta give it a go and see how it goes.

      Mayor A Lan

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 9:55am

      Suzanna. There’s a very large number of Teens – YA readers – on Twitter but you don’t see them of course because they don’t gather in your ‘Twitter tribe’ as it were.

      It’s also true there are lesser numbers of them on Twitter than other groups, but given the vast population on Twitter there are enough to be definitely worth the effort. I’ll also add that a quite considerable number of people in their 20s and 30s (and older like me) read YA books too. Try the YA search technique – you’ll find them soon enough.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 16, 2013 at 8:28am

    Hi Jonathan,

    I must say a big kudos to you for this post. The problem most indie authors especially newbies and starters face in Self Publishing is how to market their book, get readers to buy and read their books and how to build their book audience on Social Media networks. Your post does thrash the issue of using Twitter to get not just book readers but also loyal followers. I recommend this post for Self Publishing Authors and I can’t help Tweeting about it.

    Although Twitter is my favorite and I might look into Facebook sometimes, I look forward to reading same post topic on how to use Facebook to get book readers and to build a fans base for Self Publishing authors.

    Mayor A. Lan

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 11:14am

      Mayor. A post as you suggest re Facebook is in the works – but some weeks away yet.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Kate Papas says:
    January 16, 2013 at 8:37am

    Great information -and ideas. As soon as my right- hand’s tendonitis is healed I’ll re-start twitting but the right way, this time… Thanks, Jonathan!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 10:45am

      Kate. I had the same tendonitis issue with writing. I had to start using my left hand to operate the mouse. Amazingly I’ve grown used to it. Now my right hand is healing nicely. On we go. ~ Jonathan

  • January 16, 2013 at 8:45am

    Hello Jonathan,

    Love your work. Are you ever coming to Australia to give any workshops to help writers?
    Regards Geof

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 10:38am

      Geof. I may well be in Australia to do just as you suggest. Love the lucky country to pieces. Any excuse to travel to your world I’ll take. ~ Jonathan

  • January 16, 2013 at 8:53am


    These are great ideas for discovering the readers of a genre. It should work well for nonfiction also. I’m going to try it.


    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 10:31am

      Flora. Let me know how it goes. I like your style – a little enthusiasm goes a long way. :) ~ Jonathan

  • January 16, 2013 at 9:29am

    Thanks for a great post. Such simple yet effective ideas. I have made many contacts on Twitter in publishing but I don’t think this has translated into sales. I write for middle grade so I must pursue the mommies, the buyers of books for their children. I find Twitter more useful to me than Facebook where often good posts get lost in the flurry of cute pics, rants against something, and incessant requests to play Farmville etc.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 10:29am

      Fiona. Farmville? Not on my watch either! Middle Grade (Mommies) audience is gigantic. You’re in a perfect market place. Thanks for feedback. ~ Jonathan

  • markhead says:
    January 16, 2013 at 9:30am

    A very nice, simple idea. I have spent the last couple of months fine tuning my blogsite as a springboard for my writings having had no success whatever with Amazon system for my children’s books and you approach sounds like a lot of fun. Readership is everything . Cheers. Mark

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 10:27am

      Mark. Readership most certainly is everything, and the more books you write the more readers you will have. Of course a series is the hottest way to achieve this. (That’s a link to the relevant article on ‘Series’.) The central idea is to ignite viral word of mouth promotion for your book using the various socal media techniques. Word of mouth is the way all books are sold in the end. This will happen if your book is beautifully written. ~ Jonathan

  • January 16, 2013 at 9:43am

    Jonathan, I just took your advice in respect of my newest release (late December) and by typing in historical fantasy, epic fantasy and oriental fantasy, all I revealed was dozens of authors (including mainstream authors) selling their own books.

    This is why I get so sick of Twitter – because it is just wholesale selling whereas with a Facebook presence at the very least, or a Facebook Page preferably, one gets to actually and actively engage with readers in more than 140 characters. I have over 400 followers on Twitter and only a handful are loyal to my brand, re-tweeting or even advertising me. The rest I don’t know from Adam and they NEVER engage to the point where, to my detriment perhaps, I have lost interest in the medium itself.

    I commented to a friend the other day that Twitter-following seems to be a numbers game only.

    What do you think of Pinterest as a way of engaging with readers?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 10:22am

      Prue. Where do I begin!

      Just typing in genre category words ‘Historical fantasy, epic fantasy and oriental fantasy’ will not give a useful result. Instead you need to search within an author’s works. Read through the post again – the method is quite clear.

      Twitter used the right way is a treasure trove of information and a wonderful communications center. I’ve looked at your Twitter account, and can see why you may not attract much response. Essentially you aren’t really engaging but instead frequently shouting about your book. Twitter is called social media for a reason. It is not a one way broadcast radio station. (Would you listen to a station that only ran advertising?)

      However I will come to your rescue, because I see that you have a blog!

      The way to attract attention and engagement is to Tweet intriguing and closely related genre content on your blog, that’s not directly about your book – but focused on fascinating information or stories from about the world around the book. Then mention your book at the end. That is an extremely effective promotion method. LOTS of people would click your Twitter links to that. It will also give people a reason to interact. The overall marketing principle is to capture interest first, and only then introduce your book. Engage first, sell second.

      Re: Facebook is a wonderful author’s media, but Pinterest, while massively popular and exploding, still doesn’t have quite the same social communication power yet, although that is improving as people discover how to use it cleverly in a similar way to a blog. It is especially good for example for authors with highly pictorial potential such as Historical Romance, where a book’s content can be expanded into the related visual history of the period (see http://bestsellerlabs.com/the-billboard-that-can-make-or-break-your-books-success/) but needs to be used in conjunction with other social media.

      ~ Jonathan

      • January 16, 2013 at 10:45am

        Please understand I am not decrying your advice at all. It makes perfect sense in fact. What I meant in my comment was that I tried to find readers who like the kind of literature I read, as well as write. My results were less than celebratory in this instance.

        And no disrespect, but I just checked my Twitter account as well (I rarely go there as I said) and there was re-tweeting of other authors, books I like, blogs etc, as well as genuine requests for reviewers for my latest book. But in all honesty, my blog is my favourite method of engagement and Facebook Page second. I have little faith in my ability to tweet anything meaningful unfortunately because I tend toward verbal diarrhoea!
        Cheers and thanks for good advice.

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          January 16, 2013 at 10:48am

          You still need to attract people to your blog Prue. Twitter is great for that. Keep in touch – more info to come. ~ Jonathan

  • January 16, 2013 at 10:12am

    I think I may end up with a big bruise on my forehead! I’ve been moaning, groaning, and grunting for a year trying to find actual readers on Twitter. My followers number more than 2,000 but the vast majority are writers and bloggers. Thanks so much for this “light bulb moment”! Now, I’m off to mine Twitter!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 10:52am

      Congratulations Jim. Run the process with care and you’ll soon see the readers there. Many of course won’t be interested, with specific authors they like. But once you become familiar via interaction many will grow curious and convert to your cause. ~ Jonathan

  • Fran says:
    January 16, 2013 at 10:34am

    Thanks Jonathan. Great post. Only recently started on Twitter and don’t have a Facebook author page as yet. Inclined to think Twitter might be better somehow but time will tell. I’ll use the advice and look into the Twitter For Authors Mini Course! My novel is not published until this year, would you suggest trying to engage readers now or when the book is published?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 11:11am

      It’s best to use both Twitter and Facebook, but my advice is to hasten slowly. It’s crucial to learn how to use each channel effectively rather than dashing about trying to be everywhere – ending up as a social media Jack of all trades and master of none. (Or perhaps more accurately a ‘Jill’.)

      I have posted about this issue in a most interesting way I think you’ll find. Here’s the link for you: ‘How to avoid becoming a Social Media Train Wreck.’ It guides you onto the right social media path. ~ Jonathan

      PS. If you have any questions re Twitter For Authors, please feel free to ask.

  • Tom Gold says:
    January 16, 2013 at 12:11pm

    The penny drops: searching the genre just throws up alot of authors who are not using twitter to find their next good read. Thankyou!

    Following writers on twitter sometimes reminds me of why I dont use writers forums anymore; people whining about rejection letters, hawking formulaic ‘dark fantasies’ and breathlessly announcing that they have found an agent.

    Am going to be a bit more strategic about using twitter from now.

    Thanks again for your wise words!


    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 12:28pm

      Tom. Isn’t it extraordinary what a little lateral thinking will do? By using the same left-of-center thinking I’ve also figured out how an author can get far more reviews for their books on Amazon. Another ‘smack your forehead’ moment that I’ll be blogging about in the coming months.

      I also notice that you’re in the same camp as Seth Godin re Twitter. “Stick to your interests, always be polite, grow your tribe, communicate with supporters and ignore the whiners.”

      This is the perfect time to be an author.

      ~ Jonathan

  • January 16, 2013 at 1:55pm

    Excellent advice and definitely welcome, but one thing I’m wondering is….aren’t writers/authors also readers? I myself am an avid reader and writer, so I do follow many authors for this reason. Maybe that isn’t enough though? I will try your advice and see what happens! Thanks for sharing :)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 9:00pm

      Yes absolutely do follow authors. In my Twitter for Authors course I recommend this for the very reason you state – that authors are some of the most voracious readers of all. There’s a special section on how to locate and follow them. The purpose of this post is to ALSO solve the issue of finding the mass of readers who are generally hidden – it is a question I’m constantly asked.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Diane says:
    January 16, 2013 at 2:40pm

    Thanks Jonathan, your twitter suggestions made me think, “Well, THAT, makes sense!” As streamlined as twitter is, the process of short, concise “tweets” can be a challenge and so can selecting who to and not to follow. Facebook seems to make more sense to me, so I tend to use it more. One of my challenges on both, is figuring what time of day is most effective and not using so much of my writing time tweeting and facebooking. Thanks for the great suggestions for searching, I’ll give it a whirl!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 9:11pm

      Diane there’s a service that will tell you when the majority of your users are online: Social Bro. (The free version is sufficient for this purpose.)

      Regarding how much time to put in on promotion versus writing: LOVE that you say your focus should be on writing. As a rule of thumb, I split my time 30% (as an absolute maximum) on promotional work – including social media, and 70% on creative work. If there’s chance that being on Twitter gets in the way of writing turn Twitter off. That goes for Facebook too.

  • January 16, 2013 at 3:38pm

    Great post, Jonathan! The film producer has handed me the task of building the fan base before the movie’s 2014 release, but it’s been a real struggle. I’ve tried blog tours, giveaways, blog and newspaper interviews and nothing has worked. Not even 1% of my 5500+ followers have any interest or time to read the books and the vast majority tell me, “I can’t wait for the movie to come out!”

    Even the online communities that are supposed to bring readers and writers together have done nothing to generate more readers or garner any more reviews.I’ll have to try some of your tips. It seems that once I’m able to convince people to read the sample chapters, it piques and holds their interest to go and buy the books. When they do read, each month about 95-97% return to buy some or all of the first book. Some even cross genres from my movie optioned series to my YA fantasy series and vice versa, but as I said, the challenge is to garner that interest in the first place by finding the potential readers.
    Thanks for another great post, Jonathan!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 18, 2013 at 1:05am


      Twitter is an extremely powerful promotional media – especially for building a fan base – if used the right way. But on examination, the way you are using Twitter, as it relates to the upcoming movies and your books, is not quite ‘on the right rails’ yet. What’s actually required is a properly designed marketing plan that integrates the marketing communications for both movie and books, not each working in isolation. Fortunately there is still plenty of time to make this work. I could post about this at length here, but will send you an email. Exciting days ahead! ~ Jonathan

  • January 16, 2013 at 5:47pm

    Jonathan, you biscuit! Thanks for your advice. Timeous indeed as my book went out in December, and I haven’t had much success so far, falling about trying to figure how the whole system operates. Trouble is, I get slightly claustrophobic trying to connect in a meaningful way whilst observing the protocols of Twitter, and end up tweeting dorky comments mostly. But I shall follow your instructions, and watch for results. Thank you for this. Deeply appreciated.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 9:45pm

      Etienne, engaging with readers is an uber-high value way to build your fan base – your tribe. Twitter comments are optimal as real human interactions, with broadcasts of interesting links as chat bait. Pitching a book directly on Twitter is not productive, so instead send people to your interesting blog that talks about related subjects, where they can also discover your books. i.e. engage first, sell second.

      It is the first 1000 or so copies for which you’ll need to hand crank the sales. Then at a certain point, when enough readers are reading and also recommending your books, it can begin to sell itself by word of mouth – the holy grail of book promotion. This doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen if your book is well written. Plus if your book is on the Kindle, it remains endlessly possible to send potential readers to it. Here’s where I think books will go with the Kindle. (Article.) ~ Jonathan

  • January 16, 2013 at 8:08pm

    Great advice — thanks so much. I’m going to share the link with my author networks.

    Sandra Beckwith

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 9:04pm

      Thank you Sandra. More tips to follow. (I enjoy your material too – excellent.)

  • January 16, 2013 at 9:40pm

    Thanks Jonathan. You are a blessing to those of us who are new to social media. Now what is YA genre?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 10:06pm

      Thomas. YA = Young Adult, such as the Twilight Series, or Harry Potter – an extremely hot genre where many authors make a tremendous amount of money, second only to Romantic Fiction. (Click the two links I’ve provided in this comment and relevant pages will open.)

  • January 16, 2013 at 10:42pm

    Another great article, Jonathan. Simple, and yet I never tried these methods. Like so many, I simply joined Twitter and post there, ignorant of ways to use it to my advantage. I will definitely put your suggestions to good use.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 11:37pm

      Understand what you say. In fact, interaction can seem totally counterintuitive to authors on Twitter; “I don’t want to talk, I want them to buy, so I put my titles on Twitter like a billboard!” But that of course is simply spam that can even cause an author to be unfollowed. By contrast, interaction and bringing people to blog posts that are semi-related gradually builds buyers and deepening interest.

      You have the perfect ‘noir’ subject to blog about to get this sort of attention in your market niche. e.g. Blog post with matching Tweet. “The 6 coolest deadbeat detectives in all of fiction history…” (Mention your own books only at the end.) You have endless material to play with to get attention for your books.
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 16, 2013 at 11:05pm

    Thanks for the tips Jonathan! Helpful!

  • Jonathan Gunson says:
    January 16, 2013 at 11:40pm

    Rio. Welcome back – more to come. Examined your interesting site. Look for posts about blogging this year. It’ll leverage what you’re already doing.
    ~ Jonathan

  • January 16, 2013 at 11:42pm

    I’m with a lot of readers today: Forehead-slapping tips. Great advice; definitely going to share with all the writers I know!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 16, 2013 at 11:48pm

      Your DIY writing site (‘NEXT BIG THING’) for writers is inspiring! Easy going, accessible atmosphere. I’ll link to it here http://danasitar.com/
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 17, 2013 at 12:40am

    What you may want to mention also is look up the twitter handle for the author who most resembles your style; see whose following him and follow all of those people. No need to search for his/her name in mentions.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 17, 2013 at 1:20am

      Following all of an author’s Twitter followers might seem like a good way to find ‘readers’, but in practice it doesn’t work. This is because even though an author will have some reader-fans following them, the majority will be other authors, internet marketers, spammers, and random people looking for follow backs.

      In fact it’s not even possible to tell who the genuine fans are in the followers, because they don’t identify themselves as fans. e.g. Margaret Atwood’s Twitter followers. It would be very unproductive to follow all her followers, as you will see. (This is not a criticism of her, but rather of the people who have cluttered up her account with junk follows.)

      It is far more productive to use the search method I’ve described in this article.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Linda Viviane Lester says:
    January 17, 2013 at 1:34am

    Jonathan, Still alive in Reno, but buried in work. I JUST finished Reformatting my book to correct publisher errors and was ready to get back to social networking 101 today when your latest email arrived. Perfect timing! I’m now a TWEETER! I’m following you, and thanks to your post I remembered to start my account by FOLLOWING my favorite books and authors. Also forwarded article to another beginner on Twitter. TY

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 17, 2013 at 1:46am

      Linda. Thanks for forwarding this article. It will save authors from doing wasteful things. Re TWEETING…. remember to interact and Tweet interesting stuff, not your book. e.g. Link to your fascinating blog post you’ve written about subjects of interest to your type of reader, that mentions your book only at the end, by which time you’ve captured their interest. Engage first, sell second. ~ Jonathan

  • January 17, 2013 at 2:24am

    Great post, Jonathan. Still cruising through your books – so helpful! Don’t think I could have made much sense of twitter without them.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 17, 2013 at 4:28am

      Kaye. Blenheim seems to be looking after you. Keep me posted how the fantasy novel progresses. ~Jonathan

  • […] Read more from the original source: 3 Great Ways To Find Readers For Your Books On … – Bestseller Labs […]

  • Theresa says:
    January 17, 2013 at 7:14pm

    Thanks for this info! I agree that connection is important. I just find it difficult to interact on Twitter. I have a lot of success with Facebook and some success with Goggle. I have zero success with Twitter, but I continue to follow and I do get back followers. Who knows, maybe it will turn around? God bless you! :)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 17, 2013 at 8:39pm

      It’s all about interaction Theresa. I can see that you already do that successfully on your Facebook page. One way to repeat this on Twitter is to pick a couple of random people each day, and comment on what they say. (Ignore authors shouting out their books, that’s not interactive.) This is the way to start valuable relationships and bring people to your books. ~ Jonathan

  • January 17, 2013 at 9:29pm

    Thanks for posting. I’m learning… and ready to read your Twitter guide after I’ve finished your Guide for Authors. Pure gold.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 17, 2013 at 11:43pm

      Martin, re dubbing my book ‘Pure Gold': Thank you. Yes, do take time over reading it. The guide is written to be as lucid as possible to clear confusion about book promotion. When you get into Twitter for Authors, note that Chapter 3 in module #1 reveals the main system for succeeding with Twitter ~Jonathan

  • January 17, 2013 at 9:39pm

    Jonathan, what’s the best way to handle different reader groups? For example, I write specialised nonfiction (The Trout Diaries and upcoming Trout Bohemia, essentially travel books) for which the market is well-defined and relatively easy to target, and I write thrillers which are a different kettle of fish altogether. The readers overlap is not evident. What do you suggest? Different accounts or one author with multiple interest? Or something else entirely?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 18, 2013 at 12:03am

      Individual (unrelated) products need distinct marketing channels. Clearly it is not possible to mix them up as the customers will not be the same. So it isn’t really possible to create an overarching personal brand on Twitter for both. Many have tried, none have succeeded!

      “Don’t become a wandering generality. Be a meaningful specific.” as Zig Ziglar used to say.

      To be clearer, it isn’t about you, it’s about the subject or book that prospective readers are interested in. So each requires it’s own channel – e.g. Travellers blog, Twitter ‘travellers’ account, Facebook ‘travellers’ page. Tedious yes, but there’s no way around it. You’ll also have to choose how to use your existing Twitter account – which market niche to cover, for now and for the long term.

      One last thing: Avoid pushing your books in Tweets. (But in profile is ok). Instead Tweet links to your interesting blog posts about your genre with your own books mentioned at only at the end, by which time interest has been captured.

      ~ Jonathan

  • January 17, 2013 at 11:18pm

    I have been active, (and interactive) on both facebook and twitter but as you so rightly point out it’s easy to find writers than it is to find readers …although I am an Amazon and Goodreads Author too. Your suggestions on Twitter searches are invaluable thank you Jonathan …you are making many Indie writers lives easier!!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 18, 2013 at 12:11am

      Penny. Facebook & Twitter with your own blog, plus Goodreads and Amazon listings is the ideal mix. Any more channels than that may cause your social media train to crash off the rails. See my impassioned plea re focusing your social media strategy in this post: http://bestsellerlabs.com/social-media-train-wreck-that-authors-must-avoid/
      ~ Jonathan

  • January 17, 2013 at 11:45pm

    Great advice! Thanks.

  • January 18, 2013 at 1:45pm

    Thanks for great advice, Jonathan. I’m wondering why I didn’t think of it myself. I’ll be looking for readers of fallen angels and coming of age stories. I’m sure I’ll find many. I’ve made some great friends on twitter, and on Facebook and some have become fans. Hopefully with your great ideas, I’ll meet more, as well as find more books in that genre to read.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 18, 2013 at 8:22pm

      Look for the bestseller books in your genre – re fallen angels / coming of age. That will produce the greatest number of search results on Twitter.

  • January 18, 2013 at 5:42pm

    Great information as always Jonathan! You have helped to answer the ubiquitous questions. Where are they???
    Thanks buddy!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 18, 2013 at 8:27pm

      The story tease on your site for ‘Flying Solo’ caught my eye… a great promo.
      “…she takes flying lessons behind her powerful husband’s back. He’s livid when he finds out. An ogre, he threatens her with divorce. Which she is glad to get until she loses custody of her children. Newly in love and desperate to get them back, she steals a plane….” SHE STEALS A PLANE?? Great! ~ Jonathan

  • January 20, 2013 at 8:01pm

    As someone who is truly a virgin to all of this, your tips are most welcome. Isn’t it funny how we often make things much more difficult than they need to be?

  • January 22, 2013 at 8:51pm

    So, great. What if you don’t have a genre?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 22, 2013 at 8:56pm

      Janet. Find bestselling writers of your ‘type’ of book being talked about on Twitter. There must be well-known writers of your type of fiction – or similar to yours. This applies to non-genre, one-off literature the same as does to genre fiction, just requires more thought / analysis. Then apply the book title and content methods. ~ Jonathan

  • Jeanne says:
    January 22, 2013 at 9:15pm

    Great article, Jonathan. Thank you so much for sharing. I will be sharing your site and info with my fellow writers. I hope to use your strategies very soon as my middle grade fantasy is just about to release. Best to you!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 23, 2013 at 12:18am

      Jeanne. For middle grade fantasy the market is very large and permanent, with a lot of communication around it. So I wouldn’t wait unil your book is released to start promotion. Start collecting supporters and potential readers ASAP. A blog is the best place to center this activity. Let me know when the book is released.~ Jonathan

  • January 22, 2013 at 11:52pm

    Dear Mr. Gunson,

    I stumbled on your blog through a friend’s post on Google Plus. I don’t believe in accidental meetings, but divine moments. This is one of them. As I struggle through the jungle of Social Media and how to work smarter, not harder, and am drowning in marketing. . . Let’s just say I can’t thank you enough for bringing me back to the surface so I can breathe again.

    I’m going to take time away from the fray of social media to study your blogs and restructure what I’m doing to be efficient and effective. I’ve got a good start, but I need to tweak my plan and strategy. I have a lot of work ahead of me; the difference now is that I have some good information to go forward with. I’ve already begun passing along your information to those I know who will appreciate it as much or more than I do. Thank you again.

    Kindest regards,
    Cat McMahon

  • January 23, 2013 at 1:39am

    Dear Jonathon,

    Thank you for your words of wisdom. I figured out I bit off more than I could chew last week and had decided I had to choose to master one social media at a time before I moved on to the next. Your assurance affirms my decision and the direction I am taking.


  • January 23, 2013 at 9:40am

    Dear Jonathon,
    I’ve read loads of advice about using Twitter to improve my readership, but your ideas are really helpful, and I’m going to start right away. I’m a self-published author of two crime novels and I’m getting some really good feedback – just not enough!! So thank you!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 24, 2013 at 2:20am

      Tanya. Crime have so many great ways to be promoted – from the jovial (link up with Cluedo) to the serious. ~ Jonathan

  • January 23, 2013 at 10:30pm


    These are some great tips. I’m a YA author with a decent following (could be better), and I’m about to see my first adult mystery published. I created a new Twitter handle, but I’ve been at a loss as to how to generate followers for that new identity. You’ve given some excellent, very doable ideas. Thanks!

  • January 24, 2013 at 1:59am

    Thanks, Jonathan! I am still working on my debut novel, but I write a blog where I review debut authors. I am trying to build a platform of readers as well as writers. I appreciate the help. It does seem like one of the moments you slap your forehead saying to yourself: Wow! I should have realized that myself! :)

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      January 24, 2013 at 2:24am

      Rebecca. A review blog has great crowd building capacity for your own books as well. Best to also give something valuable in exchange for email addresses to grow the beginnings of an audience so you can notify them when you launch. ~ Jonathan

  • January 28, 2013 at 1:13am

    I am a new author and am just getting into the world twitter. This post was extremely helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  • […] I read a fantastic blog on How to Find Readers on Twitter and I encourage you to pop on over to Jonathan Gunson’s Best Seller Lab’s Blog if you’re […]

  • […] Jonathan Gunson offers slap-your-head simple tips you may not have thought of for connecting with readers (rather than more authors) on Twitter. […]

  • January 30, 2013 at 12:12pm

    Hey Jonathan,

    thanks a lot for the post! Yes, it’s obvious, isn’t it? Clear case of not seeing the forest for all the trees….

  • […] What you can do TODAY: Read and take action on this post from Jonathan Gunson with 3 fresh ways to find readers on Twitter. […]

  • January 31, 2013 at 1:41am

    Another brilliant post. Thank you so much for your tips. Was half way there, in searching out the author names but was just adding people who followed them. Didn’t think to take that one step further and look at the people engaged with those authors (ie, posting about them, their books and their characters). So simple yet so easy.

  • […] Gunson: 3 Great Ways to Find Readers for Your Books on Twitter. Excellent search and find strategy here – Must Read for Writers using Twitter. Also from […]

  • February 7, 2013 at 6:05pm

    Jonathan, I just “met” you today on Twitter via the link to this blog.

    I was delighted to discover you and your wealth of information. I am new to the social media scene, only having participated in earnest for little over a week. While I find it incredibly overwhelming at times (especially Twitter with it’s fast-paced, endlessly flowing jet stream of tweets), I must say that I love it.

    As a new author, I’m looking for ways to build lasting relationships with potential readers. Yes, I’d like to eventually have enough sales to make a comfortable, modest living so I can continue being a novelist, but for me the writing is about connecting with others. I write to increase empathy and understanding — among human beings in general and specifically around those with mental illness. What better way to connect with others than through social media.

    I really appreciate your tips on finding and connecting with readers on Twitter. Thank you. You also asked for your readers’ opinion regarding Twitter vs. Facebook. I do think both have potential for making connections. They are drastically different, so each can be used in distinct ways to reach people. I’m too new at this to decide if one is more effective than the other. My opinion at this point is that each is effective in its own way. We’ll see how that changes over time (especially once my book is actually available; it’s only in the ARC stage right now).

    Oh, and I see you have a course for authors on the use of Twitter. Fantastic! I have bookmarked this site and will revisit it soon. I am very interested in your course.

    Have a wonderful day!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 8, 2013 at 1:06am

      Tanya. The process of finding readers and encouraging them to read your books is, quite simply, all about making meaningful connections. We’re of the same mind. ~ Jonathan

  • […] How to Find Readers on Twitter by Jonathan Gunson […]

  • February 8, 2013 at 2:15am

    Hello Jonathan, just your message on Twitter thought I’d have a look at all the comments on the article is very educational. The one problem I am having is Twitter saying that I can not follow anymore people. They seemed to have put a limit. Now my thinking is this is because I do not have enough followers at the moment. With people i’m following far exceeding that who are following me. Or is it more of you can follow only so many per day? Thanks again for taking time to do all this, every article is a gem.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 8, 2013 at 4:47am


      Re Twitter, there are several things to do. You seem to have followed quite few junk accounts. e.g. ‘@CamillaBirkelan’. That looks to me like a junk account with no Tweets. Those sorts of accounts are of no use to you. They are also easy to spot – no picture to start with, and no profile details.

      So I would unfollow about 20 people each day of that type, even if they followed you first. (Or unfollow some of those who have not followed you back.) Do this for a 5 days. Do it slowly and then no more unfollows for a couple of days. Need to not rush it. Twitter is likely then to let you follow some people again. If so, pick some real people to follow. And follow perhaps 20 people no more each day.

      Plus (and this will help too): Comment on a couple of Tweets by other authors each day. Twitter likes to see interaction, not just broadcasts. Let me know how it goes, and then we can take the next steps.

      ~ Jonathan

  • CC says:
    February 9, 2013 at 2:25pm

    You answered the very next question I had – which it seems everyone has! haha

    And, I am going to try your advice and see what gives.

    Like I said in my other posts – my followers are other writers (which I absolutely do not mind because it makes me realize just how many we are and that is really paramount to knowing just how much time is spent on creativity) and so why would other writers want to read my book when they are so busy trying to pitch theirs and write their next one!

    Thanks again for your advice,
    CC Dailly

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 9, 2013 at 11:57pm

      Fellow writers can still help you. They have their own communities too.
      ~ Jonathan

  • February 17, 2013 at 6:46pm

    Hi Jonathan,
    Great post and an eyeopener on what to and what not to do. I never would have thought on searching Twitter for readers the way you suggest. I’m going to give it a go.
    Thanks for sharing this.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 18, 2013 at 12:47am

      Lucy. Twitter is standing by for your search.

  • February 17, 2013 at 6:52pm

    Great post and information sharing Jonathan! I was a complete Twitter Twit a few months ago, but just before my debut release came out, one of my cousins from England came over on a visit. He’s not only a lawyer and circuit judge, but a playwrite as well. He gave me some of the same advice as you did, but you added to it and gave me more hands-on tools to use with Twitter. Thank you!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 18, 2013 at 12:46am

      Debbie – share which tools?

  • February 20, 2013 at 9:22pm

    Terrific ideas; would never had occurred to me to use Twitter in this way. I tried #2 and #3. Not many people came up. Not quite sure what to make of it (more like my lack of skill to be perfectly honest).
    Thanks and keep the articles and ideas coming.


    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 20, 2013 at 9:28pm

      Box on Steve. Twitter is FULL of readers, but this search method is not a ‘quick-fire’ strategy. It takes time and thought. You’ll get there.

  • February 28, 2013 at 1:12am

    Jonathan…if I was Bartholomew Cubbins, I would take off 500 hats for you.:)
    Not only have you provided a great article with clear and simple tips that even the most non-tech person could follow…in addition, you respond to comments with unbelievable detail and concern.

    Two years ago I knew nothing about blogging, tweeting or any social media. I limped along…and still have SO much to learn. I was guilty of ‘broadcasting advertising’ for a while…love how you described that as if the tweeter were a radio station…who would listen if all they heard was advertising…it was spot-on! I’m always open to hearing what and how I am doing things wrong…and how to do them right, because, in the end, it is all about connecting to the world to make it a better place.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      February 28, 2013 at 2:46am

      Thanks. That’s almost an Oscar! Main thing is to keep driving people to your books on Amazon in the first instance. They will do the rest if you follow their systems.

  • March 3, 2013 at 5:31pm

    What an eye opener. Thanks so much!

  • March 31, 2013 at 6:22pm

    You had me at your headline! I’m an indie publisher/author and I’ve been thrilled at how many authors in my genre I’ve been able to connect with on Facebook, but I have wanted to figure out how to find potential readers. I started searching for tweets about similar authors, and figured, hey, somebody has to have already figured this one out :) So lo and behold, Google brought me to your blog. I happily purchased your course. Thanks for these tips!

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      March 31, 2013 at 9:15pm

      Thanks Vada. Let me know if you need any help.

      • April 6, 2013 at 3:24pm

        Thanks, Jonathan. I’m finding that the material (in your Twitter course) is far beyond what I expected in both content and delivery–very to the point, but never overwhelming, delivering exactly what I’m looking for as indie author that wants and needs to be visible.

        Thanks again!

        • Jonathan Gunson says:
          April 6, 2013 at 9:41pm

          You’re welcome Vada. As a result of the course and its frequent reference to blogging, I’ve had many requests for more detailed advice, so I’m ploughing through constructing a blogging product at the moment. Determined to maintain the standard.

  • April 7, 2013 at 5:29pm

    Brilliant. Absolutely, completely brilliant AEB the smack to the head I just gave myself for not thinking of it.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 7, 2013 at 8:51pm

      Sure is a facepalm moment Evelyn. I use the 3 ‘reader’ techniques every day.

  • April 10, 2013 at 9:59pm

    Excellent advice, Jonathan, and yeah, up until last week it hadn’t dawned on me to use the search for related bestsellers.

    I don’t like automated “thx for following” tweets, with or without the “buy my book!” plug attached. So for me, engaging readers immediately would be by commenting or RT’g something in their streams.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      April 11, 2013 at 10:46am

      J. Rose.
      Hope it works for you. Some genres are certainly easier than others.
      Regarding “thx for following” auto tweets. I don’t do those as a rule, but I do have an automated direct message ‘thank you for following’ that offers my ‘author publishing guide’ for free download. But I also mix those up with many ‘real’ personalised direct messages so no-one seems to mind.

  • Hazel Eggleton says:
    June 24, 2013 at 9:47am

    I enjoy reading your excellent tips and have just bought your blogging book. Just had my first children’s novel “Ghost of Widdecot Manor” published and am struggling to promote it. Seems more difficult to get connections with children but maybe I should be aiming it at adults. It’s for the 10+ age group.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      June 24, 2013 at 10:05pm


      Thank you for taking up my ‘Blogging for authors’!

      Re the “Ghost of Widdecot Manor”. The target for children’s books is mothers. They gather in may many places on the internet. An example of a promotion you can do is to make a deal with a large site designed for mothers, by offering them for example an article about why ghosts are popular with children and also offer a prize for their readers of a free copy of your book (if hardback) or 10 free copies in PDF if digital. (I say PDF, because it’s difficult to offer free books on Amazon. They have a minimum price of .99cents)

  • August 23, 2013 at 12:26am

    Hello. We are two sisters-turned-co-authors who are hard at work on book 2 of their series (while trying to get book 1 published). First of all, we’d like to say thank you for the “Guide for Authors” document…we will be reading it soon.

    Concerning the Twitter matter, we haven’t been on there very long (only two weeks right now!) but we can already see its potential. In many ways, it is more personable than Facebook, though not as organized. We can see it being a great marketing tool in the future.

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      August 25, 2013 at 3:54am

      Glad to help. By the way, Twitter is a brilliant tool for building community around your work – as you say, highly personable.

  • August 28, 2013 at 2:07am

    I think Twitter is supremely more effective and interactive. I’ve been able to build a highly targeted following on Twitter, taking my account from 0 – nearly 5,000 in just six weeks. I direct everything to my website rather than directly to Amazon or Fine Art America so I can measure effectiveness. Oh yes. Did I mention that in that same time period my FB page is at a whopping 217? My goal is 20,000 on Twitter by year end. I think at that point I will have a deep enough penetration to JUST begin to translate into sales of art and writing.

    I think the key to success in the long term lies in the words above–“highly targeted”.


    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      August 28, 2013 at 3:04am

      5000 followers? Excellent. Highly targeted? Great. But a reminder: When taking action re your books think less about presenting and more about connecting. That’s the way to build community which is the pathway to long term sales.

  • September 4, 2013 at 6:03am

    Hi Jonathan,

    Part of me thinks it’s a great idea, but I’m not sure about going around and following tons of people so they’ll follow you back. Doesn’t twitter put a limit on this type of thing?

    • Jonathan Gunson says:
      September 4, 2013 at 10:37am

      Following the right people with whom you can form a meaningful relationship is the key Erin. ‘Tons’ is truly a waste of time. And yes Twitter does put a limit on the numbers you can follow on any given day. For example, a lot of people follow me on Twitter now out of sheer momentum I think. But I only follow back those I consider to be intriguing, interesting, or likely to be worthy of an association.
      ~ Jonathan

  • Jonathan Gunson says:
    March 26, 2014 at 8:55pm

    Thanks to everyone for the contributions. Comments on this post are now closed.