Does Using Twitter Increase Book Sales?

After resisting for two years, yesterday I caved and signed up for a Twitter account. I have a new book coming out in February and conventional wisdom says authors must tweet. A lot. One article I read said that to make an impression with Twitter, one must “tweet” 20-30 times a day. I sure hope that was a typo because frankly, I can’t imagine what I would say in 30 tweets that would interest anyone other than my mother, and I am not so sure even she would not eventually tell me to cease and desist.   Last week, a friend who had just returned from a marketing seminar told me an effective tweet is supposed to have a hook and a call to action. But the vast majority of the tweets I see posted to Facebook (yeah, I have two pages there) have neither. Maybe it’s just me, but I get annoyed if I’m subjected to a constant barrage of mindless updates, or to a constant plea to buy a book, vote for a book in some contest, or to multiple posts about a sales ranking at Amazon.

Last week I read a blog post in which the blogger had “done the math” using standard assumptions about purchase rates.  Even for an author with 10,000 followers, the numbers suggest  that “old style” media such as radio, newspaper ads and other print media are more effective than social media in influencing book buyers. The blogger points to celebrities such as Glenn  Beck and Snooki from New Jersey whose books he judges to be awful and yet sell millions. A person who is famous for being famous has a tremendous advantage. All in all, it was pretty discouraging. You can read it for yourself at  Be warned that he uses a few mild obscenities.

How can ordinary authors compete? I haven’t a clue. For those of you who are veteran tweeters, does using Twitter  increase your sales? If so, what did you do to maximize the effectiveness of your posts and tweets?   I’m going to give Twitter a try. I’ll keep you…uh….posted.

2 thoughts on “Does Using Twitter Increase Book Sales?

  1. Michelle Hughes (@MichelleHughes_)

    As someone with over ten thousands followers on twitter I can say that unfortunately it hasn’t proven to be a big sales boost. Add in to the fact that its easy to get caught up with the conversations going on which can cost you hours doing some other type of marketing, I just haven’t seen the benefits. I’m running 24/7 tweets there promoting my book and my sales rank ranges between 120,00-45,000 which to me is unacceptable. Just my two cents worth.

    1. dorothy Post author

      Michelle, thanks so much for sharing your experience. I was afraid this was the case! It seems that there is very little an author can do to boost sales, even working 24-7. I appreciate your reply. Good luck with your book.

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